"We love Drowned in Sound!"Hundred Reasons are one of the few new British bands to be touted by the press as well as the fans as being one of the next big things in the international music scene. Along with Raging Speedhorn and Lost Prophets, they are expected to do well in the UK as well as in America. Hundred Reasons have been aided by a worldwide deal with Sony label branch, Columbia which should act as a hefty springboard for the band since releasing their debut single on London-based independent Fierce Panda. They certainly have the quality tunes and the sturdy fan base to last them for quite a while and build upon.
Tonight Hundred Reasons are going to be playing a free show for their fans. They have just finished a relaxed and rather jovial sound check in the underground cavity that is formally known as The Underworld in Camden Town. I settled down in a small dressing room with 60% of the band - Larry Hibbitt, 'The' Andy Gilmour and Paul Townsend. They proceed to answer some nifty questions and have a chat about life and the melons in it. If this confuses you click this blue bit.
When quizzed upon the notion of 'selling out' by signing to a major label, guitarist Larry Hibbitt was quick to point out that there really is very little disparity where they are concerned, "The ethics really aren't that bad - the only difference between [Sony] and an independent is that they're global and that they've got more money, and importantly more power."
If that power was transferred to the band however, Larry plumped for choosing to ban cars and television rather than making it law to love Hundred Reasons. Fellow six-stringer Paul Townsend was quick to point out that "Larry is what we call a bit of a weirdo", which helped to explain his description of a perfect melon: "A melon that has three holes in the side of it and is extremely tough that you could double up as a bowling ball." We love melons here.
Comparisons with American emo-punk band At The Drive-In are rife but the band aren't really getting sick of it as they know that it isn't true. Guitarist Paul had this to say on those who say that Hundred Reasons are just cashing in on ATD-I's success: "Listen to both bands. Give them both a listen and try again. I said that people only say that because of the hair but then a few people since then have told me that its because of the energy. But that’s quite a compliment because At The Drive-In are a great band and they write great songs and stuff. They rock!"
Don't expect to see the band performing at this years Tibetan Freedom Concert as they pay little attention to political matters across the globe. While Paul says, "I'm not proud of it, but I don't know much about it", Larry adds, "The only country I know anything about is Indonesia because my family is from there and that's fucked." Their songs are not written to influence their fans so much, as Paul says, "We make sure we don't put our views across to people too harshly and let people make up their own minds." Larry and Paul, though, have a plan to bring the world into greater economic equilibrium: (Larry) "I think people should just give everything away." (Paul) "To me!" (Larry) "And then Paul would distribute it as he sees fit."
Hundred Reasons have received the most attention from the UK's leading rock periodical - Kerrang. They even received the award for Best New British Band at last year's awards, beating of the likes of My Vitriol and Sona Fariq. The three guitarists firmly believe that Kerrang is still the best music paper around at the moment, but also showed their approval for this very magazine with Larry stating: "We love Drowned In Sound!" Yes, and we love you too.
With their heavy sound, Hundred Reasons have been relayed as one of Britain's leading nu-metal bands but their feet are firmly placed in the rock section of the music shop and indeed after supporting both Papa Roach and Incubus still managed to sit on the fence over the current popular issue of American nu-metal and it's boyband-esque image with only Paul adding "It's fair enough if they like it but I suspect that they do it just because its gonna make them some money." But as the band have been branded with the same rod and have been playing to those crowds, Steve, their sound technician certainly believes they can benefit from the sudden popularity of loud guitar music.
Now for some character defining questions brought up from the darkest recesses of Drowned In Sound's food and television obsessed minds…
Honey: Runny or set?
Unanimously: Runny - runny honey
Bagpuss or The Clangers?
The Andy: Bagpuss
Paul: The Clangers
Larry: I don't know…
Paul: Like I said - Larry's a bit of a weirdo
The Andy: Actually I like both programs quite a lot
Verdict: The Clangers - just
Mr. Benn...quite possibly the greatest program ever?
Larry: Even I've seen that!
Verdict: It is
Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry's?
The Andy & Larry: Ben & Jerry's!!
Paul: Ooh, see, I'd go Haagen Dazs. I'm really sorry.
The Andy: They do Phish Food, Massive Chunks, everything!
Paul: I prefer chocolate ice cream but strawberry Haagen Dazs is amazing.
Verdict: The Andy is quite the man to talk to about Ben & Jerry's
Mighty White or Hovis Multi-Grain?
Paul: I'm a Mighty White kinda guy
The Andy: Hovis - but it's just not as good toasted.
Verdict: Hovis Multi-Grain
Timmy Mallet - cultural icon or major twat?
Larry & Paul: Major twat
The Andy [philosophically]: Although, at the time he was a cultural icon.
Larry: He is a major twat though.
Verdict: Major Twat
If you were an animal what breed would best describe you and your personality?
Larry: I dunno
Paul [to Larry]: A foxy stoat
Larry: A foxy stoat
Paul: I stole that from Bottom. You can't use that. I dunno about me.
Larry [to Paul]: A tortoise. And Andy's a meerkat
Paul: I'm hard on the outside and soft in the middle
The Andy: Why am I a meerkat?!
[Larry makes like a meerkat]
The Andy: No that's you! Larry's a meerkat!
Paul: I'm not sure if I like tortoise any more.
The Andy: I'm a terrapin - I'm like a tortoise but I can snap at you
Larry - Meerkat because of the funny standing thing
Paul - Tortoise due to the Magnum type structure of their body
The Andy - Terrapin because he's like a mean tortoise
Chris Martin v Fran Healy in a boxing ring - Who's your money on?
Larry: Oh the Coldplay singer [agreement]
Paul: He's Scottish.
Larry: Is he?
Paul: NO! Travis singer! Sorry! Because he's Scottish.
DiS: But he has funny hair…
Paul: I know…but he's Scottish.
Verdict: Fran Healy because he's Scottish. The funny hair doesn't matter
"Fly like a -----, sting like a -----" - Please insert your own
Hundred Reasons: "Fly like a stoat, sting like a newt"
Tell us a joke!
Silence proves to be the funniest thing at this point until…
Steve: What is a frog's favourite drink?
Larry: Don't know
Steve: Croak-a Cola
Paul: Oh god. That was from Steve.
So there you have it. Hundred Reasons have barely changed in the past year. They are as down-to-earth as ever and will probably stay like that for ever. If they were halfway to becoming rock stars before, and they’ve got a recording contract now, they must surely be all the way to being rock stars but as far as I could see, there were no bad attitudes in this room so they still have some work to do! They still like watermelons and indeed may have found a new product to market - The Hundred Reasons Bowling Melon. Classy. Now they depart to record their debut album in New York and if all goes well we'll have a classic on our hands by next Spring.