Hockey @ The Great Escape

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Daniel Fahey | 18 May 2009

The Portland band, who played as part of Levi’s ‘Ones To Watch’ showcase at Audio on Brighton seafront, tore the roof down at Hector’s House on the opening day of the festival and topped our top ten new bands to see at Camden Crawl – so ‘ones to watch’ seems an entirely apt title for them.

Their recent single ‘Too Fake’ received rave reviews, and while their album, ‘Mind Chaos’ may not be out until August, their festival schedule for 2009 means you’ll likely to have heard most of it by the end of the summer anyway.

But if you can’t wait until then, click here to visit Hockey’s MySpace.

Virtual Festivals: How was your first show at The Great Escape?
Anthony Stassi: “It was awesome, it was our only gig down here. It was at Hector’s House and it was really awesome. We played quite late at night and it went off really well and people were dancing on tables and stuff.”

VF: How’s the reaction been to you in the UK?

Brian White: "It’s progressed and this is our third trip over here and it’s getting better and better.”

VF: Are you looking forward to tonight’s gig?

BW: “Yes definitely.”
AS: “We’re playing with a band called The Soft Pack, who are another band from the States, who are absolutely awesome.”

VF: Is there any other bands playing that you can recommend this weekend? Is there anybody you want to catch?

AS: “Gang Of Four, The Heartless Bastards.”
BW: “Chairlift and The Soft Pack.”

VF: What is the best festival performance you’ve seen over the last ten years?

AS: “Me and this guy [points to Bryan] saw Arcade Fire before they broke or started to blow up at Sasquatch in the United State in the Washington State. It was the most talked about performance that weekend and they were on at about one o’clock in the middle of the day and they just absolutely killed it and everyone was talking about it and everyone knew about them.”

VF: And what about at the other end of the scale, what is the worst performance you’ve seen at a festival?

AS: “We played the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks in the States and Justice headlined and it was pretty underwhelming.”

VF: In what way?
AS: “It was just really cold and there was about a quarter of the amphitheatre full – so there was barely anybody there and nobody was dancing and nobody was really interested, so it was underwhelming even though people were hyped to see them.”

VF: What’s the strangest thing to happen to you at a festival?
BW: “We played a house party after a festival gig that was very unattended in Seattle. There were five people at this festival party, they said: ‘hey come play our house,’ and we were like ‘yeah okay.’ We showed up and it was a suspension party where people hang themselves from their back skins with meat hooks. So while we were playing there were couples swinging from these devices that take over half the size of the room, these 10 by 10 structures. A guy had flown in from Utah to do the surgery to inset the hooks and he fainted [points at Anthony].”
AS: “It was fucked up.”
BW: “Everyone was super nice, they weren’t really gothic or dark. It was really interesting, I’d say that was the oddest thing that ever happened.”

VF: What is your festival essential?
AS: “We’ve not really played a festival. We’ve played Monolith Festival in Red Rocks and that is the only one we’ve ever done.”

VF: What about as a punter?
AS: “Me and this guy have been going to Sasquatch because we met and live together only two hours away for Saquatch in Washington State. So we went every year and always had an awesome time and camped and stuff. We got really drunk. We’re playing there in about a week which is quite a big deal, this time we’re going, but we’re going to play.”

VF: What other UK festivals have you got lined up this year?

BW: “We’ve got a lot coming up, we’re playing nearly all the major festivals.”

VF: Are you doing Glastonbury and Reading?
BW: “Yeah and T In the Park, Oxegen.”

VF: And which ones are you most looking forward to playing?

BW: “I’m looking to play Germany, we’re playing the Rock Am Ring festival. I have family in Germany and we haven’t yet gone to Europe.”
AS: “And we’re also playing Hove Festival in Norway and I think The Mars Volta and Fleet Foxes are playing that. We’re playing on the main stage right before Fleet Foxes, so it’s going to be awesome.”

VF: Who else do you recommend seeing the coming year?
AS: “I recommend seeing The Soft Pack.”

VF: Them again. Are these mates of yours?
AS: “More or less, we’ve met, but there are really awesome, they used to be called The Muslims. They’re a really good band.”
BW: “I’m really looking forward to seeing The Killers and Kings Of Leon, I know it’s clichéd or whatever and I think they’re heading T In The Park and Oxegen. The Killers are playing Hove Festival too and I think they’re playing Rock Am Ring. I’ve never seen them live and they’re so big over here they must put on a great show.”

VF: With the current economic climate, do you have any money saving tips?
AS: “No we’re idiots. I buy silly jackets like this one [points at a burgundy Native American type jacket].”
BW: “Vacations are now a no-no, vacations are now turned into camping trips. Cheap beer, less going out. I don’t know, but we’ll get through it – that’s our motto.”

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