Interview: Small Hours
Let’s dive right in. What are you working on right now that we can look forward to?
Since we just released our newest 12" Vinyl LP "Reconstruction" this year we try to play as many shows as possible. We are really happy about this record, how it sounds and how the artwork turned and want to show it to the world.
So what music gear do you normally use? Is there any other music gear you dream of having?
Of course gear is always a big topic in our minds. Although we’re basically satisfied with what we have there are still some parts to improve and knobs to turn.
On Drums we use a Sonor 3007 maple kit with 22" x 20" BD, 10" and 12" racktoms, 16" floortom; Hardware mostly Tama Roadpro and some Sonor 400; a Ludwig LW6514 Black Magic; Cymbals are changed when they break, but at the moment 2 Meinl Soundcaster 18" Crash cymbals, a Sabian 14' AAX X-Celerator Hi-Hat and a Paiste 22' Traditional Light Ride; For drumheads Remo Emperor heads on the toms, Powerstroke 3 on BD and Snareheads vary quite often, there’s nothing wrong to try something new every now and then.
On bass it's a very traditional Setup, although there are some modulation pedals used on some parts of the songs. It’s a Fender Precision bass though a pedalboard into an Ampeg SVT CL and an Ampeg SVT 610 HLF. For the basic bass sound in addition with the Ibanez TS9B Tube Screamer Bass, which is a pedal I can really recommend!
Since we’re a three-piece and only got one Guitar in our live setup we were looking for a way to still get a somewhat stereo sound.
The main guitar-sound is made with a Marshall JCM900 on the crunchy A Channel through a Marshall MR1960 B Cabinet for the stereo setup we use a Ibanez TSA15H through a custom built open back 2x12" Cabinet.
And of course some pedals like a Fulltone OCD for boost, Electro Harmonix Small Clone, Boss DD-7, Boss TR-2 and a Tubescreamer unlikely in a fuzzy setting. Also a little reverb is a pretty essential part of the sound itself. For Guitars we’re mainly in the Fender game with either a Blacktop Tele, a Jaguar or a Thinline Tele with P90s but there’s also a sweet Gibson L6S Antique Natural fitting the sound sometimes.
What is your vision as an artist and how do you convey it?
The most important message for us is that music should never be about competition. It’s but about respect for each other. We define our music as a strong sign against any forms of violence or discrimination, like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia,…Our vision is that we maybe get some people thinking about their actions, reactions and how they treat others and themselves.
What are the biggest problems you had to overcome as an artist and what is your advice for artists facing similar problems?
A big problem for most bands or groups is the different development of the members at some point. Life is constantly changing and so are priorities, friendships and as well musical concepts may go into different directions.We found for ourselves that it's very important to talk about expectations and anything like this regularly and be positive about finding a solution. Progress is also about making changes.
How are you breaking through the noise? Live shows, image, music? How are new fans primarily discovering you?
As stated above, playing live is very important for us. We are always happy to see new people at our shows, as we are about old friends showing up. We try to bring the focus of our shows onto the music. Apart from that it's also important to be present on some social media platforms. Of course we do know we're still a little lazy with all of that.
Ok, so the next one may sound irrelevant but it’s really not. What are your favorite movies?
We are 3 different people, working on the same goals in the band and also maintaining our friendship. But our taste in movies is different and to be honest, we do not talk a lot about movies. Nevertheless, film-making is an important art and we appreciate to watch critical, sometimes entertaining and not just profit-oriented movies.
How are you monetizing your music at the moment? Where do you believe music monetization is headed?
Our music is available on vinyl at our shows and in the shop of our Label "laserlife - records" as well in some DIY distros traveling around Europe.
And we're also listed in all typical download and streaming platforms. Yes, we would really appreciate it if you all follow us on that stuff, but besides that I think monetization of music is heading into transient directions.
We're all old fashioned hard copy Vinyl enthusiasts and in this point we want to collect something to last for almost forever. You'll never know how long your loved streaming- distributor will be online but you can take care of your own record collection as good as possible.
For a Band it's difficult, if not impossible, to cover the cost of recording, mixing, mastering and pressing by selling records. Streaming-platforms don't really pay serious royalties. We appreciate it if people like what we do and want to keep a piece of it at home by getting our record somehow or a shirt or at least by downloading it "illegally" somewhere. And of course, every cent we get for our music is put into the band for new recordings and projects again.
We define our music as a strong sign against any forms of violence or discrimination, like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia
What would greatly benefit your music career right now?
It is really amazing that there are still a lot of people all over Europe doing DIY shows. We would greatly benefit of people going to small shows in their towns more and more. Support your local "scene" by the love for music. In combination with that, it is always a booster when fanzines or other media mention us and publish reviews.
Would you like to recommend any other local artists that we should be definitely checking out?
We're really honored to be surrounded by a lot amazing acts in and around our hometown. Check out: Astpai, Remedy, Youth, Aivery, Dregs, Hauna, deadends, Antimanifest, Petrol Girls, and many more just to mention a few.
Last but not least, any closing messages for your fans and readers?
Discover music, go to small concerts even if you don't know any band before. Your next favorite band is maybe playing. Apart from that, learn an instrument and start a band!
About Small Hours:
Small Hours is a punk/hardcore three-piece from Vienna founded in spring 2013 after playing together in different groups for almost ten years. We draw inspiration from several 80’s diy-punk acts as well as contemporary genre-stretchers such as Self Defense Family, Comadre or Touché Amoré.
Our approach is to maintain a spontaneous and intuitive element within music. Therefore most of all song ideas are created by the band together in their basement.
The songs were recorded in a live setting in order to capture that sentiment. "reconstruction" is not only a metaphor for dealing with constant difficulties in life, (mental) health or politics, it's also a statement against racism, sexism, homophobia, sexual harassment, violence or any other forms of discrimination! Small Hours is: Christian Hirsch | Bass/Vocals, Christian Wallner | Vocals/Guitar, Dominik Schranz | Drums.
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