Flyer Profile: Hermit Thrushes

As a musician, the worst question you can get asked by someone is “What kind of band are you?” What they’re wanting is a one or two word answer like “Country” or “Rock” or “Metal” but when multiple people with multiple influences get together to write songs, rarely does the sound that comes out fall into such a simplistic category.

This holds especially true if your band is Hermit Thrushes from Philadelphia. The most common fallback for describing a band like Hermit Thrushes is probably “avant-garde” or “experimental” but I prefer the following from their Sonicbids page:

Bizarre, happy & truly frightening pop music performed by a frenzied rainbow.

These guys are playing a house show tonight at The New Deli along with Pygmylush, Thank God, and Fayetteville’s Zombie Dice.

In preparation for the show, we sent over an interview for a Flyer Profile. In reading their answers, we were sort of confused at first until we realized that they’d changed all of our questions. Maybe it was the drummer, Sam, who we originally corresponded with or maybe it was Yianni, who seems to have been the one tasked with answering them. Some of them were only slightly altered. Others were completely reworked.

In other words, what you’re about to read is either Hermit Thrushes interviewing Hermit Thrushes or Hermit Thrushes’ interpretation of the Fayetteville Flyer’s interview of Hermit Thrushes. Either way, fair enough.

What have you been eating lately?
None of your beezwax.

What do you think of Arkansas?
I’ve never been there but I’ve defended it to a bunch of stuffy Yanks so it had better kick ass.

Do you think Jesus was a real man or a metaphorical embodiment of “doing the right thing”?
What? Who cares.

What’s in your CD player right now? Everything except rap and country?
Seriously? We listen to mostly bagpipe music. Scottish highland, balkan tsambouna, Moroccan, etc.

Philly seems great. Is it?
Absolutely. It’s a great place to live and hear good music. The following Philly bands are worth a listen: Reading Rainbow, Power Animal, Drums Like Machine Guns, Rad Racket, Popo, My Mind, The Extraordinaires, etc.

For the edification of 12 year-olds and/or people that never had parents or a car made before 1995, what is a “cassette tape.”
A cassette tape is a trashy, disposable plastic case housing magnetic tape that can be encoded with sounds. We have a cassette tape split with Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk from Kansas. We chose this particularly crummy sounding medium for release to cover up all the mistakes we made.

What hot new recording studio do you lay down your trax?
We recorded “Benaki” and our soon-to-be-released album “Slight Fountain” (Joyful Noise Recordings/Slipshod Mucus Kiss) at Castle Gay in Philly.

Which one of you guys takes your pants off in public?
Our drummer has a serious illness that causes him to continually feel a sense of extreme discorporation and at the event in question, he thought he was in the Bahamas and not waving his white thighs at a Village Voice reporter.

I heard your live show features PCP-induced heroism, Chinese acrobatics and shadow puppet theatre. How high can you kick?
Let’s just put it this way, I won three consecutive high-kicking competitions during a show/party at the last Flower Shoppe show in Chicago.

What’s your deal? Do you do anything outside of making noise?
When we’re not playing with Hermit Thrushes, we all play in a band called Folklore. Our guitarist plays songs under the name Snowcaps. Our drummer sometimes plays in Mose Giganticus.

[UPDATE: Tune in to KXUA 88.3FM tonight (3/16/09) from 6 to 8pm for the Monday night feature show with guests Hermit Thrushes]

Click below to hear “Fourth” by Hermit Thrushes