Irwin Sparkes from The Hoosiers talks to MM about the band’s new album, ’15 minutes of fame’ and ‘poison chalice’ X Factor ahead of their return to Manchester.
The British frontman opened up to MM ahead of the band’s Night & Day Cafe gig on October 30.
Bursting on to the music scene in 2007, The Hoosiers debut album The Trick of Life had huge success achieving multiplatinum status.
With singles Worried about Ray and Goodbye Mr A the band quickly developed a huge fan base.
But a successful start to their careers meant one thing for the four piece band – pressure to keep producing to such a high standard, a pressure which the band hated.
— The Hoosiers (@thehoosiersuk) October 13, 2015
Returning last year as a three piece band, it’s clear to see they have a new direction and a stronger idea of the music they want to create.
The departure of long-time bass player Martin Skarendahl and their split from their record label meant the band had a lot to prove in their comeback.
Their new album entitled The Secret Service was released earlier this month, with a gig planned for Manchester on October 30 at the Night & Day Cafe.
Talking to vocalist and guitarist Irwin Sparkes, during the bands second day of tour, he explains how the new album brings a new sound for The Hoosiers.
This is happening… Grey rinse. pic.twitter.com/Y5UmKKiu5N
— The Hoosiers (@thehoosiersuk) October 11, 2015
“There is a new vibe to this album – I feel it is more psychedelic and sexy, which is something I would never have previously described us as,” said Sparkes.
Their visit to Manchester this time, will see them playing at The Night and Day Café, an intimate venue which Irwin reveals creates its own challenges and excitement.
“Honestly, we take what we can get, with intimate venues there is nowhere to hide, there is a purity about it which is different to say performing at festivals,” he said.
Making their comeback in 2014 as an independent band was a brave move, however, the band is honest in explaining it was a case of leaving their label before they were pushed.
— Student Pocket Guide (@TheSPG) October 10, 2015
Irwin said: “We are making records we want, we no longer feel the pressure to have a Radio 1 hit, we lost our label but gained our freedom.
“It helped us to gain a stronger identity; we have all gone through life changes which we can now portray openly in our music.”
The Hoosiers have a close relationship to their fans and as the bands vocalist confirms, they are excited to continue with their tour and connecting with fans.
“We love what we are doing, we always want to please our fans – they are the bosses,” said Sparkes.
“We are very hands on, we run everything even our social media feeds, which means we get to respond directly to fans.”
With many new acts breaking through into the industry every day, Irwin reveals the band does not aim for a celebrity status produced in shows such as X Factor.
He said: “It is hard to compete with shows as popular as X Factor, but to us we see them more as growing a celebrity status which can be harmful to society.”
However, when asked if the band hadn’t achieved their success, Irwin struggled to answer whether they would have thought of taking this route.
The Hoosiers’ UK tour starts THIS WEEK!! What date(s) will you be at? pic.twitter.com/joHDbQEU1P
— The Hoosiers Fans (@Hoosiersfanclub) October 7, 2015
He added: “I would like to say no as they are like a poison chalice and a quick fix but they are a platform to get people to where they want to go.”
New bands continue to emerge almost daily, when talking about advice to give to young musicians Irwin adds ‘they should not rush’.
He said: “It’s a big thing breaking into the music industry I would say not to rush. The industry seems so young these days.
“Twenty seems to be pushing it, it’s important for new artists to know themselves and their own mind, rather than just choosing what is popular”.
Artists in the music industry have to deal with websites such as Spotify, allowing people to access their songs without any charge.
“There is a whole generation who have never experienced paying for music,” said Sparkes.
“Some artists do find it annoying but we see it as exciting – it makes us more egger to get out there and deliver our songs live to the fans.
“We also see it as a platform which our fans can use to get excited about seeing us live – we would rather them use Spotify to access our music than not listen to us at all.”
Ending the interview, Irwin reflected on the early days of the band, which he refers to as their ‘15 minutes of fame’.
Tickets to see The Hoosiers are £13.50 (plus booking fee) and can be purchased at www.thehoosiers.com.