The Hiders are set to release their 5th, anxiously awaited album TOTEM on Saturday, November 15th at Northside Tavern! I have said it once, and I will say it again, The Hiders are Cincinnati music royalty. Spawned by former Ass Ponys/Ruby Vileos guitarist Billy Alletzhauser and actor/singer Beth Harris, they have been featured on NPRs World Cafe' and have scored and composed original music for film, performance art and theater.
I caught up with Billy Alletzhauser to talk shop about the new album, whiskey and the Red River Gorge...
Congrats on the new album! Tell us a bit about the writing process for TOTEM…
The process was a bit of everything, from me locked in a room with a bottle of whiskey to experimenting with the band and coming up with music. We had a chance to play a lot of the material live too, especially the summer before we started recording so that was nice and often isn't the case. With a lot of records I've made, after a year of playing the record out you start to feel you could go back and do them all better. Not the case on Totem. So, anyone that's been keeping up with us live will recognize the material and hear it sounds pretty close to the live versions. We holed up in a cabin at Red River Gorge last winter and did the lion's share of the tracking there ourselves. It's a landmark one for me because, Hallelujah, same line-up two records in row! Maybe I can finally keep a band together after all these years, knock on wood.
As far as sound, what can fans expect? Does it differ from past albums?
It's all pretty classic Hiders. Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Van Morrison and Neil Young all smashed together. There are some longer tunes, some of it gets pretty psychedelic. We also knew we needed to do a vinyl release so we kept it at 9 songs but still had to cut a tune and do some fades to properly fit vinyl but that medium will also come with a download card with the extra material. I think all the songs work real well together and the cabin recording gives it a nice aural glue. I got the master just in time to test it out on a road trip down the coast in northern California, it's a REAL good driving record if I do say so myself!
What can the fans expect at the Release show at Northside Tavern? Any tricks up your sleeves?
My old bandmate from Ruby Vileos, Ali Edwards will be opening. If anyone reading hasn't heard her sing I can confidently say they are missing out. She doesn't play out enough!
We'll be running the record start to finish and we've been dusting off old tunes we haven't played in long time.At least one from each record. A Ruby Vileos song may even make it in there if we all goes well.
What is next for The Hiders?
You know, we were just asking ourselves the same question...