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‘W e s h ut th e r e c o r d s l a b e ls o ut, m a d e ‘P e a r l Mysti c’ a n d g a v e it to G r i n g o. I j u s t e m a i l e d th e m s ayi n g, ‘h i, w e’v e m a d e th i s r e c o r d. I w o n d e r I f yo u’d l i k e to p ut it o ut?’’ but it’s just this fucking circus that everyone has to do and they said they felt uncomfortable about that because a lot of their ad-revenue comes from small independent pedal makers and microphone manufacturers and a lot of them didn’t know that they had to go in with this farce, they just got told that price of $300 and paid it, and it was upsetting Tape-Op – they found it unethical and that’s something we struggled to deal with. We played a lot of these festivals for very little money compared to all of these buzz bands who might not actually have all that many people wanting to come and see them but they’re just getting forced onto the bill, getting paid thousands of pounds and we weren’t even breaking even to pay for ourselves to be there. So, that’s why a booking agent came in. I mean, we’re signed to Domino now – we’ve got to accept aspects like that.” Similarly, any money made has just carried as an extension of the bands ethos, as MJ points out. “All the money means is we have some nicer equipment,” he says. “That’s it. It sounds really sad, but even just being able to have my own microphone is a big deal – it means I’m not licking someone else’s spit but that was a bit of an ostentatious buy for me.” Of course, the Nottingham based indie label Gringo were sad to see Hookworms move on to Weird World, but SS notes that there’s been no bitterness towards the band’s growth from the DIY world. Of Gringo, MJ says: “I’ve loved that label for years. I’m glad I was able to be part of a record that has helped them be able to put out more great music. I fully support Gringo Records.” And yet Hookworms’ habit of selling out their limited releases is something that doesn’t sit well with them. “Everything we’ve done that’s been a limited edition has ended up going on Ebay or Discogs for a lot of money,” says MJ. “I don’t care about the money, it’s just like if some kid wanted to buy it and couldn’t afford it because they’re being priced out, it’s ridiculous. I’d like to keep our records in print and keep the prices as low as possible. It won’t quite be like Dischord but I want to keep it as cheap as possible.” Live – where Hookworms’ reputation was forged and where fans are still won – the band have spent the year performing in the Loud And Quiet tent at Beacons Festival (“That was massive and rammed and surreal,” says MJ), playing with Pissed Jeans (a coveted spot due to the Philly band’s insistent on liking everyone they play with) and a trip to New York’s CMJ. “We played a show as soon as we arrived,” says MJ. “We had about 10 minutes there before being driven to the venue and I went outside to buy an orange juice from a vender and it was like,‘shit, I’m in NewYork!’ It’s like being in a film. I’d never been, and it’s very overwhelming and simulative.” “It was around this time I submitted a Wikipedia page for the band but it got turned down, so we can’t be that big,” says SS. “They’re really serious now, it used to be in the old days you could write any old shit on there.” Which brings us to this weeknd weekend: ATP ‘End of an Era’ Part 2. The band play the best show I’ve ever seen them play on the festival’s main stage, blasting with jet engine force. “I had a very nice time,” says MJ after the set. “I liked it when the house lights went up and I could see the mosh-pit; that cheered me up.” “When I was a kid there was an untouchability about artists and music,” says SS. “There’s a mental barrier between them and us and when you start getting into music in your scene, there isn’t that division. All the things I used to do when there was a division I don’t really care about anymore, like Leeds and Reading festival when we played that, it doesn’t matter because it’s not yours anymore, but ATP is the only one that’s an event I used to go to and it’s very weird playing it, I think it’s the only event where I’ve felt that way. Going to a festival as a kid, none of them felt weird when we ended up playing them, but ATP did… I just hope the next record isn’t a disappointment.” On that point, MJ feels all too aware of the fickle nature of the modern music world. “We’ve reached a point now we’re we’ve been given so much praise that people seem to enjoy hating us,” he says. “It’s cool, I don’t like The Smiths, it’s not the end of the world, but the Internet is very binary and it’s like, ‘no, no, I fucking hate them. The singer’s a cunt, I’ve never met him but he’s a dickhead’ – that was a post on Drowned in Sound last week. It was basically that. He didn’t like me even though he’s never met me. It’s quite disappointing. I know I’m a dickhead but at least give me the opportunity to live up to it.” 17

Loud And Quiet 55 (Vol. 3)

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