Right, here goes! BTN: HDQ take a lot of inspiration from American hardcore, what would you say if I called you the English equivilant of Dag Nasty? Golly: Quite a few people have compared us to Dag Nasty and that's fine by us because I suppose they are possibly our biggest influence musically. Our sound is based around them to a certain extent but these days we seem to be creating our own sound. The new songs are maturing all of the time and while they still have that hardcore edge they reach that little bit further beyond the typical hardcore sound. BTN: Which bands in particular inspire your music? Golly: Well obviously the likes of Dag Nasty, Descendents and ALL, late 7 Seconds, Moving Targets, and Government Issue. These days we are influenced also by bands like R.E.M., Faith No More and even Deacon Blue to a certain extent but we regard these bands as only influences and we strive for our own sound and ideas in every song that we write. BTN: What was the reason for your bassist Rob leaving.
What is he doing now and who is the new bassist? Golly: Basically he couldn't handle touring anymore, with him being straight edge and the rest of us being a set of drunken bums he got a bit tired of putting up with us!!! No seriously, he just felt that he had gone as far as he wanted with HDQ and decided to leave and form his own band. We are all still great friends with him and he is an obvious great loss for us both as a bassist and a friend with the band. It's worked out really well with our new bassist Terri who has been close to us for a long time and was an obvious replacement. We feel that he gives the band that tighter edge and has come up with some great ideas since joining in September 89.
Rob is now in a band called Godzilla who sound a lot like Husker Du. He nearly got to join Joyce McKinney Experience but that fell through to his dissapointment. BTN: Most bands say that they are treated better in Europe on tours, do you agree and why do you think this is? Golly: HDQ have now toured Europe five times. Each time we have been treated so well that we didn't want to come back home. I think one of the main reasons for this is that a lot of the venues in Europe are subsidised by the government so they have a lot more money available than a lot of promoters in the UK who put gigs on with only a shoestring budget available.
The money that European venues get from their governments makes it easier to be able to feed touring bands and to be in a position to give them free beer etc. Another reason is the whole attitude towards bands on tour in Europe. I mean they understand that a certain band have travelled so many miles to get to a venue stuck in a van, usually cold and uncomfortable and how much that they would appreciate a meal and something to drink. There is so much more understanding and communication between promoter and band in Europe than in a lot of venues in the UK. BTN: Do you pull better crowds in Europe and are they more enthusiastic? Golly: Yeah we do pull bigger crowds in Europe and we are able to headline a tour over there and not lose money, which up until recently we couldn't headline a tour and expect not to lose money in the UK.
Things have improved a lot for us since the release of Sinking and more and more people are turning up to HDQ gigs over here. That's really pleasing because we love playing in the UK and there are some great venues to play these days. Also a lot more people seem to dance to us in Europe than over here. That doesn't really bother us that much as long as they show their appreciation is some other way. BTN: What's the next step for you on the vinyl front? Golly: The next vinyl will be a new album and compact disc on Full Circle Records in the UK and Burnt Out Youth Records in Europe and that will be released in June sometime, so look out for that. BTN: Do you find it a financial struggle to get records out and get tours together, are you a full time band? Golly: We used to when we did almost everything ourselves whenever we toured.
But it's a lot easier now because a guy called Frank from Burnt Out Youth Records does a lot of work for us when we tour Europe and it's a lot easier to get good gigs in the UK too because we are a lot more well known now than in those early days. So there's no financial problems or otherwise at the moment especially now one of our friends has his own van so that's helped us a great deal for obvious reasons. Record wise the only problem we've ever had financially was putting the money up front for recording expenses but Frank is sorting all that out for us so that's helped us a lot too. No we ain't yet a full time band but it certainly feels that way at times.
We all have enough spare time to do the things we want to do outside of HDQ and it's nice to get away from the band for a while now and again. But we do tour a lot and that's great too, so we have a happy medium at the moment. BTN: You seem to keep gigs and t-shirts cheap when possible, do you think you'll ever get rich and do you care? Golly: No we can't see ourselves as rich rockstars in the near future for obvious reasons and we are happy with what we have. Which is a lot more than some people so who are we to complain. Yeah we try to keep HDQ gigs, records, t-shirts as cheap as possible and that's the way it's got to be.
There is no reason why we should charge more than we do for HDQ stuff at the moment. We don't want to cheat anyone and I don't think we ever have either and that's something I'm proud of. BTN: What do you think is HDQ's finest moment on vinyl to date and what gigs stick out in your mind as favourites? Golly: Obviously the best and favourite HDQ release is Sinking because of the songs and production are best to date for us. Favourite tracks for me are Towing The Line, Redneck Rap, and One World. Gigs that stick out in my mind are Belfast, all the ones in Austria, Zurich, Fulham Greyhound with Verbal Assault, Newport with ALL, Sunderland Poly with Billy Bragg, Dillington and Schwenigen in West Germany, Budapest, Alkmar in Holland and many many more.
99% of the gigs we do, we enjoy for some reason but those are a few of the most memorable. BTN: Would you like to tour America and beat the Americans at their own game, what ambitions do you have? Golly: Too right, we'd love to tour the States, but it's so hard to get across, tour, and come back without losing so much money. I think the only viable way for us to tour over there is if a popular US band offers us the chance to tour with them enabling us to go over with just our guitars. It's definately one of our ambitions along with playing in Australia and maybe even the USSR now that things are improving over there and it ain't impossible to play there anymore. Thanks again to Golly for his answers and we advise you to go and see HDQ in action and get the records. Read more on Last.fm.
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