Interview: The Hush Sound talk about their reunion, new music and selling soap

October 12, 2012 by Matthew Colwell

Interview: The Hush Sound talk about their reunion, new music and selling soap

Rising alongside fellow Fueled By Ramen acts like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco in the mid-2000s, THE HUSH SOUND steadily climbed into every teenager’s heart with their upbeat indie-pop and frontwoman GRETA SALPETER’s heart-on-her-sleeve lyrics. After the band went “on vacation” in April 2009, the members formed other bands like Gold Motel and Debate Team. After sporadically playing a few shows since their initial “vacation,” the Hush Sound are headed out on a mini-tour through the Midwest. AP caught up with Salpeter and guitarist BOB MORRIS to chat about the specifics of their reunion (well, we’ll hear their thoughts on that word in a bit) becoming adults, pop music and selling soap.

The Hush Sound played a few shows in 2010, earlier this year and now you’re out on a mini tour. What exactly is going on with The Hush Sound?
BOB MORRIS: We played those two nights at the Bottom Lounge [in Chicago this year], and it was extremely fun and reinvigorated the spirit of the band. We saw how much people cared and how much it meant to them. Those shows made us realize we have this thing that is capable of creating such joy and we wanted to investigate what could happen with it. We started slowly wading into it, and pretty soon we just decided we should make new music.

GRETA SALPETER: We’ve definitely been taking it one step at a time, keeping everything super-natural—well not supernatural: super-natural. In August, Bob and I got together to write for the first time and within an hour, we wrote what we think is one of our strongest songs. At this point, we have eight or nine songs, and we’re hoping to record an EP this winter to release next year. We have new attitudes and new excitement about all of this.

With four years since the last Hush Sound record, what’s the new music sound like? What’s changed?
MORRIS: We’ve grown in a lot of ways. We’re not trying to put any boxes on what we’re making. I think the goal is to make really true music. If the truth is a little different now, then it’s a little different.
SALPETER: The truth is a lot more pop, now.
MORRIS: I think people are going to be like, “Wow, this is exciting.” I liken it to when In Reverie came out by Saves the Day or Deja Entendu by Brand New. Not that we sound like that, but as far as that “growth” of the band’s sound. That was when I was in high school, and I had followed Saves The Day from Can’t Slow Down, Through Being Cool and Stay What You Are, and then all of a sudden they came out with In Reverie and it made me grow up. I don’t know if we’re trying to make anyone do anything; we’re just trying to make really good music, and so far, it’s working really well. When we used to go into albums, we would have like four-and-a-half songs written, and now we have 30 songs floating around between us. It’s cool to be able to pick and choose the direction we’re going to go, instead of being relegated to the amount of half ideas we could come up with and finish.

Greta, you said it’s poppier. Can you expand on that?
SALPETER: Everything has started with the melody and the beat. A lot of our songs used to start with lyrics because I’d be bored in class, so I’d sit and write all the lyrics before actually arranging the song. These songs have just started with the most visceral elements. It starts with the groove and melody, and then we fill everything else into that puzzle. Because of that, I feel like these are a lot stronger.

MORRIS: Being a little more mature and competent at writing, we can fill the lyrics in a way that fit and add to it instead of making it a song on top of a poem. It’s cool to work the other way around.

So how do you define what is going on with the Hush Sound? Is this a full-on reunion this time?
SALPETER: [Laughs.] I mean, technically, we never broke up. It sounds silly, but the reason we said we’re going on an indefinite hiatus is because we were all like, “We don’t want to do this right this moment, but we might eventually.” We never want to be one of those bands who are like, “We broke up. We’re back together. We broke up. We’re back together.” We’re probably going to be playing in this band forever, and now is just the time to reignite it.

MORRIS: When we did the band [originally], we were so young. You start to grow up and see you need to make things happen in life to be an adult and to be a human. In my mind, I didn’t know that [the Hush Sound] could possibly happen again. As time went on, I was like, “Oh, we probably won’t do the Hush Sound again.” For me, those Bottom Lounge shows really invigorated me to say, “Hey, I really enjoy playing with these people. I really enjoy being around them, and it’s cool that we’re all getting the opportunity to do that again.” 

There’s definitely something to be said about a band having some time away to grow up. When So Sudden came out in 2005, Greta was 17.
SALPETER: Yeah, we were so busy, burned out and exhausted [when we first split]. Putting a bunch of kids in a van for 10 months a year is hard. I remember Bob and I once got in this screaming match about my vegetables taking up too much room in the tour bus refrigerator. That stuff is so laughable now, but can illustrate how on-edge we were. We’re excited to do this with clear heads and actually enjoy it and connect with people the right way.
MORRIS: And organic vegetables are much smaller!

So if you had a soapbox to talk about this reunion—er, continuance—what do you want people to know?
SALPETER: I’m selling great soap out of this box. It’s only $5 a bar.
MORRIS: I think we just let the music dictate itself. We’re just excited to go play music and show people what we’re doing now.
SALPETER: For real, though, I feel like these are the songs we always should have written, so on my soapbox, I’m just saying, “Hey, come join this party.”

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