【Interview】The Hangabouts

Hangaboutsーーアルバム発売おめでとうございます。今回のインタビューで初めてあなたのことを知る新しいファンの為にも、まず最初に簡単なプロフィールからお聞かせ下さい。
John: これは初めて明かす話なんだけど、The Hangaboutsは僕とグレッグがテネシー州ナッシュビルのとあるリビングルームで、アコースティックギターを片手に音楽的な友好を再燃させたことが始まりなんだ。 僕達は昔からの友人で共同でスタジオを管理してた時もあったんだけど、一緒に曲を作ったのはこの日が初めてだったな。
Chip: それから、グレッグとジョンはSuburban HiFiという名前でThe Odd Mess」というEPをリリースした。このデュオが後にThe Hangaboutsとなり、2011年11月にアルバム「Illustrated Bird」をリリースした。ちょうどその頃、僕は12年間住んでいたカンザスから離れ、家族と共にミシガンに帰ることになったんだ。旧知の仲だったグレッグと再び曲作りを始めた僕は、Suburban HiFi名義で録音できる数曲を用意した。ジョンに聴かせたところ、次のThe Hangaboutsのアルバムに入れよう!ということになった。走り始めた僕達は、まず2014年12月に「Illustrated Bird」をリマスターを発表、そして先日、最新作「Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives」をリリースしたという訳さ。
Q. Congratulations on “Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives” release. There may be a new fan knowing you by this interview for the first time. Therefore, at first tell it from your simple profile.
John: Although we never really talked about this before, The Hangabouts started in a living room in Nashville, Tennessee when Greg and I sat together with two acoustic guitars and rekindled our musical friendship. We had known each other for years, and even operated a studio together, but we never wrote together until that afternoon when we wrote Algernon and two other unreleased tracks.
Chip: From there, Greg recorded “The Odd Mess” EP under the Suburban HiFi moniker ably assisted by John. The duo then banded together to form The Hangabouts and released “Illustrated Bird” in November 2011. I had been living in Kansas for a dozen years but was able to return with my family to Michigan. Rekindling my previous songwriting alliance with Greg, we soon had a handful of songs ready to record under the Suburban HiFi banner. After asking John to be involved, it was unanimously decided to just throw it all in the pot and make it part of the next Hangabouts record. Once we got the remixed, remastered “Illustrated Bird” released in December of 2014 we commenced on to “Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives” which brings us up to last Thursday.
 
ーーバンド名の由来は?
John: まぁ、ある種のシャレ。だけど”何も心配してない”よ。
Greg: イギリスのあのバンドの曲の一節を想起させるだろ?パーフェクトな名前だよ!
Q. What is the origin of the band name “The Hangabouts”?
John: I guess it’s a kind of play on words, but there’s nothing to get hung about.
Greg: Turns out it is not an uncommon phrase in England for shiftlessness. Perfect!
 
ーー前作との1番大きな違いは何だと思いますか?
Greg: 僕達は前作とは異なるサウンドに仕上げたいという共通の思いがあった。でも、それは容易ではなかった。自分達がやりたいことを少しでも上手く音で表現したかったんだ。その過程で、かなりの忍耐も必要だった。チップが戻ってきたことも大きいな。彼のおかげでまた新しい方向に進むことができたんだ。
John: ウエストが太くなったよ。すべて酒と寿司のせいだな。あとはまぁ…イメージを音でしっかりと表現できるようになったと感じている。少しでも良いものにしようと常に曲を書いて演奏してアレンジしてプロデュースしてという作業をしている。ダメだと思ったものは意外とあっさりボツにしてしまうしね。これはなかなか難しいことなんだよ。例えばそれがどんなに時間をかけたものだとしてもね。未練がましく考えてはダメなんだ。ギター・パートだろうが歌だろうが、ね。
Q. What do you see as the big differences between “Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives” and “Illustrated Bird”? (Three years pass from previous work “Illustrated Bird”, do you feel any change and growth by yourself?)
Greg: We knew we wanted to make a different sounding record but it isn’t always easy to stray from one’s comfort zone. Some of it is just us hopefully getting a few percent better at saying what we’re trying to say. Some of it is being patient enough to complete the process. Chip came on board and added a different angle as well. So that pushed us in a new direction a little.
John: Our waistlines have grown. It’s all that sushi and sake. And yeah, we feel like we’re getting closer all the time to making the sounds in our heads come out in the final recording. We are always trying to get better at writing, performing, arranging, engineering and producing music. Maybe we’re better at throwing out bad stuff. That’s usually the hardest thing… you work on something, whether it’s a guitar part or a song, but if it comes time to finish the track and the part just doesn’t work, you need to throw it away and not think too much about how much time you spent making it. There’s lots of good stuff left on the cutting room floor, but if it doesn’t work it’s out. Well there’s lots of bad stuff on the cutting room floor too!
 
ーーアルバム・タイトル『Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives』の由来は?
Greg: 前作「Illustrated Bird」のジャケットは、スタジオの壁に掛かっていた油絵が元なんだ。それに、ジョンが同名の曲を書いたしね。新作の作業を始めた頃、何か気楽な感じにしたいねって思ってた。そんなとき誰だったか忘れたけど、このタイトルが浮かんだんだ。まさにピッタリだと思ったよ。すごくくだらないけど、僕達っぽいよね!
John: 誰かに何か言われるかと思ったけど、今のところ大丈夫なようだな。
Q. What is the origin of title “Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives”?
Greg: The “Illustrated Bird” cover and title came about pretty organically starting from an original oil painting hanging in the studio. We knew that was the cover and the name fell into place because John had written “Illustrated Bird” the song. When it came time to name this project we wanted something more light-hearted that fit the personality of the band better. Someone, John I think, floated this title and I fell over. Very pun-ny and sums up our lives and the record pretty well.
John: I thought someone said pass the salt and pepper, but I misunderstood.
 
ーー3つの言葉で今作を表現すると?
Chip:
Steady – どの曲も同じくらい好きだから
Sanguine – すごくクールな言葉。実はアルバム収録曲の大半が真逆な感じなんだけどね。
Grilled –  ジンジャーマンのサンドイッチが大好きなんだ。そこは僕達の非公式なクラブハウスさ。
Q. Please express “Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives” using three adjectives.
John: Rock and roll made in the winter while dreaming of the summer. It’s about remembering a past that never happened and not thinking about the future too much. There’s a lot of looking back on this one.
Chip: Steady – because I love all of the songs on the record equally, Sanguine – because I think that’s a cool word – actually a good bit of the songs on this record are kind of un-sanguine, and Grilled – because that’s how I like my sandwiches at Zingerman’s, our unofficial band clubhouse.
 
ーー構想や曲作りはいつ頃から?
John: 今はライブのリハーサルをしてるけど、すでに次のアルバムや各々のソロ・プロジェクト用の曲作りを始めている。あと、地元のアーティストの手伝いをするときもあるな。とにかく、作って書いて録って…やり続けるだけ!そして、良い曲が12曲半できたらアルバムをリリースするのさ!
Greg: たしか…先週だったかな?!
Q. When did you elaborate a plan from? 
John: We never stop working, writing and recording. Even right now, we are rehearsing to play some live shows, but we are also writing for the next record or our various solo projects – or even just for ourselves – and working with some other local artists and helping friends make their records. Our plan is to keep writing and recording and whenever we have 12 ½ good songs we will release an album.
Greg: Last week I think.
 
ーーレコーディングは順調に進みました?苦労した点などありましたか?
Greg: 人が何かを作ろうとする時、2人以上の人が関わっていると、どんなに親しい間柄でも空気が悪くなる時が必ずあるよね。でも、曲を良くしたいっていう思いは一緒。僕達はすべての作業を自分たちで行っているので、とても時間がかかるんだ。アレンジしてレコーディングしてミックスして…フラストレーションが爆発してしまうこともある。だいたい僕なんだけどね。
John: どのバンドでも解散の危機があったって、何かで読んだことがある。僕達も煮詰まったりするときもあるけど、そんな時はだいたい次の日は違う曲を書いたりしているよ。発狂するほど退屈な作業だって楽しんでる。もっと早く進めたい気持ちもあるけど、僕達には無理かな。そう、1曲目のKits and Cats and Saxon Wives’、はアルバム・タイトルと同名なんだけど、実はアルバム・タイトルの方が先に決まってたんだ。じゃあ、このタイトルの曲を作ろうか!ってことになって、2日間セッションして完成させたよ。これが1番の思い出だね。
Chip: 僕達3人とも”最高のアルバムを作ろう!”って気合い入ってたんだけど、常にプレッシャーも感じていたよ。まるで背後から「ミックス、ミックス」って囁かれてるような気分だった。
Q. Did the recording proceed smoothly? Were there the points that had a hard time?
Greg: Whenever you try to make something and more than one person is involved it gets uncomfortable at times. But the hope is that the songs are better together. The process is too slow because we do everything ourselves. Arranging, recording and mixing a song can take a long time and frustrations come out. Mostly by me.
John: I think I read somewhere that every band always feels like it’s about to break up. Sometimes we go through those times where we can’t stand each other, and then usually the next day we’re writing the middle 8 for the other’s song. It’s always fun, challenging and insanely boring working in the studio on a record – sometimes in the same day. We’re trying to work faster – we can never work fast enough to keep up with our ideas. When we made the song Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives, we actually had the album title first and we decided to make the song. We did that whole thing in two days of sessions. Those are the most fun.
Chip: We all wanted to make this the best record we could and during the process I felt we always had each other’s back. That being said, mixing, mixing, and mixing were the worst points.

ーーアルバムに収録されている各曲について、コメント(解説)をお願いします。
 Greg:Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives’はタイトルが先に決まっててジョンと僕で書いた曲。僕が適当にピアノを弾いていたらジョンが“kits and cats and…”って歌い始めたんだ。郊外にいる猫たちの歌、そんな感じ。
John:Cricket Time’は、子供の頃の自由な午後の歌。ほとんどの男の子は放課後毎日ベースボール。気づいたら大人になってるんだけど。ある時、イギリス人のためにクリケットをやることにしたんだ。彼はベースボールを知らないからさ。でも、僕達だってクリケットなんかわからない。見る分には楽しかったな。
Greg: ジョンと僕が書いたSinking Feeling’、これはしばらく時間がかかった曲。沈んでいくような感覚、まるで不幸に向かっていくような悲しい運命。“how can we begin…”虚しく響く問い。Mollyの美しい歌声が救ってくれるんだ。
Greg: 子供の頃はいつもEvelyn Wood’速読講座のテレビ広告ばかり。いつも同じ格好の彼女、見るのもうんざり。どうやってこの奇妙な広告を見ないで済むかなって。
John: Twelve Songs’は前作の頃に書いた古い曲。友人についての歌だよ。
John: 短い曲を入れようというアイデアの元に書いた曲が’Turrialba’。まさに雨、人々に幸運をもたらすコスタリカからの雨。Pura Vida(素晴らしい!)
Greg: Selling Out’は、僕の家の居間にあるコンソール・ピアノで作った。The Hangabouts版のSell Outだなって言ってた。代表曲と言われるように書き直しを重ね、素晴らしいサビを加えてジョンの家で仕上げた。
Chip: Mrs. Kite’は、アニマルズを意識して作り始めたんだけど、グレッグにはエレクトロニックなアレンジが浮かんでいたらしい。実はこの曲、3つの異なるバージョンを録音したんだ。どれも良かったけど、満場一致でこのバージョンを選んだよ。アルバムの中では異質な雰囲気かもしれないけど、最高に気に入ってるよ。ドラムは親友のJosh Touchton。あと’Cricket Time’も彼だよ
Chip:Taking You to Leave Me’は自由を得るには痛みを伴うことがある、という考えから生まれた。グレッグと僕とで書いた曲で、ジョンのフェイバリットだそう。
Greg:Too Hot to Sleep’は7月に書いた曲。朝起きてからの話。ジョンは曲名を聞いて気に入り、サビを書いて、残りをみんなで作った。
Chip: All Day All Night’は、僕のよく知っている女の子の歌。僕が持っていった冒頭のリフにグレッグがジョンの曲(レコーディングしていない)からコードを拝借したんだ。そこで、ジョンはまた別の曲のコード進行をつけ出したっていう、まさに寄せ集め的な曲。Art Haysがサックスを吹いている。
Greg:Sensation Overnight’は、チップと僕が別の曲のセッションをしていた時に、偶然思いついた曲。忘れたらヤバい!って感じで、その夜のうちに急いで曲として仕上げた。
John:Follow the Sunshineは、おいしい食物とキャンプファイアやるから家においでよっていうジョンからのお誘いの歌なんだ。
Q. Please tell us briefly about each song from the album.
Greg: Kits and Cats and Saxon Wives was written in the studio by John and me after the title was decided. I was banging out nonsensical chords on the piano and John started singing “kits and cats and…” It was only after the fact that words became about living in the suburbs with various kits and various cats.
John: Cricket Time is a song about longing for the free afternoons of our childhoods. We all came of age in a time when you played baseball after school and then all summer long. We decided to move the game across the pond for the sake of our friends in the UK. They don’t understand baseball. I’m not even sure they understand cricket. We don’t. But it’s fun to watch, like Australian rules football where the field umpires call the fouls with all sorts of wild gyrations.
Greg: Sinking Feeling is one that music had been kicked around for awhile. It was written by John and me and all we really had was that, yes I have a feeling and it’s sinking. It’s about starting something that seems doomed because of its inauspicious beginnings. The couple are just asking the question, “how can we begin…” but it’s a natural feeling in the beginning a lot of times. Fortunately Molly came in to save it with her vocal in the end. Beautiful.
Greg: When we were growing up there were these TV ads on all the time for Evelyn Wood’s Speed Reading Course. I always thought it was very odd that someone would take something that is supposed to be a pleasant diversion and try to rip through it in as little time as possible. Did Evelyn undertake all her pursuits in the same fashion?
John: Twelve Songs is an old one. That really should have gone on “Illustrated Bird”, it was written about that time about a friend of ours who was going through a tough time.
John: Turrialba, well the original idea was to have little pieces of songs like this all over the album but sanity prevailed and only one made the cut. It’s rain. Real rain from Costa Rica where people are happiest. Pura Vida.
Greg: Selling Out was started in the front room at my house on a console piano. We had discussed making a record called The Hangabouts Sell Out. A Who rip off sort of thing. We needed a title track so I started writing a song about pleading with your favorite artist or yourself to think better of it. We finished it at John’s house with John rescuing the verse music and adding the terrific chorus.
Chip: Mrs. Kite was an idea that started as an Animals-type rocker. Greg had the idea to give it an electronic treatment and presto. I’m pretty sure we’d all agree that it’s the most different sounding track on the record. We actually recorded three versions of this one with different feels each time. They’re all good, but we all voted this version the best. It’s our good friend Josh Touchton on drums here. He really helped us bring this and Cricket Time to life.
Chip: Taking You to Leave Me started as an idea to juxtapose the feeling of consciously doing something you know is going to hurt, with something you know could also be very liberating in the end. This is John’s favorite song by Greg and Chip. John was up to his usual tricks when he contributed the sublime middle 8 where they take a trip on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Greg: Too Hot to Sleep started exactly the way you think it would’ve, in July. I got up and jotted it down for later. John heard the title and took a shine to it and wrote the chorus. We all finished the verse and middle bits together.
Chip: All Day All Night is about a girl I know very well. I brought in an opening riff that Greg then changed to some chords stolen from one of John’s songs (that hasn’t yet been recorded), but John struck back by stealing some chords from another song to make it all work. It’s a real pastiche. Art Hays saxed it.
Greg: Chip and I came across Sensation Overnight during a writing session for another song. It was really one of those where I had to keep looking because I thought it must’ve been done before. It was written very quickly that evening.
John: Follow the Sunshine, well that’s just an invitation from John to come over to his house for some good food and a campfire.
 
ーーレコーディング時のエピソードなどがありますか?
John: 別テイクとか未発表とかあるんじゃないかって?もちろん…あるよ!いつかコンピレーションを出すかもね。すでにタイトルも決めてあるしさ。
Greg: ジョンとチップに聞いたら、たぶん僕のことばっかりだろうね!わかった、あとで教えてあげるよ笑。
Chip: レコーディング中にスタジオの改装があって、休まなければならなかったことかな。
Q. Do you have any  episodes at the time of recording?
John: Not sure what you’re looking for, but alternate takes? We have some good stuff we might put out on a compilation disc sometime. We already have the title for it!
Greg: If you ask John and Chip they’ll probably say I have a lot of episodes. Storm out of session. Check.
Chip: I’d say the break we took in the middle of recording to remodel the studio qualifies as an episode.
 
ーーあなたの曲作りの秘訣は?心がけていることはありますか?
John: 常にオープン・マインド、心を開いておくこと。メインのソングライターまたはプロデューサーには、楽曲がどのようでなければならないか、レコーディングをどのようにすればいいかというヴィジョンが見えている(僕達の場合は曲を作った本人)。そこで、他のメンバーが変に頑固になったりすると大体うまくいかないんだよね。あと、ミスにも寛容であること。セッションでコードやフレーズを間違えたりした時って、それが後に意外とフックのあるパートになることも多いんだ。まさに、偶然の産物。そこから曲になったりすることもある。
Greg: それと、新しい世界をキャッチする為、常にアンテナを張っておくこと。どれくらいの方法で、あなたはラブソングを書くことができる?意外とあるもんだよ。あと、1曲を通して飽きさせないメロディー、アレンジも大切だね。
Q. What is the secret of the making of your songs? Is there anything that you keep in mind for songwriting?
John: Keeping an open mind. Sometimes the main songwriter or producer on a song (we usually try to make one person the leader on a particular song) has a good idea about what the song should sound like and how the recording should be made, but if we get too stubborn it becomes no fun and we lose out on good potential ideas. Sometimes the mistakes or experiments become the favorite parts in the final song. That actually happens a lot in songwriting sessions when someone plays a wrong chord or note. If it sounds good we try to build around the mistake.
Greg: And always looking for a new perspective and something that hopefully hasn’t been overdone. How many ways can you write a love song? Turns out, quite a few! And melodically just trying to keep it interesting throughout the song. And arrangement wise as well.
 
ーーレコーディングで使用した主な機材を教えてください
John: グレッグはフェンダージャパンのテレキャスター。僕はヤマハのアコースティック・ギター。それぞれお互いが気に入ってるギターなんだ。チップはフェンダーのプレシジョン・ベース。あと彼はEastwoodというメーカーが好きなので、そこのSidejack DLXバリトンギターも使ってた。あとはレスポール、ストラト、ギブソンのJ-45。12弦はダンエレクトロのDano。アンプは60年代のフェンダー・デラックス・リヴァーヴかスーパー・リヴァーヴ。Ken Greeneからもらった小さな8ワットのアンプも使ったな。エフェクターはBOSSとHotone。
Greg:Selling Out’では僕の祖母のコンソールピアノを使ったよ。エフェクトなしで、素晴らしい響きの音色だった。’Kits and Cats’のリードギターにはアンプを2台使った。アレッサンドロとアラモの8ワット。60年代の小さなチューブアンプ。これを左右に振ってあるんだ。ベースはヘフナー。’Sinking Feeling’はBossのオートワウとトレモロで渦巻くような音にした。Lowreyオルガンの音は前作より生っぽくないかな。ほとんどG-ForceとArturiaサンプル音源からだから。
Chip:Too Hot to Sleep’はリッケンバッカー360。’Cricket Time’はダンエレクトロのロングホーンベースだよ。
Q. What are the main equipments which you used in this recording?
John: Greg has a great Fender reissue Tele (made in Japan), which is my favorite guitar. I have a little Yamaha acoustic which is Greg’s favorite. Chip’s been using a Fender P bass and he’s a big fan of Eastwood guitars – there’s a Sidejack DLX baritone guitar somewhere on the record. There’s a bit of Les Paul and a lot of Strat on the record and you probably hear a lot of Gibson J-45 too. The electric 12 string is a Dano. The electrics got plugged into an old Fender Deluxe Reverb from the late 1960s or a Super Reverb from the same era. There’s also a little 8 watt Star amp that Ken Greene (from Dr. Dragonand Follow the Sunshine) gave to John. The effects are pretty straightforward Boss and Hotone pedals.
Greg: There is a console piano from my grandmother-in-law in my living room that I write on and was recorded for Selling Out. The sound on the record is this piano in this very reverberant room. No other effects. On Kits and Cats we used two amps for the lead guitar, one Allesandro and one Alamo. The Alamo is this little 8 watt tube amp from the 60’s. I think they are panned left and right on the record. I played my Hofner bass on that one. The swirly effect on Sinking Feeling is my Gibson Tennessean through a Boss Auto Wah and Boss Tremolo pedal. There are less “live” Lowrey organ sounds on this LP than “Illustrated Bird”. Most of the organ and Mellotron sounds are samples from G-Force and Arturia.
Chip: The sweeps of sound on Too Hot to Sleep were courtesy of a Rickenbacker 360. I played my Danelectro longhorn bass on Cricket Time.
 
ーー今作の聴きどころを教えてください
John: Molly Felderをボーカルに迎えたSinking Feeling’がシングル向きだと言われることが多かったから、ミュージックビデオを作ったりしたんだけど、国内のDJ達からは’Evelyn Wood’が人気なんだ。もちろん、どちらも最高なんだけどね。
Chip: 全部だ全部!!
Q. What is the highlight of this album which you recommend?
John: We thought Molly’s vocal on Sinking Feeling and the overall quality of that song made it a good one to promote as a single, so we made a video for it and it seemed to work for a bit. But DJs here in the states seem to like Evelyn Wood the best, so that’s a good place to start.
Chip: Tracks one through thirteen. Just kidding, I love them all though.
 
ーービートルズ、ゾンビーズなどからの影響と先人へのリスペクトに満ち溢れています。この頃の音楽に魅力を感じている理由は何ですか?
John: たぶん、多くのリスナーが彼らを好きな理由と何ら変わらないと思う。探究心や実験精神が楽曲に驚くべき革命を起こしたんだ。斬新な構成も素晴らしいメロディーとハーモニーも、この時代から。プリティ・シングスのエッジの効いたサウンド、初期ビージーズのやさしいサウンドもいいよね。
Greg: 僕達は、それらのバンド以外にもデトロイトのロックとかモータウンのシングルとか80年代ブリティッシュインヴェイジョンのバンドなどを聴いて育った。僕達のアルバムに統一性がないのも、その影響があるからかな。あとはエルヴィス・コステロ、フリートウッド・マック、ファウンテンズ・オブ・ウェインなども好き。あ、最近のバンドも聴いてるよ。Sinking Feeling’はエイミー・マンっぽいだろ?
Chip: よく言われるよ。あとはスクイーズと比較されることが多い。新作はドワイト・トゥイリーやシューズを引き合いに出されることもある。これからもパーフェクトな曲を作れるように精進していくだけだね。
Q. I feel that your music has an atmosphere of the Beatlesque power pop, psychedelic, the golden age of British invasion band. For example, The Beatles, The Zombies, Beach Boys, Neil Finn (and Crowded House), and many more. All songs are full of the respect to ancient band/artist. What do you like about these band/artist?
John: Probably the same things you like about them. The sense of adventure and experimentation melded with great melodies and surprising twists and turns in the song structure. If you can keep your ears open to melody and harmony there’s so much more to be discovered from that era too. Sometimes you balance a little Pretty Things rock edginess with some of the smoother sounds of the early Bee Gees.
Greg: I mean we grew up listening to those bands as well as a mixture of Detroit rock, Motown singles and 80’s British Invasion stuff. That’s likely why our records are somewhat schizophrenic. Elvis Costello, Fleetwood Mac, Fountains of Wayne are equally influential. But we steal ideas from current bands as well. Sinking Feeling started life as an Aimee Mann type song.
Chip: We’ll take being named in the same sentence as any of those acts anytime. We’ve also gotten compared to Squeeze a good bit with both records and even a Twilley/Shoes reference with the new record. It kinda comes down to unsuccessful attempts at writing the perfect song, we just keep trying.
 
ーー拠点であるデトロイトには、パワーポップ系の素晴らしいバンド/アーティストがたくさんいますね。最近のデトロイトの音楽シーンはどんな感じなんですか?
John: 現在のシーンについてはわからないことが多いけど、コンサートやパブに行くと地元のパワーポップ・バンドとよく出くわすよ。あと、多くの作品がデトロイトのスタジオから生まれてる。これはモータウンやデトロイト・シーンから飛び出したバンドのおかげ。Nick PiuntiやAndy Reedのような職人からは大いにインスパイアされてるよ。
Greg: 埃だらけの工業都市でロックンロールが好きな街だけど、少しずつ変わってきてる気がする。The Hangaboutsをパワーポップのバンドだと思ったことはないけど、そう見られることは特に嫌じゃないよ。
Chip: 最近、ミシガンはパワーポップの中心地のようになってきているよ。Andy Reed, Nick Piunti, The Legal Matters, Chris Richards and The Subtractions, Your Gracious Host, Ryan Allen, Dave Caruso, Donny Brown, Stereo Tiger…挙げたらキリがないくらい。Scott Fab, Timothy Monger, John Holkなどのシンガーソングライターも良いね。American Marsは最近すばらしいアルバムを発表したし。それに皆が繋がっているのも素晴らしい。多くの才能がひしめき合って刺激し合っているんだ。
Q. You guys based your activities in Detroit area. There are a lot of splendid bands in this area. For example, The Legal Matters, Nick Piunti and many more. How about the music scene of recent Detroit?
John: The live music scene is unknown to me. We bump into a lot of the local power pop recording acts when we go to concerts or see each other at pubs. A lot of the work is studio oriented and that’s the craft that I think the Motown legacy, as well as the later rock acts have left for us in the Detroit scene. The craftsmanship from guys like Nick and Andy and their groups inspires us.
Greg: It’s a gritty town and like a lot of industrial cities people like experiencing rock and roll. That is slowly changing but the legacy of it remains. We don’t really consider The Hangabouts a power pop act but we bump up against it and are pleased to be considered part of the aforementioned company.

Chip: Lately it seems Michigan is the epicenter of power pop – Andy Reed, Nick Piunti, The Legal Matters, Chris Richards and The Subtractions, Your Gracious Host, Ryan Allen, Dave Caruso, Donny Brown, Stereo Tiger, I mean the list just goes on and on. There has also been a bit of a rumble in the singer-songwriter genre lately – Scott Fab, Timothy Monger, John Holk, and American Mars have all put out great records recently. We’re glad to call most of those folks our friends – there’s a lot of cross pollination among talents.

ーー音楽産業は以前とは比べものにならないほど変化しました。国境も言語も関係なく、誰もが世界中の聴衆に自分自身の音楽をアピールできる時代です。この変化をミュージシャンとして、どう感じていますか?そして、この変化はあなたに何をもたらしたでしょうか?
John: 自分達の音楽をすぐに世界中のリスナーに聴かせることができるなんて素晴らしい。CD BabyやBandcamp、Spotifyとかで、その手の音楽が好きであろうファン達に届けることができるんだ!スペインだろうがスウェーデンだろうがアイスランドだろうが、どこに住んでるファンとでもメールひとつでやり取りできるって、とても価値あることだよ。
Greg: いくら人気があるアーティストでも、年中ロードに出てなければならなくなったからね。CDを買う人はめっきり減ってしまったから。でも僕達は、幸か不幸か、これが大好きでやめられないんだよね。
Chip: 誰かのプレイリストに僕達の曲をキープし続けるのは大変だけど、やるしかないよね。
Q. The music industry has changed a lot. The country and the language do not matter. In our time, anyone can appeal to audience of the world for own music. I think that it is a benefit of the Internet. How do you feel the present music industry to be as a musician? What did it bring you?
John: It’s good to be able to quickly get your music heard around the world. With CD Baby, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc. your music is available to a large base of potential fans very quickly.  It’s rewarding to get an email from someone in Spain or Sweden or Iceland and know they enjoy the music we’re making.
Greg: There is a reason even very popular acts are on the road all the time.  There is no money in selling recorded music anymore unless you are a platinum artist.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) we love doing it and couldn’t be stopped very easily.
Chip: The challenge sometimes feels like trying to make your 30 seconds last more than two minutes.  There is so much music available anytime, anywhere that keeping your name on someone’s playlist can be tough, but, despite the pictures inside the new CD, we’re tough guys.
 
ーーもしも無人島に5枚持っていくとしたら?
John:
Brian Eno “Music for Airports”(片時も手放せない)
Beatles “Revolver”(説明不要)
Alison Krauss (彼女の歌声があれば生き延びることができそうだ)

Mahavishnu Orchestra “Inner Mounting Flame”(しばらく無人島にいなきゃいけないなら、何かに挑戦しなきゃいけないから)
Beatles “White Album”(ビートルズはもう1枚必要。だから2枚組のこれにする)
Greg:
Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” (邪道かもしれないけど、好きな曲がいっぱい入ってるんだ)
Elvis Costello “Imperial Bedroom”(大好きなアーティスト)
Freedy Johnston “Never Home” (最後に記載)
Fountains of Wayne “Utopia Parkway”(パワーポップだったら絶対これを持ってくよ)
Kinks “Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society” (素晴らしいアルバム。だけど女性ボーカルもカバンに入れとかないといけないな)
Chip: もう、いろんな島に行くことにしたよ!ポップ島ならAimee Mann “Whatever”、Freedy Johston“Can You Fly?”、Erik Voeks“Sandbox”Talk Talk“The Colour of Spring”、Tommy Keene“Songs from the Film”
ソフィスティポップ島ならSwan Dive’”Swan Dive”、The Bible“Eureka”、Gary Clark and the boys“Meet Danny Wilson”、Dream Academy”Dream Academy” 、The Lilac Time“No More Love Songs”
オーストラリア行くなら The Go-Betweens,“16 Lovers Lane”、The Church“Heyday”、Paul Kelly and The Coloured Girls“Gossip”、The Bats“Silverbeet”、Neil Finn“Try Whistling This”。
ジャズ島ならHank Mobley“Soul Station”、John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman、Pat Metheny Group“Offramp”、Antonio Carlos Jobim “Wave”、Miles Davis“Kind of Blue”。Tracey ThornもJohn Hiattの“Bring the Family”も。。。もう無理!
Q. If you were stuck on a desert island what five albums/CDs could you not live without?
John: Brian Eno, “Music for Airports”. Seems like I’d want to travel. Plus I always have this with me now. Beatles, “Revolver”. You know why. It’s where it all starts. Something from Alison Krauss. Seems like that’s a voice I could live with for a long time. Maybe her live record with New Favorite on it. Mahavishnu Orchestra, “Inner Mounting Flame”. Hey I will be on the island for a while. Need something challenging. “White Album”, need more Beatles, and I get to sneak an extra disc in this way!
Greg: Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” – cheating obviously but it has some favorite songs on it and it makes me happy. Elvis Costello “Imperial Bedroom” – outstanding song craft from one of my favorite artists at his peak. Freedy Johnston “Never Home” – see last reason. Fountains of Wayne “Utopia Parkway” – if power pop can get any better than this I’d love to hear it. “Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society” – great album but this list is very light on female voices and very white so Prince, Joni, Stevie and the other Stevie will find a way in my bag somehow.
Chip: I am going to be ambitious and say I’ll have several islands. My pop island collection would be Aimee Mann’s “Whatever”, Freedy Johston’s “Can You Fly?”, “Sandbox” from Erik Voeks, Talk Talk’s “The Colour of Spring” and Tommy Keene’s “Songs from the Film”. There’d be a Sophisti-Pop island too – Swan Dive’s self-titled, “Eureka” from The Bible, “Meet Danny Wilson” from Gary Clark and the boys, Dream Academy’s self-titled, and “No More Love Songs” from The Lilac Time. My Aussie/Kiwi vacation spot would feature “16 Lovers Lane” from The Go-Betweens, “Heyday” from The Church, “Gossip” from Paul Kelly and The Coloured Girls”, “Silverbeet” from The Bats, and Neil Finn’s “Try Whistling This”. To chill, my jazz island would have Hank Mobley’s “Soul Station”, John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman’s record together, “Offramp” from the Pat Metheny Group, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave”, and “Kind of Blue” from Miles Davis. Oh yeah, something would have to include Tracey Thorn singing. Ohhh and John Hiatt’s “Bring the Family, oh and I know, I’m not playing along.
 
ーー最近のお気に入りの音楽を教えてください
John: 
The Look Parkのアルバムは素晴らしいよ。Jody Porterの“Pacifier”も本物のロックンロール・アルバムだ。両者ともFOWだね!
Greg: すごくハマったのはないけど、Belle Brigadeの“Just Because”は良いよ。’Ashesor When Everything’という曲は特にね。Django Django “Default”は永遠。Spoon,、New Pornographers、Sloan、Shins、Belle and Sebastian、Apples in Stereo、Ron Sexsmithはいつ聴いても飽きないな。
Chip: 幸運なことに、僕はほぼ毎日音楽を聴いてるよ。最近のお気に入りはHilma Nikolaisen “Puzzler”、Secret Meadow “Same Old Fear”、Bent Van Looy “Pyjama Days”、Corin Ashley “Broken Biscuits”、Erik Voeks “So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away”、Loch Ness Mouse”Loch Ness Mouse” 、Boo Hewerdine “Swimming in Mercury”、Film School “June”、Scott Fab “Leave My Friends”、The Douglas Fir “California Memory”。
Q. Do you have any favorite music recently? If you do,  which one is it?
John: The Look Park album took a while to resonate with me, but it’s a good one. Jody Porter’s “Pacifier” is real rock and roll too. Anything from the Fountains of Wayne guys will get a fair shake from us.
Greg: Not super new in some cases but…Belle Brigade- their LP “Just Because” is amazing. Listen to Ashesor When Everything. Django Django “Default” never gets old. Pretty much any releases from Spoon, New Pornographers, Sloan, Shins, Belle and Sebastian, Apples in Stereo and Ron Sexsmith always gets repeated spins in my house.
Chip: Luckily for me, I’m able to listen to music almost all day long. In my current heavy rotation stack: Hilma Nikolaisen “Puzzler”, Secret Meadow “Same Old Fear”, Bent Van Looy “Pyjama Days”, Corin Ashley “Broken Biscuits”, Erik Voeks “So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away”, Loch Ness Mouse self-titled, Boo Hewerdine “Swimming in Mercury”, Film School “June”, Scott Fab “Leave My Friends”, and, my current favorite, The Douglas Fir “California Memory”.

ーーキャリアの中で最も印象に残っている出来事やパフォーマンスは?
John: まだまだ、これからだ。
Greg:Selling Out’を作った時かな。頭に浮かんだアイデアを形にすることは本当に難しいことなんだけど、この曲は文字通り”降りて”きた。「The Odd Mess」収録曲では、’Blue Statehas’のメロディーラインは好き。半自叙伝的な’Algernon’も気に入ってるよ。
Chip: 僕は’Sinking Feeling’。曲も演奏もビデオも完璧だ。まぁ、このアルバムは本当に全曲素晴らしいんだけどね!
Q. What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
John: Hopefully still to come.
Greg: I really like the way Selling Out turned out. It isn’t always easy to get the idea in your head on tape but that came close. There are several tracks on “The Odd Mess” that I’m proud of – Blue Statehas some good lines and Algernon is good and semi-autobiographical so I have a soft spot for it.
Chip: For me, I love the way Sinking Feeling came together – the song, the performance, the video – just about perfect. That being said, there’s truly something in each song on the new record that makes me smile.

ーーあなたにとって、The Hangaboutsとは?
John: 作品でたくさんの人をハッピーにできることを見つける為の集まりさ。
Chip: 人としてもミュージシャンとしても尊敬し合える友人との戯れ、どうか大目にみてね。
Q. What is the Hangabouts for you?
John: Finding the sweet spot where we keep ourselves interested and can make a lot of people happy with the recordings

Chip: Hanging, pardon the pun, with a couple of great friends whom I admire both as people and musicians. Pass the Kleenex please.

ーー今後の活動予定を教えてください
John: 日本に行ける準備をしておくよ!
Greg: リリースの予定はないけど、レコーディングは始めると思う。夏には何本かライブの予定もあるよ。
Chip: コンニチハ日本!
Q. Please tell me your plans from now on. Do you have the plan to visit Japan? We will always be there for you! 
John: That would be a blast. We will keep you informed if we can make it happen.
Greg: Yes please! We will probably start recording more stuff in the fall not necessarily for any release in particular. We have some live dates during the summer or 2017.
Chip: Kon’nichiwa Japan!!!

ーー最後に日本のファンにメッセージをお願いします
僕達の音楽をプレイリストに、そして何よりハートに刻んでくれてありがとう!これからもベストを尽くして素晴らしい音楽を演り続けるよ!
Q. Would you please provide some message to the fans in Japan?
We thank you so much for keeping us in your playlists and your hearts. We will do our best to send some good vibrations halfway around the world for you.


https://www.hangabouts.com