Interview: Hippo Campus
Hippo Campus is a four piece indie-rock band hailing from the Twin Cities of Minnesota. They’re a band with a unique sound, infectious guitar chords, and now, horns, as heard in their newest single, “Boyish.” A full crowd awaited the band as they prepared to play at one of the four stages on Saturday, at Music Taste Good. Once they were on, the crowd was buzzing of excitement. They played various songs, from fan favorite, “Suicide Saturday,” to an unreleased song, that happens to be a TM favorite, “Tuesday.” If there were any new faces in the crowd that night, they left satisfied. Hippo Campus delivered one hundred and ten percent in that performance. These guys have two EPs, South and Bashful Creatures, under their belt. All that’s left now is a full length debut album that fans have been patiently awaiting. TM got the chance to talk to Nathan Stocker, guitar and backing vocals of Hippo Campus about the new record, Minnesota music scene and Young Thug.
Textured Music: You’re performing at Music Taste Good so, how do you feel right now?
Nathan Stocker: Pretty tired, but pretty stoked to play. It’s gonna be cool. The vibe is nice, and it’s a beautiful nice so we’ll see what happens.
TM: Have you visited long beach prior to music taste good?
NS: No, this is the first time we’ve ever been to long beach. I don’t know what to think about it yet. We really haven’t gotten time to explore. It seems like a cool place.
TM: How was shooting the new music video?
NS: Oh yeah. We did that. It was great. It’s gonna be tight.
TM: Can you tell us what song it’s for?
NS: It’s a new song.
TM: Is it “Tuesday?”
NS: No, it’s not that. It’s a new song you’ve never heard it before. You can expect it pretty soon, I’d say.
TM: You come from the Minnesota music scene, how did you feel about how being a part of that and how does it influence you guys as a band?
NS: It’s interesting. I think that the Minnesota scene is supportive, very local based, and very you know, everybody is proud of the north and like where they’re from. Reppin’ the home state, doing it good. But I think that sometimes it can be kinda hard to leave. Even when it’s necessary so you know, it just depends. I think that in our case, we couldn’t be more grateful for what Minnesota gave us. It’s home man, so you gotta rep.
TM: 2016 is coming to an end, what can you tell us about the debut record?
NS: What can I tell you? I can tell you that we don’t really know what’s going on yet. We’re still figuring things out, but I can tell you that it’s there and it’s bursting at the steams. It’s gonna be really good and we’re really proud of it. We don’t know about deadlines or anything like that yet. But I’d say soon. Early next year.
TM: What’s the recording process like for you guys?
NS: It’s changed. I think originally it was like, we would write the songs and play them live, and that was that, you know. Do some over dubs and record vocals and what not. Now we’re doubling back over songs and different part and stuff. Just become more in-depth and more of a learning process as we go along. We are not gear heads or anything like that so we don’t know exactly a lot about recording. But, it’s been cool. This record that we just recorded was really long, kind of grueling, but really interesting process. The producers that we’re working with were amazing. The final product encapsulates all the labor that we took into it. All the long nights. All the blood, sweat, and tears. It’s just gotten gnarlier.
TM: What’s your favorite aspect of making music like performing it, seeing the reactions, finishing the record?
NS: That’s a good question. I find joy in a lot of performing and recording as well. But, I think maybe, it’s more of a need. I get excited when the first time an idea works. That initial spark is really fun, but you can’t cling to it to that. So you have to sort of convince yourself that there will be more of those and expect them. Sometimes, it will be a dry season or something and you have them for a couple months. I think what keeps me going is the need to create things. Make music and it’s really awesome to be able to do it with all the opportunities that we’ve had. We feel really blessed about it. Meeting cool people like yourselves and stuff like that is sweet too.
TM: Any artist or bands you’re are currently digging?
NS: I’m really liking Young Thug right now. He’s really killing it. He’s just so tight. I really don’t know what it is. His androgynous nature is pretty inspiring. His melodies on that new record are off the charts. The soundtrack to “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” from the 50s or 60s. That’s a good one too. I don’t really like listening to music though. It’s kind of hard.
TM: Frank Ocean?
NS: I listened to that. It was okay. There’s a couple good songs on there.
TM: Do you listen to Whitney?
NS: Yeah. We saw Whitney a couple weeks ago in Minneapolis. They were good. Yeah that record is really good. It’s special. It’s a feel good record for sure. They got it. They’re there. It’s tight. I’m into it.
TM: Last and most important question, Cookies or Ice Cream?
NS: Oh my god. Cookies or Ice Cream? That’s torture. If my life was going to pass me by, if I didn’t decide, I’d say cookies.
NS: I guess. You couldn’t beat a good chocolate chip cookie.
[Insert dramatic pause here]
But, yo like…no, I take that back man. I take it back. There’s an ice cream shop in Minnesota called Selma’s, and I grew up going there as a kid. The idea of an ice cream cone, mint chocolate chip, one scoop melting down my hands. Can’t beat that.
Hippo Campus will be supporting Saint Motel on their upcoming Fall Tour, so if you get the chance , don’t miss it and watch this great combo live.