Hopesfall - The start of their European mainland tour
Last year Hopesfall surprised me with their album A-Types and when I heard they were playing at the Groezrock festival and in the Melkweg in Amsterdam I had to make a choice. I decided to go for it on the Belgian rock festival and after a short wait and conversation with the Belgian dude from Roadrunner Records I took place besides Adam (drums) in the back of their tour bus. After a short introduction we started the conversation.
In the first two years the band has reached many goals. You guys released an album, played a US tour and even did some festivals, this must have been a dream come true?
Ok, we had so many line up changes in the past years and I can’t tell you about the first two years. If you want to talk about those years you need to talk with Joshua. I just can’t talk for the entire band on this one. I honestly can’t answer your question.
When did you join the band?
I think it was around 2002, I started playing bass in the band. Actually I couldn’t play bass but they asked me and when I told them I could play guitar they told me it was the same thing. I never picked up a bass in my life and I am not playing it very well. And then the first time we did the UK the drummer had to fly back early so I did a couple of shows on the drums, I am a drummer.
So you are a multifunctional band member?
“laughs” I guess so, I am the stand-by. Somebody quits and they call Adam.
After that Mike took over the bass and the drummer quitted the band before A-Types came out so they asked me to be the new drummer. I had a studio near my house and it just happened. That same day I got to quit my job.
“laughs” I hope not forever but I am enjoying while it lasts.
Like you said you had a whole list of line up changes.
We have got a big family tree..
Does this bring a lot of new influences into a band or into the music, because every album of Hopesfall was completely different?
Well, every album, at least I hope so, represents the members who were in the band at that period of time. But I think if someone leaves the band right now it is the last time and we won’t continue doing our thing. Until then we will continue doing what we do and try to move on. It is tiring to constantly work new members into the band.
But if the band stays in this line up, will the music still evolve like the previous albums did?
That is the thing, I am glad you use the word evolve. I think it is hard from the outside to understand these changes in our style of music but we are always exploring new things. It is hard to see the whole perspective of it. For me it just is a totally natural progression. We all use our different influences to continue our song writing.
About A-Types, a lot of fans were once again surprised about the new styles and music. What about the new album or music. What can we expect so far?
We are sitting down time to time but we are not always writing. You have to see it like that. The last night before we recorded A-Types we still had to write two songs and the result was Breathe From Coma.
Ehm, an honest answer.
We got stuff that if you hear it you know it has got to be new. So the progression is still there. We just sit down on the road every now and then and sometimes one of our members got a cool idea. We are a band that write some things on the road but the actual songs are made in the practice room. But in our band everyone has got their back catalogue with their own styles and music and experiences and we try to combine this into our music.
Can you tell us something more about this writing process with 5 individual band members, is everyone involved in the entire process or are some members more dedicated?
There is not one single member writing the songs. There are always a few writing material. One of us just have to start and then the input will come. Every single person in the band has got the capability of writing songs or material. But that is not how it happens at all. Everybody brings in arrangements and ideas into each song.
Right now you are on a festival and venue tour in Europe, what has been your experience so far. Is it you first time?
No, we played here before but today is the first day of our tour here. We did the UK once before. But so far things are going ok. But European tours are really great. I have always been thinking about living here. The people are so nice. I think a lot of American bands will agree the people are more open here. Back in the states they are complaining about the money you cost them and here they ask you how you are doing and what you want to drink.
So it is like we offer you a beer, and they ask you for one?
Yeah, they actually think we have got money. And then I am like: ‘I have got 2 dollars in my pocket, nothing in the bus and minus 40 grand on my account. How ’bout you buying me a drink!’.
And after this European tour what is next? Japan, Australia or just back to the US?
We have talked about Japan and Australia but it is all about financing everything. We need support from some people to make it happen. It is almost out of our hands. But we do want to sometimes.
The problem just is; when we are finished, what will we have. Just a memorable time or do we have some cash to continue our lives. And we also need that. So we do what we can and we will grab every opportunity which we can handle!
Yeah exactly, we love touring and we want to keep doing it. When I was young I already knew I wanted to tour the entire world and bit by bit it is happening.
It is hard to express what I feel, I think you need to experience this yourself but it is amazing to do. It just sucked us in.
Another example about Europe is that when I walk into a bar in the States and somebody is looking to me with a funny face I order my beer thinking to watch out for that dude. Over here he joins you when you buy one!
The band has experienced some extreme things like getting robbed, tell us something about these happenings.
Actually we got robbed twice in two weeks. I believe some of that was recovered but it sure was something that is still with us. It just is hard to get things insured back than, on this moment things are insured but it still would suck. That is why we don’t feel comfortable putting our van or bus somewhere. One of us is always sleeping in the van. Just in case.
What can we expect on stage today?
New, old, basically the entire deal except the song from our first album. That because the line up was completely different and we don’t feel comfortable with those songs. Sometimes a fan comes up to us and asks us that he wants to hear old stuff but it is just strange to play songs that aren’t close to your heart. At least, they aren’t for me. Back then it just was a totally different band.
We don’t want to disappoint people but I am sure you won’t with when we play the rest of our songs. And if someone really wants to hear a song we will play it!
So you don’t have a fixed set list?Well, before the tour starts we make a list but during the tour we watch the reactions and adjust the list here and there. Like all bands I think.
Hopesfall can’t be put into a genre, can you tell us the true meaning of the band?
Wow, that is a hard one. The true meaning… It is just an interesting open minded band with good friendships working together to reach everything that is possible.
Any last words for our readers?
Thanks for reading this and thanks for visiting our shows. It should be amazing!
Really, thank you!
Thanks to Dirk from Roadrunner Records Belgium for arranging this interview!