Band Spotlight: Hurricane Season [Interview]

Hurricane Season are an Austrian whirlwind (sorry, I couldn’t resist) of punk rock energy. They released their debut album Nice To Need You via SBAM Record in March 2019. We got to know the band better.

How would you sum up Hurricane Season for someone who’s just discovering you?

It’s a mixture of all the music we listened to as kids and, of course, what we listen to nowadays. So all the good pop stuff mixed with the punk music we all love. Maybe like Roxette meets No Use For A Name meets Bob Dylan meets Weezer meets The Beatles meets Ramones?

What inspired you most when writing Nice To Need You?

Even if it sounds pretty lame, I think the thing that inspires me the most when I’m writing songs is life itself. All the things I’ve experienced, all the things I’ve been through and all the things I’m going through at the moment, whether they are good or bad. But probably most of the times bad or sad, so I think those hard and challenging moments inspire me the most. Writing seems to help me getting over those kinds of dark times.

Also the people I met, or that surrounded me over the last 8 years (yeah, a few of the songs are that old) and influenced me, seem to be a big part of this record. Again, either in a bad or good way. So maybe that’s why the name Nice To Need You came up, which leaves space for interpretation.

Are there any themes you’ve tried to stick to?

Well, if there’s a theme, it would be quite a dark one, as most of the songs tell sad stories or relate to sad and dark feelings. Stories about the ‘not-so-happy side’ of life, failed love or dealing with mental sickness. Nonetheless there are also some songs that try to encourage on the ‘keep keeping on’ ethos. So it’s not Only Madness (one song of the record) but sometimes even some more optimistic views. Maybe we´ll try to focus more on these ones for the next one.

Tell me a bit about how the band came to be – how did you meet?

Erich and I have known each other for about 12 years now and we started a band back then, in Graz. Our old band broke up, Erich went back to Klagenfurt and a few years later I returned to Klagenfurt too. It was clear that we’d make music together again, so we started rehearsing together in late 2015.

As Hurricane Season we played our first show in 2016. After a year or so our long time friend and bass player left and was replaced by Johannes, who we’ve also known for a while because Klagenfurt is quite small, you know.

What’s the local music scene in Klagenfurt like?

There isn’t quite a scene. It’s really a small town and there isn’t much to do. The majority of the younger people don’t do this band thing anymore like we do and our friends did. Even if they do, they still would move to a bigger city for their jobs or studies at some point. Unfortunately there isn’t a big young scene here. It’s more like all these people, who left for bigger cities, are coming back again and getting together in bands and projects. And it seems that most of the bands we like, are practising at the same place we do. So it’s like we are the underground scene. But still there a a lot of good bands in other parts of Austria like DeeCracks, Astpai, Pack of Wolves, Missstand or Dead Ends just to mention a few.

Where do you think has the best shows?

Me and Erich lived in Graz for years. It’s the second biggest city in Austria, but it’s still kinda small. There is this venue called Sub. It’s the best place to be, if you want to meet some nice punks and go out to shows! We are also lucky to work with the guys at SBÄM Records, who have been responsible for some awesome shows and festivals over the last few years. We prefer to play small, authentic DIY venues and shows. The big halls haven’t called us in yet.

Where did the name Hurricane Season originate?

It describes a feeling inside you, when everything’s upside down, falling apart, twisted, like thunderstorms of dark feelings coming up, all chaos and stuff. That’s also what most of the lyrics are about, so it’s kind of fitting.

Later I found out that ‘Hurricane Season’ is the title of Dan Adriano’s first solo album. I’d missed it, but the record is awesome… as are Alkaline Trio! Someone also asked me if we chose the name because of the move Pineapple Express. At some point, a pretty high James Franco repeats a line from a TV series: “I thought the hurricane season was over.” It’s a great movie, but that’s not the reason we picked the name.

What bands kick-started your interest in music when you were younger?

I can’t speak for the other guys, but for me, it was like the standard punk bands you go through: Ramones, Sex Pistols, Misfits, Rancid, NOFX, Blink 182, Alkaline Trio, Millencolin, Weezer and so on. I also listened to a lot of rock and metal like AC/DC, Queen, Cannibal Corpse, Soulfly and Metallica when I was young. And Beastie Boys! And The Beatles! And probably the all time favourite of my drummer and I, the amazing Bob Dylan.

One of the main things that kick-started the whole band idea was the local bands and shows at the time. They were the only shows we could afford to go to when we were young. Most of those people are now friends of ours and still playing shows, which is pretty great.

What bands are keeping the fires burning now? What new releases have got you really excited?

Erich, our drummer, listens a lot to the latest PUP releases, as well as some old stuff like At The Drive-In and Refused. He’s also into post-rock, and enjoys listening to bands like Mogwai, Caspian and This Will Destroy You.

Johannes, our bass player, loves Pennywise, including the new record. He’s also into the new releases from Red City Radio, The Interrupters, Hank Von Hell and The Last Gang. They seem to make this lovely boy happy.

I still listen to a lot of the old stuff I mentioned, and I always discover new releases that aren’t actually ‘new’. I’m not quite happy with the latest releases from bands I like, so I often return to some solid gold. I love the latest Dirty Nil LP Master Volume. I love all of their releases and the latest one is pretty amazing! Also Swell by Tiny Moving Parts is on heavy rotation. The new releases from Hospital Job, Horrible Things, Joyce Manor and Forever Unclean are great too. I’m also excited to hear the new releases from Woahnows and Dead To Me.

What do you enjoy doing, outside of playing music?

Actually, the thing I enjoy the most is playing music, listening to music and hanging out at the rehearsal room. If I’m not there or at University, I’m probably at home writing songs and listening to music or I’m at the pub. Erich also plays in various other bands and Johannes has turned into a pretty good photographer over the last two years. Check him out!

Hurricane Season released their debut album Nice To Need You via SBAM Records in March 2019.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

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