The Indiana band shares details about their debut LP out on May 5!
Drew Auscherman, Kevin Krauter and Keagan Beresford have been playing together for years. But like many other bands, these longtime friends moved from band to band, either together or on their own, but eventually found their way back to forming a new project known as Hoops. Starting with some songs Auscherman wrote, the dream pop outfit tinkered around in the studio for some time to craft their debut album, Routines, which is out on Friday (May 5). Myspace caught up with the guys during a quick jaunt in New York City to talk about the band's beginnings and the upcoming record.
Hometown: Suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana
How did the band get together?
Drew Auscherman: I started doing it by myself for a while just making songs, and then I started making songs that required a full band. And these two were the only ones that I knew would be sort of into the same music I was playing. So I asked them to play, and they're my friends.
Were you all playing in other bands before getting into Hoops?
Keagan Beresford: We were all friends in high school. We went to high school together. We've been friends since the sixth grade.
Kevin Krauter: We've played in bands together.
Auscherman: Yeah, we've all played in bands together here and there, and then all did our own thing here and there. then did this.
Beresford: We played in a band together before [Hoops] as well.
Krauter: But that's part of it though. It's so easy to play together because we've known each other forever. And we know how each other works musically. It just makes the whole thing a lot easier.
Since you've played together in the past, how did you change it up for Hoops? Or is it an evolved version of how you played before?
Krauter: We kind of just started doing the Hoops thing, just fucking around. Then we took a little hiatus for the first year we went to college and didn't really do anything for a bit. Then we came together to do some more songs, and it sort of turned into what it is now. We didn't really set out to make it something specific.
Beresford: And as we started developing the songwriting and started putting out tapes, we tried to kind of take it to the next level because it's easy to have guitars and play weekend shows and not really care. But then we started actually getting together and working on the songs more and doing more recordings and getting more instruments and taking care to make them better.
Auscherman: We added a keyboard at one point, which I don't think any of us actually...
Krauter: Game changer, for sure.
Since you mentioned tapes, I wanted to ask since cassette tapes are coming back...
Auscherman: Oh they've been back!
That's what I meant to say. So was it easier to push the cassette tape as merch?
Auscherman: I don't know. It's just a fun little novelty thing. They're really easy to make and really cheap to make, and I don't know. When you go to a show, it's kind of fun to buy a tape. It's just something small, and it's $5.
Beresford: We never made a bunch of them so we were always able to get rid of them to people who wanted them.
Auscherman: They were recorded on cassette tape; so we kind of kept it all in that arena.
Krauter: CDs are lame.
Auscherman: No, they're not. [Laughs.] They're fine. They're different.
After listening to Routines, the arrangements are really layered, and it sounds like you guys really took your time with this one.
Krauter: The most time, like so much time. It sort of takes precedent over the songwriting and stuff like that.
Beresford: It's just really easy to write a song, but that's the most simple form of it. But when we go to record and mix it and shit like that. You start hearing spaces you didn't hear before like, "Oh it could go there." Then you look at all the textures you have at your disposal, and it becomes a big puzzle that you're putting together and making it work.
Auscherman: That's the art.
So how do you bring what you just described to stage? Is it a whole different experience?
Krauter: You don't. I definitely see performing live and making a record as two completely different things. There's obviously things you can do on a record that you won't ever be able to do live or as good live so...
Auscherman: I think our main concern with performing live is just playing comfortably and finding a feel and a vibe for the song that just works live. And that can mean it could be pretty different from the recording or doing different things or playing different parts or whatever. I think serving the live performance is more important that staying true to the live recording because that's kind of impossible at the end of the day.
Krauter: I think it's a fun challenge because you are limited. We play with five people, and a lot of our songs have a lot of keyboards and so many fucking guitar parts that we can't even keep track of it. So when we get together and think of a new song, it takes a lot of workshopping and fleshing out. And then by the time it's done, it's just fun.
What's a stand out moment in the studio during the making of Routines?
Krauter: Finishing it. [Laughs.]
Auscherman: I think it took us a while to mix the songs to get them the way we wanted them to sound. I think the record definitely sounds a certain way.
Beresford: But we didn't know what that sound was going to be, getting into it.
Auscherman: There was a point when we got into a stride. We got one song mixed right, and then we took how that song sounded and applied it to the rest of the record. So it was great to finally know what the record would sound like.
Beresford: Story-wise, we were at a crawling pace with doing it. Then one night, we got drunk, and I don't know how we did it. But we mixed the songs out like in an hour. Then we listened back, and we were like, "What? This sounds sick!"
Auscherman: The first song on the record was the one that came together the best. It was the first one that came together. We did that pretty late at night, pretty drunk, and in like an hour. So we thought, "Okay, so we're going to do this now."
Krauter: We were all scared we were going to come back the next morning, and it was going to sound like shit. But it didn't so we got lucky!
Album is out on May 5.
Krauter: Cinco de Mayo.
Exactly. You can celebrate with more drinking! [Everyone laughs.] So aside from the record and some shows, what else is next for Hoops?
Auscherman: We got a big six-week tour to do. And then after that, we have plans for the fall. But that tour's done by mid-June, and so we're taking some time off during the summer. We have a couple of songs for the next record that we're trying to work on and write some more.
Krauter: Hopefully get started on our next record during our time off.
Beresford: Because this is all we do. [Everyone laughs]
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