As South by Southwest gets into full swing, we’re in for another jam-packed week of music and day drinking. With the massive amount of bands playing the festival, dwindling your roster of favorites down to even a couple dozen is a daunting task. Enter Indiana-based indie pop darlings HOOPS, ready to make the top of your must-see list of bands.
Bringing a refreshing take on indie pop, their self-titled EP was received warmly by critics and fans alike. Listening to their music, you might notice that the vocals on any track differ from one song to the next. This is because the band doesn’t have just one lead singer; it has three. Depending on who wrote the song, either band member Drew Auscherman, Kevin Krauter or Keagan Beresford will sing lead while simultaneously playing their respective instruments..
“Rules,” the debut single from the band’s first full-length album Routines–set to release on May 5th–is delightfully lo-fi beach music, perfect for road trips and sinking deep into summer nostalgia. Before the band takes SXSW, we got in touch with singer and bassist Krauter, who told us about what’s on his playlist, their new album Routines and the band’s affinity for free stuff.
Vinyl Mag: How many times have you played South by Southwest?
Kevin Krauter: This will be our first time playing at SXSW.
VM: Do you have any pre-festival rituals?
KK: We haven’t played many festivals, but probably just taking advantage of as much free shit as we can.
VM: Do you feel like playing a festival has a different vibe than playing at a venue?
KK: The vibe is definitely different. Not as intimate as a venue show, which can be a bummer, but on the other hand it can be really fun sometimes playing to the festival crowd.
VM: Can we expect to hear you play some new stuff from Routines?
KK: Our set has a few songs off of the new album. They’re very fun.
VM: Is “Rules” a good indicator of the overall sound on the rest of the album?
KK: Not exactly. It’s produced a similar way, and it kind of represents how we’ve sounded up until now. But the rest of the album is pretty different.
VM: Routines was recorded in a studio and then tweaked in your parent’s basement. Do you guys feel like that’s where you make your most authentic work?
KK: Yeah, definitely. Working in the studio was a cool experience, and we learned a lot from it. But we’ve always made our music on our own, so I think when we went home and worked on it, we were able to focus pretty closely on the sound we wanted.
VM: Who were some of your musical inspirations while you were making that record?
KK: The Radio Dept.
VM: It’s not common for an indie pop band to rotate lead vocalists. Was that a conscious decision you guys made, or was that just something that happened naturally?
KK: Well, we all write songs, so it’s just always sort of made sense for us to let whoever wrote the song sing it as well. Also, we’ve always been slightly overambitious about singing harmonies, so we ask for three mics on stage anyway.
VM: If you guys were to collab with somebody, who do you hope it would be?
KK: I saw a video once of Connan Mockasin’s band playing with Charlotte Gainsbourg for some French TV program. I think it would be fun to do something like that.
VM: What albums have you been listening to recently?
KK: Savage Mode by 21 Savage. Magnificent Fist by Sean Nicholas Savage. 1999 by Prince. Mister Yellowman by Yellowman. Tuesday Night Music Club by Sheryl Crow. And Front Row Seat to Earth by Weyes Blood.
VM: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at SX?
KK: Omni, IAN SWEET, Lala Lala, Jay Som, Lil Yachty, Furnsss and Stef Chura.
VM: What shows are you playing?
KK: A lot.
VM: What’s your favorite part of the festival experience?
KK: Free stuff.
VM: What would be your dream festival lineup?
KK: Vans Warped Tour.
VM: Do you prefer barbecue or tacos?
KK: Both, baby. Giddy up.