Hooray For Earth haven’t been around for very long, but their impact on synth pop has been unmistakeable. Where their MOMO EP pushed boundaries, their True Loves LP shattered expectations in every way and made for one of the best records of 2011. While sounding larger than life, this New York-based project is built around the home recordings of singer and multi-instrumentalist, Noel Heroux. I recently ran into Heroux while browsing the ‘Exciting‘ category on Netflix…
Violent Success: When you first got together as a band, how long did it take to find the sound that you have today?
Hooray For Earth: I’ve always been recording by myself and it’ll just keep changing, whatever we’re playing as a band is just a reasonable live version of what’s been recorded.
VS: What are your main influences as a band? Are there artists you all share a love of?
HFE: I can’t gave a good answer regarding what influences a band really, we all listen to different music and the way that Hooray For Earth works isn’t necessarily how a band usually works anyway. I don’t intend to reference anything in recording or writing, I can’t for the most part. As far as what we listen to in the van on tour or whatnot, it usually just rotates by whoever has the front seat closest to the radio. Joe listens to XTC 90% of the time, I play Arab Strap a lot as something to stay relaxed with. Or ambient Aphex Twin. Chris tends to listen by himself on headphones, I’m not sure what to. Our tour manager Mike get’s pretty psyched when anyone throws on anything by A Place To Bury Strangers.
VS: What’s your main goal when translating your music into performance art?
HFE: Oh man, I don’t know. Just play it loud and be real, no baggage. If I like a band’s music a lot then I can usually enjoy it live regardless of what’s happening on stage. We’re probably mostly boring but the music comes first, so that’s the art of it I guess.
VS: Is there a live show that you’ve seen that’s inspired you or that you’d like to do something similar-to one day?
HFE: The last totally fantastic live show I saw was Basement Jaxx in 2001. I was with a bunch of friends and we were all existing in a ridiculous time of our lives. Rooty had just come out and BJ were touring with a full band and all the guest singers on the record. It was an awesome production, super exciting but not over-the-top. That’s one end of things. On the other end I know Chris saw Elliott Smith a few times, each of which I unfortunately missed. I wish I’d gone to those.
VS: Do you pay much attention to what the music press have to say about you?
HFE: I did the month our record came out but haven’t looked at much since. One thing I learned first hand is that very often what you intend or think about what you’re doing is wildly misinterpreted by all walks of listeners. Not to say that’s a surprise, but confusing and vaguely annoying nonetheless.
VS: What would you say are the best and worst things about music today?
HFE: I wouldn’t bother, we are where we are so just rolling with it seems best. I think the internet is both a useful and very destructive, as probably could’ve been argued about any asset of the music industry 10 years ago, and 20 years ago, and so on. There’s always something to pull apart.
VS: The artwork for True Loves was probably my favorite cover last year. How or where did you come up with that?
HFE: Aw thanks, that’s awesome. That was just a day of goofing around with my photographer buddy Drew Innis. We were just looking for an image that said nothing.
VS: Is there anything exciting on the horizon for you guys? Any new cool projects you can talk about?
HFE: I’m demo-ing a new record and we just started to get together to play some of the stuff at our friends’ space. Will be recording soon, don’t have details to tell yet but it’s coming together. That’s my main game now, making this new record.
VS: At this point, do you consider music your career or is it something you’re still working towards establishing?
HFE: This is all I do so I’d say it’s fine as is. Just going to make better shit and keep going, see what happens. I think it’s best not to plan too much, other than planning to make good shit as far as it’s within your ability.
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