Interview: Hydrovibe- Heather & Mat

The first and sadly, only time I have seen Hydrovibe live was in November of 2008.  This was on their tour with Bobaflex.  I had never heard of either band.  I looked into each of them and was automatically drawn to Hydrovibe.

I hope everyone reading this interview thinks it is as fun as Heather and Mat did!  And I must say their answers are far more than I ever expected.  I laughed, learned, and was left in deep thought. 

Heather:

First of all I would like to say WOW! Heather, you look electrifying with straight hair.

THANK YOU!!!

How did the signing to the Japanese record label SPINNING come about?

Mat actually got us that deal!  We knew we wanted to join forces with a Japanese label to release “Nothing Left To Lose” in Japan in 2010, so when Mat got word that he was going to be in Tokyo doing a promo tour this past August with our friend – actress/singer/songwriter Schuyler Fisk – for her album release in Japan, we began researching labels immediately.  We narrowed the search down to the 3 labels we wanted and reached out to them.  Though Mat did 8 shows in only 3 days in Tokyo with Schuyler, he somehow managed to squeeze in meetings with all three labels and scored Hydrovibe a deal with the very top label we wanted!

Who heard of whom first?

I’m not exactly sure, really.  Mat said that when he met with the President of International A&R for SPINNING in Tokyo, he had clearly done his research on Hydrovibe… He knew all about us.  They apparently didn’t really spend much time talking about our band, they just got right down to what SPINNING was going to do for our band’s release in Japan!

One thing I was not expecting to see under their artists section was a band I would recognize, but The Exies are on this label as well.  I have to add here that the Halloween 2008 video on their myspace page is from a show in South Carolina (the costumes were from Walmart).  Have you played shows together?

We have not, actually.  I’d LOVE to, though.  We are with the same booking agency as The Exies in the US.

What do you think the attraction to Hydrovibe is in Japan?

Japan has always been a champion of rock music in general, and now it seems that they have been paying special attention to female-fronted rock bands.  That works well for us, obviously!  The Japanese fans are also are widely-known for being guitar enthusiasts, so Mat has been getting a lot of attention for Hydrovibe in Japan for his strong guitar riffs and shreddery as well!

What was your first thought when the record signing made headlines on Yahoo there?

We were obviously very excited and proud.  That also turned into an interview with Yahoo in Japan by the way.  Pretty cool!

I did try to translate some of the comments by the way.

Yeah, there’s always plenty that gets lost in translation with those online translators.  Makes for some very amusing translated dialogue though!

Mat:

Ok so you move from Louisiana to Los Angeles.  Within 2 weeks you are on the road with Kelly Osbourne. How did you find out about the audition?

Long story!  I was kinda discovered by the top talent scout / musician referral guy out here in Hollywood while I was still in Louisiana.  A very, very large band in Los Angeles set their sights on having me play guitar in their band when their guitar player quit, and they hired the #1 musician referral guy to find me.  He somehow contacted me when I was still living in Louisiana.  I was highly conflicted about auditioning for the band for many reasons, but my dad kinda pushed me to at least explore the opportunity.  The band flew me to Los Angeles, but due to miscommunication between band and management, some of the band members were not in town for my audition.  They were apologetic and insistent that I return to audition for their band.  But my heart just wasn’t in it and I politely declined.

In the meantime, the talent scout kept calling me for other major opportunities. The problem was, they were always spur-of-the-moment auditions in Hollywood… and I lived 2,000 miles away in Louisiana!  So, the very day I moved to Los Angeles, I called the talent scout to let him know that I was finally – physically – IN TOWN and could appear for any auditions he had going on.  I auditioned for Kelly Osbourne 3 days later.

Were you nervous?

HELL YES!!!  I had never auditioned for anything in my entire life and all of the sudden, I’m auditioning for rock royalty with two MTV cameras on either side of me filming for MTV’s “The Osbournes”… to say I was nervous would have been the understatement of 2002!

Do you still keep in contact with anyone else who auditioned?

It was a semi-private audition, so there weren’t very many of us at all.  I certainly am still very close with the three that were in the band with me.  (Kelly’s bass player – Josh Paul – is playing for Daughtry now, the rhythm guitar player – Devin Bronson – is now playing for Avril Lavigne, and the drummer – Alicia Warrington – is playing for Lillix and debuting her own band The All-Girls Boys Choir).

Summarize Sharon Osbourne in 3 words.

Mother, Manager, Mogul

Has she given you advice that motivates you? Or keeps you grounded?

Absolutely!  She is very motherly and treated us all as though we were family from day one, and she has been very supportive and helpful in my career.  I admire her business acumen and have learned a lot by watching her dealings in the music business over the years.   She’s always been forthcoming with advice and assistance as well.  I can’t say enough good things about her.

Have you met Ozzy?

Of course!  They are a close family and they very much treated us like family as well… We spent a lot of time together.  I always especially enjoy talking to Ozzy… He’s a very interesting guy with a lot of great stories and plenty of wisdom to offer to an up-and-comer in the music business.  I’ve remained close with the entire Osbourne family through, though I don’t get to see them as frequently as I’d like with all our busy schedules.  I usually see them a few times a year at least.

What do you put in your orange juice other than ice?

Cranberry juice. Oh, and vodka.  Is that bad?

Heather:

On the interview clip on Hydrovibe’s website , what I replayed and wrote down was the following: “…did what most bands do and start submitting our music to record labels hoping to get the big record deal…we realized that, that probably wasn’t going to be the right solution…we wanted to do things our way…sincere, powerful music…not quick singles that hit radio and fade out just as quickly..”

To be a ‘sucessful’ touring band, do you have to have radio play?

Not at all!  Don’t get me wrong, radio play is helpful and would be certainly welcomed by Hydrovibe, but we are not chasing solely after radio play like we’ve seen some bands do.  Radio is a tough game and costs a LOT of money to see success.  We’ve seen major labels dump lots of money into radio to blow a band up… but all it really does is blow the song up.  The perceived success is short-lived… when the song drops off the radio, the “fans” forget about the band quickly as the major labels are already feeding them the newest “it” song from the newest “it” band.  The only real way to have longevity is to build the success over time and form long-lasting relationships with fans through touring and making connections with the fans any way possible.

Is Columbia, SC or Headliners (now closed) in your Bento 3 (Apple subsidiary Filemaker database)?

I actually purged it from my database when I heard it had closed down.

You are into graphic design.  Do you have a website set up with examples of your work?  Or what is the best way to contact you concerning this?

Hydrovibe keeps me VERY busy, but I do personally take on a handful of graphic design projects every month or so.  I’m also part owner of design agency called New Level Graphics.  You can see some portfolio work at http://www.newlevelgraphics.com . Our site is almost never quite up-to-date because our designers are so consumed with client work, that our own site takes a bit of a back seat.   There is also a contact form to get in touch with us there.  I usually get involved mostly in the design jobs that are somehow music related… SURPRISE!

What is the hardest part thing being a female in a band, while on the road?

We’re usually on a tight schedule, so I’m forced to do my hair and makeup in the van.  I’ve gotten used to it, but it takes special coordination to apply liquid eyeliner while traveling down a bumpy highway!  The hairstyling is also a bit rough too since there is a major lack of mirrors in the touring rig!

Do females in bands have male groupies?

hmmm… I wouldn’t really call our male fans groupies – because that term, to me, brings to mind skimpily clad people throwing themselves at the musicians (or anyone associated with the band, for that matter).  I have yet to see a skimpily clad male fan at a Hydrovibe show – AND HOORAY FOR THAT! hahaha

Seriously, I think we have great fans.  Generally speaking, the guys who come to our shows are very laid-back and respectful, which is ALWAYS gonna get a better reception than the “Groupie Routine” in my book!

Why do you think Bobaflex has a twitter account if they never use it?

Because it’s Bobaflex, THAT’S WHY!  hahaha  Trust me, you don’t want to try to get inside the minds of the Bobaflex boys… you might get lost in there and never find your way back out again!  To know ’em is to love ’em, though!

If you could choose 3 bands past or present to tour alongside whom would they be and why?

Eliot:

1. Led Zeppelin (circa 1971) – For obvious reasons.
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers (with Frusciante in the band) – Because they were able to converse with each other so beautifully through music.
3. The Beatles – ‘Cause I LOVE The Beatles!

And if I could have 4 choices, Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning Tour” would have been nice as well!

Phil:

1. Iron Maiden – a big childhood influence of mine
2. Led Zeppelin – one of the most influential rock bands of all time…and amazing musicians
3. Deep Purple – another heavily influential rock band

Have you ever shared the stage with Uncrowned?

On at least a couple of occasions.  They’re a fun bunch!

Any messages to pass along to Joan Red?

(Heather)  Yes, actually…a very, very important message with deep sentiment:

Someday love will find you – break those chains that bind you.  One night will remind you how we touched and went our separate ways.  If he (or she) ever hurts you, true love won’t desert you.  You know I still love you though we touched and went our separate ways.  True story.

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