This is an archived interview conducted by Meghan in 2009 for Front & Center Rock.
Crystal Ballroom|Portland, Oregon
Hockey: Okay, I’m Ben and I sing in Hockey.
Let’s talk about your album Mind Chaos. Originally you guys recorded it on your own and then had it remastered when you got signed right?
So what would you say about recording it on your own and now releasing the remastered version. Did the whole process work out the way you wanted it to now in retrospect?
Yeah, the ones that we did on our own were kind of like, somehow the most perfect ones cause we took more time on them and even though the equipment wasn’t as good they were exactly what we wanted. And we did some in the studios that we liked too. It was just random. The whole album is chaotic and kind of random. So ultimately I don’t know…
Hence the title?
Yeah! Well I mean that title actually came afterwards. I mean it actually happens to fit that, but that isn’t actually why we called it that. It wasn’t like “there’s so many crazy songs and sounds so it’s called Mind Chaos.” It just happened to fit. But that’s just kind of always how we’ve been. For some reason just get in to writing songs it’s like starting with a different kind of idea, so whatever.
Well being that it is the end of the year; do you have any big hopes for the record? Any Top 10 lists you’re dying to get on?
Um, let me think. No… Hm, I’m trying to think. I really like France. So it’d be fun to get big in France. They’re really weird there. They’re really random about what they pick. But I don’t know. My whole thing is that you make an album and you can’t do anything about what’s gonna happen to it. It’s just interesting, and if it connects to people then that’s it. And if it doesn’t then it doesn’t. So you just do your thing. Not that we’re not worried!
Do you have any favorites on the album, either to play or personal favorites?
I don’t know, yeah some of them. I really like “Work” or “Too Fake” and “Song Away” maybe are kind of my favorites. The more solid ones.
Alright so you guys have some downtime over the holidays. I know you’re home now here in Portland. Are you going to be relaxing for most of it or will you be working on any new material?
Well, we’re doing the shows and we’re all going to go home for a while. I’m gonna go see my family in New York. And then we’ll come back right before an endless tour is starting. In like mid January, it’s like an endless tour. So hopefully we’ll have a song or two new by then. So when we go back to England and play those shows we won’t just play the same set. We can add something else.
Well like I was telling you earlier I just moved to Portland also. Specifically for the music scene.
Yeah! And I know that’s kind of what you guys did also. So I wanted to ask you what you love about Portland’s music scene since you’ve been here.
Really? Florida doesn’t have much? The Black Kids are from there right?
Um, I think they’re from New York, they might be from Florida.
You probably would know better than me.
Haha, okay, I think they’re Florida.
Maybe I’m thinking of Black Keys?
(Editors note – Ben was right. The Black Kids are in fact from Jacksonville, FL. And to clear up any confusion Black Dice are from New York, Black Keys are from Ohio, Black Lips are from Georgia and The Black Ghosts are from the UK)
Or that band The Drums! Have you heard of them?
I haven’t. I’m from Tallahassee, which uh… Creed was from Tallahassee.
So that’s our music scene.
Yeah. So what do you love about this place?
It’s really good I mean, it’s just one of those places that has no kind of music you’re supposed to be playing. I can imagine other cities where you should play kind of emo or this city is like “this is what goes here.” But here anything could work. So I like that. And there are just so many bands. You just want to go to a place that has lots of good bands and if you can work it out there then people will take notice. Whereas if you’re in the newspapers everyday in some small city, which we kinda were, it doesn’t matter. You’re just in the newspaper and then 50 people come to your show. You’re just isolated. So we didn’t want to be isolated.
Alright, well in your video for “Song Away,” which is a great video. It’s really funny, Charlyne Yi is in it and she’s hilarious.How did the whole video and idea come about?
Well I wanted to do a certain idea and we didn’t end up really doing it. We kind of combined it with the director’s idea and he sent us this video. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, a lot of people have on Youtube of this guy dancing at Sasquatch. There’s like this lone dancer and he’s in the middle of the field. And he’s doing this really goofy dance for a while and it’s really funny. Then somebody else comes and joins him and then people just keep flocking until its this huge dance party. But it began with this really goofy dancer. [Watch the video Ben was talking about here] So that was the directors idea he wanted to have a dance instigator, which was that nerd guy. And then I had this idea where I wanted to just go around LA. Start early morning on the beach and have us walking through crowded streets in LA with lights on us like we’re performing but no even one notices or cares, and we’re walking around. So they kind of put those two things together. But the directors idea kind of ended up taking off more, ours is just kind of us walking down the street for a second. I think it’s funny. It kind of bothers me because… well its funny, its goofy. We actually made another “Song Away” video.
I haven’t seen that, is it out?
No not yet. But I don’t know, that one’s fun. That’s the fun side of the song. But to me I like that song because it’s fun but it has content in it. You know what I mean? When you see that video you can’t even hear a word of the song, I just can’t even hear the words, I just hear the music. But in the other video we made you can probably hear a little more of the words. They’ll go together kind of funny. One’s goofy and the other one’s more surreal or serious or something.
Well that sounds pretty cool. So you guys have played tons of festivals. Pretty much all the big ones here and in the UK. Did you get to meet or see anyone you never thought you’d meet before you started playing music?
Yeah, I mean definitely.
Well the bands that I saw, The Fleet Foxes. We opened for The Fleet Foxes and met down in Norway. And that was really cool because I really like them. Before I saw them. We listened to The Virgins tons even when we recorded the album. And then we went on tour with them in the east. I guess we toured with Passion Pit too, we actually hadn’t heard of them until we toured with them. But now I really like them.
[Brian Hockey’s tour manager comes over]
[Signals Ben for food]
Oh I’m not eating now.
[Oh, you need to order now though.]
Oh really? Alright well I’ll check it out in a second.
(Thanks for respecting the crap out of our interview, Ben!)
Let me think. I saw The Killers in Germany. I don’t have any of their CD’s but it was amazing. I was up in this huge balcony and it was just like a sea of people and so much excitement. You know the energy is really fun. And they’re actually really good live. You know they’re not like seen as the coolest band in the world I guess.
Yeah, since they got huge a lot of people are like “Oh The Killers I’m too cool for them.”
Yeah but they do it. It’s kind of like, I wasn’t bored so that’s the bottom line. And the Friendly Fires are awesome. Just tons and tons that we toured with, cool bands.
Alright while let’s see, so after tonight you guys have a couple holiday shows, and then like you said earlier you’re going on pretty much a world tour. Japan, Australia and then back to Europe?
Do you have any place you’re really looking forward to going?
Uh yeah, Japan.
Have you ever been there?
No, I’ve never even been near there. So it’s just going to absolutely shock me. But I’m kinda looking forward to it. It’ll be interesting.
Well that’s my last question so if there’s anything you want to add, promote your album, ya know.
Umm. I don’t know. Our band name is Hockey. It’s hard to look up. You have to fight for it.
It works if you type “Hockey band.”
Yeah? Okay. I think it’s starting to work though. If you write Hockey in Google someone else told me that it comes up somewhere. If you go to images its still all hockey players. We named the band so long ago, before everything.
Keep checking, one day the bands picture will come up.
Yeah we’ll get in there on the 5th page and move up.
Well that’s all thank you for doing the interview.
Oh cool, awesome, thank you.