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Interview

Hull And The Hot Tub; Video Available

Photo of Hull

Band Photo: Hull (?)

Brooklyn's Hull has been rising in notoriety quickly with sludgy doom and a New York attitude. With "Beyond the Lightless Sky" just released, Hull hit the road this fall and winter to reach fans across the U.S. I caught up with the band the day after Halloween in New Orleans where they discussed the album, rating systems used to rank it, and their California hot tub dreams. A transcription is available below.

Buick McKane: How are y’all doing today?

Jeff Stieber: Some of us are still hungover from the Halloween extravaganza last night.

Drew Mack: Definitely.

Nick Palmirotto: I am not hungover.

Carmine Laietta: I am not hungover.

Sean Dunn: I feel great.

Drew: You look great.

Buick: Does great mean hungover but you’re still having fun?

Sean: Well, I mean, I’m not necessarily any worse hungover than I already was two days before, but I feel moderately better. I managed to just let it slide for the past few days.

Buick: How’s the tour been going so far?

Carmine: Been a great time.

Jeff: Fantastic.

Drew: Awesome.

Sean: Responses have been pretty awesome. It’s generally what happens; play the show and people are screaming their heads off.

Buick: Pretty big crowds?

Nick: Yeah, here and there.

Carmine: Big and small.

Nick: Yeah, big and small, and then some…

Drew: We do not discriminate.

Nick: We seem to always get good responses when we play, but it’s weird depending on where we are. In certain areas, people just lose their minds and come up immediately after we’re [done] playing and just say, “Oh, that was fucking great.” Some people sit quietly all night and as soon as we’re getting in the van to leave they’ll quietly come up and say, “That was a fucking great show.” All in all, we’ve gotten really good responses.

Sean: Or they demand we do another set.

Carmine: In Savanah, we had one dude in show up.

Jeff: In Savanah, it was a Circle Takes Square show and everybody went out there, so we played for a crowd of…

Drew: Four people.

Jeff: Four or five people. But then we played and we were like, “Okay let’s [go]” because we were having to drive all night. But some guy came in off the street and said, “I can’t wait to see Hull.” And we said, “We already played, buddy.” He said, “You gotta play again.” So we ended up playing again.

Nick: We were the only band that played the show.

Carmine: We were slated to go on later, but we just set up and played.

Jeff: So we played two sets.

Nick: But everyone loved it though.

Jeff: And the bartender was really attractive. If you’re watching this, just know that we all think you’re watching this, just know that we all think you’re extremely hot.

Carmine: Oh yeah.

Sean: We would have played more just for you.

Buick: What was her name?

Sean: Giavanna. She’s pretty good with words.

Nick: Philip Cope from Kylesa and his girlfriend came out. It was pretty cool.

Buick: That’s cool. Are there any cities in particular that seem to be crazier, usually, than others?

Carmine: Little Rock, Arkansas, we actually have a pretty legit little following going on there. The scene is growing; a bunch of people show up every time and are super into it. It’s nice. And Texas is always a party. Whenever we play in Austin, it’s always awesome. What else?

Jeff: Brooklyn.

Carmine: Out hometown.

Sean: Our far as our tour goes, California is really key for us. We’ve not played out there…Me and the dudes from The Wrath were kind of like, “Eh, the east coast. Whatever. But wait til you guys get out to the west coast. You’re going to be far more received, like, better received. We’ve never been out there, this is the first time we’ve been out there.

Jeff: Weed’s legal, man!

Carmine: Spoken by the guy who smokes one hit and becomes a retard.

Nick: Are you trying to say retard?

Jeff: It got dark in here.

Buick: It’s the ghosts. Don’t worry about that.

Drew: The spirits.

Nick: The ghosts of N’awlins.

Buick: Well, you’re on this tour because you released “Beyond the Lightless Sky” last month. How has it been received so far?

Drew: Really well.

Jeff: Every review’s been good. Even the reviews that were, like, not so good we’re actually good.

Nick: Even the ones that were 6.9s.

Jeff: Yeah, the 6.9 review.

Sean: It’s on the Richter Scale. It’s pretty awesome. 6.9 is pretty heavy.

Nick: Overall, I would say pretty exceptional.

Sean: And, I mean, this is just the beginning so we’ve got plans for March.

Buick: So I’ve never heard of a point-something rating system for a metal album before. It’s usually just an even number.

Sean: I’m pretty sure he did it just to have it as a Richter Scale kind of rating.

Buick: So it’s pretty devastating is what you’re saying.

Jeff: I think it can destroy an entire city.

Buick: It depends on the city; if things are really close together.

Jeff: Well most cities.

Buick: And that album was mixed by Billy Anderson who worked with some legendary bands like Sleep, Neurosis, eyehategod from New Orleans, The Melvins. So how did y’all get in touch with him?

Nick: Well I just contacted him. I’ve been a big fan of all the stuff he’s worked on, and from the beginning we were saying this album had to be huge. And he notoriously has that sound that makes bands sound huge. So, just contacted him and he fortunately said, you know, “I’m a big fan of the band.” And we had a certain budget to work with, he really wanted to work with us, so he was very accommodating and he’s been a super good bro the whole time. And I actually met him at Maryland Death Fest this year and we got to talk about it a bit before he worked on it. We were just in great communication, and it came out really, really well. Far beyond what I could even imagine.

Carmine: Yeah, feels good. We’re all really satisfied with the way the record turned out. As opposed to our last record. None of us were really happy with it all, so it was quite the satisfying feeling.

Nick: Yeah, through this whole process, we’ve become, I would say, pretty good friends, just as far as communicating so much. Then when we go out to the west coast, he said he wants us to stay with him and barbecue with him, and he wants us to be in his new documentary.

Jeff: And he’s got a hot tub too?

Nick: Hot tub too.

Carmine, Drew: Hot tub!

Nick: So pretty well received all around. He’s a good dude.

Buick: Are there going to be women in the hot tub?

Carmine: Goddanmit!

Jeff: Fuck no there aren’t!

Sean: I’ve been told, when you’re in L.A., bring extra condoms.

Buick: Well would you like to work with Billy again?

Drew: Oh yeah, definitely.

Carmine: Absolutement.

Buick: And if you have such a good rapport with him, I would think he’d like to work with y’all. Maybe you can discuss that in the hot tub.

Nick: He’s already been asking us when the next one is.

Carmine: Jeff’s going to be finnicking a little extra in the hot tub.

Jeff: Where’s the jet button?

Nick: To be honest, I think we need to mention the actual engineer who tracked the album; Brett Romnes. He’s basically the sixth member of Hull. He was our first drummer.

Sean: Is he our Lou Pearlman?

Drew: Oh shit.

Nick: He is the Lou Pearlman of Hull.

Carmine: That’s not good to say at all.

Sean: Yeah, but he’s not getting paid either. He’s also in a touring band, and they’re doing a lot better now; I Am The Avalanche. At the same time we recorded our album, they were also recording their album.

Nick: He’s an amazing engineer and producer. He was the first drummer and he introduced Jeff to us. He’s always kind of been there, he’s just an amazing musician, he has a good mind and a good ear for our sound. So the tracking with him was awesome because he was able to set the bar, and he got the best possible tracking and, sending that off to Billy, Billy was able to work his magic with it. So I would say the combination is where the whole thing came to a head.

Buick: And in a statement you released earlier this summer, you mentioned that you would like to collaborate with USX one day.

Jeff: Oh yeah, forgot about that.

Drew: Those are our brothers.

Sean: Actually it was an offer to collaborate with them by me. He actually asked us while we were on tour with them and Battilus. I don’t know who he approached, but he said, “Oh yeah, we’re going to do a collaboration with USX and a few other bands.

Nick: Yeah, I guess the original idea was not to do a normal compilation, and actually do a collaboration between bands and record an album; all of us put in a collaborative effort to do this. It’s supposed to be…it’s still in the works, but USX, Hull, Batillus, Amen Ra…it’s going to be, like, an hour long song.

Sean: Mood. Hour long mood.

Buick: Is there anything else y’all would like to say?

Drew: Fuck yes.

Nick: Fuck yes, NOLA.

Jeff: Fuck yes.

Nick: Shout out to Gary Mader from eyehategod and Hawg Jaw. He always hooks us up when we come into town.

Drew: That’s all I want to say.

buickmckane's avatar

Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.

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