The Hush Now introduce “Arkansas”


The Hush Now is an indie rock band from Boston. As a mature band they have been around the block, had their share of fortunes and otherwise but always made sure to put on a consistently good show and just keep right on making music.

We caught up with with Noel Kelly of The Hush Now to talk about being a band, touring and the song “Arkansas”.

QUIP: How does your musical process work: how do the songs come together from start to finish, is everyone involved?  

Noel Kelly: Everyone in the band participates in the writing process.  Sometimes a song will come together organically.  Other times it starts with a sketch that somebody brings to the band.  But at the end of the day, everyone adds their bit to the song.  It’s really a wonderful experience to watch something come to life.  For me it’s the best part of being in a band.

Q:  How is your newest album, Memos, different from the other 3 you produced, or is it? What should people expect from it?  

NK: Memos is a much more mature effort with the entire band participating in the writing and recording.  Perhaps mature is the wrong description, but it’s definitely a progression, a step forward.  We keep getting better as a band.  The performances are stronger, especially on the vocal side of things.  Also with Memos, Benny Grotto who produced it, was involved with the project starting with recording through post production.  Other than our debut, the other releases were a combination of folks involved for various reasons which probably wasn’t the best approach in hindsight.  What should people expect from Memos?  Hopefully an enjoyable experience…and a good indication of what’s to come.  We feel like we’re just getting started.

Q: Where does the name Memos come from?  

NK: When I’m sketching ideas, I quickly record scratch takes on my phone’s memo recorder.  The default title for a recording is “memo” and since I’m a bit lazy sometimes, I’d keep sending demos to the band all titled “memo” and the only way to tell them apart was to look at the date.  When it came time to title the album, someone joked that it should be called Memos.  I guess it stuck.  I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t changed my ways.  But we’re definitely not going to call the next album Memos 2.

Q: The band has been described as “audio candy for the art school crowd” – not something you hear a lot, any thoughts on that?  

NK: It’s a nice thing for someone to say. Not quite sure what it means to be perfectly honest.  I guess we do like to keep things interesting and we’re not afraid to bring different instrumentation in if a song calls for it. At the end of the day, we really just sort of do what we do.  Sometimes it’s not for everybody, but that’s ok.  I would be concerned if we started writing and recording in a vain attempt to satisfy the “majority.”

Q:  Did Boston have any influence on your musical development? Are there challenges or advantages that come with location in your opinion?  

NK: I met everyone in the band through living in Boston.  Our bass player, Pat, goes way back in the Boston music scene so he might have been a better person to answer this question.  I personally don’t think it’s the location as much as the group of musicians that inform the direction of the music.  Adam is originally from Colorado and I’ve bounced all over the US over the years.  I imagine if you are part of a very specific scene, it might influence what you’re doing a bit.  But we really don’t fit into a scene.  I don’t know if us or them or a combination of both.  Everyone in The Hush Now comes from varied musical pasts.  Something special seems to happen when we start playing together.  It’s sometimes a little curious how quickly material comes together for the band.  But I’m not going to question it.

Q:  What is the most memorable live show you’ve ever done?  

NK: CMJ is always fun.  Our homecoming show last year was pretty great too. I remember being deathly ill, hiding in the corners and shaking throughout the night.  Turned out it was the onset of chicken pox, which as an adult is no fun at all.   The following months were tough.  Didn’t think I was going to make it out of that one alive.   We played well though.   But I have to say the most memorable show from that tour was in Philadelphia.  We pulled up to the venue only to find out that the stage was so small we could only fit a snare drum and ride cymbal on it.  Not to mention the stripper pole in the middle of the stage.  I pulled out the purple Miley Cyrus guitar we picked up in Northfield Minnesota and we did a stripped down set on the fly.  There are so many things that can make a show memorable.  Sometimes, it’s the ones you’d never suspect for reasons you’d never imagine.

Q:  A year from today where would you like to be, doing what, in what city?  

NK: London playing a show to support the new album we’re currently working on….and drinking a few pints.  That would be perfect.

Q:  If you could describe the song “Arkansas” in 3 words what would they be?

NK: Long trip home

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