Fresh Hops take their debut album Everyone Act Normal out on the road
Fresh Hops is gearing up to play a 15 day straight, tour to promote their new debut album hitting 8 States. LMNR caught up with them before they headed out on the road.
How did the band Fresh Hops come to be? Is this the original line-up? Any personnel changes?
Fresh Hops came together in Muncie, IN in 2008. There have been a few changes to the lineup but the current group has been together for 4 years.
The name came from the drummer Kevin’s brother Kurt.
Can you give a brief description of what Fresh Hops’ music is like?
As writers and performers Fresh Hops constantly blurs the lines between genres and style, often during the course of a single song. That “anything goes” attitude has translated to a stage show that remains fresh and fun from show to show. The realization that jazz, classic soul, bluegrass, classical, metal and progressive jam rock can all shake hands and play nice has guided them to create remarkable tunes from an ever-expanding palette.
How does living in Indiana influence your lyrics and music?
Being from Indiana has clearly influenced our music. But being so close to Chicago we are able to draw that city’s lifestyle with the laid back Midwestern vibe. Fast paced yet humble and personable.
The music of Fresh Hops is clearly different that the rest of the bands out there. First off you have a violin playing the role of a saxophone in a funk band. Plus the band is always having fun on and off the stage. The energy is infectious and the crowd feels the synergy.
Everyone Act Normal is the debut CD from Fresh Hops, can you tell me how this whole project came about?
The CD finally came to together last year! After our van broke down we started traveling in Stephan’s truck. With the van out of commission we were finally able to start saving money. Recorded at IV Lab Studios in Chicago we finally were able to get the Fresh Hops sound onto a full length CD.
If you had one original song to choose for new listeners to get into the Fresh Hop style, what would it be? Why?
I would listen to Grammatically Chromatic. It’s a long one but encompasses the history of the band and where it is headed. It has the odd meter, funky lines, and extended solos but also features the goofy vocal lines that brings the prankster spirit.
Too many bands to include.
Do you have a favorite musician or band that you like to cover? How do you make the covers more your own style?
We approach covers a few ways but the favorite is to do the vocal melody of the violin. We do a cover of Billie Jean that always brings the house down in this style.
What are you guys doing to prepare for the tour?
There is no way to prepare for tour. Just trying to take a shower and eat right. Cause anything goes on the road.
Any particular shows you are looking forward to playing? Why?
We’ve been going to Colorado in the summer since 2009. Every year gets bigger and better. We have so many friends that live out there now that it feels like home when we travel. We used to head straight out there which lead to a long drive both ways. Now we are trying to hit up as many spots on the way out and back as possible. This year we get to visit some new towns and Des Moines, IA, Kearney, NE, Hays, KS, Tulsa, OK, and more!
Check out the review of Everyone Act Normal by Northwest Indiana Times Correspondent, Tom Lounges.
Are you planning on having any special guests sit in on any of your shows? Who? What do they bring to the band and your sound?
The stage is always open for Fresh Hops. We try to include rather than exclude in everything we do! While there are no special guests planned it could happen on any night. Be it a member of an opening band or a friend in town. Sometimes the owner of the club will come sing with us!
Any last thoughts you’d like to add?
Fresh Hops has been doing this for 7 years and shows no signs of slowing down. We are expanding all over the country and do this ourselves. We invite you to come be a part of our crazy family and bring some joy into your life.
Cosmic Railroad Family Gathering
Gays Mills, WI
Iowa City Yacht Club
Iowa City, IA
Finn’s Food and Spirits
Des Moines, IA
Ft. Collins, CO
Vail Brewing Company
Quixote’s True Blue
Owsley’s Golden Road
Gella’s Diner and Lb. Brewery
The Fur Shop
Hullabaloo Music Fest
Bent River Brew Company
Rock Island, IL