The State Of Music: Part 4: Vermont - Hello Shark
The man who built this website currently resides in Vermont. His name is Dan, he has a company called Madlab Design and is also a very nice chap. That is about all I know about this North Eastern state - that a nice guy called Dan lives there....and that its a big ski resort, which most likely counts me out as a visitor. I worry about breaking my leg just watching the sport.
Indeed my quest for truth hit a block even further when I asked for Vermont facts on my Twitter account. Indeed, the only fact given to me was by @fatfish59 who told me he has a jar of sweet mustard bought from the Vermont Country Store in the back of his cupboard.
The state does appear to have an abundance of good bands though - the best of which I am very honoured to have on Choose My Music
Downbeat music maybe, but there is always something wonderful about bands who can bring out the melon collie in the right way. It's a difficult skill but it is one that Vermont's Hello Shark does so well.
As we are at the end of British Summer Time here in the UK, I imagine this album is one I will be listening to as the early nights draw in as I make my way to the local shop to by milk for my hot chocolate wrapped up in my winter coat. Lovely!
As usual, you can listen to Hello Shark's album 'Break Arms' below, and while you do that why not have a little read of my interview with vocalist/guitarist and Hello Shark's main man Linc Halloran
CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. Could you give us a personnel check of Hello Shark and how long you have been together.
LH: Hello Shark has been a making music since 2006. The band has ranged from an eight piece ensemble to just myself. Right now Alex plays drums, Sean plays bass guitar, I sing and play electric guitar, and Brooke sings sometimes.
CMM: How did Hello Shark get started?
LH: Hello Shark got started when I was 17 and moved to northern Vermont. I didn’t have any friends except for a boy named Shay Roselip who was staying in a cabin in the middle of the woods with two lovely dogs. He had a room filled of tape recorders and we recorded an album called Book Lungs throughout the long winter. I started performing that spring more often in peoples houses around New York and Boston and the album was picked up and released. Since then I have been hooked on writing songs and touring.
CMM: How best would you describe your music?
LH: I would say Lo-Fi Pop. Most people would say “Miserable Pop”
CMM: You are based out in Vermont. How would you describe your state and what is the live scene like out there?
LH: There is a late bohemian bluegrass craze in this state, last grip on the death of Phish, and a crusty karaoke basement scene.
CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their location. Do you feel as a band you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?
LH: No. This is just one of those places where people are positive. I like when you walk into town and everyone looks content and happy. Lots of cities are hectic and upsetting to me when I stay too long. I like living here. It is also one of those places that is really easy to hitchhike.
CMM: What other influences does the band have, musical or otherwise?
LH: Alex listens to lots of early 90’s rock and punk. Sean listens to lots of current rap, Pop songs, and old Phil Spector produced songs. I listen to lots of folk songs. Favorites are Thanksgiving, Silver Jews, and Melanie.
CMM: You are signed to Burst and Bloom Records based in New Hampshire, how did that relationship come about?
LH: I was visiting family in the area one summer and was asked if I was interested in recording some songs at their studio. That fall and winter we would drive down from Vermont and record a song or two each visit.
CMM: I am aware at the time of writing this you are currently out on tour. How does playing different states differ from your own and do you have a favorite state you like to play in?
LH: Every state around the country has a handful of venues that are similar. Just like in Vermont different areas have spaces that come and go. You travel through cities and most of the time you will play an abandoned building, basement, or gallery that didn’t exist when you were there six months before.
CMM: Your Break Arms album has recently been released, how has it been received?
LH: Very Well
CMM: What is next for Hello Shark?
LH: We are doing a few small tours around New England and Montreal this fall and winter. Surfing on the coast and writing.
CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?