The Hiders are Cincinnati music royalty. Spawned by former Ass Ponys/Ruby Vileos guitarist Billy Alletzhauser and actor/singer Beth Harris, they have recorded three full length LPs and have been featured on NPRs World Cafe'. The Hiders have also scored and composed original music for film, performance art and theater. If you haven’t heard of The Hiders, I doubt your love of local music.
The Hiders are performing at The Nelsonville Music Festival this weekend and at Bunbury Music Festival in July! CincyMusic.com caught up with Billy to talk about making goals and The Hiders have settling into the group he always wanted it to be.
How did you get involved in the Cincinnati Music Scene?
I grew up in Cincinnati. My first exposure to a "scene" here was listening to WAIF and the 'Search & Destroy' show with Hockey Punk & Handsome Clem. That's how I heard about local bands and came to play my first show in Newport at The Jockey Club. This was mid-late eighties. I still am in contact and gig with some of these same people I met then. We just don't when to quit!
Do you have a day jobs or is music your full time gig?
It depends. The rest of the band have mostly full-time jobs. I've been able to do freelance work allowing my second job to be taking care of a lot of the little things you have to do to keep the band up and running. I'll be at the desk all day today making flyers, answering emails and... interview questions among other things.
What's your favorite venue to play?
I think a year ago I would've said Southgate House Ballroom. I just loved that old room, nice sounding stage, the ghosts!
The new Revival space is great and they're doing a great job re-capturing the feeling though. Only got to play there once but Taft Theatre was something I could get used to!
Though, when comes down to it The Northside Tavern is kind of our home away from home.
To go see a show?
I like Madison Theater. Anywhere bigger I start to feel like I could just be home listening to records.
If you could work with any artist, who would that be and why?
Richard Buckner is a contemporary favorite. I would love to be part of a band playing with him. There are others that I like and admire etc. but I think my style would fit with his. I've met him a few times and opened for him. He's a very humble and approachable guy. His music is just heartbreakingly beautiful. The only time I think I ever almost cried watching live music was watching him. ( cried in the good way that is )
I'd have to say Over The Rhine. I've gotten to know them over the years and respect them more and more all the time. I think I could play guitar, write , co-produce, engineer... whatever. It would be a challenge, they just ooze musicianship but I might add some grit that they could use sometimes. You know, that sweet & salty thing.
What's the one thing an out of towner should do, or place they should go, when they visit Cincinnati?
If they are short on time and staying close to the city make a couple of hours to walk through Spring Grove Cemetery.
A little more time... head out to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. I doubt there is anywhere like that in the country.
What's been your biggest moment so far? The time when you felt like this is why I do this?
Honestly, I feel like that almost anytime I play with the band. Beth Harris has been with me in The Hiders since almost the beginning but everyone else from the beginning has came and went. It was hard losing momentum over and over to replace members. It always felt like ' one step forward, two steps back in The Hiders and basically every band I've been in.
Having the right group of people is the key. Some are lucky to find it early. The last couple of years The Hiders have settled into the group I always wanted it to be and it feels fulfilling every time we play together.
What advice do you have for a new artist just starting out?
I guess just make goals and stick to them. There are multitudes of ways people create and define success and it's always changing. You need to know what you're in it for and if the things you have to do to get it are worth it. I've chosen an odd, curvy path for myself and along the way I've seen a lot of my peers walk a much straighter line toward what many would deem a success but when I look at the choices I've made I know they were all for a reason. I feel like The Hiders are swimming against the current sometimes but I believe in what we're doing!