What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Matthew: A common thread in all our early bands was the use of cardboard boxes and biscuit tins as drums! The desire to create music could not be hindered by such obstacles as not having instruments… That DIY ethic continues to drive us, though we do now have a drum kit!
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Damien: It’s a compilation of some songs from our first three EPs, plus a few new tracks we recorded. It’s getting a physical release by a new label called Subjangle – they are really nice guys and very supportive of us.
Lucy: They’re also doing a release for Super 8 at the same time as ours, and he’s done a video promo for us. It’s great to be part of a small community of like-minded people who are so keen to help each other.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Lucy: We don’t try to be political or include social commentary in our songs, but it seems that somehow we have ended up with a couple of songs with a political message on the album. Our outrage just sneaked into the writing.
Matthew: Music wise our influences are extremely diverse, but we do all share a love of Orange Juice. Edwyn’s way with a melody and a lyric is something that we all want to try and include in our songs.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Lucy: When we started writing songs, we wanted them to tell a story. There’s a few of those on the upcoming album. We set ourselves a rule that we’d completely avoid love songs…a rule we broke in spectacular fashion on our second EP which was all love songs. Of a kind at least. But they still told a tale I suppose.
Damien: Sound wise I guess you’d call our music DIY indie pop. We record our songs quickly and cheaply and try to capture the moment. We’re very democratic and of one mind about what we want our music to be. Ultimately we want to make songs that will stick on your head, move you and bring a little joy.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Damien: For me it’s studio recording all the way. We record at Matthew’s house and we have such fun doing it. They’re really magical nights. I’ve never got over the thrill of making a noise and then hearing it played back. It just sounds so blimmin good!
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Damien: I once spotted an online gig listing for a date Edwyn Collins was playing in North London, so along I went, only to find that where the venue should have been there was a restaurant. Turned out I’d missed the gig by two years.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Damien: There’s a song we’ve done but not put out yet called “Ted Wedding”. It’s about a girl who elopes with a teddy boy and is disowned by her parents. Then at the end of the song, her parents turn up in teddy boy clobber and they all dance the night away. Sounds dead cheesy when I say it, but we get away with it. It’s an earnest message of tolerance really. You could take it as a song about gay marriage. But when we do it, it has such joie de vive and good humour and it just moves! Only the Hannah Barberas would’ve done that song.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Matthew: The hope is to get the album together in the next couple of months, and then we’ll start thinking about how we want to release it. We’d love to put it out on vinyl, but wouldn’t know where to begin.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Why are you called The Hannah Barberas?
Lucy: We were going to be called Pop Quiz, after the Stereolab song, but we were never completely sure of it. Then everyone we told said it was a rubbish band name. One night we were shouting out random suggestions and I said Hanna-Barbera, as in Tom and Jerry, and the others were like “Yeah! That’s ace!” Now it’s hard to imagine us being called anything else.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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