Flyer Profile: Jeremy Pratchard

If you haven’t noticed, the Hog Wild Band at the Razorback Basketball games has increased it’s awesome factor by about 1000 this year. They added a guitar and a bass player, a bunch of new songs, and have started doing some really intimidating new chants this year. As if opposing teams need any more reason to fear Bud Walton Arena.

We got in touch with new band director Jeremy Pratchard today to find out a little more about what’s behind the resurgence of the Hog Wild Band, and just who this new guy is that is leading the craziness over there.

Fayetteville Flyer: So, what have you been listening to lately?
Jeremy Pratchard: A lot of different stuff. Relating to the Hogwild Band, I’ve been listening to everything from rock to hip hop… Red Hot Chili Peppers to My Chemical Romance to Lil Wayne. Some great “older” stuff too like Jimi Hendrix and Parliament-Funkadelic (P-Funk.) LOTS OF DIFFERENT STUFF.

FF: Where are you from?

FF: So, we noticed early on that you guys have made some serious changes to the Hogwild Band this year, we think for the better. First of all- you guys added a guitar and a bass player this year. (Awesome) How does this addition open up new possibilities for what the Hogwild Band can do?
JP: It serves to further enhance the sound of the band a “somewhat,” but the biggest thing it gives us is more flexibility to do some things. It adds another depth to our sound and gives us a wider range of possibilities with our tune selection.

FF: You guys have also added some new chants that could be really intimidating to opposing teams in BWA if we could just get everyone on board. We really like the free throw chant. Boom.Chx chx. Boom. MISS! How’d you come up with that one?
JP: Those chants have all come from one of the first charges I gave this year’s band: GET INVOLVED AND GET CRAZY. Our job does not solely exist in what we do with our instruments. My goal for this band is for them to continually be involved in the game, whether we’re in a playing situation or not. This means that when it’s a dead ball and we can play, they are going all out and doing their absolute best to perform and put on an entertaining show. When the game is in progress and the ball is in play, they are doing their best to cheer and keep the crowd pumped up. This means watching for things that happen on the court and reacting to them quickly. So the chant stuff just springs from that— Needing to have something to add to every possible scenario that might occur.

My two current favorites are the “MISS” cheer during opposing free throws and the old school “LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT!” thing as an opposing player that has fouled out heads to the bench. Good stuff.

FF: We like that one too! You guys have thrown in some new songs to the lineup this year as well. (Paint it Black? Yes!) What are some of your favorites?
JP: Oh man. They’re all my favorites! I can’t think of any that I like more than another. I’ll just list off a few:
Paint It Black, you mentioned.
Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance
Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with That (By Robert Randolph and the Family Band… you gotta look these guys up on YouTube!)
Battle Without Honor or Humanity (from the Kill Bill soundtrack)
Viva la Vida by Coldplay

That’s just to name a few. Of course I love everyone’s old favorites too: The Fight Song and Hard to be Humble…

FF: The atmosphere at BWA during the Oklahoma game was awesome last week. How can we get the crowd more involved like that more often?
JP: It isn’t hard. Hog fans WANT to get crazy for their team- that’s as much a tradition around here as anything else. Hopefully the crowd enjoys the energy the band and cheerleaders are putting out and feels compelled to join in. That’s what it’s all about, ultimately.

FF: Ever heard of a guy named Jim Robken?
JP:Absolutely. I had a chance to visit with him when all of the former UA band directors returned in 2006 for the Razorback Marching Band Sudler Trophy Presentation and I can see why he was able to do the job he did while he was here. He’s a very captivating and charismatic person. Great guy.

FF: The band seems to be having a blast this year under your leadership. Are you guys having as much fun as it looks like you are having?

FF: What are your expectations for the basketball team this year? Think we’ll make the big dance?
JP: I think this team is going to over achieve in a big way this year. I’m predicting Big Dance for sure. Look for some big noise in Tampa, too.

FF: So, how much are you guys gonna rock tonight at the Texas game?

Hey, win or lose the Hogwild Band is going to cut loose and have a good time FROM BEGINNING TO END.