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Kristian Hopes (Grinspoon Interview)

Grinspoon are making there way north later in the year to play at Brothers Leagues Club here in Cairns on Friday the 26th of November and their Drummer Kristian Hopes took some time out from his last day off in Brisbane to talk to The Cairns Review about their upcoming tour and a few other things along the way.

Hi Kristian where are we talking to you today and what are you up to?
I am in Brisbane today, it’s a beautiful day I am home for another day before we go off on tour tomorrow where we hit Victoria for a week and South Australia for a week after that.

Grinspoon is a festival stalwart what can punters expect from a Grinspoon stand alone show?

I think we pretty much deliver a similar sort of show that we do at Festivals, we have been doing it for a long time and a lot of our Queensland fans would have got along to a club show so they know what to expect…we bring the party vibe most of the time very one has a good time.

We’ll be playing the current set that we are playing now which has a sprinkling of older songs, we are actually playing a lot of songs we haven’t played in a while and a fair bit of six to midnight, we have just done a month going up through northern NSW and down to Tasmania and a few other joints and it’s been going pretty well and everyone seems to be linking the set we are playing at the moment.

We kind of put it out there on Facebook to ask the fans what they wanted to hear so we selected a few of the old tracks that fans suggested they wanted to hear.

We have had a couple of bands supporting us. We have had a band called Amy Meredith who has a song out in the top 40 at the moment they are sort of young kids kind of pop more than rock music and they have been going down pretty well. The band that have done most of the shows the Snowdroplets have been great they play kind of hill billy rock n roll, they all have big beards and they are just cool dudes and they put on a really cool live show and they have been great to have on the road to warm up the crowd for us and we will be brining those guys up to Cairns with us so it should be a fun little tour.

We have done a fair bit of touring, we just finished a month worth of touring about a week ago and we were playing 5-6 nights a week so we are pretty conditioned to that sort of thing so once you get out there and you sort of get into we thrive on in, it’s about live for us and we like it out there

What's the best thing about being a musician?
All of it, it’s a great lifestyle and we get to do a fair bit of travelling and we all love what we do.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
We all have families and the travel and all that is good but you are away for a lot of the year and that can get to you a little bit but you come home for a few weeks and you are ready to go again, it’s just part and parcel of what we do.

If you could record with any musician alive or dead who would it be?
Hendrix, he would be the one. That would be a pretty wild experience, I am a pretty big fan and it would have been wild times when he was around.

What’s the funniest thing to happen on tour?
We were playing in the states about ten years ago and we were playing in ca club called cbgb’s and it was the last night of a six month tour and me and our guitar player just started drinking a little early and we got a bit carried away and I fell off my stool and off the back of the stage in the middle of the song…it is such a famous bar for live music bands like Pearl jam Played there when they were playing their first shows in New York massive acts have played there, it’s just a dingy little rock n roll bar there are a few like it in LA and scattered all over the states, I think we did three nights there and it smells like rock n roll in there.

What’s the worst thing that has ever happened on tour?
We had all our gear ripped off in New York from our Van we had to cancel some shows and that kind of sucked a bit but probably the worst thing was we were traveling through Portland on the way to Canada and our bus got shot at that was pretty bad we were asleep at the time on the bus and we woke up in the morning and there were bullet holes through the bus so that was pretty scary.

Favourite Travel destination and why?
I am a Queenslander and I live in Queensland and I tend to travel around Queensland when I have time off. I tend to not travel too far from home as we get to see all corners of the earth with the band and when we are off tour I like to holiday locally.

Any advice for young musicians trying to break into the record industry?
The best advice we were ever given by our first manager was just write as many songs as possible that keeps the morale going in the band while you are out there trying to seek out opportunities the more songs you are writing the fresher the band is you end up with more staying power because your band is more current and there is always  a good vibe around when you are getting knock backs and things like that that could crush a band you have got to have a thick skin and push the music as far as it can go.

Any moves on a new album?
Phil has just got back from Singapore and he has been over there writing with a friend of ours and I think early next year Jan/Feb. we are going to start demoing some songs and getting ready  to record a new album….we all have studios in our houses we all kind of work on things there and we have sharpened up the material we kind of hire a house where we started the band in Byron Bay and we all live together for a month and bring in a mobile recording studio there and then once we have demoed all the material we then look at hiring a studio. The studio kind of always changes but the formula kind of stays the same that’s the way we like to do it and it works for us.

You have signature sticks now is that every young drummers dream?
I guess it is every drummers dream, I was really stoked when the company approached me to ask me to endorse the drumsticks and you know it’s just another thing that I don’t have to pay for, drums are expensive especially when you start it gets a little easier when you become more successful because companies want to align themselves with you all my endorsements have been great for me and it’s a pretty cool thing to have.

How do you think the internet has changed the music industry?
I think it gives you closer contact with your fans, you can have running conversations with them and easier access for fans to make contact with the band it is only a good thing it just means you have to move with the times of social networking and downloading, you need to stay on the ball and the fans are pretty good at directing you at what needs to happen.


Grinspoon play at Brothers Leagues Club Cairns on Friday 26th November tickets $37 presale or $42 at the door

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