Interview with Mark Hill of The Floozies

 

One of the best things about music is its constant evolution. It is becoming harder and harder to fit bands into a mold, to “properly label” them. The Floozies have torn the concept of molds to shreds. They continually outperform and blow away all others in the world of electronic dance. But then there is the funk side of their music. Their roots are strongly grounded in that smooth, booty shaking, sweaty packed dance floor, can’t stop smiling because it feels so good, sound. When brothers Matt and Mark Hill set out to make you move, you will move. Recently we caught up with drummer Mark Hill to discuss bucket list, elementary school talent shows and urophagia.

Recently The Floozies took to social media to celebrate their tour, Wakarusa and Red Rocks as they pertained to an ever growing bucket list. “It is nothing we discuss thoroughly. I wanted to play Red Rocks. I always wanted to tour Europe. That, for me, is one of the next goals, to get out to Europe, because I’ve never been. In the past, any time I want to go somewhere, I would just wait until we played there, so the plan is to wait to go to Europe until we get to tour there. That’s next on the list. We want to headline Red Rocks in the next couple of years and I think that is totally feasible. The bucket list, it grows as I find more places I want to be, and of course, it is the key to what we’re doing.”

 

 

This month The Floozies joined Big Gigantic among others at Red Rocks as part of Big G’s Rowdy Town 3, the third installment of an utterly insane party thrown annually in Colorado. “It was incredible. It was almost unreal. Just being back there….It’s an historic place. Big G is really cool and they’re super nice guys. And to do it at the prettiest venue in the country is unreal. I found myself just laughing on stage, because I was looking out at the most beautiful crowd and beautiful rocks. I was just laughing to myself; I can’t believe I’m here. Then I went through the tunnel of legends which is this tunnel that leads from back stage to the sound board. All of these artists have signed it, like The Doors, and I got to sign my name on the same tunnel as the greatest musicians to ever walk the earth. Needless to say, it was fun. And we were working with some of my favorite people. Playing Red Rocks in front of no one, with bands you hate, would still be fun. The sound is great and it’s beautiful. To get that experience, combined with being with a bunch of my friends and a bunch of people I look up to, is pretty rad.“

 

Creativity started early for the brothers’ Hill and the infectious music bug’s bite left a lasting mark. “It started early for me. It started early for everybody in my family. My parents love music and they were always playing funk when we were kids. We both dabbled with piano when we were little. Honestly, my brother was huge into getting me into music because he was so good so quickly. When he was a kid, he was already performing, doing guitar stuff. I wanted to be like my older brother as every young kid does, so I figured that I would do drums instead of guitar. I had a love for drums because one of his good friends was a drummer and was really good. I kind of wanted to get into what they were doing. We both had our bands growing up. I was in a punk band. We both played in school a little bit. I stuck with it because drums were the only thing that I loved consistently my entire life. I knew it was what I was destined to do.”

Performing also came early and the predictors were aligned for a glowing future. “This is actually kind of a funny story. My piano playing friend was into freestyle electric keyboards. I was in fourth grade, and his dad had a drum set and we started jamming and two weeks later we played a talent show at my elementary school. It was literally an electronic duo, drums and keyboard. It is really fitting that that is what I do now…the first performance I ever did was me and the keyboard player playing funky beats. I remember it vividly; I was cool for a week at my elementary school. We were awesome. I got to play music in front of fourth graders that were my friends that at the time, was the girls I was into…. So then I bought my own drum set and worked on it and did my sixth grade talent show and it was unreal. Me and Matt went to the same elementary school and he had a similar experience. He played the Jimi Hendrix, “Star Spangled Banner,” and kicked over the amp and sprawled out on the ground. He was in the sixth grade and I was in the second grade. He got in a bunch of trouble with the principal for doing it. So we both got our starts doing the talent show at our elementary school. Inspirationally, a bunch, we grew up listening to funk. That’s really what got us into dancing and going to shows. Dancing feels good, and whether or not you’re an incredible dancer, it feels good, even if you’re just standing there. That’s why our music only tends to be what it is, because it’s all about the live show experience. We don’t feel a song is worthy unless we’re listening to it and we can’t help but dance. If we’re not feeling it and it’s not making us move, then we don’t push it too much further, because if we don’t like it no one else is going to like it. (Laughing) We don’t like to put out music we don’t like. We have a way of testing a song. We’ll play it in the basement and if it’s not making us dance, then it’s not making the cut. It’s pretty organic. When we hear what we’re putting out, we know if it’s us or not. Speaking of inspiration, good movies that are done right are really inspirational to us. I like to think we could use our music to make videos. We’ve made some music videos, but I think eventually we want to make a silent film with our album incorporated into it.” ”

The process is a process and inspiration combined with collaboration comes from many places. “It’s different every time. Matt does pretty much all the writing. I chime in here and there, but he is the mastermind behind most of the tunes. For me, as a drummer, I study, I buy albums and I try to find new ways to play drums. For him the inspiration hits in all sorts of ways. He’ll just spend a lot of time at home, running through stuff. A lot of it never even gets to the point where anyone else hears it. He’ll take an idea and he’ll just expand on it. He’ll hear a sample in a movie and that will spark an idea. He’ll be watching sports and get an idea. Just a whole lot of us staying home and working on music. Eventually parts come together, and he’ll throw them at me and I tell him what I think, and we’ll expand on it. Sometimes a song will happen in a day and sometimes it will be a three month process.”

The new album, “Fantastic Love” is coming soon, but the first and self-titled single is out now. It is smooth and driven and very much a step forward directionally for the duo.  Free download all their music. “I’m more excited about it than any other album we’ve put out. It’s really more song based. It’s not just banging tracks like in the past. We’ve written lyrics. We’re still trying to change it up a little. It’s still going to be funk, don’t worry about that. We’ve got to keep pushing and not get stale and boring. It’s really pretty; it still hits hard. We’ve been working a lot on making it sound more quality, so that’s going to come through the speakers really well. It’s going to be our most fine-tuned album because we’ve been practicing so much. Also, there are collabs on it. Gives is singing on it. We’re still working out some other collabs that may or may not happen. I’m really proud of it. I think everyone is going to dig it. It’s a lot of cool talk box work on it. That’s a new edition on it, so it’s like we can sing without having to sing. It’s still a party, just a prettier party. A lot of times when I’m sitting at home listening to it, I picture myself driving and doing something real cool, being a bad ass.”

In the circus that is the life of a touring musician, there is always something unexpected waiting just out of the realm of thought. “(Laughing) Tour life is really funny. I accidentally drank my own urine on the tour bus. We were on the road and I had peed in a Gatorade bottle and it looked like Gatorade and woke up super thirsty and took a big shot and was like, that’s not Gatorade. It’s not really a flattering story, but I’m not opposed to sharing it. A bunch of little things happen that keep you going and keep you happy. There’s no manual for it.”

You can check out The Floozies all over the United States on their Fantastic Love Tour starting October 30th in St. Paul, Minnesota. They will be stopping in Knoxville on November 7, 2014 with Freddy Todd The International and in Nashville on November 8, 2014 at Anthem. For all things The Floozies, check out www.theflooziesduo.com. (On Knoxville) “We haven’t played there in a long time. We opened for someone Wick-it The Instigator and Archnemesis last time we played (February 8, 2013) There were not a whole lot of people there, but they got down. I love the south. There aren’t a whole lot of places I go that I don’t love. “

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