|In the Garage
The Hip Abduction on life as a campus band
Junior Peter Adams, violin
Senior Mark Kornblum, guitar
Junior Jim Reynolds, drums
Senior Lincoln Ritter, bass/vocals
How did you guys start out as a band?
Lincoln: We were like, well, its sort of more legitimate to be playing at our own houses
if we have another band there too. So we played with [campus band] Thrillzilla for a while and
now we havent played at any of our own houses for a long time.
Mark: Lincoln and I got together probably a year ago in January and Jim and Peter joined
Do you feel like that makes you more successful as a campus band if youre
not playing at your own house?
Mark: I dont know if its a judge of success, but it makes us feel better about
not having to clean up afterwards. It also makes us feel like were in demand because people
are like, Were having a party, can your band play? and its neat instead
of us being in need of a venue and throwing a party at our own house, which is basically how we
got started out.
How would you describe the bands sound?
Jim: Indie pop.
Lincoln: Weve sort of been trying to come up with a genre because, you know, thats
what youre supposed to do.
Jim: People who listen to us can more easily categorize us. Actually I had a professor
which makes it that much more valid tell me that he thought we sounded like early Seattle,
pre-grunge, like Screaming Trees or something. I dont know if thats the best [description],
but that was the one I appreciated the most coming from somebody else.
Lincoln: Most of our things that weve written are pretty poppy, but our covers are
generally pretty off-beat. We try to cover stuff thats not covered.
Do you write most of your own songs or do you do more covers?
Mark: We have three originals that we play regularly and probably two or three more in various
stages of completion. About two-thirds of what we do is covers, but we try to do our own take on
Lincoln: For example, we do this Magnetic Fields song. If youve ever heard the Magnetic
Fields, its all composed on a Mac Classic and the guy has this ridiculous bass voice and
stuff. We took one of those [I Have the Moon] and made it into a 60s, pop surf
song. Its one of our most popular songs along with the original Paper Wings,
which people request all the time. Its kind of all over the map. We try to give things our
own spin and thats where we try to derive our sound.
Peter: Yeah, our cover of [New Partner by] Palace blows the original out of
Jim: I think, overall, in terms of our sound, were just trying to make music that
people like listening to, more than anything else. Whatever genre that falls into, we just want
to make music that people can get up and dance to.
What are your plans for the future?
All: Groaning sounds
Mark: I dont know. Weve talked about this off and on and come up with different
plans. None of us is willing to put our lives on hold for the band as of right now, so next year,
anyway, will be a sort of hiatus, but we have, in vague terms, discussed if were all able
to move into the same city or something like that eventually, trying to keep playing.
Lincoln: It sucks, though, because we function really well musically together and we all
enjoy hanging out with each other, so as a band its a great combination. Weve got chemistry
and we can read each other very well.
Mark: I know, between here and high school, Ive been in five or six bands before this
one and this one is, by far, the best functioning band that Ive been in.
What do you think makes this band so successful?
Jim: I think what makes it works best is that none of us are necessarily the most proficient
on any given instrument or even in songwriting, but when we come together, we put what we can in
to make the song sound good. We dont have that instrumentalist ego mixed in with it.
Lincoln: Theres an acknowledgement of everybodys part in the group and nobody
has their own personal agenda.
Who are your influences?
Lincoln: We come from pretty diverse musical backgrounds. Mark and Jim come from more metal,
which is not really a sound you hear in our music that much.
Peter: Its muffled. Muffled metal.
Lincoln: I come from more folk or indie rock background.
Mark: I know Lincoln and I both have [had] formal jazz training and Peters classical
and Jim plays guitar and bass in addition to drums and he sings. Everyone does a lot of stuff and
brings a lot to the table.
So if your band had a motto, what would it be?
Mark: STATION. This was decided a couple of weeks ago and we are still getting used to it.
What would you say is the best part about being in a campus band?
Jim: It gives you an excuse to go to parties and not have to do it like everyone else does.
It gives us a way to be connected to the campus besides just kind of another faceless person walking
through a party. Its something different thats not exactly organized, but still organized.
Mark: And to speak specifically to being a campus band, rather than a band trying to make
it, for example in Cleveland or something like that the majority of our shows are still
in the basements of houses with maybe 20 to 30 people there, which is a lot of fun because its
really immediate. I mean, the audience is literally a foot away from you, which takes some getting
Lincoln: I dont know if theres necessarily a rivalry between campus bands or
anything like that, but everybody is at least we are always interested in what other
people are doing.
Jim: Again, its a nice little, localized community of people.
Lincoln: I think, in terms of crafting your sound, becoming a good band or whatever, it
provides even more of a challenge because you want to jar people that are used to hearing campus
bands. Campus band has a connotation to it thats not quite synonymous with crappy,
Mark: Theres a reason theres a difference between campus band and professional
Lincoln: Being a campus band, thats something were really conscious of. Thats
why we dont just play anything if we dont feel like it has a certain polish to it.
We want to try to be a good band, but also be a campus band.
Where do you typically perform?
Mark: One of the most fun shows we ever played was in the basement of a house when we
got down there, it was about 50 degrees and everything was dirty and I couldnt believe we
were playing there, but it was great just because a lot of people came.
Lincoln: By the end of the night, the whole basement was packed.
Mark: It got really warm down there both in temperature and feeling.
Lincoln: And we felt like we were going to get electrocuted the whole time, so there was
an element of danger there too.
Jim: That was one of the first live performances we recorded and we didnt get us so
well, but we did get this girl who was standing right next to the mike talking about how much she
hated Irish people.
Lincoln: She was also picking out who she was going to make out with in the audience and
there was this awkward guy trying to get himself named in that list standing right next to her.
Mark: I feel like were less likely to get that kind of thing being out in a club and
thats one of the things thats nice about playing small, localized things.
Where will you be playing next?
Mark: Were possibly playing on May 3. Theres two or three things that are up in
the air right now.
Lincoln: If youve got a party
Mark: Yeah, if youve got a party, were self-contained and we bring our own sound
and everything else. Just make sure your neighbors arent going to call the police on us too
Jim: And if youve got an event thats not a party, wed also like to play
that. Well sell our souls.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Mark: We do maintain an e-mail list and we always e-mail before the shows so that people will
know about them and come, hopefully. Thats the idea. If you want to get on our e-mail list,
send an e-mail to any of us, but probably I am the best one because its saved on my computer.
Interview conducted by Arts Editor Julie Sabatier