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Hilltop Hoods – “Walking Under Stars” – an interview

Submitted by on September 29, 2014 – 11:53 pmNo Comment

HillTop Hoods (USING)The well known trio from Adelaide, Australia is back with their latest studio offering “Walking Under Stars.” The new record, released in August, has been receiving critical acclaim for their musical diversity this time around. Collaborating with several artists on a variety of tracks across the album gives this new effort their most eclectic sound to date. During their North American tour, they had a stop in Toronto, so Martyr’s Devin Size took advantage of the opportunity to catch up with DJ Debris, Pressure, and MC Suffa since Martyr both talked with and saw them live back in March, 2012. This time, they were playing at the Hoxton downtown – but not before enjoying some down time at the Thompson Hotel and doing a little press in support of “Walking Under Stars.” 

DS: So this is the third studio album that you guys have released on a major label, so with that indie title far in the rear-view mirror, how do things differ now with you? How have you grown since the last album?

Pressure: The first album we released on Golden Era Records – which is the label we founded back in 2008 was “State of the Art” we dropped in 2009, then we put out “Drinking From the Sun,’ and now most recently as you know “Walking Under Stars.” 

MC Suffa: I guess this album is a little more soulful, especially considering the amount of singers we have on this album. We have people like Aaradhna, Dan Sultan and Maverick Sabre. So yeah it’s a little more soulful than “Drinking from the Sun,” but it’s still a companion piece for it, it ties in with an interlude that runs through both albums called “The Thirst.” A couple of the new tracks were actually written during the “Drinking from the Sun” recording. 

DS: I really like the fact that you guys touched on some collaborations, that’s something you haven’t done too much of before, what sparked the need for outside inspiration?

Pressure: The think the main drive for all the collaborations on the new album comes from our love of the artists’ music that we’ve worked with. Everyone we approached for the album, we approached because we are fans of and because we’re loving what they’re doing with their own music at the moment and we wanted to incorporate it on the new album.

MC Suffa: Yeah, and like with some tracks, like “Rumble Young Man, Rumble,” I wrote the hook for that and it was out of my register and out of P’s register – we just couldn’t sing it. [Laughs] But, we were determined to have that hook in there cause that’s what we heard for there so we approached Dan Sultan about that. Just little things like that.HIlltop (USING)DS: So tonight, you guys are back in Toronto in support of Walking Under Stars, how does it feel to be back for the first time since 2012?

Pressure: It’s amazing to be back in North America, and particularly Toronto, we’ve has a crazy tour so far leading up to this. This is the third to last show and we’ve just done about 20 in a row. Almost winding up!

DJ Debris: It’s our first time seeing the sun in Toronto! [Laughs.] It was a flat out blizzard last time we were here. 

DS: So talk about going forward after this tour. You guys have accomplished so much in the last five years with these last three label albums, so what’s the next step?

MC Suffa: It’s hard to say how we grow from here. We want to keep touring, coming back to North America and pounding it out. Now that we’ve sort of established a base, because that’s how we’ve always built up, through our live shows. We bring a lot of people in with that. In the short term though we’re just going to be touring hard. We were off the road for a while. Now our manager has plans – plans for me not to see my real bedroom anytime soon.  

Pressure: This is the first time we’ve done a comprehensive North American Tour as well and the vibe has been fuckin’ amazing. Just every show, so we want to keep coming back every year. 

DS: How will you guys go forward creatively now? As a group you’re always pushing boundaries, what’s the next big thing?

MC Suffa: I don’t know how we go forward creatively because we never go into the studio with a set mind set. It all happens in studio. But having said that, we have our ways about going at it, we’ve been working together for so long creating music. 

Pressure: We’ve always been creatively about making the music that we want to make – not really worrying about what’s going on in the industry or whatever or what everyone else is doing.  Hip-hop wise or other genres. We’re just making music that we’re feeling and want to make. That’s the key for us to have maintained our passion for the music. 

Interview by Devin Size, photos by Julia LoglisciHilltop & Devin (USING)

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