By ROSINE ALLEVA, Rock At Night EU Editor
Quickly addicted to their energy on stage, their 70’s music style, their great outfits, I needed to talk about this talented band again as many things happened since! When I went to Wood Stock Guitares last March to interview Pat McManus, THE HOOK was the opening act and it was again a big slap in the face! We decided to meet later this year and it was at the Atlantis in Basel – Switzerland that I interviewed the band last September. Selected for the ATLANTIS BLUES CLASH on October 30th, THE HOOK will be playing again at the Atlantis, springboard for the BluesBasel Festival in April 2020.
After the concert I saw in Basel -loved the new songs, awesome live band- no doubt they’ll be selected!
Joe– Lead vocals, harmonica, guitar, maracas
Hugo– Lead guitar
Dylan– Bass, backing vocals
Interview here below:
RAN– Many things happened for you since we first met. What marked you the most?
DYLAN– We’re marked by life, especially Eric (Laughs)
RAN– You met Philippe Manoeuvre in Colmar
(radio and television presenter, specialized in rock music, editor-in-chief of the music magazine Rock & Folk) who told you „you’re the future“! Quite a nice compliment!
HUGO– I already forgot about it! Didn’t bring us much though…
RAN– You had a residence in Fribourg, here in Switzerland, for the Iceberg operation.
DYLAN– Just before going, we recorded 8 demos of new songs we had. This Residence with Côme Aguiar, a musician working with many bands, making music for films. It allowed us to revisit our songs with him, more strictly, more clean, to have an external advice from a professional, stuff we wouldn’t have done spontaneously.
SYD (manager)- Côme Aguiar was the bass player of Silmarils and is the musical director of Oxmo Puccino. And of course a member of the Iceberg Operation. He was nominated for the music of Yves St Laurent movie. A high-flier! He had an approach with THE HOOK so that he could stop them! Incredible!!! I came a day later to Fribourg and could already see something was really happening.
He was stopping them while they were playing, by stopping the bass here, reducing the drums tempo or the guitar there, to break the rhythms, making it less linear. Then Joe, the singer, had to take a smooth voice and the song was totally different, more sexy and groovy. Côme Aguiar went to see them in concert at the BUS PALLADIUM in Paris, he was amazed, no one knew the band there and after a few seconds they just put the house on Fire!!!! Incredible.
RAN– Wow! I would have loved to be there!…Before this line-up wasn‘t there still a moment you kind of were fed up, slowed down a bit, not finding a regular drummer?
HUGO– When you saw us after the Willerhof with Rémy, rather the opposite! We kept playing many, many times, South of France, Bordeaux, Geneva, toured in the Alpes.
JOE– From the moment Rémy left the band, I played a bit drums during 2,3 gigs. But we quickly began to play either with Eric or Marlon.
HUGO– We were not posting a lot on Social Medias at the time, but since Syd became our manager, things changed (Laughs)
RAN– Hell yeah! Great videos, gigs announcements, merchandising.
JOE– None of us has Instagram, we’re not too much on social medias. On Facebook I sometimes put a few pictures of the STONES , or music from the STONES….but that’s it really. It’s true Facebook is a good way for the band to communicate professionally.
RAN– Tell me about the famous french „PRINTEMPS DE BOURGES“ festival, where you were last April.
THE HOOK– Very impressive, cool and first time on such a big stage in front of a big audience, about two thousand people.
RAN– Did this bring anything for the future? Was the Television Broadcast last June related to your concert at the Festival?
SYD– A few contacts, nothing concrete yet. it’s a festival covering all music styles. The television Broadcast was already planned before this.
RAN– It’s quite a while you play together now, how do you see your music evolution?
DYLAN– We composed many new titles/ tracks. Following the residence in Fribourg, for example, the songs sound maybe a bit less bluesy. As I said earlier, new songs we wouldn’t have spontaneously composed, we definitely extended our musical vision.
HUGO– Yeah Dylan! Less bluesy, it suits you, right, you’re happy!(Laughs)
RAN– Eric, how did you join the band?
ERIC– Well, I joined them by accident….Laughs.
(Sometimes Dylan and Eric share the stage together with another band)
RAN– What about your plans for the near future?
DYLAN– We are working on the new stuff to release an album. We’re currently looking for a new rehearsal room. We’re gonna play as much as possible!
ERIC– Yes, and have the choice, if we want to produce an album with 12 songs, we need to have at least 15 to 20 titles. Then decide which ones will be released.
RAN– Hugo, I heard you weren’t too happy since this 70’s revival movement became a real fashion
HUGO– Yeah, it’s true. When we began, it was kind of special, we were the stars (Laughs). Now, everyone wants to do this, with flared trousers and big collar shirts….It really denaturalizes the music! There are super bands we like, for sure, as we’re influenced by the same stuff. There are all sorts of music movements, like everyone wanting to play Black Sabbath for example, but since we met Joe and I, we never changed style!
JOE– We never followed any fashion, any music movement. Like playing garage rock, then rock stoner and then soul, funk…Just to please others. Although a few years ago, we were a bit in the Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath motion. But it was a bit complicated, not reflecting our style.
RAN– What is your biggest wish after the release of your album?
HUGO– Keep touring but maybe more in other countries…In US, yeah!!
DYLAN– And UK, around Italy, in Germany…where we already had 3 dates.
JOE– The first objective is the release of this album. We all have new ideas that need to come out!
ERIC– We need to find a period of time without concerts, find the studio….
HUGO– Yes, we want to be proud of this album and pleased with it! So, find a place and time to compose. Should be calming down this winter….
RAN– Well, all the best for this new album and for October 30th! No doubt you’ll hit the stage of the BluesBasel Festival next spring! Thanks again for this interview 😎! See you again very soon! France, Switzerland, US…?!
Many thanks to Syd, their manager, for the welcome and the photo, to Torsten Sarfert and his team at the Atlantis.