Interview with Vocalist/Guitarist Matt Scottoline
Hailing from Philadelphia, Hurry have become quite the force to be reckoned with. Their pop sensible songs are written from points of reflection, bringing a sense of questioning to their music. There’s so much to find in this world, whether it is love or how to capture a moment in time, and the trio capture just that on their brand new record, Every little Thought — out February 23rd via Lame-O records. Hurry search for permanence in life, dressing their thematic findings up in vivacious guitars and downright infectious songwriting. Every Little Thought is bound to be stuck in your head, filled to the brim with Hurry’s charm.
With the release of your album on the way, what are the feelings over at your camp?
I feel fine! It’s always an odd feeling when you release an album. Generally it’s something you spend a months or even years making, and then poof — one day it’s just out there. So it kind of comes and goes quickly. It can be hard to discern how things are. But I am really excited about the record. I think it’s the best album I’ve ever made. I’m really anxious for everyone to hear it.
Immediately from the opening track, there’s a bit more riff and stand alone melody usage (these all help create the umbrella of melodies across the record), what was the approach to writing this record?
I’ve been kind of evolving as a songwriter since starting Hurry. Early on, I wasn’t that confident in myself, and I would kind of write songs really quickly (hence the band name), and record them pretty raw and loud, and that was that. Fuzz was kind of a safety blanket. On our previous album Guided Meditation, I made a conscious decision to not do that. I started making arbitrary choices just to challenge myself. I would say things like, “Since normally I would use a fuzzy, distorted guitar tone here, I’m going to use the cleanest tone I can find with lots of flanger and phase.” And there wasn’t really a reason. I just wanted things to be different. And I really ended up loving the end result. It felt more like me. And the experience of recording Guided Meditation kind of empowered me to keep going down that path and being more confident doing that.
So, with Every Little Thought, I did that. And I kept those things in mind when writing and demo-ing the record. I went for softer tones, and more influence from 80s indie rock or Flying Nun bands from New Zealand. And I brought fuzzy tones back in, but as an accent, not a lead. So, I guess really the biggest change in writing this time around was confidence. I’m finally starting to feel like I know my voice and I know how to write for myself. I’m already excited to see what happens next time.
I love how every song on here feels to transcend multiple decades, like if I tried to explain dream pop in the 70’s with pop in the 80’s to alternative rock, they are all here. That being said, what is your favorite genre of music to listen to?
So yeah, I guess that kind of hits on my last answer. I love pop songs, in whatever form they take. I grew up listening to The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, and The Beatles with my parents. And the skeletons of all of those artists are kind of the same. It’s all well-crafted pop hooks and ideas. So throughout my life, I’ve gravitated to anyone or anything doing that, whether it’s the soundtrack to “That Thing You Do,” or a Bruno Mars song, or some obscure rock band from New Zealand who only released 1 album in the 80s. I love hearing how other people dress up and present pop songs. So on our albums, I don’t go crazy, but I do like to play around with that idea — which is maybe why you’re hearing a few of those influences at the same time.
I’ve always thought it would be interesting to re-record an entire Hurry album and just make opposite tone choices and change the aesthetics. I think it would be really cool to see how the same songs felt in different bodies, so to speak.
To me the percussion feels more immediate on this record, was that a focus for the accents of songs like “On The Streets” or “Heatwave” ?
When I demo these songs, I use fake drums in my computer. I play them on my typing keyboard in the recording software. So they sound terrible. All credit really goes to Rob DeCarolis, our drummer, who takes my bare bones idea and fleshes it out into something presentable. And his cousin Joe, who plays bass, I think also is a big part of the driving and dynamic rhythms. They are both really talented, and my records would sound a lot worse without either of them.
The two songs you named specifically are some of the most upbeat on the record, but we wanted to keep them breezy. They aren’t “rockers,” so to speak. There’s a lot of space in them, and to me that feels refreshing and exciting. So the drums and bass, I think, are focused on maintaining that space, but also making the song feel urgent and vital. It’s cool. I can’t take any credit other than my minimal guidance in the studio.
Where do the lyrics for Hurry songs come from? Are they little anecdotes of the day?
They tend to be manifestations of where my brain is at in that immediate moment. I very rarely go back and edit lyrics, or write lyrics after writing the song. To me, those moments are kind of inherently linked. And most of the time, when I’m writing a song, I have inspiration. Whether it’s a melody that popped into my head, or a feeling I want to try expressing, it’s kind of there already. So I just let the lyrics flow as best I can, while being mindful of the pop conventions and hooks I’m trying to work with. I don’t want to just write like a James Joyce novel and put an arbitrary melody to it. I try to keep things simple. Relatable. But also to get my point across.
I think “Jamie” is my favorite song on the record, mind going into the meaning of that one?
Cool! That song in particular is really me trying to capture a feeling. I was thinking back to a spring day, and taking one of those arbitrary day trips to somewhere with a person you’re just getting to know. Trying to understand them and build a connection. I feel like everyone has been in that position at some point before. It gives me a warm feeling. So this song is that warm feeling.
Tough question, what is your personal favorite song or moment on the record?
I’m pretty fond of the way the album starts, and the sequencing and mood that develops. For me, “Every Little Thought,” was a natural opening track. It kind of does everything. It’s almost like a trailer for the rest of the album. And then the next song kicks up the energy, and it just rolls on from there. I do think “Waiting For You” is probably the best song I’ve written. Or at least one of the best. I don’t know. I’m really happy with this record as a whole, and I hope everyone enjoys it.
Photo Credit: Chris Sikich