Hadouken! - Interviews - Soundblab


by Louise Harlow Rating: Release Date:

I caught up with James Smith after Hadouken!'s set in the Sunday Best arena for a quick jabber about Huey Lewis, beats and priapic mice...

Hadouken! were incredible today, you definitely laid waste to the crowd, how do you feel the Scottish crowd compares on the Hadouken! international scale of insanity?

Well the scale goes from zero to Scottish doesn't it?

They really go for it, eh? I don't know if you noticed but you actually had a three-man human tower in effect at one point....

Yeh, I just feel sorry for the guy at the bottom to be honest

Someone's got to do the dirty work I suppose. You've stated Chase & Status as one of your influences. Your music seems to touch on so many bases; is it possible to distil Hadouken! into a single statement or manifesto?

Er....If you have to then shame on you, and your name will be a journalist. But quite frankly we just make music and other people write the names and all that stuff. So we just make the music and call us what we want, as long as there's a positive connotation then I'm alright with it.

Can I ask, the mouse... Is that something you pull out for every live performance?

He's from the music video we did for 'M.A.D.' where we had him as the star of the show, and he's just walking around the street, getting drunk and beating up people. It's on YouTube at the moment.

I'm aware of trying not to put things in boxes and apply labels, but do you feel there's anyone out there at the moment doing something similar to what Hadouken! do? You seem to be so unique, not just in the music but your whole approach to the process and the emphasis on having a good time?

Erm, it's weird though - I sometimes feel we have more of a connection, not so much sonically, with bands like Kids in Glass Houses where they're kind of just doing the same thing as us and having the same enjoyment on stage, but whereas we've got more of an electronic sound. But I don't feel we're doing the same thing as Pendulum or even Chase & Status, but they're just people we respect and we just get on with it really I guess.

I'd heard you were doing an acoustic set earlier on in the press tent for a TV broadcast....

No... We did an acoustic set once and it was such a fail that we said we're never ever going to say yes to an acoustic show again 'cos the one thing we're not is acoustic - we do loud, we do big and we do electronic...

I had wanted to ask if you think it's even possible to translate Hadouken! into an acoustic...

Well, we did it and it failed and we'll never do it again unless something in the band changes, but yeah, you can't say yes to everything sometimes...

Is live performance definitely the best part of the creative process for you? Do you record with live performances in mind? Is the studio time the necessary evil to get to the touring stage? Or do you take equal pleasure in all parts...

It's weird... I think for the other four guys in the band the live thing is the pinnacle of what we do, but for me - I produce the records and I write them, and that's what I love; just sitting in the studio and making beats all day. If I could do that for the rest of my life then I would. Live, there's absolutely no doubt about it, I really really enjoy it, but I actually do prefer being in the studio. But saying that, we do now write for live, so in the studio we're really mindful of what's going to work live, and the feedback of what we get that works back from live is the direction we take now. It's a symbiotic relationship.

Two more questions.... Is there anyone else on the bill here at Rockness you're wanting to check out, are you sticking around?

Yeah, we're going to be sticking around till the end, gladly... We'll be watching The Strokes, they're important to us as a band although they don't really influence our music... and I'm really looking forward to seeing Bloody Beetroots, Chase & Status and, yeah, that's about it really

Well at least you'll be back in the tent for most of those and out of the rain... Finally, if you could do a cover of just one song, anything at all, what would you give the Hadouken! treatment to?

I'd probably go for Huey Lewis and The News 'It's Hip to Be Square' just because I really believe the sentiment of that song.

And so, would you want to try to do it or is that a purely theoretical answer?

Well we're working on it right now actually, in my head right now I'm working on it!

Rockness photos by Louise Goodliffe and Dani Frisby.

Read the Hadouken! live review here.

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