Interview with: IT HUGS BACK
Location: Via Email
Introduce the band please…
Matt: Hi! I’m matt and I play guitar & sing the songs. With me there is Jack who plays electric organ, guitar & sings with me sometimes and there is Dimitri who plays drums and Paul who plays bass.
When and where did It Hugs Back form?
Paul: We’ve all been friends for a long time, but only start this band about two years ago when we were all living in London… except jack who was at uni in leeds but he was still involved as much as possible..
Matt: it’s good with us all being together down south again now, I like having jack about I do!
Releases to date so far?
Paul: We’ve had two singles out so far… ‘lights in the trees’ was the first and we’ve just released the second, called ‘carefully’. We’ve have another single coming out before the end of the year as part of Too Pure’s singles club.
Any story behind the band name?
Dimitri: …not really. People seem think were called I Thugs Back a lot… we’re going to start a hardcore-punk band called it spits back.
Matt: I thought we already had..?
From what I saw of you live you seem to share the dynamics of bands like Lemonheads, Teenage Fanclub and Seafood, is this fair? What other bands have you drawn comparisons to?
Matt: They’re all bands we all like! I think it’d be fair to say we share a similar dynamic to them, it’d be nice to think so in some ways, Lemonheads and Teenage Fanclub have made some of my favourite pop songs, hopefully we take on some of that idea and mix it up and mess about with it a little or a lot.
Anyone you’ve not appreciated being compared to?
Matt: I remember once the NME said we were better than Embrace… I didn’t like this, not really because I don’t like Embrace, I don’t think I’ve listened a record of there’s! more just the competition implied and strangeness of comparison! I’m not sure how they made the connection..!?
Dimitri: I’ve just worked it out… embrace means to cuddle.. the NME are so clever… I’ve heard an embrace song. I didn’t like it.
Matt: You’re right!!! I’d never though of that… although I’m not sure the NME is quite so subtle?
How did you end up on the Local stage at End Of The Road festival?
Matt: A good six hours of driving and we made it, we hadn’t slept much due to gig the night before so it was an odd one for us, not the best.. We were just asked to play, they made up some competition story which was odd as we knew nothing about it, I think maybe it was a way to try and make up for the fact they don’t pay the smaller bands but we didn’t mind, we got to see Yo La Tengo and Scout Niblett play on the day we played, it was quite a good line up over the weekend wasn’t it?
Dimitri: Jeffrey Lewis was really good too… I had never listened to him before.
Matt: His song about meeting Will Oldham was very good! But he didn't play the song about not letting your record label take you out for lunch sadly...
Paul: and there was lots of Pieminster for us to eat!
Matt: Although not quite enough, it was a sad thing when they closed early on Sunday, I missed out! The Heidi pie was the best!
Jack: back to the music! The Bees were really good… and there was a little tent where you could play records and a half broken harmonium.
Dimitri: But you fixed the harmonium… didn’t you jack?
I noticed you’re ‘influenced’ by Llama Farmers, never known any band to be influenced by them (I loved them on record). Anything in particular about them that you took inspiration from?
Matt: We’ve liked this band since we were lots younger, we all went to see them at the Tunbridge Well’s Forum on one of there last gigs, the last even perhaps? I think I first heard them at reading 98 when I was 12! They’re great, really good songs I think… Bernie is a really good songwriter… they always had great b-sides on their singles too!
Jack: I’m still trying to collect all their singles.
Dimitri: I managed to get The Note On The Door 7 inch the other day.
Jack: me too!!
Matt: ‘Same Song/Movie’ is such a single, and the first single from the first album with ’multi coloured curtains’ as a b-side, I love that song!
Future wise, what’s in the pipeline?
Matt: We’re doing some touring for the rest of the year, some dates with Scout Niblett which I’m excited about and we’re starting recordings for our first record which will be out sometime next year. We’re waiting for our new recording stuff to arrive at the moment, two weeks has never seemed so far away!!