Interview: House Vs Hurricane

Taking place in early July 2012, the FReeZA summits (new window) are an opportunity to get insider knowledge about putting on gigs from people who’ve been there and done that before. Among the people imparting their expertise at these events will be House Vs Hurricane. I spoke with lead guitarist Chris Shaw about what FReeZA summiteers can expect, as well as recent events for the band, including the recent release of Perspectives, their second full-length album.

Well Chris, first of all thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. I take it you have a busy schedule with the FReeZA summit performances coming up?

Yeah that’s all good. Yeah, over the next two weeks, which will be pretty cool.

Looking at your Wikipedia page I saw your genre listed as progressive electronic hardcore. what does that sound like?

Our old stuff. Haha, our new stuff is not that.

Well, fair enough then. What’s the difference though? How does your sound differ now from what it used to be?

We don’t have a keyboardist anymore, and we got a new vocalist, so I guess that’s changed the sound a fair bit.

How did you all come to be? Where did this all start?

I joined the band in 2006 as the guitarist when we were called Beyond Mine and, yeah we just sort of went from there. About June 2007 we changed our name to House Vs Hurricane and recorded an EP and here we are!

Now, back to the FReeZA Summits. I take it you’re not just performing up there? These summits are of course training days for FReeZA committees, so what else will you guys be doing at them?

Yeah, so we’re going to be playing an acoustic set up there, me and Ryan, and just playing a couple of songs off the album and a cover during a lunch break I think. And then we’re just going to be speaking at the summit. Talking about the album, the recording process, what it’s like being in a band and touring – all that kind of stuff. We’ll be taking questions and answers from the people there too.

How have you been involved with FReeZA previously? Did they give you some support in your early days?

Yeah, I think Ryan’s spoken at a couple of things and we’ve played at a bunch of FReeZA shows and stuff. So we’ve always had ties with them and I guess we’ve finally got time to go down and speak to people and I mean they want us to as well! Which is a good thing!

Your first relase was an EP called “Forfeiture”, which received rave reviews, and Perspectives, your debut LP, went in a similar fashion. How is Crooked Teeth, your new LP, going?

Well, Perspectives didn’t actually do as well as we kind of hoped, so I guess Crooked Teeth was our second chance at giving it a real shot. So far, from what we’ve heard from people who’ve heard it, they love it. So I mean we’re all incredibly proud of it, we all love the album. And I mean, even if it doesn’t do well we’re just happy with what we’ve produced.

Did the performance of Perspectives have any influence on the change of direction?

Yeah I mean, there was a lot of… The whole period of Perspectives was very stressful and not everyone was even very into the music on it. It was just like, a really rushed process and I mean towards the end of it, it just really showed us that we didn’t like playing the style of music that was on that album at the end of the day.

So when we came into Crooked Teeth we didn’t set out to drastically change the sound – it just kind progressed in the way it has. And there are still big elements of the old House Vs Hurricane sound on the new album, it’s just progressed a lot more, it’s a lot more mature. At the end of the day we’re all incredibly happy with it and I guess that’s all that really matters to us.

It sounds like you’ve made it a bit more simple perhaps? Less confused?

Yes and no. I mean I guess it’s a lot easier to follow but there’s still a lot of technicality there in the drums and the set of the actual songs and the structure and stuff, but I mean we just kind of focused on making a good song as opposed to jamming 10 or 20 good riffs in one song and making it sound like crap.

How was the recording process for the new album?

Look, it was awesome, one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. The guy at The Machine Shop we worked with is just… a maniac, haha. I think he might actually be insane, but he’s just the most positive guy ever and for the six weeks we were there he never had one off day. He was always in there with a smile on his face, amping us up and terrorising the place.

Sounds like you had a great six weeks!

Yeah it just translated so well to the album especially like, just having that positive vibe in the studio the whole time… it was an incredibly creative environment especially with him!

Have you got any advice for young people looking to get involved in bands or the live music scene in general?

Just get out to shows and have fun and make friends. Leave your ego at the door and just enjoy the scene and embrace it. I mean it’s a community and everyone has to love each other and really just enjoy the scene itself. And people who want to be in a band – just do it! Get a group of friends together, write some music and play shows and have fun!

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