The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Hooray for HumansHooray for Humans have been on the Irish scene for over two years and have just come back from playing a gig in Canada. Niamh Madden catches up with the four-piece and asks them about albums, Cork bands and New York.

How did Hooray for Humans get together, and where did the name come from?  
H4H started out about two and a half years ago. I was playing in a few other bands and wanted to do something different to what I'd been playing up until that point, so I just threw up a notice on a couple of forums like Thumped, MySpace and the like. It took a while but two friends of mine got in contact so we started jamming. Straight away we felt pretty good about what we were doing so we gave it a bit more time. They've since left the band (we're still friends though!) and there are now 4 people in H4H - myself, Jen, Lewis and Matt. The name comes from a song by a band called Q And Not U, who were one of my favourite bands and a huge influence on me and what I was listening to. I just thought it had a nice ring to it.

You've covered Crayonsmith's song 'Anxious'. Are there any other Irish artists out there with a track you really admire and fancied covering? 
Yeah, there are loads actually. When I've time I'd love to record covers of all our friends' bands. Specifically I'd love to have a go at a Giveamanakick song. I think it'd be fun to see how that turns out.

You played CMJ in New York last year. What was the highlight? 
The whole thing was amazing. I think in general the highlight was seeing so many amazing bands play... for free! We saw The Mae Shi and it was possibly the most fun I've ever had at a gig. As well as the gigs, I'd never been to New York before so just seeing it in real life was really amazing.

Metro said that Hooray for Human's sound is like 'all your favourite bands playing at the same time.' What favourite bands of yours would you like to hear playing simultaneously? 
Good question… I always think about fantasy bands in my head, where I take members of my favourite bands and imagine what it would sound like. There are a lot of musicians out there that I think, "If he worked with this guy, it would sound amazing." Ben from My Disco/Agents Of Abhorrence is an amazing guitarist, so he'd be in there. Dose One on vocals. On drums - maybe Brendan from Fugazi. And the guy from Zombi, making some nice bass/keys sounds. That potentially could be the weirdest band ever.

How have you developed the second album?
The album is all written and done. It wasn't really very exciting – I just sat in my bedroom and tinkered endlessly with synths and guitars and just wrote away there. It took probably eight or nine months to write the whole lot. I get kind of obsessive about these things. Once the songs were done I recorded demos at home to hear what worked.

When can we expect to purchase a copy of the new album?
The album is coming out in September or October this year. It's a long time between finishing writing it and actually getting it out there, but because writing it was kind of "intense" or whatever, I just left it sit for a while before coming back and listening to the demos again to see whether I still liked them. I generally leave things sit for months on end before having the confidence to let people hear them.

What are you currently listening to? 
Lots of things right now - The new Zombi album is great. I'm also really into the Loma Preita album; they're a hardcore band from America that are pretty amazing. The new Dalek album is absolutely incredible. It's the best thing they've done. I can't stop listening to it. The new Dan Deacon album too.

Are there any new talented Cork-based bands CLUAS should keep an ear out for?
To be honest, there tend to be very few bands from Cork that are my thing stylistically. I haven't seen a new band in a while so I'm not really an authority on the matter either. But I will say that Private Underground Residence are brilliant, even though they're not really new as such.

Niamh Madden

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2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.