I Heart Hiroshima are one of many Australian bands operating on independent labels who distribute through major companies (In their case MGM), funding releases from touring, merchandise and hopefully previous releases. It’s a model that their label ‘boss’ Paul Curtis believes is a template for the future, he’s a man who’s brain I intend to pick more of in the near future…
In the meantime, back to the band.
How and why did you decide to form a band?
It wasn’t really a matter of “deciding”, it just sort of happened. Two friends starting playing guitar together for fun, a drummer (myself) happened to be hanging around and it seemed a natural progression to make songs together. Purely out of the fun of making music together.
What's the name about? Is it some sort of anti nuclear / war irony, or do you really just like Hiroshima...?
I can tell you straight out that it has no underlying war theme at all. I’m afraid we just ain’t that political. I will, however, answer three times. But only one will be the true answer. Can you guess which is fact and which are fiction?
ANSWER AT END OF INTERVIEW!
- Once upon a time Susie was lying in a park trying to think of a name. She thought writing hearts like this à ‘<3’ was cool. She liked alliteration and words that rolled of the tongue. “I heart Hiroshima” happened to be one of those phrases that rolled of the tongue. Nothin’ fancy.
- Someone once sent a postcard to me that featured a Polar Bear wearing a “double-pluggers”. Said slogan was emblazoned across his t-shirt. This was too epic to deny it the right as our band name! Pure - pardon the pun – “Engrish” at it’s best.
- It was the title of a beautiful National Geographic article about the city. Straight Up.
Is there a Brisbane sound when it comes to "Indie Rock", that bright, clean, jagged sheen seems to occur in a lot of Brisbane bands?
Really? Damn, I haven’t noticed!! I don’t think there is a particular sound that can embody the “indie scene” in Brisbane…. or maybe there is but because I feel somewhat involved and connected to it, it is just too hard to point out.
As far as I can tell, you only have a distro deal, how do you sustain touring and a musical career?
We recently played our 100th show. That was pretty much over a period of 18 months, so that averages out to over one show per week. So I think by playing a lot, and earning cash from the shows we have been able to continue things pretty steadily. Everything that the band makes from merch/shows etc is re-invested straight back into the band. Paying for things like merch printing/sound engineers/flights/hire cars etc etc etc. There’s no money in the band members pockets yet though, sniffle. I’m hoping by this time next year I’ll be rollin’ in a badass stretch limo Hummer. Dayum!!!! Also, as much as I wish it were, we can’t call this our career as yet. We still all have day jobs and work as much as we can in between tours so we can pay our rent.
And how did you raise your profile in the first place?
I suppose, by working really hard and playing and touring solidly since March ’06. We’ve also had a few releases to keep people interested and stimulated with us as a band. It’s been a gradual build and fingers crossed its still building. Another thing I think is the fact that we have tried to steer away from being boxed into any sort of ‘scene’ we have played with lots of diverse artist who play totally different music so it has allowed us to play to a whole bunch of different peeps.
REAL ANSWER TO BAND NAME QUESTION: number 1. Unadventurous hey?
Published in Arcady