theaussieword catches up with HOY for a special interview..
What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
Hoy formed when the three of us were on tour in Europe in a previous incarnation of the band. We had three months traveling around playing shows and staying with friends we met along the way. We completed a residency in an old mansion in France where we worked on new songs. Over that trip we spent a lot of time together and the sound of our music shifted. When we came back to Australia we renamed the band Hoy and got to work on our first album.
What had you first interested in music?
We were all drawn to music at a young age. For Ceci it was the saxophone solo in the soundtrack from ‘Lily Was Here’ and Beethoven’s piano concerto no. 3 in C minor and Enya! She would sit right on top of the speakers and listening intently for hours. Felicity used to watch live concerts on VHS with her Dad – Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield, stuff like that…. It was a total sensory explosion! Liam started guitar when he found his Mum’s acoustic in the house one day.
Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
Enjoyment of other bands is motivation for making great music. Immersion in the sounds of a band you love and listening to all the intricacies of music is a transporting experience important to most people. If those bands hadn’t made the music we would not have access to that experience. The potential to offer that experience of immersion and transportation to others is something we’re inspired by.
Yes we are touring the release of our first album, Aquaslum. This May we will be playing in Castlemaine, Melbourne, Launceston, Hobart, Mona, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide. We’ll do a follow up album tour around Australia a couple of months after that.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
To keep releasing records and continue to work as a band are significant goal in themselves. So many bands shut down because of life changes or disputes. Our main plan is just to keep playing and writing music together. Another goal is to tour the world.
What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
Our focus over the next few months is playing our full album as much as possible. We’re putting on these tour shows and we want to play to new audiences up the east coast.
Success – what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
From our perspective the secret to success is perseverance, optimism and doing things for a good reason. Its an old cliché but success is not a real goal. Its meaning is mutable so you’re better off aiming for things you can define. Our biggest highlight so far has probably been working on our first album with so many excellent musicians and a wonderful production team. It was like living in a dream.
The Beastie Boys are inspiring – they’ve produced so much music and their style is so independent and also so broad, incorporating all sorts of musicians along the way. Wally de Backer is pretty inspiring, we toured with him last year with his band The Basics, and he really knows how to keep it together on tour.
How would you best describe you and your music to your fans?
We are a band of good friends who work together really well. Some of the band members have known each other for over 15 years. Our music draws on a huge range of influences because we work collaboratively on writing. As musicians and music listeners we each have diverse pasts and interests with plenty of crossovers too, so writing collaboratively leads us on a trail of endless ideas. Our songs each have differing shapes and movements and stand apart from each other whilst still belonging together within Hoy’s sound. That’s something a bit unique about our band. Not many folk/rock bands are so collaborative at the writing stage.
What can you tell us about your latest album?
The album is called Aquaslum. Its nine songs that came together over a few years of working collaboratively as a trio before expanding the songs to full-band arrangements. We recorded it in a converted church in the Victorian goldfields over a week-long lock-in with our producer Pip Norman, and finished the album off back in Pip’s Melbourne studio, Bounce County. Aquaslum represents our sound really well, and to hear what that’s like you’ll have to listen.
We’ve got some new songs lined-up ready to work into full band songs with the six-piece line-up. We’ll be working on those with the intention to record before the end of the year. We’re aiming to head over to London to work with Aaron Cupples and make a short music film with our friends Dick and Arnaud, who are film makers living in Paris.
The music industry is huge. Where do you see yourselves in a few years from now?
In a few years time the plan is to have at least another two recordings out and about, released here in Australia and hopefully distributed in UK, Europe and the US. We’re really looking forward to touring internationally within the next few years.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
You Am I, The Go Betweens, The Triffids, Paul Kelly, The Saints and Nick Cave.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media. How do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
The music industry does seem to be in a state of flux, where so many things are changing its hard to know how things will turn out. With the internet up and running that state is unlikely to settle any time soon. New platforms and ways of working will expand exponentially with technology. It opens up plenty of opportunities to spread our record about. One good example is Pozible, a crowd-funding platform through which Hoy recently completed a campaign. We raised funds for printing Aquaslum onto CDs and records. It was really something to be able to set up that opportunity for support and watch people contribute until we reached our monetary target. Now we can print records! Without the changes of the last few years that sort of thing would not have happened.
What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?
How’s about a nice quote from Groucho Marx – “A black cat crossing your path at midnight signifies that the animal is going somewhere”.
AQUASLUM TOUR, 2014
FRI. 9TH MAY: BRIDGE HOTEL, CASTLEMAINE
SAT. 10TH MAY: THE TOFF IN THE TOWN, MELBOURNE
THURS. 15TH MAY: TREEHOUSE @ BELONGIL, BYRON BAY
FRI. 16TH MAY: THE BEACH HOTEL, BYRON BAY
SAT. 17TH MAY: QUEEN ST. MALL & THE UNDERDOG, BRISBANE
SUN. 18TH MAY: QUEEN ST. MALL & POWERHOUSE, BRISBANE
FRI. 23rd MAY: REPUBLIC BAR, HOBART
SAT. 24th MAY: FRESH ON CHARLES, LAUNCESTON
SUN. 25th MAY: MONA FOMA GALLERY BAR, HOBART
THURS. 29TH MAY: RAD, WOLLONGONG
FRI. 30TH MAY: UPSTAIRS BERESFORD, SYDNEY
SAT. 31ST MAY: OXFORD ART FACTORY GALLERY BAR, SYDNEY