Craig Roxburgh caught up with pop rock outfit Hit The Ground Running. Read what they had to say about pop rock, the pop punk scene and 5 Seconds of Summer.
Hi guys, would you please give a brief history of the band for the Mind Equals Blown readers.
We had been friends long before we started the band, and our love for acts like Yellowcard, Relient K and All Time Low brought us together in music.
You guys play into the rather ill-fated genre of pop rock. What made you guys choose to get together and start playing pop rock?
We play what feels natural and what excites us to hear! We don’t focus on genre too much.
Are you guys slightly worried by the course that pop rock seems to be taking where bands hire ghost writers and then perform these songs that they did not create and are then get all the attention?
We are not worried. We take a lot of pride in writing our own music, and we like to believe that the emotions and feelings that our songs convey really shine through, and give our music a really special, meaningful quality.
Artists like 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction are classified as pop rock by numerous critics; what are your thoughts on these bands, or rather boy bands?
There’s a reason that those groups are very popular. Opinions aside, they seem to have a lot of talent, and they are smart in the way that they know what a very large majority of people want to hear. We definitely take that approach when we write our music in some sense. We write what feels right to us, but we definitely take into account how others will connect to it. It’s not necessarily important that we’re ‘popular’ or whatever. But we write and play music for other people. We want to give them reasons to connect with it.
A decade ago pop rock/pop punk used to be considered to be a bit of a rebellious genre with the likes of Fall Out Boy and Paramore gaining an enormous amount of fans due to the rather unique energy of the genre. Now the genre is almost clichéd, where do you guys see the genre going in the next decade?
What a great question. The truth is, it’s impossible to tell. Bands like Fall Out Boy and Paramore recently reinvented themselves and that tactic worked for them. I feel like the most innovative acts will be the ones holding the torch ten years from now.
Would you guys say that there has been a decline in musical standards within recent years?
Not at all. Things change. The music industry is in a changing state – neither good nor bad… It’s just changing. Styles change and morph, new sounds are created and old ones are resurrected. The music industry is a lot like life – the only thing predictable about it is it’s unpredictability. That’s what makes it a fun little challenge.
What I like about you guys is that you have that energy that Fall Out Boy had on their earlier albums. Do you think this energy would be enough to catapult yourselves above all the other pop rock bands out there?
Thank you! We still get excited when we listen to our music. We pride ourselves on our energy in our music and live performances; however, energy will not get us to be at a competitive level with the other popular acts in our genre. It takes more than just energy to be successful and I’m sure every successful band would agree with that. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that most people don’t get a chance to see, and that’s what pays off in the end.
What are your thoughts on where the genre stands now with the majority of the bands all sounding the same or attempt to emulate the big names within the genre?
Music today is nothing but a giant competition, because now, more than ever, anybody can create and release their music anywhere… I think a lot of bands and artists feel like they need to sound like what’s popular to get noticed, when in reality, that could be the farthest thing from the truth.
In terms of your music and lyrics, what inspires you guys?
Day-to-day life. If something happens that gives us enough inspiration to drop whatever we’re doing and write a song about it, that ‘something’ is worth sharing with whoever wants to listen.
What music did you guys grow up listening to?
All the music we mentioned earlier! The fact that you compared us to Fall Out Boy was pretty cool, because they have always been one of our all time favorite acts.