H20 finally make their very much overdue return to Australia this week as part of the Soundwave Festival, Deborah Konopnicki recently spoke with Adam from the band just prior to them hitting the studio and recording a covers album. Click below to expand this post and have a read. Catch the band on Soundwave and a couple of Sidewaves in Sydney and Melbourne with Terror and Polar Bear Club.
Hi! How are you?
Good, mate! Yourself?
I’m good! My ear just exploded though (laughs) but it’s all good!
Ha, hopefully! What are you up to at the moment?
We’re actually working on a covers album! We’re recording it in early February so we’re kind of in the laboratory so to speak – figuring it all you and putting it all together. We’re playing a show in early February and of course we’re getting ready for Soundwave.
Can you tell us a little bit about this covers album? Do you have all of the tracks finalized for it?
Yeah, we had a pretty good idea of what we’re going to do with it, it’s just a matter of taking stuff for a test drive and seeing if it’s going to work, you know? Obviously there are some songs that we really love that just aren’t going to make it as H20 songs and there are some songs that will. We’re going to have to take a little while to figure them out. The apple isn’t going to fall too far from the tree. We’re not going to throw anyone any kind of major curve balls. It’s just stuff that has influenced us either from a musical point of view in some ways and some ways it’s deeper ways than that. Some of it is bands from the past that really took the time to show us the ropes and were really gracious to us. We’re playing tribute to them by playing their songs, so we’ll see what happens.
Are there any songs in particular that you’d really like to see make it onto the covers album?
There’s too many at the moment. The list is endless. Every one of us has kind of made an endless list. We’re kind of whittled it down to about 18 songs, we’re recording 14 and we’ll hopefully but 12 on the record and use two for other things.
Do you think that you might bust out a cover when you get to Australia?
It’s possible because we would have just recorded them and if any of them are just rocking out then we’ll play it for sure. It’s been a very long time since we’ve been to Australia. We haven’t been there on ‘Nothing To Prove ‘, I can’t remember if we came there on “Go” or not… anyway, it’s been a long time and there’s going to be a lot of people that haven’t seen us before, hopefully! So we’re going to want to play some of the older material as well. Hopefully people are going to come and see us.
You were a late addition to the Soundwave lineup. How did it all come about? Did you flag your interest in playing at the festival?
We were actually looking at coming to Australia and New Zealand; we were trying to do both and them we crossed paths with the people from Soundwave that basically said “Do you want to do it?” and we said “ok!” (laughs). It’s such a great tour. It’s one of those things where it seems that you have the best of both worlds. It seems that the people that run it are super organized. I’m really impressed with the way that they’re doing business. A lot of our friends are on it and it sounds like they understand that certain bands aren’t meant to be on really big stages, certain bands are only meant to be on the smaller stages with no barricade. I’m hoping that it goes as well that I’m hoping.
On a personal note are there any bands that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Oh, yeah. I’m really looking forward to seeing Iron Maiden again. I’m looking forward to Terror and New Found Glory. I think that I’m just really looking forward to seeing a lot of our friend’s bands, Terror and New Found Glory, Sum 41. I’m probably forgetting some… oh! Queens Of The Stone Age are a really great band. I’m curious to see Slayer. I haven’t seen Slayer in a long, long time so it will be interesting to check them out again. Social D of course! It’s one of those festivals that has so many bands on there that I think that in the first few days I’ll just watching bands that I know and then I’ll probably spend a day watching bands that I’ve never seen before and don’t know anything about, then I guess I’ll just float around.
As you mentioned it has been a little while since you’ve been down here – I think that it’s been around 10 years almost actually. Do you think that your demographic has changed at all since you’ve been here? Either by having the same care fans just getting older or perhaps a new wave of H20 fans that have never seen you play live before? Any expectations?
I’m honestly keeping my expectations open. I have no idea what to expect. With hardcore there always tens to be a certain amount of kids. If you haven’t been anywhere for a while and you’re a hardcore bands and from that scene, people tend to come out and support you which is really cool, all over the world. I’m hoping that with is Australia it’s the same thing. We haven’t really been there enough to build up a fan base and I know that we don’t have a mainstream fan base at all! (laughs) I hope that people come out and I hope that people check us out and really like the band. I hope we get lucky that if it’s raining that we play somewhere that’s in a tent! But that’s all. I don’t know what to expect.
Obviously it’s pretty hard to pass up a chance to play at a festival like Soundwave, but over the past 10 years were there many times where you tried to come back down and play some of your own shows?
For sure! Right before we were offered Soundwave! We were looking to coming to Australia! It’s such a long way away, you know? And we’re not a mainstream band so there are certain means that we need to face like plane tickets, travel, getting around and so on. It’s really expensive! We’re basically going to have to pay a lot of money out of our own pockets just to go! Bands can sometimes find it very difficult. Soundwave is perfect! We get to come and play, hang out, some other stuff… it’s going to be really cool! Well, you’d have a pretty fair idea living down there. Do you think that people are going to come and watch us?
Oh, absolutely. If it’s not the fact that you haven’t been here in almost ten years that isn’t going to get people down then it’s the fact that they’re going to kick themselves for missing out on a truly quality hardcore band! I for one can’t wait to finally get a chance to see you play live.
Awesome! I also think that a show like Soundwave could also be a little bit negative because there are just so many bands like that. With that said we’re pumped! We’re pumped for Soundwave!
Is there anything that you’re planning to do in your downtime considering that tit’s been a little while since you’ve been down here?
It really depends on where the show is! I like to walk around a lot. In the states you tend to be outside of the cities a lot. I mean, if we’re in the city centre or in close proximity to something cool then I’m definitely wanting to go and check it out. But at the same time I don’t want to spend an entire day going somewhere and miss out on bands. Plus Soundwave itself is going to be a spectacle! I think that the festival is a major attraction anyway. I’m going to be in a place with thousands of drunk, crazy Australians! It doesn’t sound so bad, does it? (laughs)
Definitely not! You guys celebrated a big milestone last year by traveling around the world in honor of 15 years in H20, and 14 years for yourself! How was that for you?
There’s actually only one moment that I remember us really taking the time out to think about it. It was right before the New York show that was one of the first anniversary shows. We were kind of just sitting in the dressing room just all together. We just said “Wow… It’s been a crazy few years!” (laughs). After that it was just kind of business and usual playing shows. It was bigger than we expected. Every year we’re always like “We’re only going to do two weeks and that’s it!”. We just expand and expand and always end up doing more stuff. It was great. There were a lot of great shows. We played Groezrock, which is one of the great festivals that we’ve ever played. It was phenomenal. It was great to see. It was weird; I love New York shows but that Groezrock show – which is a festival in Europe – there was just something about that day and that show that just, I don’t know… it was just weird. I guess it’s just one of those things that like, my bass got lost on the plane, Cone from Sum 41 lent me his bass which was very generous. We were on stage in one of those really big festival tents with no barricade! It was like a hardcore show! It was like the world’s biggest hardcore show! There were kids on stage the whole show, nobody got hurt, it was weird. It was a really, really wonderful show. We’re going to put out this covers record and we’re still being pretty active so we’ll hopefully be able to stick around for a little while longer! It was weird. I don’t really know how the kids in Australia are going to be in comparison because I was a kid when I was over there!
What about the kids back home? Do you think that they vary from the kids over in Europe?
Well, it depends because the States is so big! I’d say that New York kids and European kids have a lot in common. Certain parts of America not so much. We haven’t really spent a lot of time on the West Coast, so for our shows I’d say that it’s really different between California and Europe. Europe is great. I love Europe. I love the US. We’re lucky that we get to travel around and play in front of really appreciative audiences.
The latest album that you guys released was “Nothing To Prove” that came out in 2008 through Bridge Nine Records. Are you still focusing on playing that release live or do you feel like it’s time to record some new original material?
That’s what we call the ‘new record’ and it’s like two years old (laughs). It’s surprising how many people want to hear that record! That material gets a good, if not better response than some of the older stuff.
Is that surprising for you?
Yeah, it is actually! At the same time, we are really proud of that record. We had been away for a long time and we knew that we really needed to make a record that people liked. I’ve never had anyone come up to me and say that “Nothing To Prove” sucked. Which is good! In Australia we’ll definitely play some of the new material because we’ve never played it over there! Hopefully people have it.
What about new material? Well, apart from the covers album. Is anything planned?
Yeah. The plan is to do a new record, but there are no plans if you know what I mean. We want to do a new record but we haven’t taken the steps to doing that yet. Everyone has music floating around back and forth but we don’t have plans to head into the studio on a set day with ‘this’ person to make a new record. So, we’ll do the covers album, which is fun, and something that we’ve never done before. We’re going to re-release the first record because a lot of people haven’t been able to find it for many years and we’ll tour a bunch and see what happens?
Are you going to release it on Bridge Nine?
I think that Bridge Nine is a good fit for us. I think that we’re done the rounds when it comes to record labels. We’ve gone from the extremely small to the very large and I think that Bridge Nine is perfect for us. It’s where we belong.
What about releasing your albums digitally? Is that something that you’ve ever considered?
I personally think that it takes a lot of effort. I guess that if we had a lot of people that were interested in what we were doing then it might make sense and might be something that we might consider in the future but for the moment Bridge Nine treat us well. We’re not as gun hoe about it. It would just take one of us to take hold and say to the others “Ok, we’re going to do this!” which at least right now no-one has done, but for the moment Bridge Nine is our home.
One last question for you today; what is the one thing that you’re most looking forward to about the upcoming Soundwave tour?
This going to sound really cheesy, but the 35/40/45 minutes that we’re going to have on stage. That’s going to be great. I love tours like this. There are so many people to hang out with and bands to see, people to meet, friends to make and friends to catch up with. It’s going to be great. I’m looking forward to the whole thing.
CATCH H20 ON ALL SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL DATES
26th – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane [Lic/AA] SOLD OUT
27th – Sydney Showgrounds, Homebush [Lic/AA]
4th – Showgrounds, Melbourne [Lic/AA] SOLD OUT
5th – Bonython Park, Adelaide [Lic/AA]
7th – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth [Lic/AA]
AND THE FOLLOWING SIDEWAVES
TERROR / H20 / POLAR BEAR CLUB
Wednesday 2nd March – Manning Bar, Sydney [18+] Also w/ Fucked Up
Thursday 3rd March – Gershwin Room, The Espy, St Kilda [18+]