The Hip Abduction, a collection of eclectic musicians with roots in St. Petersburg, Florida, is finally back home. After spending much of 2019 touring cross-country in support of their latest release To the Ends of the Earth, the band is very happy to be back in Florida, “eating food they actually want to eat, and surfing,” according to band frontman, David New.
“The trials of life on the road are not for everyone,” New said, “and they quickly weed out those not ready for a nomadic life.” The frontman of the long-running band said that musicians that end up making it on the road have to be malleable, and able to contend with long nights in cramped quarters, eating whatever food is closest at hand, and being constantly on the move. “That’s not to say it’s not rewarding,” the singer/guitarist went on to say, admitting that playing on the opposite side of the country to 200-400 excited fans every night, doing what “he always wanted to do” more than makes up for the long nights, cramped drives, and limited diet.
The Early Days
The Hip Abduction stepped onto the scene in 2011, touting a much simpler sound crafted from roots in reggae and African world beats – among other influences. While no newcomer to the trials of touring, writing, and recording new material, New admitted to a gradual shift in the band’s tone over the near-decade since its inception. As the years passed, New and the other members of THA began to expand their sound to incorporate sounds from such dissimilar sources as Paul Simon’s Graceland to downtempo EDM (Electronic Dance Music) artists such as Odesza. When asked about their most recent album, however, New admitted that writing To the Ends of the Earth was a completely different experience altogether.
“I wasn’t really listening to something else,” the singer/guitarist admitted, saying that “around 2017, everyone [in the band] was going through serious breakups and emotional turmoil, and that led to some really inspired writing.” In response to these tough times, New answered that the creative process seemed to move much more smoothly, and there was a sense of the band becoming “much more comfortable in its skin than ever before,” as a result. “It’s easier down the road,” New admitted when asked about the changes the band has undergone over the years, saying that the first years of writing in a band are always a little scatterbrained, and that “you’re not sure exactly what you want the sound to be.”
THA recently took part in Suwannee Hulaween, an annual music and arts festival held in Live Oak, Florida. When asked of the four-day event, New said that it is one of his favorite festival events that the band plays – citing the electric forest, extreme knowledgeability of festival staff, smaller crowds, and the nice, cool weather of late October as his main reasons for loving the event so much. “We had a really good spot this year, and the limited number of attendants makes it nicer than more crowded events.”
The event, held Oct. 24-27, at a capacity of only 25,000 – much smaller than events like Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee, that often support 80,000+ attendees – allowed a much more intimate, relaxed festival experience. After a few shows in the area, the band is on the road again but will return for a New Year’s Eve show at Jannus Landing, in St. Petersburg, FL along with a week-long tour with the band ‘Dirty Heads’ in the Midwest.
To the Ends of the Earth
Even with To the Ends of the Earth releasing earlier this year and the band touring nonstop in support, New and the band are already hard at work on numerous upcoming projects. The frontman detailed at least three projects for THA – an EP of cover songs, a live record, and a brand new studio record – for the near future. When asked about the new studio release in particular, New said he was already five songs into writing the album, and that he would like it done in something akin to eight months, not three years. No matter how long it takes, The Hip Abduction is sure to continue pleasing audiences nationwide, and evolving their own, personal sound – intermingling genres as they do.