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Courtesy of Craig Seymour

Bob Morris of The Hush Sound talks about upcoming tour

Lead vocalist says he's excited and optimistic about the band’s return to the music scene.

By Meghan LeVota | May 23, 2013

Tags: Downtown Columbia Music

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When: Thursday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: The Blue Note

Tickets: $15

Indie rock band The Hush Sound had humble beginnings, as most bands do. Since high school, singer-songwriters Bob Morris and Greta Salpeter have been making music together. These jam sessions continued after high school, and once they began collaborating with bassist Chris Faller and drummer Darren Wilson, The Hush Sound was born. After a four-year hiatus, The Hush Sound is back and ready to take the music scene by storm. MOVE chatted with Morris about the band’s upcoming tour and return to the indie rock scene.

[MOVE]: How would you describe the band’s influences and overall style?

[Bob Morris]: We don’t purposely try to sound like any other band or anything like that. We mostly try to include all the elements of the different things that we like and incorporate that into who we are. To generalize, we’ve always been fans of Fiona Apple and The Beatles, and when we first started we were super into that kind of stuff.

We’ve been a band for such a long time now, and as we get older, we’re obviously going to go through different phases and change our taste. I am personally going through an electronic music phase. I know Greta listens to a lot of Kurt Vile. And the Backstreet Boys — nah, that’s a joke! We all come from very different backgrounds. When we make music individually it may come across one way, but with other people, the mixture of all the different things we bring to the table creates something new.

[M]: So what are those different backgrounds that make up The Hush Sound?

[BM]: Greta and I met in high school and she was originally a classical pianist, whereas I came from more of a punk rock background. Connecting with her was my first experiment. We later met Darren and Chris who played in a rock band, and they were really into fun time signatures. Though we all had very different things that we liked when we were younger, we just sort of came together and made music, putting together rock and punk, and getting to know each other along the way. A lot of people, when they start a band with their friends, know exactly what they’re trying to do right away. It was a cool path of discovery for us all to kind of see where it was naturally going.

[M]: What was the reason for The Hush Sound’s hiatus?

[BM]: Exhaustion. We began to feel that we were working for a manager instead of them working for us. We felt used up, put out, tired, and we were no longer having fun. Then Chris left the band, and it really wasn’t fun. Now a new “Chris” is here. Same guy, new Chris. Now it's just fun. We all get along a lot better too!

[M]: How would you say that you have grown individually and as a band?

[BM]: We’ve definitely all seen a lot more of the world and have individually experienced more relationships outside of the band. It was a break that needed to happen, as we went directly from high school to the stressful touring lifestyle. With such high pressure situations, I think it’s easy to forget to enjoy it as much as we probably should have. Now we take it a lot easier, trying to take every moment and enjoy it. Getting along is super easy when you are actually trying to see the good in every moment.

[M]: What makes you most excited about going on tour again?

[BM]: Right now, we are driving through Florida on our way from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale, and we just saw an alligator on the side of the road. That kind of stuff is cool. Just seeing alligators, mainly, is what makes me excited to go on tour. Aside from just seeing cool stuff, all of the bands that we’re touring with are really nice, and we love getting to talk to new people. Especially getting to see fans that haven’t gotten to see us in so many years that are so excited. We get to talk about how much we’ve grown, and share war stories. It’s good. It’s a cool, connecting experience.

[M]: To download your two newest singles, you are asking for at least a $1.00 donation on your website. What made you decide to go this route?

[BM]: I think that if you charge a dollar, everyone who wants to buy it will pay the dollar. It takes a lot of hard work to make music and if you want to give that a little more respect, you can, and if you don’t have a dollar, you don’t have to. I think it puts faith in humankind to do the right thing, which just makes sense to me.

Music can be free if you want to download illegally, or sign up for a streaming thing with commercials, but if you want to directly impact and help the band continue to create music, then the pay-what-you-want thing is a great way to do that. When you are trapped in a record label deal, you are at the mercy of the system that they want to use, despite the fact that they are in denial of how things really work. We recently joined an independent record label, and with that freedom you get to call your own shots and you don’t have to answer to anyone, which makes it easy to empower your fans to help you.

[M]: How has it been different working as a completely independent band?

[BM]: We have a label in Canada called Pipe & Hat and in the UK called LAB Records. In America we have no label which allows us to do things freely, like on the website. I am thoroughly enjoying the freedom and change. We fulfilled our contract of 3 records with Fueled by Ramen, and we were very appreciative of all the hard work that they did for us yet we are glad to be completely free of any contractual obligations to everyone.

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