Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Interview: Hocico

Soundtrack To The End Of The World...

"In my opinion you really have to be ready to lose everything including friends and family and you’ve got be really crazy to give up everything for what you love."

With over 20 years in the industry, Hocico are certainly one of the better known and respected acts in the electro/industrial scene.  New album ‘El Ultimo Minuto’ carries on their tradition of harsh beats and abrasive melodies, with a theme of “sound track to the end of time”.
Kevin Morris caught up with them for a brief chat at their recent London show.

It’s a surreal day already. Gig days are usually hectic. Things go wrong, things get delayed and there is this constant fight against the ‘doors opening time’ and any associated curfews. But, the soundchecks are done. For all bands. Everything is calm and relaxed. Surreal.
Erk and Oscar always seem calm and relaxed. If Erk was any more laid back he’d be horizontal! A total different persona from the maniac stomping around on stage! He doesn’t even seem to have let travelling get to him too much.
“We hit traffic from the airport, so it took us about 90 minutes to get here from Gatwick, it was difficult but we made it- and we’re doing good!”

Although tonight’s show in London is well attended and is a great atmosphere, it’s still small fry to what they’ve achieved elsewhere globally. They’ve been creeping up festival bills for years and last year headlined the M’era Luna festival.
“We’ve been around for 20 years now, it’s good but we’re still full of energy to go on, it’s pretty crazy to us that we’re a 20 year old band, it doesn’t feel like it, but we’ve been around for 20 years!”
This is almost criminal. They do not look old enough to have been doing a band for 20 years. Note to self: get Hocico’s diet tips.
“Our souls are young even if we are not so young! It’s good that we can headline festivals, it’s great. It’s great.”
It’s not just M’era Luna either, shows back in Mexico are also big deals.
“We get like a minimum of a thousand people, it’s close enough not underground music any more… but the amount of people who come to hour shows there, it’s just crazy!  It’s like a really giant party”

Away from the excitement of live shows, there is the matter of the new album, 'El Ultimo Minuto'….
“Part of the concept of the album is like a sound track to the end of time, the other is the idea is you gotta live your life to the fullest, you never know when the last day will come.”
Is that an important philosophy of yours?
“Yeah, every day could be the last day so I really enjoy living life to the fullest.”

The album came out at about the same time as the alleged “Mayan’s Predict end of world” saga last December (of course, the reality was it was merely the end of the calendar – but morons do like to blow things out of propotion). Erk admits that this may have a small impact on the songwriting.
“Yeah, the whole concept of the album is influenced by this  misconception of culture and of the Mayan calendar, this panic and paranoia of how the world was going to end got into the music somehow, we used all this paranoia to make some music!”
Just as the media used it to sell a lot of newspapers…
“The media don’t show the whole picture. It’s hard to get through but people should question what they see or hear. The internet should always be free, the internet is powerful, TV is just bullshit, that’s not reality and it’s sad that internet is getting more and more controlled; I think it’s important that people fight for their right to say whatever they want.”

Erk and Oscar are cousins, they spent many of their younger life together, as they had similar musical tastes.   So, for all their history, it’s said with a smile when asked what Hocico feel their biggest achievement has been, “That we don’t hate each other!
“Of course being in a band sometimes it’s too close and unbearable, but we’ve learned to live together and it’s very important to work through our differences, we need to.”

There’s a growing discontent amongst bands who are not happy with their lot, or maybe bands who are happy but still want to build to achieve more, Hocico have simpler ambitions for the future.
“I would like to keep on doing what I do, that’s my biggest wish. As long as I can make or produce music, I don’t have expectations to get into the charts or stuff like that, I mean it would be cool but it’s not like a goal.
“It’s funny, I mean we’re pretty much lucky bastards in that we can make a living on music, I know that not every band has a chance to do it but we feel pretty lucky and we appreciate that, we know lucky we are.”

It’s very apparent that Hocico are very humble – they’re thankful of what they’ve achieved and appreciative of their success. But is it luck? Skill? Or more than that…?
“In my opinion you really have to be ready to lose everything including friends and family and you’ve got be really crazy to give up everything for what you love. If you’re not ready for this it will be pretty hard to change from a hobby at the weekends. People who really make it in music are people who really concentrate. For us we’re too radical to do jobs, so we do this. Is it art or is it death? I can only do what I do or I die.”

Which almost takes us full circle, so… given the theme for the album and interview…what would you do if you were given just one day to live?
“What would I do?  Well I mean as I said I live every day to the fullest I would probably just do the same as what I’m doing now, if I found out I’m dying tomorrow, I’d just play a show you know? Just go to London and play a show, a party for the end of the world!”

And they did…

Hocico's latest album, 'El Ultimo Minuto (Antes De Que Tu Mundo Caiga)' [check out our review HERE - Ed.] is available now via Out Of Line. Kev's review of the Hocico show at Electrowerks is also available to view HERE. For more information on the band please visit their official website.

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