Formed: Summer 2012
Line-up: Niall Hanna (Vocals / Guitar) | Ross Haymes (Drums) | Eoin Bleeks (Bass) | Fearghal Breslin (Guitar)
Similar to: Pheonix | Strokes | Bloc Party
What They Say: “Spirited, ridiculously tight blend of indie pop.”
What We Say: Choppy riffs with earworm melodies, the sky is the limit on their current form.
◀ Q & A ▶
▶ Tell us about your stage name?
We spent ages trying to come up with a decent stage name and after throwing around loads of ideas ended up settling on Hurdles. I actually ended up nicking it off a side project that never got off the ground from my last band Likes Lions that I was in during my time at uni in Sheffield. We seem to be of become one of those bands that gets ‘The’ added on to the start of them just for the sake of it. It hasn’t really got that much meaning behind it, it’s just short and to the point which is always a plus.
▶ When did you start playing music and how long did it take to find your own sound?
We started playing together back in summer 2012 and didn’t start gigging until October. We spent ages making sure we were making songs we we’re happy with before we started playing live but as things have gone on our sound has really changed. Things started out pretty indie pop-ish but as they’ve progressed and we’ve tried to make things more intricate our sound has got a lot heavier with a bit more focus of backing vocals and synth to fill out all the gaps. We’re really started to enjoying mixing up time signatures and indulging in the odd breakdown which has really changed the way we come across on stage as well.
▶ What releases have you put out so far?
Our first single ‘Pictures’ was released back in October and after that our second single ‘Paper Soldiers’ came out in Decemeber. They were both more demo tracks than fully produced singles but they did the job of getting us gigs and we even released videos for each. We then spent a good bit of time honing our sound and writing stuff more along the lines of what we were looking to create and eventually in May we released our third single ‘Kaleidoscope’. For it we really upped the production values, going to Start Together studios and putting as much effort into cramming as many different aspects into it as possible to really bolster the sound. It’s gone down well so far and is hopefully quite reflective of the kind of quality we’re hoping to achieve with our forthcoming EP.
▶ Is there a particular live show that stands out amongst all the rest?
Glasgowbury was a pretty amazing experience for us, it made us feel like a proper band getting to play the main stage with a huge soundsystem and being really well looked after by everyone involved. The smaller gigs can sometimes be the most fun as well, Derry is an awesome city to play and Bound for Boston has been a real highlight, they’re great at helping you organise gigs and the free entry means you always pull a decent crowd who are always up for a bit of live music.
▶ Can you talk about a Highlight of the journey so far?
The first time we got played on BBC Radio 1 was pretty awesome, you don’t get alerted about a play until a day or two after it gets broadcast but we saw a comment on our YouTube video saying some guy had heard us on Radio 1 and thought we sounded like The Strokes. We thought he must of made a mistake at first but when we listened back and heard ‘Pictures’ getting introduced we all got very excited. We’ve had a few plays since and every time it’s an awesome feeling to know your music is being heard by new people on such a massive platform.
▶ You are in control of forming a 4 piece ‘super group’ – who is in it and what do they do?
Niall would probably go for Justin Vernon vocals and guitar, he’s a big fan of his stuff and he’s got a great voice, especially when it’s vocoded…
On bass Fearghal reckons War Paint’s Jenny Lee Lindberg, she’s a great bassist and has some seriously groovy basslines to boot.
Eoin’s guitar player would be origin of symerty era Matt Belamy, things got a little weird after that but at the time he was awesome.
On drums Ross would go for Dave Ghrol, he’s just a lovely man, what more is there to question?
▶ If you and 3 bands of your choosing were to do a world tour, who would the other 3 bands be?
Discovery era Daft Punk bring the dance, Wu Tang Clan bring heat and Beyonce brings the noise, the collaborations would be magical.
▶ What will be the 3 strangest things on your rider when you’re able to make any demand?
No eye contact with the band, nobody around us is allowed to eat meat but we are and we want at least 2 beer tokens per member of the band.
▶ Who has been your biggest inspiration as a musician?
We get compared to Two Door a lot, even though we don’t think we sound all that much like them it’s a nice comparison because they’re obviously a very successful band from the same sort of area. They managed to do very well for themselves very quickly. If we could come near to replicating that kind of success that would be awesome so in a way what they’ve done is an inspiration for all of us.
▶ What does ‘success’ mean to you?
Success for us would probably being able to do music full time for a living. It’s something we try to take realistically though, being in a band is an awesome hobby for us and something we love doing and if the opportunity came up to make a career out of it we would jump at the chance. It’s not the kind of thing that many people get the chance to do though so until that point we’ll just keep putting as much effort as we can into making the best music we can, playing as many gigs as possible and hoping as many people hear and enjoy our stuff as possible.