A conversation with David New of The Hip Abduction

By Lea LeFebvre

May 25, 2016

For a band that only started playing together a little over five years ago, The Hip Abduction, has covered a lot of ground. Fresh off the heels of their third studio album release and performances at major U.S. festivals including Shaky Knees, Gasparilla and Wanee, the tropical indie-pop septet is gearing up for a gig-heavy summer.

With instrumentation that includes African string instruments, a saxophone, two electric guitars, an electric bass guitar, and various types of drums, The Hip Abduction has carved out a unique sound that epitomizes breezy, carefree “summerdaze.” As front man, David New, puts it, it’s Paul Simon’s Graceland album meets Bob Marley at a dance party.

CLTure had the opportunity to sit down with New and discuss inspiration, travel and the band’s future.

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CLTure: When did the members of The Hip Abduction first start playing together?

David New: Sometime around 2010 in St. Petersburg, FL.

CLTure: Was there a “eureka!” moment either recording or playing live where you felt like everything with the band “clicked” or has it been more gradual?

David New: It has definitely been more of a gradual thing. I think it’s very rare for a band to write a few songs from the very beginning and feel like their identity has already been shaped. You need those few years of experimentation.

CLTure: What musical genres or other musicians helped shape The Hip Abduction’s identity?

David New: Synth pop, indie rock, world, township, reggae, dub, high life… Right now we are really into Paul Simon, Vampire Weekend, St Lucia, Ali Farka Toure, Vacationer and Daft Punk.

CLTure: How has using African string instruments like the ngoni and kora shaped the band’s sound?

David New: The ngoni has set the tone and rhythm for several of our songs. We usually start with some sort of traditional riff and then add a more modern beat to it. Giving new life to old inspirations are my favorite parts of being a songwriter.

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CLTure: What did the band do differently with the most recent album, Gold Under the Glow than One Less Sound and The Hip Abduction?

David New: The process was the same, but our influences are always changing. Gold Under the Glow was created while we were into a more electronic-based modern/indie sound, whereas the first two records were inspired by more traditional music. One Less Sound was more South and West African influenced, and our self-titled album was more Jamaican influenced.

CLTure: As a relatively new band that’s gained a ton of traction in a short period of time, what advice would you give to other bands looking to get their name out there?

David New: Write and perform as much as possible!

CLTure: You guys have played both Charlotte and Asheville a few times now, do you have any favorite pre- or post-show spots?

David New: Unfortunately, we haven’t had much chill time while playing either town to dial in a particular spot. We usually are always on the move. However, we try and hit Romans or Plant when in Asheville. It’s very easy to get a great cheap meal in this town!

CLTure: 2016 looks like it’s shaping up to be a pretty busy year for The Hip Abduction, are there any collaborations or festival appearances you guys are especially looking forward to?

David New: Well, we just played Shaky Knees in Atlanta, which was superb. Up next… Deep Roots Mountain Revival in West Virginia and FloydFest in Virginia and we are super pumped for both!

More on The Hip Abduction

Check out The Hip Abduction at The Mountain Sports Fest in Asheville, NC and U.S. Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC.

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