Wow the big 2-0!! Badass Band 20 is definitely worthy of this milestone. This band expertly ties in a large piano influence, and lyrically has some intensely refreshing and thought provoking lyrics. They are The Hunting Accident and even if I accidentally stumbled upon them, there is nothing accidental about the kick ass tunes these guys crank out.
I came across The Hunting Accident a while back, again through a mention in my endless twitter feed, and the name is what caught me. I laughed when I read it and I was highly intrigued about what a band called The Hunting Accident would sound like. Well, it was definitely not what I was expecting, and I mean that in the best way possible. The band is comprised of four highly talented, seasoned musicians whom came together after being fairly successful in other bands (namely Arlo, Piebald, Burning Brides, and The Elected to name a few).
The Hunting Accident is Nate Greenly, Aaron Stuart, Travis Shettel, and Pete Beeman. Their self titled EP is available on their website and it is most definitely worth the cash. The songs included are ‘Hot Drum’, ‘Important’, ‘Jack Trap’ and ‘Big Mistake’. Each song brings something new to the table and that is why these guys are so damn noteworthy. ‘Hot Drum’ is a piano heavy track with intense marching band like drum beats. ‘Important’ lyrically is one of my favorites (though each song is great), kicking off with the line “It’s so Important to be important” and going into social commentary about how important people think it is to be where the ‘action’ is and how everything we do is followed and cataloged. It continues with a chorus that boasts ” I am going to burn your building down tonight and watch it crumble”. ‘Jack Trap’ is another piano heavy track with some intense guitar and a bit more roughness in the vocals. Finally, ‘Big Mistake’ alternates between some hardcore guitar and bass riffs and a more upbeat chorus. One thing this band does best is incorporate strong piano melodies on many of their songs, which combined with guitar, bass, vocals and killer beats just make this band one that stands out above many others. They have universal appeal and are comforting to the ears and engaging to the mind.
Along with that I must mention another quirk about The Hunting Accident, their twitter feed consists largely of philosophical and thought provoking quotes that really get your mind working if you take the time to pay attention to them. This I have found is unique to this band and I think it ties in with their unbelievably thought provoking and social commentary driven lyrics.
Now we get to the fun part, Nate was kind enough to take some time to answer some questions for BBB and the following is what came out of this session. Read on to find out about human sacrifices, why he had to sneak around to listen to the Rolling Stones and The Who, why their music is more than just manipulative advertising and what’s coming up for THA this year!
When and why did each of you start playing?
I can’t speak for all of us, and the chances of getting the whole band to respond to this are pretty low, but we all started in our early teens. I started in choir at 8, violin when I was 12, and then switched to bass and guitar at 16. I got my bass because I had crashed my mom’s car and she decided I needed to start making some money so she got me a bass. She had no concept of how people make money. I never did pay her back for the car.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How does that differ from what you listen to now?
When I was a young kid I listened to what was popular, but it was the 80’s so better music was popular. My favorite bands were Men At Work and The Police. Then there was a period when my parents wouldn’t let me listen to contemporary music because they were super Christian, so I would go to the library and borrow Stones and Who records and listen to them. For some reason the Stones were allowed, even though they were more evil than anything Poison was putting out at the time. Then things relaxed around the house and I got into Pixies, REM, The Smiths. I still love all of that stuff. My taste hasn’t really changed and I’m proud to say I never really listened to any embarrassing crap.
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Robyn Hitchcock is my all time favorite. He’s never been particularly popular, but he’s been making consistently great music for 40 years now. Even the best bands start to churn out crap at some point, but he’s never done a bad album. I only admire a musician’s work though, the personality behind it is irrelevant to me. I do admire Fugazi’s ethics however.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
I prefer to be nervous if possible, as it makes for a more exciting show. It’s rare at this point though, usually when we’re doing something new. When you’re not nervous at all it can be pretty boring.
Any rituals before a show?
Vocal warmups, human sacrifice.
Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.
I recently handed over the guitar and am now full time lead singer. I’ve always found bands with lead singers like REM or The Smiths more engaging, but coming out from behind the guitar is terrifying at first. I’m growing to love it and I think it adds to the show. I think we’re a good live band because everyone in the band is a good musician and has been playing for a long, long time. Sometimes I go see bands that have a popular album that they created in a studio but never really existed as a band until there was a demand to tour, and it can be endearing to see them sort of muddle through their songs, but I prefer to see guys who know what they are doing. I saw The Butthole Surfers and The Drums within a month of each other at the same venue, and as chaotic as the Butthole Surfers are, they absolutely crushed The Drums because they had been doing their chaotic thing for so long it was really seasoned and effective. I like The Drums, but they were just sort of playing their album.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
There’s no such thing as a mistake. Things happen the way they happen.
How does your creative process typically work?
I prefer to write in bed. I set up a 4 track studio at the foot of my bed so I don’t have to get out to lay down ideas. I throw away about 100 ideas for each one that I finally bring to the band, so the basic chords and melody are pretty well worked out, but then the guys in the band make it shine. I never really finish anything though, it just gets recorded at some point. I’m always tinkering and it’s not unusual for a song to take several years to reach a state where I would play it out or record it.
What do you think you biggest break or greatest opportunity has been in your career so far?
I don’t really like these sort of careerist questions that assume we are the same sort of animal as Katy Perry, so I’ll answer a slightly different one. I think the collapse of music as a profitable industry is the best thing currently happening. I’m glad I’m involved in the art form that is being the most radically democratized first because it is the cheapest to produce and easiest to distribute (I think blogging might actually be before music in this respect). Nothing is less conducive to creativity than wealth or commerce.
How do you define “success”?
I’m shooting for proletarian revolution. Check out the Spartacist League and their publication “Worker’s Vanguard”.
What’s been your most memorable fan encounter so far?
“Fan” is sort of an awkward term. I hope that sort of thing dies out.
If your band had a slogan, what would it be?
You will die of comfort.
What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you in the coming year?
We just recorded 6 new songs that we will be releasing as a 10” EP in May. It’s called “Trees and Parks”
Why should people listen to your band? What makes you unique?
Most music is just more manipulative advertising thrown at you and should be ignored or forgotten, but for me there are some songs and some artists that have made life worth living when few other things seemed to. We’ve tried to avoid any sort of manipulation or cynicism in our music. There may only be few hundred thousand people in the world that can metabolize what we do, but for those I hope that these songs could be of use to them in choosing to get up in the morning.
If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I think it’s doing a good job of strangling itself. It will wither away.
One song you never get tired of.
I Wanna Destroy You by The Soft Boys
What is the best live show you have ever gone to?
Pixies Doolittle show at the Hollywood Bowl
The Blues Brothers
Basic Problems of Phenomenology – Heidegger
Favorite things to do NOT musically related.
Take classes at community college.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?
I am a fictional character.
Best prank you have ever pulled?
That’s more Pete’s department, but the “Porky Pig” is a popular one. If you’re the last one to practice, or the last one in the van you are likely to find us wearing shirts and no pants.
Advertising, bad lyrics, liberal humanism
What would your ideal job be if you weren’t in the music industry?