It’s the 10th anniversary of Surrey noiseniks Hundred Reasons and one of rock’s great survivors finally seem set fair for future success following a painful past.
With the fantastic Quick The Word Sharp The Action set for a long overdue re-release via the band’s own label next month and a headline tour kicking off next week there’s never been a better time to revisit a band we’ve been bigging up for years.
Guitarist Larry Hibbitt took time out from following the woeful form of his beloved Charlton Athletic to explain the story behind HR’s best ever record and why becoming a rock star has never been further from his mind. Don’t forget to check in a for a full review of the re-released QTWSTA right here on April 5.
rushonrock: Just explain the situation surrounding the re-release of Quick The Word Sharp The Action.
Larry Hibbitt: First time around with this record we were signed to V2 records. We recorded the album, they paid for it and it was all going really well. But later they became part of Universal Music Group and basically they dropped everyone who wasn’t the Stereophonics. After a week the new label bosses just stopped all work on the record and we had the option of leaving it on the shelves or deleting it. It didn’t cost us a thing to delete it and all the stock which had gone out was recalled. UMG signed over the rights to us and we became the owners of our music which was a nice feeling.
rushonrock: But weren’t you just a little disappointed that your best record in years only had a week to make its mark.
LH: We’ve had things like that happen to us before so we half expect the worst to happen! It’s a hard time to be in the music business and at least we came away with a finished record which we hadn’t paid for. It definitely affected us more when we were dropped by Sony after a couple of records which did quite well. We got that sense of failure out of our system back then and now we’re pretty philosophical about the business we’re in – records come and records go.
rushonrock: You’ve got an incredibly loyal fan base but will those people who bought QTWSTA buy the CD again – even with four bonus tracks and a new look?
LH: Hopefully some of them will think it’s worth it. But you’ve got to wonder how many people actually woke up to the fact that it was there to buy for a week before suddenly disappearing. This is a good record and we want to get it out there to as many people as possible. And we’ve never been a band which sells loads of records in the first week – we sell smaller amounts over a longer period of time and our albums gradually make an impact. We didn’t have the chance to do that with QTWSTA.
rushonrock: You’ve got your first tour in 14 months coming up and that’s a long time away from the road by Hundred Reasons’ standards.
LH: We’ve been itching to get out there but we wanted to wait and tour once the record was out. The tour promotes the album and the album promotes the tour – you know the score. But this is the longest this band has gone without gigging and we’re going crazy. It’s felt great to get back into rehearsals and playing those old classics again.
rushonrock: So how have you filled the downtime in between the new record’s deletion and its reissue?
LH: I’ve been trying to get into producing other bands. I work in a studio near Leicester and I’ve been doing some stuff with a band called The Computers who are signed to Fierce Panda. It’s something I’m pretty passionate about and I think because of the knowledge I’ve picked up doing the production side of things Hundred Reasons are now in a position to record an album ourselves. We all have experience and we all have our own skills to bring to the table. We could make the next record ourselves without much direction from anyone else. We’d need an engineer but the band could look after the rest. We’ve made quite a bit of music now and we don’t need someone to hold our hands anymore.
rushonrock: Having reached a point where you own your own music and you can make your own music are you excited or just a little bit nervous about what the future might hold?
LH: It’s a little bit exciting and maybe a little bit frightening at the same time. It’s great that we can move forward knowing everything will be homegrown and self-produced. We might have moved around different labels over the years but we’ve kept the same team of loyal people around us. What we hope we can do now is find a level that everyone is comfortable with moving forward.
rushonrock: Are you talking about winding down?
LH: Well we’re not 21 anymore and we’re not going to be gung-ho and do 600 gigs in a row without stopping to think. I hate seeing bands who play lots of shows for the sake of playing shows no matter the quality or the focus. I can’t imagine anyone in Hundred Reasons reaching the age of 50 and still desperately hanging onto this dream of being a rock star. But I’m sure we’ll still want to be in a band. I went to see Anvil with a couple of the guys who used to be in Hell Is For Heroes and we laughed but we almost cried. It was sad to see how much those guys craved the rock star thing above all else.
rushonrock: Do you still get on a decade down the line?
LH: Our relationships have matured, no doubt about that. Where there were flashpoints before we’ve all calmed down a bit. Our drummer Andy (Bews) is my best mate and we go on holiday together. That’s never changed. Everyone else I see in the context of the band – it’s not like we’re hanging out all the time and having a few beers before watching the footy. We’re just all very comfortable working together in a band like Hundred Reasons.