Hockey Night will be rocking The Dame tomorrow night, but were kind enough to grant an interview for today. Co-lead guitarist Paul Sprangers shares some insights on the new album, the band’s addition of a second drummer and first bassist, and a sure-fire way to get kicked out of your SXSW hotel room.
How did Hockey Night form?
Hockey Night has been morphing and changing since the name was originally used for a blue ep we put out years ago. The band started touring as a three-piece (2 guitars & drums) and has since added additional boogie percussion and bass. The band is a peaceful co-operative and essentially collaborative group.
Has the idea behind Hockey Night changed much since its early days? Has there been any uniting theme or even unofficial motto to your approach towards the band?
The ideas and concepts behind Hockey Night are the same as they were when we first started playing and recording–we are trying to make innovative music and spirit-expanding art that doesn’t yet exist in the mainstream or margins of western culture. We believe that esoteric and socially progressive ideas can exist naturally with percussive pop music. Electric melodies will make the message accessible! The only real uniting hockeynight theme is that we’re trying to prepare and grow as monumental change sweeps the earth. in light of the universe changing, we humbly try to create the best art we can.
Has having two guitarists played a large role in shaping Hockey Night’s sound, or is that mostly just press packet mumbo jumbo?
It’s not propaganda! Everyone should come to the show and decide for themselves. Most bands don’t have vision when it comes to playing guitar. And most Hockey Night songs are built around the weaving harmonies and propulsive melodies that come from using two guitars (creatively!). We have always written songs around two guitars. Two Guitars! Three guitars! The next record will probably have guitars upon guitars upon guitars.
Has the addition of the bassist and drummer added to approach in the studio as well?
All the new stuff we’re writing kind of incorporates this new set up. Before we might record a song with two drummers, but live we have to play it with two. now we can record with two drummers and play with two drummers. We also have this weird foundation that kind of flows underneath everything. Now we spend a lot of time working on all the different parts within the songs.
Any hints into what we can expect about what the album will be like?
First we’re putting out some singles on some super cool labels in the U.K. But the album is starting to take shape. it’s gonna have melodies you’ve only heard in dreams. It will have electric-boogie percussion and guitars that zap and make sucking sounds while the singing (now much improved) will glide and dip and slip around the dance-craze hi-hats and poofy bass thuds. this is a record we’ve all been waiting for. upbeat and catchy with super choruses and and mind-melding time changes.It’s less meandering. We really spend a lot of time trying to make sure that what we do isn’t boring or generic. We have a new song that we’re recording that’s super…kinda dance, but still has this chorus that’s two harmonized guitars.
How’d your most recent jaunt down to SXSW go? Any highlights or funny stories?
SXSW is a big, awesome circus of sand. The highlights are a bit sordid. Funniest story was when Alex Achen (1st drums) crashed a rickshaw into the Radisson fountain and was escorted out near the pool where there was a running golf cart. He proceeded to drive the cart out onto the sidewalk and drove to the free agency showcase at Emos. No rules?