main asset. Hitting the stage at the Fargo Theater in Fargo, North Dakota Wednesday night, they brought their well known charismatic stage presence and showed the audience a good time. Their love for the music is evident in their performance and they kept the party rolling from start to finish.
Along with the songs Hinder is best known for came some of the new tracks from their latest release ‘When The Smoke Clears’. There has been some controversy surrounding this album from the fans. Some say it is ‘modern rock’ others call it ‘southern rock’ while others hear
‘new-age country’. What it boils down to is mainstream music. Pop music dominates. Pop artists are even winning awards in rock genres. To remain on the charts, some country and rock artists have resorted to adding a pop vibe to their material, thus most mainstream music is slowly starting to meet in the middle with much less variety among it.
This is not me calling Hinder ‘mainstream’ in any way; some of their inspirations on the other hand may be considered so. Hinder writes what they like and what feels good to them, not necessarily what pleases the critics. They write for their fans and most of all they write from the heart. This perhaps may lead to a mainstream sounding song or two, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares? They are still writing amazing music and rocking the stage with enthusiasm for what they do.
Drummer Cody Hanson took some time to talk to us before the show, read the full interview below!
CH: Everybody’s great. Back to one hundred percent, so that’s good.
SR: What were some of the thoughts running through your minds in that moment? I mean, it was kind of a rough one, wasn’t it?
CH: It was a very rough one. Yeah, I mean I guess the first thought is “are we about to die?”, you know? The bus driver, we had a little bit of a warning when he couldn’t stop, he was screaming for a while to hold on. So yeah, it was definitely scary. You know, the second thought obviously running through everybody’s mind is “okay, do we really want to keep doing this?”. Especially when you go and you’re touring in the winter, being in a bus is dangerous. I mean, I think the last thing any of us would want is to die out on the road away from our families. But, you know, after a couple of weeks that fear kinda, I don’t know, subsided a little bit. We are still scared driving down the road but other than that.
SR: Especially up here I’m sure, with how slick these roads get.
CH: Definitely, but we are making it.
SR: So you had a UK tour last year in September, three tour dates. What did you enjoy most about touring overseas?
CH: Well, in the past we’ve spent quite a bit of time over there, but just enjoying the sites, you know. Meeting the people is always cool. Just checking out different cultures, different foods, beers.
SR: Okay, How do you feel the Hinder fans in the UK differ from the fans here in the U.S.?
CH: I don’t really. I mean we did some other dates in Europe as well and those dates were all good, but as soon as we got to the UK it kinda got a little more intense. They were very excited just because we don’t get to go back all the time. So they were very excited, they knew all of the new stuff, which was great. It was really cool.
CH: Well, did you listen to the whole album or are you judging based on the single?
SR: Oh no, I listened to the whole album. I guess I just felt it was more southern than past albums, maybe just my personal opinion.
CH: Yeah, I mean I guess I can see the first single. We were fine with that, we don’t have a problem mixing things up. I don’t know, I kinda thought that maybe it was a little more of a straight forward rock record than some of the previous releases, at least more so than the last one. Then again, everyone’s perception is different.
SR: What was the writing process like for it?
CH: Pretty much the same as it always is. We kinda start with a couple of acoustic guitars and just hammer it out. This time, we always do co writes with people, and this time we wanted to kinda mix it up. We did some writing with some new writers we had never written with before out of Nashville. It ended up being great and hopefully we made some long lasting relationships.
SR: Right on. With the new album, there’s a new label and a new singer. Do you feel like there has been an acceptance and a support from the fans with all the change? Do you feel they take it as it is or is there apprehension?
CH: Obviously there’s going to be those fans that are upset and can’t accept the change. Some of them act like they can’t listen to music if it’s any different voice, you know. It is what it is. For the most part it’s been very positive and we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the reaction, so yeah, we’re happy.
SR: Did the change of labels change the dynamic of the way you do things?
CH: Um, a little bit yeah. It gave us more freedom. They don’t really get involved in the song writing and production process. They don’t really stick their nose in and say “well I think this needs to sound different”, or you know whatever. They just kinda let us do our thing, which is cool. It’s nice.
CH: I do actually, yeah. We have fans from everywhere, all different types of people. Yeah, we tried to have something for everyone on the album. It definitely changes the way we think about it for sure.
SR: Alright, fourteen years later and a handful of changes, what is the one thing you feel defines Hinder and that people associate with the band?
CH: Just good rock and roll that is relatable. We try to write our songs, like I said, for people. We want our songs to have meaning, not just a bunch of artistic gibberish. I think fans can relate to our music and that’s important.
SR: Well in many previous interviews you have talked about the fans and how you feel they are a driving force for you, so we gave fans an opportunity to write in and ask questions.
SR: Right! So Anne wants to know:
"Do they write their songs from experience? Are the lyrics all stories that have happened to them?"
CH: Um, I would say probably eighty percent. But you know, you kinda run out of experiences sometimes, so sometimes you write about something you see someone going through or sometimes you just kinda, I don’t know, make up a story in your head and write about it. Just think of a scenario that might happen to someone and you write about that.
SR: Chad’s question is:
"Who are the band’s musical influences and how does that translate into their own music today?"
CH: We have a bunch of influences. We are kinda all over the map. We have one guy, his favorite band is Weezer, one guy that listens to Katy Perry, you know he’s really into pop music. Some guys are really into hair metal. We are kinda just all over the place. We’ve always said that our biggest influences are Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue. You obviously hear some of the country influences, maybe even some of the pop influences.
SR: The last one is from Tami:
"I am in love with your sound! If you could go anywhere in the world looking for new experiences and inspiration for your music, where would it be?"
CH: Man, that’s a real good one. We’ve been everywhere, I mean not everywhere obviously, but I don’t know. We’d love to go to Ireland, that would be really cool. Go on a little pub tour. That would be a lot of fun, I think we could get ourselves in some trouble over there and come up with some new experiences. Like I said, we’ve been to a lot of the places we wanted to travel.
SR: That’s awesome! Well, thank you very much for talking with us!
CH: Yeah, of course, thank you!
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