Band Interview Of The Day – Hootin

  1. If you could introduce yourselves for us, who are you?
    1. I (Hootin, i.e. Nick Houghton) am a singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the west coast of Canada.
  2. How did you all meet?
    1. I am a solo artist. But I have a close group of friends I lean on heavily for contributions, advice, rewrites and most importantly, deleting stuff.
  3. How long have you been playing?
    1. I’ve been in the world of music for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories was as a 6 year old playing Cotton Eyed Joe on the violin in a traveling show. In my teens I took up the drums, playing in every jazz band, orchestra and musical in the B.C. area, eventually enrolling at the local conservatory, where I got to work closely with jazz icons like Paul Horn and Misha Piatigorsky. After University I played with the funk rock band The Party On The High Street, performing constantly all over the world for six years, releasing 5 albums, one of which was recorded at Bear Creek studios with Ryan Hadlock, a Grammy nominee for his work with the Lumineers. While with The Party on High Street we partnered with a pair of actors and helped write a musical titled The Saints of British Rock.

      This is my first venture as a solo artist, after 6 years on the road with TPOHS and the subsequent hiatus from music during which I lived in Los Angeles I’ve returned back to my home in Canada, where in 2021 I released my first full length album “Exit Conditions” and followed it up with a single Wake Up Call in January of 2022 and a second in May of 2022 titled The New Queen.
  4. What three words would you use to describe the music you play?
    1. Hmm, that’s tough. I would go with: Contemplative expressive alternative.
  5. What are your musical influences?
    1. I take inspiration from a lot of different artists. At first the list might seem quite eclectic but it has a theme. What makes a great artist to me is one that I feel is truly expressing an idea, something personal or tangible. There is a lot of music that just picks a catchy phrase and repeats it over and over in hopes of getting it stuck in your head; often there is no greater message to it. Artists that catch my ear are trying to tell me something whether that be with the lyrics, the instrumentation, or both. If I feel like a song is just trying to get my attention I lose interest pretty fast.

      Off the top of my head, for amazing lyrics you really can’t beat Laura Marling or Tom Waits.

      For pure energy, there is a well known underground funk band from Vancouver called Five Alarm Funk that constantly tours across Canada. Their size varies but usually consists of no less than 6 members, their music is primarily instrumental but is some of the hardest hitting, energetic, danceable music I have ever heard. As a drummer by trade, it’s impossible to not be inspired by them. Unlike most ensembles, Five Alarm Funk sets up their live performance with their drummer front and center. Nobody else does that as far as I know.

      There is another Vancouver based artist named Matthew Goode, his raw expression is unbeatable. If you really pay attention to his music, it’s like sitting in on a therapy session.

      I also find expression in the way you perform extremely important, and for that my first stop is Jordan Rakei. The tone of his voice, the soft diction, it creates so much texture to his music… I find it irresistible.

      Here is a little list of others I really enjoy: Franc Moody, Tom Misch, Lianne La Havas, Still Woozy, Erik Sumo, FKJ, Half Moon Run, Pinegrove, Mike Snow, Amber Mark, Neil Frances, Rudy Norman.
  6. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen during a show?
    1. It was while playing at a halloween party in Comox British Columbia… I saw a guy stick a bottle rocket in his butt, light it, bend over, and fire it towards the crowd. That image is burned into my memory for all time. 
  7. Being away from the stages in the last few years, where was the first place you visited when the restrictions were lifted?
    1. I’m still not back to performing. I am heavily focused on being in the studio at the moment. I am currently releasing a new single every 3-4 months. I figure that in about a year’s time I’ll be back on stage. For now I’m keen to just focus on writing and building up my catalog. 
  8. What’s the one record you own but wouldn’t ever admit to owning?
    1. Dashboard Confessional’s “A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar”. I used to be embarrassed of the power my angsty teenage phase still has on me but now I embrace it. You wanna come over and cry about that girl that said no in grade 9? I’m in, let’s do it. hahaha
  9. What have you been listening to in the last few weeks?
    1. Franc Moody. A disco funk duo from London. If you haven’t checked them out, do yourself a favor. 
  10. Are there any releases you have planned in the near future?
    1. Yes! I’m currently releasing a new single about every 3-4 months. I just released The New Queen in May, so will likely be releasing my next one in September!

Check out ‘The New Queen’ below.

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