Interview: Hockey Dad will be the band of 2018

Words by Brett Pike

 Photo Credit: Joseph Crackett

Photo Credit: Joseph Crackett

Does lightning strike twice in the same place? Should you go swimming straight after eating? Is it alright to eat cheese before noon? The answer to all these is a resounding yes, including the fact that Hockey Dad is set for a f***ing massive 2018 both at home and abroad.

For Hockey Dad, 2017 has been arguably their big break. Having dropped their debut LP Boronia the previous year, the duo backed it up by touring the United States twice, touring across Europe, they supported Dune Rats on a massive four-pronged line-up including the likes of WAVVES and WAAX, knocked out a huge set in the amphitheatre at Splendour In The Grass and somehow managed to find time to write and record their follow up LP, Blend Inn.

Recorded in Seattle with the renowned producer John Goodmanson - having previously recorded for the likes of Bikini Kill, Soundgarden, Hanson (need we say more?) - Blend Inn is an ode to the life on the road and growing up away from your roots, but never finding that familiarity of home. Yewth caught up with frontman Zach Stephenson to chat about their new record and what may lie on the road ahead as the band endeavour on their biggest year to date.

“Well we wanted to do it with John Goodmanson (Robert Lang Studios) and he was pretty keen for it as well so he said come up here (Seattle) with me and I’ll get a studio and we can do it all up here," Zach explains. "And we said, ‘Of course we want to do it that sounds great! Haha”.

Getting the time to record in such an iconic city of music, it's hard for your mind to not drift immediately to thoughts of Nirvana and Soundgarden, both calling Seattle and Washington State home, and collectively underneath the banner of powerhouse label Sub Pop Records

“We went out to Sub Pop the last time we were there actually. It was really great, they were super nice to us and took care of everything, they didn’t sign us though so... haha.” (Definitely a missed chance by Sub Pop if you ask us).

"There was a lot of ancient artifacts of bands who have been through there and also the last mic that Kurt Cobain recorded through which was very cool. A bit humbling and daunting at the same time. We actually used one of Death Cab For Cutie’s bass drums for the recording, so that’s on there."

Having spent so much time on the road over the past 12 months and with no signs of slowing down, plus an upcoming national tour nearly completely sold out and a whole host of UK summer dates both announced/yet to be announced, it's no surprise the boys have been longing for familiarity and the feeling of home.

Blend Inn was born on the road, written on the road and recorded on the road, with the call for home always finding its way into their thoughts. 

"It’s also an ode to living this sort of lifestyle whilst growing up and not really growing up the same way as everyone else. Having a weird sort of experience in your early 20s and not really knowing what’s going on.

"That’s probably what it’s all sort of aimed at and all the songs that were written on it (Blend Inn), were all written with that sort of mindset. Trying to get a hold of what’s happening around us. Finding your feet while you’re also travelling around and not staying in one place at the same time."

While we can't let you know for sure what is happening for the rest of the year for Hockey Dad, they were just announced on the lineup for Broadmaster Festival in the UK this August, following the announcement of a London show rightttt around the time of The Great Escape Festival (now announced on the line-up) - so it's safe to assume the band will be playing many more shows and festivals across the 2018 European summer.

“I’m not sure yet, I think we might have to hang around for The Great Escape Festival and see how all the events transpire. We played the festival back in 2016 I think and it was a really good time, we had a lot of fun."

Blend Inn is out this Friday 9th February with their national tour hitting Adelaide on Saturday March 3rd (SOLD OUT) and Sunday March 4th with an *All Ages* show at The Gov Hindmarsh. Get in now before they completely take the world by storm. Tix on sale here.