I am not sure I have ever put the words ‘Worcester’ together with…
‘Rage Against the Machine’ but, in the case of HVMM, there is a natural link – Worcester is where they based and, take one sip of their confident swagger, and one is reminded of the U.S. giants. There is theatricality; a sense of the subversive and stylish about the group: contrasted by a rawness and directedness that few possess. I talk to the guys about their double A-side, Beggars and Thieves/Going Postal; how the band came together and what their E.P., Talk to Me Like I’m Dead, is all about.
They tell me about the L.A. label, ILA; a pub scuffle and certain girl; what tour dates they have coming up and the music that is important to them – in terms of their favourite albums/songs and a new artist we need to observant of.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Yeah. Good, thanks.
It's Monday but, so far, so good...
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Andy - Vocals
Ebony - Guitars
Jack - Bass
Sam - Drums
Tell me about the video for Beggars and Thieves. What was it like shooting that?
It was hard work - but a lotta fun.
We did everything ourselves - which was a first in this area. A lot of good people helped us out on this one. It is the character, in both location and people, that really make the video what it is (if that’s anything?).
It’s down to the kind nature of these people.
Can you explain the origins and the song and what inspired it?
Well, lyrically, it’s completely fabricated - no form of reality - which is what inspired it - another song about ‘a girl’ just wasn't cutting the mustard…
Going Postal is the other half of that double A-side release. What was the reason for releasing a double A-side and do you think more bands should?
We were in a position where we could put two songs out (rather than one) - which seemed to feel right at the time - as we had video ideas that linked the two songs.
It's hardly cutting-edge but it was different to what we had done before!
It is taken from the forthcoming E.P., Talk to Me Like I’m Dead. How did the songs come together for the E.P. and what was inspiring the songwriting around that time?
Going Postal has been around for a while - but the rest of the songs were written for the occasion.
What inspired this? The pressure of a recording date and not being happy with our selection of songs at the time.
Take me back to the beginning and how the band came together. How long have you guys been playing?
We met at a house-party a good few years back...
We were all playing in different bands at the time. We have all been playing for a very long time but, as a collective, I think it’s around a-year-and-a-half now.
Is it true a pub scuffle played a role?! How did you go from that to forming a band?!
That is true, yes.
Well…the pub scuffle was over a woman. She soon after left town - so problem solved!
HVMM are the first British band signed to L.A. label, ILA. How did that feel and what is it like being signed to the label? Do you have a lot of artistic freedom?
Yeah; it was cool!
We do yes: they’re a great bunch to work with!
Worcester is where you are from - it doesn’t seem like a Mecca for exceptional music! Is there a big scene where you are?!
There is definitely some great bands around by us...
The Worcester Music Festival is coming up and that’s probably the biggest thing we have as far as a scene goes.
Your sound recalls the likes of Rage Against the Machine and Jack White. Are these the kind of artists you grew up listening to?
They certainly are!
What tour dates have you got coming up? Where can we see you play?
We have our E.P. Launch this Saturday (2nd Sept) at The Marrs Bar, Worcester, followed by an in-store show at the local record store, Rise (the next day at 1 P.M.)
After that; Hackney Wonderland in October – and, then, our first London headline show on 22nd November at The Seabright Arms.
Can you explain what life is like on the road? How much of a buzz do you get bringing your music to the people?
We love playing live: spending hours in-transit...not so much.
It's always worth it, though.
Who are new acts you recommend we check out?
Enjoying The Cracked Actors very much at the moment.
If you each had to select the one album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?
Jack: Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love
Because it's the first record that made me realise an album doesn't have to be just a collection of songs.
Ebony: Cream - Fresh Cream
I have many albums that mean a lot to me - for different reasons. This was the first that took me past just listening.
Andy: Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I
So many reasons for this…
It was the first time I woke up to great songwriting, musicianship; structure, tone…I could go on...
Sam: MC5 - Back in the USA
Tutti Frutti - say no more.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
I don't think we are in a position to give advice on that subject.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name any song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
PJ Harvey – Down by the Water
Black Sabbath – Supernaught
Hozier - To Be Alone