Interview: Houndmouth

We recently caught up with Katie from Houndmouth, to discuss their new album, From The Hills Below The City, working with Rough Trade, and rescuing burning kittens…

What was the writing process like for your recent album From The Hills Below The City?

Basically whoever sings the song wrote the majority of it. As a band we finess the structure of it.

In what way would you say it differs from your previously released material?

We’ve only released the Houndmouth EP before this. It was all done ourselves. We just had a couple of mics so things couldn’t be too live on the recordings. Most of the album was tracked live. The album was also bounced to tape so it has a natural gritty sound to it. We recorded with Kevin Ratterman who helped produce it.

Is there something about the British label Rough Trade that particularly appealed to you?

Rough Trade has a long history of incredible, successful artists. They are progressive with their signing of the Alabama Shakes, and that appealed to us. They are also very artist friendly. They were persistent and we hit it off with all the folks at the label. Geoff Travis said a few months ago ” I think we’ve taken Houndmouth out more than any band in the history of Rough Trade.” We just like the people.

How did you all come together as a band, and was it love at first play? Or did it take a little time to get used to one another?

We all knew each other and grew up in the same small town. When all four got together for the first practice as what is now Houndmouth, I think we all knew we had found something special. For the first several months we would practice all day and night just because we were in love with what we were creating.

What’s the best thing about being in Houndmouth?

Playing music that we love to play. Our fans are amazing. The experiences we’ve had so far are so far beyond what any of us expected.

What has been your most surreal experience in the band?

Shew. All of it?! Okay —

#1 is our home town love. Everyone has been beyond supportive in this endeavour.
#2 being able to call some of our favourite bands our friends.

#3 doing Conan and Letterman were pretty “surreal” experiences

Who would you most like to play alongside, and where?

Can’t pick just one. I heard recently we might have an opportunity to do a cruise with John Prine. I wouldn’t mind that at all.

Best film ever?
You are asking the wrong person. I like way too many girly movies to have a respectable answer.

Best film score ever?
Give me all the Disney classics.

If you could have been anything other than a musician, what would you have been?

I’d rescue kittens from burning buildings for a living.

What would be your ‘desert island discs’ i.e. what would be the eight pieces of music, one book and one luxury item that you would take if you were a castaway on a desert island?

These questions are hard!
1. Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street
2. Nick Drake, Pink Moon
3. Otis Redding, Dock of the Bay
4. Velvet Underground, Loaded
5. The Band, Music from the Big Pink
6. Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker
7. Bonnie Prince Billy, Master and Everyone
8. Hall and Oates, Abandoned Luncheonette

Joe Brainard’s “I Remember” to help the creativity.

A guitar and if I’m allowed, a pad of paper and a pen.
Questions by Anna Byrne