The Hinges
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The Hinges

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Aug
18
The Hinges @ The Melody Inn

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Aug
12
The Hinges @ The Southgate House - Lounge

Newport, Kentucky, USA

Newport, Kentucky, USA

Aug
04
The Hinges @ Stanleys Pub

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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Music

Press


1 How long were you together as a duo before taking on a drummer?

JM: We started playing open mics together in the fall of 2003. We got together through a mutual friend who knew we were both songwriters. We found our approach was similar but the results were inherently different and unique of each person. We liked each others songs enough to make it a full time project.

JH: But give Govier his props. He and I met at Guitar Center around August 2004 and thought we'd give it a try. Since then, we've collectively restructured each of the songs, giving them clothing over their naked versions. Some of them don't even sound the same at all. I guess what I'm trying to say is we more or less became a new band when he joined, the band Mudd and I wanted to be in when we first started playing together. It just took us a while to find the right skins.

2 What are your individual influences?

JM: My personally influences start from the roots. The Beatles obviously, but my particular fav from the band was Paul McCartney. He has such a classical approach to things and that voice of course. That said I think Joshua is much more influence by the John Lennon school of thought. I think those are two of the best influences to have. Growing up it was mostly punk rock and the like. I currently listen to alot of singer/songwriters and indie bands. Everyone from Ryan Adams to Wilco to The Misfits to Guided By Voices. Obviously love is a huge influence, or lack thereof. I'm much more of a song guy. By that I mean I love great musicianship and all that jazz but if you can write songs that continually grab me, I don't care if you can only play three chords.

JH: I grew up with rocknroll albums in my dad's basement. He had Beatles, Stones, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Clapton, Simon and Garfunkel, Bill Monroe... I just got into that sound that had energy yet was flexible enough to get you with melody. I'd agree with the Lennon school of thought line. I tend to go for the occasional shout and scream hootenany. I still listen to older generations, but have picked up bands from various punk and indie to alt-country and pop.

MG: It all starts with classic rock for me. Pink Floyd is fucking incredible, but I do believe that their drummer was playing the drums on 40 ludes. I got on the punk train in my teens and I never got off. Pulley and Face to Face are some of my top guns. Along the way to my current state I fell in love with bands like Hum and Castor. They rock the socks off your feet but have this spacey stonejam mix thrown in there. As I stand here before you today, I do believe that bands like Hot Water Music and Sunny Day Real Estate really stand as some top five legends. These two bands wrap it up for me. Both of these bands put their heart and soul into the jams and sneak there way right inside your soul. But the singers of these groups are quite opposite of each other. It just goes to show you that the intensity and passion of heavy powerful music can be conveyed in so many different ways.

3 What are your goals as a band?

JM: I think we just want to make good music that people enjoy. Not outrageous success and accolades but respect. I want to be a respected musician who gets payed for my work and not working to get paid. I would love to be successful making music but it's not my number one goal by any means. I don't view this as a business.

MG: I want to play music as much as I can before I get too old and start realizing that I am not cool anymore. I'm not cool right now so just imagine how uncool I would be rocking out at 45 years old.

JH: Yeah, we want to have as much fun as we can buidling street cred and a fan base. Our idea of success is not Q102 or MTV, it's merely being respected as musicians and songwriters (no matter what age Mr. Govier). We want to play good venues in the area and build from there. If we build it to the point where all of us can do it full time on agreeable terms, then we will. But none of us are expecting to leave our current jobs any time soon.

4 What do you hope people get from your music?

JM: I hope that people can connect with the material on a personal level, obviously. We're not writing about candy spaceships or things not of this world. Alot of the songs are built out of frustration, or heartache or relief or joy. These are human emotions that everyone can relate too. We're just basically trying to make it listenable and maybe not so overwhelming. Everyone is happy or sad at a time but when your wrapped up in those emotions sometimes it feels like your the only person in the world who has felt that but in reality everyone feels like shit. We're just trying to let everyone else know that we like our shitty feelings to sound good. If that makes any sense.


JH: We always try to write and perform without minimalizing our emotions. Not being whiney, but aware with common sense. I just hope people get it and enjoy themselves listening to it.


MG: There are a lot of bands out there when you think about it. I mean just in the local music scene of every city in this country there are 50-100 bands playing local dives consistently. So to make an impression with someone in terms of your music can be difficult, because a lot of those local bands are not very thought provoking or inspiring. So being able to reach an audience when their drunk is one thing. Too have them wake up the next day post-blown and wondering what the hell happened but somehow having one of our songs stuck in their head is exactly what I want.

5 What do you hope people take away from your live shows?

JM: We basically want to put on a great show and have people come away like they saw something familiar yet separate from the rest of the live music they've encountered. I hope that our sense of humor and fun come across during the performances. Just because the subject matter is heavy doesn't mean we're all stoic assholes who dwell in misery. I'd like to think we have and provide a good time for all.

JH: We hope we provide little soundtracks to how people see their own lives and how they can have a good time with friends sharing the experiences.

MG: I just wanna get wasted and play real fucking hard.

6 Describe your music as if you would to someone who has never heard it before.

JM: Well I personally am not out to reinvent the wheel so there are obvious points of reference. We're not pop deconstructionists by any means. I'd like to think if you take the Replacements unabashed love for pop (in it's most raw of forms), add in everything that has taken place in the realm of popular music since then (the emergence of hip hop, the early 90's alternative, SoCal punk) and the honesty and emotion of the entire pantheon of singer/songwriters since Dylan you'll find The Hinges. - With Ryan Muddiman - Freelance Writer/ Local Musician


10/11/2005

This week's 2o Questionswith Venomous Valdez

Joshua Howard of The Hinges
October issue of Only Local Music

1. How long have you been playing music?

About eight years. My older brother gave me a guitar as a graduation present and since I was working nights at a Casino while my friends worked days, I just played all day. I took it to college with me and started writing songs soon after that.


2. What instruments do you play?

Just the guitar and bass mainly, but I'll dibble and dabble with everything to create sounds.


3. What instruments do you wish you played?

Hands down, The Pedal Steel. I got a soft spot for those traditional country sounds that remind me of home. I wish I knew the piano because I consider it a base for writing and learning music. It would be nice to play the drums also since good drummers are hard to find and I could use the additional release.


4. What was your first musical memory?

My mom forcing me to play the piano in third grade when all I wanted to do was hang out on the ball courts. I eventually won that argument when she found me on the playground instead of practice for the second week in a row. Now I wished I knew how to play the piano. Figures.

5. What was your first album you bought?

Jesus! White Lion Pride. I bought it on cassette after Wait and When the Children Cry came out. I lived in a small town and didn't have access to anything cool until middle school. But I did spend a lot of time with pops in the basement while he spun Stones, Cream, and The New Riders of the Purple Sage. Those memories and sounds mean more to me now than anything I bought while a young adolescent.

6. What was your first concert?

Cherub Scourge. They played a show in Paducah, KY with another Louisville band and about three local bands. I spent a lot of time at small hall shows while growing up, if I wasn't on the court.

7. Which curse word are you partial to?

I'm an abundance of naughty words. I prolly say sumumabitch more than any of 'em though.

8. If this were a confessional, what would you confess?

I can't read music.

9. If you could be any superhero or villain, who would it be?

Wolverine, he's a badass and you can't deny it. And he regenerates himself, how cool is that?

10. What are your favorite movies, books, TV shows, and Website?

Movies: That is hard because I watch a lot and it's always changing. I can watch Almost Famous for a week straight, I love the Kevin Smith and Tarantino films like most people do. For old school, I like The Wild Bunch and other Peckinpaw films as well as Blake Edwards, Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola.

Books: Ann Rands' Anthem. The Chronicles of Bob Dylan has become a new favorite. Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil is another one.

TV is desensitizing the whole nation and has been for years, therefore I only use it for ball games, PBS, ESPN, news, and kids programming when I’m with the fam. If I'm just really lazy and want a visual, I’ll ok some VH1, the History and Discovery channels, but I usually watch movies or the television version of movies. Austin City Nights is the show I watch the most and I think that's excusable too. HBO is another exception because they have Six Feet Under, OZ and all the cool shows like that.

Websites: cincymusic, pitchfork, movie poop shoot, yahoo, factcheck.org (if you haven't been to this one, go after you leave cincymusic).

11. If you could erase one band from musical history, who would it be?

Alright hear me out on this one 'cos I'm gonna piss some people off. Nirvana. I like some Nirvana material and I'll acknowledge their talents. But they inspired so many people and made everyone feel that what they were doing was obtainable to all. Therefore, we have tons and tons of really shitty bands that imitate or have a heavy Nirvana sound or influence. So, if you get rid of Nirvana, a good band, you get rid of all the other crap that followed them and currently pollutes our radio waves. Plus, Cobain also made it ok to be apathetic and just stand there while playing the song. I like to see movement while artists get energetic and passionate about the song they are playing. The song itself should be enough, but when I go to the show, I want the visual emotion as well.

12. What album do you own that would ruin your indie credibility?

The first Boston album. It's completely covered in processing and less than authentic instrumentation, but the guitar layering and playing just flat out rocks.

13. If you could play with any musician-devoid of time or death-who would it be?

John Lennon. That would be a dream come true not only to be there witnessing him play but to see his movements and how he arranges chords or how he screws up and recovers or how he changes a melody or song based on how his voice feels that day. Those kinds of things are interesting to me because performance is all about being in the moment and I think I could learn a lot from hanging with Lennon.

14. What is the weirdest reaction you have received from a fan?

I haven’t collected many weird stories because what’s weird to most is normal to me. But one time near Detroit, this cat was telling me “you guys rocked” and “when you did that song...blah…blah.” I said thanks and asked him to stick around because we hadn’t played yet and were going on next.

15. What is your pre-gig ritual?

We usually meet up at our practice space, load up, drive down, unload and set up and then hang out in the crowd and throw back a few while we discuss the latest releases, past weekend shows and post modernism philosophy in layman’s terminology.

16. What should a crowd expect at a THE HINGES show?

We are not out to reinvent the wheel so there are obvious points of reference. We're not pop deconstructionists by any means. We bring our own brand of nervous pop-infected southern Indie rock.

17. What venue in the Cincinnati area is your favorite to perform?

The Southgate House (who didn't see that coming). But I’m not picky, the audience really makes the shows for us and we’ve had great shows at The Holy Grail and the now defunct Sudsy’s.

18. What is the one thing you would change about the local scene?

More inclusion and awareness. I’m not originally from Cincinnati, but I moved here after college for work, the music scene, and to raise a family. I consider myself a part of the city in that respect. Yet in my experience, people tend to judge you if you’re not from here and especially if you’re from Kentucky. I feel like there’s a cool club out there that dictates what others consider cool and prefers to put their friends’ bands in the limelight instead of making selections based on the quality of music. This is not indicative of the scene as a whole, but I run into this cold shoulder automatically from time to time and in most cases the person hasn’t even heard our music yet. I also feel that Cincinnati has just as talented or a more talented scene than the other major markets and I’m waiting for other people to catch on to what’s happening around here.

19. Name a few of your favorite non-Cincinnati bands.

Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Grateful Dead, Social Distortion, My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire, Robert Earl Keen, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Trail of Dead, The Beatles, Josh Rouse.

20. Name a few of your favorite Cincinnati Bands.

Terravada, Cari Clara, The Vinlytones, Turnbull AC’s, Straw Boss, Jake Leg, Ellison, Shawna James, Afgan Wigs. Greenhornes. Pike.

- Only Local Music


Local bands rock hard at Holy Grail
Musicians play well despite performing to thin crowd

By: Kerry Terrana
Issue date: 1/30/06
UC News Record
Section: Arts & Entertainment

Local musicians treated music lovers to a good show Friday night at the Holy Grail.

Locals Ben Cochran, The Hinges, Terravada and The Lukewarm owned the stage and rocked the mic all night, playing a wide mix of music, alternating between acoustic rock and a heavier sound.

The night started off with a light, upbeat acoustic set courtesy of Ben Cochran, which provided a nice relaxing dose of atmosphere music for people to mingle and socialize to.

The 30-minute set featured Cochran perched atop a stool strumming his guitar, creating a soothing and relaxed sound that fell somewhere along the lines of Dave Matthews and John Mayer.

The crowd demonstrated their appreciation at the end of every song, as cheers erupted from all corners of the room, although the loudest cheers came from fellow musicians slotted to perform later.

The next act was The Hinges, who began the set as a two-man acoustic duo for a few songs before a few more band members trickled in from the crowd. The full ensemble then dove into a few rock numbers.

Lead singer Josh Muddiman and guitarist Joshua Howard followed Cochran's acoustic numbers with a nice transition from Cochran soft sounds, before The Hinges broke into heavier material, playing a mix of old songs and a few tracks from their upcoming release.

"Playing in between the two acts, we knew what Ben was playing, and we know what Terravada sounds like," Howard said. "We decided to start off like that for the transition between acoustic and rock."

The band created a quality sound despite the odd set-up. The room design doesn't have much acoustic value with low ceilings and cement and brick walls.

The guitar lines worked well with the overall sound, but the highlight of the set was a drum and bongo solo that drew loud cheers and roars from the thin crowd.

"We happened upon the solo kind of by accident," Howard said. "When we were auditioning drummers, the percussionist had a ones's and three's kind of beat, while our current drummer had the two's and four's.

"We tried it out one day in the studio, and it sounded really good, so we went with it. The rest of us walk down into the crowd and take a break while they are doing their thing up there. The crowd seems to like it."

And indeed they did, as The Hinges had a strong fan base present at the show, with a number of listeners leaving after their set.

"This is the most people we've played to in here before," Howard said. "At a venue like this, the crowd usually doesn't get much bigger than this."

Oddly enough, the lead singer of The Hinges, Josh Muddiman, and Terravada's Ryan Muddiman, are related - first cousins, only they had never met.

"It was really weird. We were playing at an open mic night at Ivey's Pub when we ran across Ryan," Howard said. "That's when the two first met."

The singularity of this occurrence was not lost on Howard.

"Both have been in the city for awhile, if not their whole life, and the first time they met was by coincidence at an open mic night. How weird is that," he said.

Terravada took the stage as the crowd trickled in and out of the room.

The lyrics Ryan Muddiman belted out, as well as sound the band had reverberating off the walls, was reminiscent of Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam.

Muddiman's vocals seemed to swell from a whisper to a howl, then spiraling back down to a whisper again, drawing the crowd in with the rich lyrics.

The drum beats sounded a bit off at time and occasionally drowned out the lyrics.

Clint Lutz and Travis Estell of The Lukewarm rounded out the evening with their jam rock set, playing songs from their newest album Treefingers.

After adjustments by the Holy Grail sound guy to make up for the bad acoustics of the venue, the quality of music improved throughout the night.

A few songs left the guitar lines a bit heavy or the drums loud enough to drown out the rest of the bands. - University of Cincinnati News Record


Group carries on despite lacking some strings

While not having the permanent fixture of a bassist would paralyze the growth of most rock'n'rollers, The Hinges haven't missed a beat.

They've just finished recording their first EP, Unhinged, with local producer Greg Albright, which is set to be released June 13 on Clumsy Music, their own label.

On April 27, The Hinges will play at one of their favorite local venues, according to the band, the Southgate House, along with Sweet Ray Laurel, Loose Threads, Black Tie Affair and Hierophant.

"We're a bunch of beer drinking guys who love playing our songs for people," Josh Muddiman said in an interview. "Our songs are about girls and drinking. Both things we enjoy and both things you'll find at a Hinges concert."

The Hinges are currently Muddiman on vocals and guitar, Joshua Howard on guitar, Mick Schackmann on percussion, Shawn Cruze on drums and, for the time being, their friend Dave Kruse from the band All Their Eyes, filling in on bass.

The band originally began as a duo consisting of Howard and Muddiman, who met one another through Howard's girlfriend. The two played together for about a year before Schackman auditioned for drummer and was initially turned down.

It wasn't until after Cruze became a part of the lineup as drummer, that Muddiman and Howard took notice of what Muddiman describes as Schackman's "unbridled enthusiasm for what we were doing," that he joined in.

And while they're currently auditioning bass players, Dave Kruse recorded the Unhinged EP with them and is filling in for their live shows.

The Hinges name comes from a poem in Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic, entitled "Hinges," where it reads, "If we had hinges on our heads/There would be no sin/'Cause we could take the bad stuff out/And leave the good stuff in."

When asked about the kind of music the band plays, Muddiman delicately described the sound: "If you take The Replacement's unabashed love for pop, in it's most raw forms, add in everything that has taken place in the realm of popular music since then, the emergence of hip hop, the early '90s alternative, SoCal punk, and the honesty and emotion of the entire pantheon of singer, songwriters since Dylan," Muddiman said, in an Email interview. "you'll find The Hinges."

While Muddiman's description may be long-winded, he confesses there is nothing contrived about their music.

Their influences range from musicians like Ryan Adams, Neil Young and Johnny Cash to bands like My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire and Social Distortion.

When asked what he likes and dislikes about music today, Muddiman admits that while a lot of artists are against music piracy, for a band of The Hinges size, sharing music is a very powerful tool because it allows their sound to reach so many people.

"Giving people in Finland a chance to hear us is pretty cool to me. I don't see us playing there anytime in the near future, so it's cool that people have the option," he said.

Outside The Hinges, Cruze is in a Rolling Stones tribute band named Altamont. Muddiman and Howard also have a side project together called The Bleedin' Hearts, a more low-key and stripped down musical venture.

Fore more information about the band, visit www.thehingesmusic.com.

For more information about the show on Thursday, visit www.southgatehouse.com or call (859) 431-2201.

www.newsrecord.org - University of Cincinnati News Record


LOCALS ONLY: LOCALS DISC-O-FEVER

A look at some recent Greater Cincinnati- spawned CD releases
Reviews BY MIKE BREEN

· THE HINGES -- UNHINGED

With Unhinged, the first release featuring its current lineup, The
Hinges unveil four songs of late-night Rock & Soul. The adaptable band plays shows as both an acoustic trio and full-on five-piece Rock band; this EP features the latter version. With vocals that possess the raspy soul of Paul Westerberg and Greg Dulli, The Hinges use serpentine chord progressions (also a characteristic shared with Mr. Dulli) to draw
listeners in, augmented by impulsive melodies and cool, echoing guitar leads.
On "Drop Anchor," the minor-key guitars intertwine intriguingly, like streams of candle wax dripping together, while the beer-wisdom nugget "Another One" has some of the rootsy power of Buffalo Tom. There's a loose swagger to the recording (which was done mostly live), and that goes well with the "boozing philosopher" vibe of the lyrics... The Hinges have solid songwriting and performance skills... The Hinges celebrate the release of Unhinged Saturday at Covington's Mad Hatter with guests The Stapletons, Pike and The Minni-Thins. (Mike Breen) - CITY BEAT


Discography

UNHINGED
Copyright © 2006 Clumsy Music
Recorded by Greg Albright, Mixed by Greg Albright and The Hinges

BLEEDIN' HEARTS
Copyright © 2005 Clumsy Music (*except where indicated)
Recorded and mixed by Clumsy Music

CANTON SESSIONS
© 2005 Clumsy Music
Recorded and mixed by Tim Govier at Unfinshed Basement Productions

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Trying to find the words to sum up The Hinges as a whole isn't an easy thing to do. While running the risk of sounding cliche' or abandoning the reader and potential listener, I think they are best summarized by calling them and what they do the perfect harmony of dissonance.

This duality is a marriage of songwriter sensibilities to the energy and attitude of rock. The connection is exemplified with lyrics as soul-bearingly honest as one could imagine, at one moment, to un-apologetically visceral the next. They have been known to change with their audience like a chameleon, playing as an acoustic trio and a full throttle indie rock band. Whichever form, they play songs that speak to that place in all of us, that at one time or another needs the comfortable familiarity of a friend, the empathetic shoulder to lean on, or a like-minded individual to just raise a little hell with!