Feature for March 2018
Band Name: Hypnotide
Genre: Surf fused with jazz, contemporary classical, and punk
Columbus, Ohio and Brooklyn, NY
Interview with: Joe Nelson by email on 2/25/18
1. What is the current line-up of your band?
Larry Marotta: guitar
Aaron Quinn: guitar
Brett Burleson: bass
Joe Nelson: drums
2. How and when did you get started with your band?
Hypnotide started as an afro-pop band under another name with a weekly happy hour gig at a local restaurant. The original line-up included another musician on drum set, myself on percussion, Larry on guitar, and Brett on bass. In 2012, I booked a show at a night club but our drummer had to bail at the last minute. As a result, we decided to dive into Larry’s book of surf charts with myself on drum set. The gig went so well, we decided to include more urf tunes with the afro-pop band. But, around that time, the happy hour gig ended and our drummer moved on to other projects. So, I proceed to book the trio, changed the name to Surf’s Up Hose Down, and then added Aaron on guitar a few months later. We found that our new band name ruffled some feathers, so we changed it again to Hypnotide.
3. What bands or music have influenced you most?
Our music is heavily informed by the classic surf bands, Dick Dale, The Ventures, etc. But, one of things that sets us apart from other surf bands is how we incorporate harmonic progressions most commonly found in jazz and 20th century classical composers like Olivier Messiaen and Steve Reich. As rabid cinephiles, you’ll also hear elements of film music such as Ennio Morricone and Shin'ichirō Ikebe. Many of our song titles contain film references.
4. What is the breakdown of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?
The content of our shows can vary in terms of original to cover material. It depends on the client, the audience, and the length of the gig. Our favorite local venue, Disk’s Den in Columbus, Ohio, requires 3 1-hour sets but we can do whatever we want, which usually results in 60% originals and 40% covers.
Our recording, on the other hand, are mostly originals. To date, we’ve released an LP, an EP which contain all original material. We just completed the basic tracks for a full-length CD which all include 2 covers: Hand of Doom by Black Sabbath and Calcutta as made famous by Lawrence Welk.
5. What recording have you done?
Our debut LP, Landlocked, was recorded in 2014 and released early 2015.
We tracked and released a cassette EP, The Ninja and the Sea Monster in 2017.
Both are available for download on Bandcamp.
We recently completed the basic tracks for a full-length CD to be released mid-2018.
6. What kind of gear do you use?
Fender guitars, Fender and Vox guitar amps, Fender bass through an Ampeg amp, Ludwig drums and Paiste cymbals.
7. What is your band’s favorite food/beverage?
Kale salad with bourbon dressing
8. How do you get gigs?
Calling clubs, word of mouth - we need a good agent.
9. What are the difficulties you find playing your kind of music in your area?
Low paying gigs. We hope to break into the festival circuit and film sound tracks. We’ve already been featured on a local indi film, Bong of the Living Dead.
10. What positive attributes does your band have that sets you apart from other bands (of any genre)?
We are able to fuse the visceral thrust of punk with the sophisticated harmonic progression found in jazz and contemporary classical music and we have snazzy choral arrangements.
11. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool you’ve used to further your band’s musical path?
Playing shows and word of mouth.
12. What’s the most interesting performance experience you’ve had?
Playing live on a local public radio station.
13. What do you hope to get out of being a NESMA member?
Increased exposure and more LP, cassette, and CD sales.