Here’s the thing about The Thing: It’s Saturday. And headlining the second installment of The Thing will be the fine lads in Rozwell Kid. They were among the first bands to play 200 East back when its doors opened for concerts in 2015. Now? Well, now, they are gigantically gigantic and we are beyond pumped to host them before they start selling out stadiums. We caught up with the band’s leader, Jordan Hudkins, to talk about that first time his band played 200 East, who he would take in his “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” fantasy draft and the brand new record they are getting ready to release next month.
You guys were one of the first artists to play the 200 East venue in Frederick and now you’re going to be one of the last. Do you have any memories of the first time you played it, almost two years ago? If so, what are they?
I remember the show was sick and the venue is really really cool. I got to see Old Indian’s practice spot, and Corey (from Old Indian) gave us a little tour of the building, explaining the history. It was really interesting to hear about the spot’s past, but even more exciting to see if being transformed into a space for live music and the arts. Also, I was playing with a bouncy ball behind the stage, and accidentally bounced it off the floor and hit a tiny glowing light bulb on the wall and turned it off. It was a one in a million shot that I couldn’t do again if I tried for 100 years. I hope that lightbulb wasn’t important?
A lot has happened since you played last in Frederick. You signed to SideOneDummy. How did that relationship come about and how has it been working with the label?
Jamie (S1D’s publicist) heard one of our songs and checked us out at The Fest in 2014, then came to our LA show later on that tour. We struck up a conversation and were invited to the label office the next time we came to the west coast. From then on, we would always hang out with people from the SideOne team whenever we got the chance because they are the BEST people. They expressed interest in working with us, and it just made sense. The experience has been nothing short of phenomenal. We feel so supported and encouraged by the team, and their enthusiasm and dedication to what we do pushes us to work even harder.
You have a new record coming out next month. How did the recording process go and how do you think this record stands up to your other work?
We recorded for two weeks in Nashville, TN, which is the longest amount of time we’ve ever had to record. As a result, I think we came out of the session with a record that is more cohesive and flows better than anything we’ve released in the past. I think it plays like an actual “album” rather than just a collection of 10 or so songs. We were also afforded the time to be a little more experimental with sounds and tones and push ourselves structurally.
What’s your favorite song on the upcoming record and why?
Probably either “MadTV” because it’s so different from anything we’ve done, or “Michael Keaton” because it was a work in progress for 3.5 years that we finally finished and I’m very proud of it.
You guys have been to a ton of places – where’s your favorite city/venue to play and why?
Every city has it’s charm and hidden (or not so hidden) gems, but some that stick out in my mind:
- Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA: The size/decor/vibe of this venue is perfect. Plus they made us some really great chili.
- Saturn, Birmingham, AL: This venue/coffeehouse/chill-zone is a venue built by bands who have toured. The venue itself has a cool mid-century modern/sci-fi vibe. The green room is a big loft above the venue that feels like your coolest best friend’s apartment, and they have postcards that you can fill out for family/loved ones/anyone you’re missing, and the venue will mail them for you!
- 123 Pleasant St, Morgantown, WV: We’ve played 123 so many times in our “career” as a band, it feels like a home away from home, and even after getting the chance to travel the world, it’s still one of my favorite venues in the world.
- The Triffid, Brisbane, AUS: This venue is massive and looks like an old airplane hangar. It’s sick.
What do you think is the most perfect song ever written and why?
“You Gave Your Love To Me Softly” by Weezer. There isn’t a wasted moment in this song. It kicks off with a killer chorus, every melody is incredible, the energy is high, the guitar solo is hooky with just enough wankery peppered in, and all of this happens and makes sense in 2 minutes.
Who are you listening to the most these days?
Podcasts. I listen to a lot of podcasts. “How I Built This.” “WTF.” “Everything’s Coming Up Simpsons.” “Going Off Track.” Musically, I have been listening to a lot of Alex G, Charly Bliss, Andy Shauf, as well as the same music I’ve been constantly spinning for the past 10 years.
Who are some some bands we might not have heard of that we should check out?
Charly Bliss, DARK MTNS, William Matheny, Bishops, Great Grandpa, Sleeping Bag.
Who did you pick first in your 2016 “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” fantasy draft?
Probably either Lauren Lapkus, Paul F. Tompkins or Nathan Fielder.
Finally, what can we expect from your set here in Frederick at The Thing?
High energy, high volume, original indie-rock material, pleasant vibes and a good attitude!