The RingMaster Review makes its first exploration of the root and blues styled sound of British rock and roll troubadours Hooby and the Yabbit with band founder Ian Hawkins…
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?
So Hi I am Ian, song writer and band leader, Lee on the bass, and Matt on the drums –at least for this week. It got started in my head in about 1991 but don’t tell anyone. I can be a bit slow you know.
Have you been/are involved in other bands? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?
Well I have played in more bands than most folks have had breakfasts…yes I think definitely. I have worked with a fine variety of guitar players over the years and I think that’s why I changed from bass to guitar to front this project
What inspired the band name?
Two of my daughter’s cuddly toys are the short answer. I decided they should have an adventure.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
I thought there wasn’t enough rock n roll in the world!
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
This is our first release, but the songs are old now. The new stuff is different for sure, perhaps more sophisticated, and I’ve developed the acoustic part of our sound
Do you find the growth of the band, its sound etc. has been more of an organic movement of sound or deliberately wanting to try new things?
Organic I’d say.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?
OK – The Blues Brothers, you might laugh, but check out where those songs came from, it’s a doorway to an education. We also love a bit of rock, AC/DC, Zeppelin, or Neil Young. We’re not from just one background; I think you’d hear that if you listen to it
Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?
Nah not really, they just sort of happen.
Where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs from?
People, life, injustice, family, love, sex or just random emotional outbursts.
Give us some background to that first release you touched on earlier.
Mostly it’s me in the studio as the band didn’t exist then. Some friends of mine helped with harmonica and saxophone. It’s for late night listening I think, apart from the last song. Put this on next time you’re feeling a bit mental
How about its themes and stories behind songs?
Girls, booze and politics; Guitars and boogie…the songs are meant to be played live I think.
Are you an artist who goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
This release is the former. In future I hope more of the latter. It’s just more fun
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a major favourite aspect of the band?
Sporadic really…Looking forward to more of this. It’s a rock n roll show, and it’s fun. Bring your dancing shoes.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?
Locally there is stuff to do but its limited. You have to get out of Dodge really…Simple as that.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success, people illegally downloading etc. or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?
Well just the fact you’re asking me that is a thing, yes? I mean you never heard of me before and I never heard of you but here we are talking. That’s got to be a good thing in itself. People have streamed our music all over the world now and that’s in no small way thanks to interviews like this. Maybe in the future we might make recordings that only sell a couple of hundred around the world but that’s a much more positive thing than having something to say and getting no further than making a demo tape that only your friends heard, like it was when I started out.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Everything you ever suspected is true. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. And be nice to your mum. Peace.
Pete RingMaster 18/09/2019
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