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Thursday, May 8, 2014

These go to 11: interviewing The Hi-Life Companion

This wouldn't be Bloodbuzzed without my dear friends The Hi-Life Companion. Therefore, the time has arrived for one of their core members, Jonathan Troy, to take part in our interview series. Expect many indiepop wonders and even more "family issues". These Go to 11!

Jonathan Troy, The Hi-Life Companion
The Bros Companion
Our beloved indiepop band hails from Bristol and is based around brothers Matt and Jon Troy (the complete group is a septet). They debuted in 2008 with a single via Cloudberry Records, since then including their tunes on a number of compilations on Weepop!, Series Two and blog favourites EardrumsPop. The next step, better said a huge leap forward, arrived in 2011 with "Say Yes", mind-blowing first album, out on Plastilina Records. After a long wait, sophomore release "Our Years In The Wilderness" is about to see the light of day through the band’s own label "No Pudding Annie Records" this June. Expect a collection of indiepop gems, diverse, rich and heartful, like putting on a cocktail shaker all the pop bands we already love, agitate with some Bristol melancholia and a lot of music talent... Here we go!

1. First record that you bought (be honest)
Pet Shop Boys "Disco". 

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
First, Pink Floyd at Wembley Stadium in 1988. Last, Euros Child at The Folk House in Bristol, 2014.

The Hair Life Companion!
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
Myself and my brother grew up largely listening to bad rock music/metal. I spent a lot of time around Heart, Cinderella, Extreme and Poison. There, I've admitted it. We both still have a soft spot for Van Halen and AC/DC. In fact, I think my brother would secretly much prefer to be in an AC/DC tribute band.

Hard rock hero in shorts
4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
Most of our gear is a bit cheap and crap. A Neuman TLM 113 microphone is probably the most precious I guess. Matt has proper "grown up" Martin acoustic guitar that only he's allowed to touch...

5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
"Do you long for her, or for the way you were?" from Jonathan Richman's "That Summer Feeling".

6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Matt would say Angus Young, I'm sure. I think I'd quite like to have gone for a drink with Townes Van Zandt.

 7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
 Probably Smiths "Meat is Murder".

8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both)
Books for me - I know there's a film coming out of it but Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief" is a great book. Also Matthew Kneale's "English Passengers".
What Mozz Said...

9. Release (of yours) you are most proud of:
"Cast You Down" of the new album, because it ended up sounding exactly like I imagined it, which is extremely rare. Usually I can't get very near how it sounds in my head - the reality is always compromised by our own lack of musical ability, time, over-playing it, the right equipment etc.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”
The spirit of individuality. Having grown up in the 80's it still means guitars, obscurity (and discovery) and non-mainstream. 

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully on our third album! We do have rather a slow work-rate. I'd like to feel that each time we make some music it ends up sounding better than the last effort and that we steadily improve the quality of what we make. Better songs, better lyrics, better played - and that the gap between how it sounds in my head and how it eventually tunrs out gets progressively smaller. I'm hopping one day I'll be totally proud of a piece of music we make in it's entirely and not embarrassed by little bits of it here and there. 

Zillion thanks Jonathan & all The Hi-Life Companion!

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