At first sight, The Hedrons are a band you’d just love to hate. It’s simply not fair that girls can look that good in skinny jeans. And what’s worse…they’re totally likeable and friendly – the icing on the cake being they’re a proper bona fide rock band.
None of that manufactured watered down pop punk crap for these four Glaswegians – these girls make you sit back on your heels to take in their heavy brand of rock. The Hedrons are on tour now – and set to give the guys a serious run for their money. Dee Massey caught up with lead singer Tippi and bassist Chi before they shook Metro to the core with their show last week.
Well let’s start at the very beginning – you guys have only been together for about a year right? And yet you’ve come so far – playing shows all over UK and even a spot at Download Festival at the Snickers Bowl stage..how did it all come about?
Tippi: We met in the same rehearsal rooms in Glasgow. There’s a little tea and coffee room and we kept on just seeing each other, even though everybody was with different bands…and we just thought….’hmm this could be a good laugh, why don’t we get a couple of beers and get in the rehearsal room and see what happen?’ Because never in a million years would I have said I’d be in an all girl punk rock band..no fucking way! And we were in rehearsals and it was just amazing wasn’t it?
Chi: Aye- and it was such an exciting sound we were producing, even in the first rehearsal. We did the first one and we though..we’ll just keep going with it. And it quickly became something we couldn’t really walk away from, we were so excited about it.
Tippi: Absolutely – we were just so excited about it – the energy produced by the four of us, even though we’re all quite different, it just seemed to have a mish mash of good chemistry [laughs]
And the name of the band, The Hedrons – is that a reference to Tippi Hedron (mother of Melanie Griffith) from The Birds?
Tippi: [laughs] Our reply to that is that if we tell you we’ll have to kill you..
Oooh..ok I don’t really have to know then! Moving on swiftly!
Tippi: Yeah we like to be totally ambiguous about it and just keep people wondering!
What kind of bands did you guys grow up listening to? What were your main inspirations, and do you still listen to the same kind of music?
Tippi: Well mine have always been bands like Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Paul Weller, Neil Young, Elvis, loads and loads of stuff like that. I love some stuff out now too, like Editors, Wolfmother – big fan of them . Our drummer, Soup, and I are very very similar in our tastes, but ..[Chi] and Rosie are the other end of the spectrum.
Chi: What kind of stuff do you guys listen to?
Chi: A lot of the newer stuff, the heavier sounding stuff, Funeral for A Friend, Trivium, Slipknot – a lot of the hardcore bands – I could name bands that’d just baffle people, but I a lot of the mainstream rock as well, like the Chillis, Foo Fighters. I thought it was quite a broad spectrum until I saw Rosie’s CD collection. [laughs]
Tippi: Tell me about it! [laughs]
And your press blurb describes you as sounding like the love child of Foo Fighters and Joan Jett – would you say that’s an accurate portrayal?
Tippi: Hmm…exactly like that. Absolutely like that! It’s just very exciting, it very punky but we take lot of influence from rock music, and make sure it’s really good fun,that’s what we feel we do. That’s why we’re doing it, it’s why it’s happened so fast, it’s because it’s such good fun.
And your debut single is coming out already!
Tippi: Yes, July 31st a song called ‘Be My Friend‘.
And that’s a reference to My Space?
Chi: Yes..we’ve got almost 27,000 friends now! In less than a year, more recently actually it seems to have just totally exploded!
Everyone’s addicted to my space – I’m guilty! And the single – which label is it going out on?
Tippi: It’s on Measured Records, a small independent label in Glasgow. [They heard about us because] We’ve just been gigging and gigging, that’s why everything’s happening for us. In the beginning we were playing live constantly.
Chi: Yeah, we were doing at least three gigs a week if not more. Just trying to keep the momentum going.
Tippi: We were just working really really hard.
Chi: Obviously it took a while, because although we’d been in the studio with other bands, we needed to gel together, and we felt like the best way to do that was to play live, and get used to each other on stage because there’s nothing worse than watching a band and they’ve all got their independent spaces, and they don’t seem to work as a unit. And we probably were like that in the start, but it very quickly fell into place. And now we know where the lines are..
Tippi: No more beating up the bass player! [laughs]
And you’ve recorded an album as well haven’t you..and I am right in thinking you recording it all live?
Tippi: Yes, we were all set up in the live room.
How come you decided to record it like that?
Tippi: I think it’s the best way, for us. We’re all together- we’ve been together what..17 months now, before we recorded the album we just gig gig gigged so that we could go into the studio and just play and record.
So..are you fans of pro tools and all that auto tuning malarkey in the studio?
Tippi: It’s great – I mean, we recorded onto pro tools, we didn’t uses [analogue] tape, we used totally modern technology to record it. We were all set up in the room with barriers between us , and it was great. For me, it’s got to be like that..you need to capture the energy. We had such fun..we did it over..seven days..it’s a punk rock record.
I guess it means you can get on stage and totally recreate your studio sound live, and you won’t sound like you’ve been autotuned to hell..
So, an upcoming highlight for you must be your slot at Download, You especially [Chi] must be stoked because it’s all the kind of bands you’re into?
Chi: Definitely. We’re playing on Saturday on the Snickers Bowl stage, its fantastic – I mean there’s so many bands there that we’ve all looked up to. Obviously it’s all different bands, we’ve had rearrange some of our schedules and we’ll be splitting up at some point to check out different bands, but even if you’re not a fan of some of the music, the names that are there are amazing..Guns n Roses! That’s the one I’m really excited about seeing – obviously it’s not the original line up but still..
It’s still Axl!
Chi: [laughs] Yeah..it’s still Axl!
Tippi: And in the news…well we heard yesterday…you tell her [Chi]..
Chi: We’re going to supporting Alice in Chains in July 4th at That Astoria!
Tippi: How cool is that?!
Oh my god! That’s unbelievable! You must be so proud about that!
Tippi: Absolutely! We walked past there today and we were like YEAH!
And it’s sold out…
Chi: Yeah, it was originally at Mean Fiddler but they’ve moved it up to the Astoria.
Tippi: Is it not their only English date?
Chi: It’s their only date so far.
Tippi: And they’ve heard our album! And that’s not a rumour, that’s fact. We know for a fact. We’re really really excited.
Chi: Dirt was one of my favourite albums so I’m so happy!
Tippi: I think you might go AWOL that night! [laughs]
Aaw that’s cool – really happy for you guys! So apart from that, what’s the best part about life on the road for you guys?
Tippi: The gig. It’s all about the live show. I’m sick of all the hanging about, but it’s necessary for the job.
Chi: It’s the gig, and then hanging about to meet everybody, over the last couple of gigs especially we’ve had people coming up saying ‘you’re my friend on My Space’ and stuff.
Tippi: It’s just the four of us in the band who look after our My Space. So we went down just now and had to deal with sixty messages, but everyone who gets in touch with us, we say if you’re coming to a gig, please come up and say hello! We want to get to know the people, come and say hi, rather than just say oh well that,s great you can make the gig or whatever…we want them to come say hello! We’re going to be do some podcasts as well from live gigs, we’re just going to take an ipod and a mic and get involved with the people from My Space, it’ll be a lot of fun.
I think if you really get everyone involved then you get a good fanbase, and everyone’s behind you.
Now the world of rock music is pretty much dominated by guys – so what’s it like being a girl band on the road? Do you get any shit from guys?
Tippi: No, none at all!
Chi: I think when we first come into a gig, and people are all like ‘ bunch of lasses’, then we’ll go up for sound check and they’ll see what we’re all about – and after the gig we never hear another peep out of them! We know we’re as good, if not better, than out male counterparts, so we’ve got nothing to worry about. We go up and we do what we do, and we know that all they can say it ‘ oh they’re just girls’
Tippi: ..and we’re like..whatever! We believe 150% in what we’re doing, that’s all that matters really. There’s bit of satisfaction in it when we go up and do a great gig…and then people start spitting beer at you..in appreciation [laughs[
And you’re in good company now – there’s some great girl bands out there, The Delilahs, The Pipettes etc, do you think girl bands are on the up?
Tippi: It would be great wouldn’t it. We always talk about this, wouldn’t it be brilliant to be the first girl rock punk band, because there hasn’t’ really been one so far. There are different things that have happened in the past, but wouldn’t it be great . I think it’s just about changing people’s mind’s , I mean people walk into a gig and just think ‘ oh it’s 4 girls’ , they have this perception..but this is not about the fact that we’re girls..that just makes it all fun. Especially when you’re all sharing a room at the..hotel!
Chi: ..and you’ve had more than a few beers!
Tippi:..and we fight over the bathroom!
Girls on tour! Right – so whilst you’re playing your first festival – who would be your ideal festival line up – 4 bands, dead or alive..
Tippi: Two bands each then. Mine would be Led Zeppelin, and…oh no..this is too hard! Um…Iggy Pop and the Stooges..
Chi: Mine would be Nirvana…as I never got to see them before Kurt decided to leave us, and…who else…The Smashing Pumpkins. I know they’re meant to be reforming.
All the old bands seem to be getting back together at the moment!
Chi: The money must’ve run out! [laughs]
Tippi: And The Pixies. And the Foo Fighters.
Chi: And the Desaparecidos – if you’re gonna have more then I want another one! [laughs]
And since you guys are so involved with My Space, I’ve got a little version of the typical My Space bulletin quiz…which I seem to spend my life filling in…starting off…what’s your favourite shot?
Tippi: Black sambuca for me
Oh that’s evil stuff..and what’s your favourite hangover cure?
Tippi: A glass of fat free milk [laughs]
Chi: It’s Lucozade Sport for me [laughs] It seems to work – or Irn Bru, but you can’t seem to get it down here.
Going back to bands reforming – if you could have any band reform, which band would it be?
Tippi: It would have to be Led Zeppelin, for one show only though.
Chi: Mansun. I had tickets to go see them and they turned me away at the door because I was underage and then they split up, and I never had the chance to see them! Heartbroken!
What CD do play the most? What’s your current favourite?
Tippi: When I’m on tour and on the tour bus I always play Pink Floyd ‘Dark Side of The Moon’
Chi: Probably ‘Read Music Speak Spanish’ by The Desaparecidos, it’s quite a funky album.
And who’s the most annoying girl on the tour bus?
Tippi: Soup! [laughs]
Chi: Soup without a doubt [laughs]
Tippi: She tells these awful 1970’s jokes and they’re crap and she just laughs to herself..
Chi: She just laughs to herself for hours.
What kind of stuff do you guys get up to on the tour bus to keep yourselves amused?
Tippi: We’ve got this motto…what goes on on tour..stays on tour [laughs]
Fair enough! And apart from Rosie’s filling falling out..what’s been the worst thing to happen on tour?
Tippi: [laughs] We left the tax disc in Glasgow! We were like 40 minutes out of Glasgow and we had to turn round and drive all the way back to the garage..
What’s your strangest habit?
Tippi: That’s a toughie. I’m crap in the mornings, so I always take myself off for a walk or everyone would fall out with me [laughs]
Chi: I always pick my nail polish..I’ll paint my nail black and then look [shows her nails] I chip it all off! There’s none left [laughs]
And lastly..is there anything you’d like to say to the readers of Crossfire?
Tippi: If you are going to come to Download and see us, do check out our my space and it you join our mailing list at www.thehedrons.com you’ll get some free tracks to download. And they’ll be lots of freebies on there, and the podcasts are coming soon.
Chi: And if you come to a gig, please come up and say hey, we want to know that you’re human!
Tippi: And we’ll give you a free badge!!
The Hedrons play on the Snickers Stage at Download on Saturday 10th June.