23 May 2013

Video Premiere + Interview: Robby Hunter Band – Hard on Me

posted by: Arjun Artists' Choices and Voices | Interviews | New Music Daily
New Robby Hunter Band!

There are so many bands on the cusp of success; some bands make it, some bands don’t. For a band to make it, they need to have their ducks in a row and um, all of their eggs in one basket. Robby Hunter Band has done these things–not recklessly but quietly and methodically. Their music is beach-tinged, summer heaven with hints of Caribbean flare. The video below is funny and self-aware and right in time for the season of the sun. This is music for you to zone out to with a Corona and lime, a bathing suit, and the girl of your dreams. Check it out, and err… dibs on the model in the video.

Hit the jump to read our exclusive interview with the guys where we talk about whether they have ever fought over a girl in real life, what artists they think should be more popular, and future plans for the band.

First of all, where did the idea for the video come from? I think it’s hilarious. Have you guys ever actually fought over the same girl?

[John:] Actually, the video is semi­inspired by real events, which even involve the video model, who is an old friend of ours. So in the past, me and two buddies have all separately pursued her, to no avail. As a matter of fact, when we shot the single cover art a year later, the only people there were her, Robby, the photographers, and the three of us. Robby couldn’t help but retell over and over of ‘the three excitable little kids going to see the pretty model­lady.’ It didn’t necessarily affect the band, but it provided me and director Jordan Stavrev with a fair amount of ideas for the video.

The video looks really high quality. How did an indie band manage that, and what advice would you give to bands in similar situations?

[Robby:] Beginner’s luck mostly. It really begins with the addition of Spencer Bateman. We first met Spence while playing at the Barracuda Bar on his birthday. He was wearing this ridiculous plastic crown, out partying with his buddies, and he ended up really digging the band. He approached us, and, ba­da­boom, here we are on his artist management roster New World Music Group. One of the best promotional perks of working with NWMG is that Jordan, who also made the video for our last single “Corazon,” is their go to guy for music videos, and he’s just brilliant. He works with Gil Green on Lil’ Wayne, Jay-­Z, Outkast, Ghostwridah videos. It’s funny; both he and Annie, our video model, had actually been unknowingly working together on the last J. ­Lo video set a few days before the shoot for “Hard On Me.” Crazy. But as for advice for other bands, I played in the same bar for five years before our mystical manager appeared in the moonlight. There are no guarantees. Never give up. You can’t fail if you never quit.

The wigs and facial hair in the video are the best. Sorry, that’s not a question.

[John:] We nearly killed ourselves getting all the wigs and props together. Lifeguard equipment got sent to Connecticut on accident. There were only rollerskates two sizes too small for Pat. And it turns out there are fifty different genres of mullet wigs on the internet. But yeah, that’s not really an answer either.

When I first posted your music, I compared “Corazon” to L’Homme Run. They were like an early form of Vampire Weekend and sort of have a cult following on the Internet. Anyway, I loved their music, and in a way you kind of fulfilled my dream of more songs from them. Have you previously heard of L’Homme Run? Have you listened to Vampire Weekend’s new album? If so, what do you think of it?

[Pat:] First off, this is extremely flattering. We LOVE Vampire Weekend and cover a couple of their tunes live quite often. Not gonna lie, I had to look up L’Homme Run after reading the review, and I definitely regret not having heard the seed of Vampire Weekend sooner. They are consummate songwriters who draw from a unique, sophisticated sonic palette, and this last record expands on all that. They’re definitely one of the artists that have helped inform our production instincts… our inclusion of synths, distorted snares, etc. I’m pretty sure that, in addition to their music­making, they’re much smarter people than we’ll ever be, too. I appreciate the comparison.

It’s evident listening to your music that you draw inspiration from a wide range of sources. What combination of things sort of shape your sound?

[Pat:] I think we pretty much move from binge to binge as far as how we take in new music. Lately, we’ve been obsessed with Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange and a group of leaked Jai Paul bootlegs. There’s a lot that inspires us but leaves a less obvious trace in our sound like J Dilla and boatloads of other old school hip hop stuff. Some more overt influences I guess would be Cake, Spoon, The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime… Micheal Bolton… Enya… pretty much anything off of Pure Moods ’94.

Is there an artist you’ve recently discovered that you think could/should be more popular than they currently are?

[Robby:] Ghostwridah drops the highly anticipated “Flu Game” in a couple weeks. If you haven’t listened to this guy and you dig underground hip hop, you need to check him out! Anyone else I could recommend is already extremely popular in certain circles. However, if you haven’t checked out Jamie Lidell’s new self­ titled album, I have it on repeat throughout most of my day. Also, James Blake is a beast, Empire of the Sun have a new album coming out in June entitled Ice on the Dune, and of course, everybody is waiting for Kanye’s new album Yeezus to drop.

[Pat:] Definitely, there are a lot of artists on an upward trajectory right now that I hope continue to blow up… Chance The Rapper, Joey Bada$$, Hiatus Kaiyote, Jai Paul… just to name a few.

[John:] Up in New York there’s this afrobeat band EMEFE that’s really hot. The keyboard player’s a good friend of mine, and they’re definitely making next ­level music. Also, Pat [from the band] produces for The Politix here in Miami, and those guys are all killin’ musicians.

Your SoundCloud profile says that Robby was playing on the street until a cop told him to “leave or play in a real bar.” Is that true? What happened next? How did the band meet?

[Robby:] This is true. I was busking on the street corner for a year, stealing electricity. I would climb up an awning, plug in, and play for the UMiami 20-­somethings. And sometimes I’d draw huge crowds, looping beatbox and covering jams, a lot of which were unusual hip hop songs, but the cops shut me down. I ultimately found sanctuary at the Barracuda Bar where, over the years, I tried multiple band lineups until settling on these two upstanding citizens and myself. I’m lucky to have a drummer that also handles the production in­house and a bassist with a ridiculous knack for PR. These guys are the essential ingredients to the Robby Hunter Band, and the crème de la crème of the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

What can we expect from RHB by the end of the year?

[John:] We’ve got this album were working on, tentatively called Magic City Hippies. Once the album drops sometime mid­summer, we’ll be on the road all over and releasing singles and videos and quirky shirt designs and hopefully living the dream.

We’d like to thank the Robby Hunter Band for agreeing to do the interview/premiere, and Spencer Bateman from New World Music Group for setting all of it up. Best of luck on the rest of your year!


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