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.
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.
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!
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