Earmarked (coincidentally) today as the Guardian’s ‘New Band Of The Day’, Gainesville five-piece Hundred Waters are very much the archetype of the new wave of entirely unidentifiable groups, with a sound that nods both to traditional folk and deep electronica. It’s probably their involvement in the latter which caused Skrillex to sit up and take notice, and swiftly sign them to his (now reputably diverse) label OWSLA. We managed to grab an interview with the group, where they talked about Bjork comparisons, touring with Skrillex & Diplo and a glimpse into what we can expect from their Christmas dinners.
Hi guys! For those who aren’t too familiar with yourselves, introduce who you are and what you do..
Nicole – melody maker, word weaver
Live: keyboard, vocals, flute, percussion
Live: vocal harmonies, percussion
Paul – tinkerist, aux. producer, draftsman
Live: gizmos, guitar, keyboard, bass
Trayer – producer, arranger
Live: Electribe, Akai controllers, bass, guitar
Zach – drumsmith, trumpeteer
Live: drums, percussion, vocals, trumpet
Just for a brief overview: Your sound is one of the most unique and beautiful things I’ve come across, but can you think of 3 words which would best sum up your music?
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Despite this uniqueness in sound – I’ve come across a lot of comparisons between people like yourselves, Sigur Ros and Bjork… are comparisons something that you’re fond of as artists?
They’re fantastic artists, but no, we’re not particularly fond of comparisons.
Your most recent release came in the form of the Thistle EP, which came out on Skrillex’s OWSLA label. Did you have any trepidations about being an ‘indie band’ signing to, what is essentially, a dance-centred label?
More bewilderment than trepidation, but that was interesting to us. When we all met in person and talked about it, it felt most like a family and less like a contract. I don’t think that’s easy to find.
Were your previous fans a bit skeptical of the Thistle EP’s release? I can imagine it not going down particularly well with certain people – or was the feedback basically all positive?
It was pretty positive, actually. I think people were more confused than anything.
A stellar cast of remixes was put together for the Thistle EP too… if you had to choose, which one would you say would be your favourite of the bunch?
Hmm, I think our favorite is the Different Sleep/Troublemaker track. We love that one, very imaginative.
As a part of the OWSLA ‘family’, you toured with Skrillex, Diplo, Grimes et al as a part of that Full Flex Express tour… tell us a little bit more about that experience…
We learned all about a culture of music that was totally foreign to us. Experiences like that speak to the power of looking beyond one’s little cultural sphere. No one scene of music is superior to another, as different sounds speak to different people, so there’s nothing to scoff about across borders. Our aim is to avoid drawing any of these borders around ourself, so that we can travel freely among people and enjoy the full experience available.
The vibe on that train must have been incredible…but what were your favourite moments about the tour?
There’d be after-parties after every show, where Sonny, Toki, Diplo or Koan would DJ in a tiny, sweaty club. Those were so much fun. That and watching everyone perform. Also traveling through the Canadian Rockies with everyone in bean bags in the boxcar with the door wide open.
I also read somewhere that there was a lot of collaborating that went on between the artists on the train… you must have been asked this lots before, but do you have any idea if/when we’ll hear any of the products of those hook-ups?
It is in another fellow’s busy hands at the moment. Soon we hope 🙂
As a band comprised of both men and women, along with the fact that you tour a lot – does each person in the group kind of fulfil a sort of off-stage role? Who’s the mother of the group? And who’s the crazy uncle that only comes round at Christmas?
Sam’s the mom, and our tour manager Wolf Belly is the crazy uncle. Every day is Christmas with uncle Wolf Belly.
Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you guys…
Trayer could sing you every song from 1990-2000.
Thanks for your time Hundred Waters! Where can people go and check out more of your stuff/follow you etc…?
For the time being, our Facebook page (facebook.com/100waters) is probably the most up to date but in the near future we’ll be launching a new version of our website (hundred-waters.com) which should be pretty magical.