Planetmosh interviews Carl Dixon and Andy Curran from Coney Hatch on the release of the new album, 4.
PM: Hi Guys, the new album “4” is just about to be released, has it been well received by the press/Media so far?
Carl: It’s been very well received, Dave. High marks in every review and enthusiastic response to the sound of it!
Andy: It’s nice to see so far that critics and fans alike are digging it….pretty cool since the last Hatch record was 1985. We wrote a record we were proud of and enjoyed for ourselves first…and crossed our fingers and hoped for the best
PM: Did you have the album all written before you went into the studio or where there some late additions?
C: We had some of it written but mostly it was sketches of the songs, enough to convey the energy of the idea and get a good drums bed track. Then we set to work building each little beastie on that solid foundation.
A: We had most of the ideas in demo formed that we emailed back and forth between the members prior to two different sets of bed track recordings. Once we got in together the 4 of us flushed out the arrangements and the overdubs were very spontaneous. Carl and myself were writing and changing lyrics and melodies right until the very last day and Steve, like always was the last to put on solos and bits and bobs…it took a year all in as we all did out weekend warrior sessions!
PM: Cool, If we could talk about a couple of tracks, what are your favorites and why?
C: I personally like Blown Away for the energy of it and the story it tells, Boys Club is a great sleazy rock vehicle for Andy’s lyric and vocal style; Holding On is a departure from the rest of the album, a rare ballad in the Coney songbook, but again not a love ballad.
A: For me, Boys Club is a fav, I had fun with the subject matter of being born into money, Connected was a lot of fun working on full 4 on the floor groove and an old riff we had kicking around from the 1st hatch record. Carl nailed a lot of his vocals especially on Blown Away and Down n Dirty…I know Dave loves We Want More..Thats Hatch at their heaviest :-)
PM: We won’t dwell on the car accident Carl (Dixon) had, but it is the reason there is a new Coney Hatch album, would this record have ever been made if the accident never happened?
C: Probably not. We would have continued drifting along on our different paths, occasionally seeing one another socially but not working on music together. The accident really got us all thinking about how much we meant to each other.
A: I would say no, after his recovery and the gig we did as a personal goal for him to get on stage with the original line up. It started a domino effect. Firefest, then recording contracts came our way and next thing you know were in the studio. I’d never have guessed in a million years a 4th album would have happened.
PM: Playing the reunion show in your hometown must have given you a great buzz, that you had done the right thing?
C: Yes, it was an affirmation that people still cared, and it was great to show them how mighty the Hatch continues to be!
A: Yeah,we were talking after these shows and it suddenly dawned on us that we sold out a bunch of shows in a row and then it was like….wow….people like us still!
PM: Did it take much persuading from Kieran/Bruce to get you over to England to play the Firefest Festival?
C: No, we were very excited to receive the offer. It always bothered us that we hadn’t performed the UK in the old days so this was a chance many years later to get to the fans there!
A: That was Carl’s doing, he was in touch with them and asked me if I’d do it. I couldn’t make Sweden Rock but I was damned if I was going to miss a gig in the birthplace of my mom and dad…it was a bucket list show for me to be on stage in the UK. My wife and my daughter and I went to Paris afterwards, it was a great trip.
PM:I thought you nailed it that night, it was a superb show. Were you happy with it?
C: Yes, we felt it too, although it wasn’t a shock to us that we sounded good. We have been at this rather a long time, and as I said to the boys, England is a long way to go just to suck, so let’s be sure we’re ready!
A: It was combat rock for us for sure, we played on rental backline, we did not have our crew, we were miles from home and literally came with guitars, drums sticks and stage clothes…all things considered I thought it was a good show for us. The crowd was killer…I know we have played better shows as a band but the combination of the connection we made that night with the audience and a few warm up gigs prior…I’ll say we were at 85%..Next time we’ll be in the 90s!
PM:Not many bands get back from doing one show (Firefest) to find a record deal on the table, how did you feel about that?
C: It was magical, while at the same time almost logical that something good would come out of such a strong showing. The sound we make seemed to be right for the times again.
A: It was flattering and a total surprise, once we got over that it was like…oh shit we need some songs now.
PM: Would you say this is an exciting time for the band, even more so than the first time around?
C: Yes, it is exciting to contemplate what could result from this new album that we’re quite proud of. This is the grace period right now where you can imagine anything might happen. Soon enough the real story will unfold for us to chew on, however that might turn out. I guess we are older and wiser now so our excitement is tempered by experience, but if you didn’t begin with the hope that the world would love your music you’d never go through all the work of making an album! It is quite hard work, but very enjoyable.
A: It’s great to be playing again with my pal and co founder Dave Ketchum for starters. He lives so far away from the rest of us I didn’t get to see him very much, so that’s cool. Hearing people say how excited that there’s new Hatch songs is certainly a buzz and having a batch of new songs in the set is a breath of fresh air and will keep us on our toes for sure. Were older and wiser (maybe) now so I think our expectations are realistic as opposed to the first time around where we were wide-eyed and hanging on for dear life, going on the word of others and filled with new adventures daily. I’m not saying were jaded now…just that most of the movies we’ve seen before so it’s nice to suck it all in again…grounded.
PM: So what can we expect next from Coney Hatch, a tour to promote the album, or straight back in the studio?
C: Definitely concerts and other live appearances will be the next lot of work for us before we consider whether to make a next album. Europe and the UK are high on our wish list to perform next year!
A: We’re taking it one day at a time, looking at offers and trying to see if we can weave them around 4 guys who have 4 separate lives and careers now. It’s a challenge but we still enjoy each others company so that’s what keeps this chugging along for sure. It would be great to play some other countries above and beyond Canada…a new record…hmmmm I’m still working on my twitching eye from this one!!
Thanks Guys, and I look forward to UK show and a new record eventually.
Interview by David Farrell.
Firefest Images courtesy of Sean Larkin.www.seanlarkin.co.uk/coneyhatch