By Caleb Sweeting
Twenty-fourteen was a massive year for the Hilltop Hoods, some say the year of the ‘Cosby Sweater.’ From playing sold out shows overseas, to a national tour back home in Australia, no-one would blame the Hoods for saying, “Look everyone we need a break now.” But, they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down, after playing at Future Music Festival only a few weeks ago, they are now gearing up for the highly anticipated regional, Groovin the Moo festival.
I had a chance to speak with one third of the Hilltop Hoods, Suffa, who says GTM will be one “big party.”
Congratulations on ‘Walking Under Stars’ hitting platinum. Is this something you guys expected considering how powerful and deep this album is?
No we never expect anything … We are grateful when it comes to that.
Last year was a massive year for you guys. How do you find the right balance to stay motivated on the road while juggling your own personal lives and spending time with family?
The thing about touring is it’s usually in big chunks and your album is like all your writing and recording, which means you’re around home a lot and then once the album’s out you’re on the road a lot. So it sort of balances out in equal amounts, where you disappear, then you’re sort of back in large chunks as well. Like if I had a day job it’d probably work out about the same…
And it’s a lot better right?
Yeah haha. We were gone for like six months on and off, but when the next writing thing comes around I’m back here for five or six months.
You played your first Future Music Festival only a few weeks ago. Was the atmosphere different playing at an electronic, dance festival?
It was! It was obviously our first time there as a band or as punters, so it was kind of different for us. Cause the festivals we usually attend or play at, the sounds a bit more diverse. So it was interesting. It was good though the crowds were great, other artists were great and their crew was great too… We had a ball.
While Future Music was something new, Hilltops are no stranger to Groovin the Moo. What can festival-goers expect from your set this year?
Well, just more of the same… We’re trying to have a party at Groovin the Moo! You know we’ll have Plutonic Lab along, our drummer we’ll have a horn section and we are just gonna try put on a big show and hopefully everyone has fun.
Only just recently a band you are quite fond of, the Beastie Boys also celebrated a milestone of diamond status for their debut album, ‘Licensed to Ill.’ How have this trio influenced Hilltop Hoods, I mean you guys even covered ‘So What’cha Want’ on Triple J’s ‘Like A Version?’
They were a huge influence, I mean apart from showing us that three white kids can be successful making hip hop… We were huge fans of their music. ‘Licensed to Ill’ was one of the first hip hop records I ever heard. ‘Check Your Head’ changed everything when they were playing their own instruments and bringing a live element. Apart from that when I was a kid I saw them like three times live, and their live shows are a huge influence on us because there was so much energy.
So what’s next for the Hoods? Is there anyone else you’d like to collaborate with in the future? I also have my own theories… Maybe even a Hilltops documentary could be on the cards?
Another DVD could be on the cards, a new album is always on the cards, we’re always working towards the next album. Obviously we are going to have a bit of time in-between now and then because we want to fall back into the studio. As far as collabs go, we have a lot that we are working on at the moment. In-between projects we always sort of work with friends and other like-minded artists. We’re working with Drapht on his album, we’re working with a track for K21’s album… Yeah we’re putting in a lot of work, apart from the mix-tape that’s coming out and the re-mix EP we’re doing.
Hilltop Hoods will be playing at Groovin the Moo, Oakbank on Saturday the 25th of April. Tickets to the festival are still available via - www.moshtix.com.au