On Tour With: HOOPS
HOOPS have been hitting the road a lot this year in support of their debut record, Routines, out this past May on Fat Possum.
The Bloomington, Indiana, band went from a solo bedroom project (the brainchild of Drew Auscherman) to a jangly four-piece touring in support of Whitney and, then, a fully fledged outfit criss-crossing the country, stunning debut in tow.
We spoke with the band’s Keagan Beresford about what it’s like on the road with HOOPS.
On tour rituals… It’s not really a ritual, but we seem to have a bad habit of timing working on our recordings with leaving for tour. Like, we’ve wound up working on final mixes for our record and other things literally up until the night before leaving. I guess we’re all just born procrastinators.
On road music… Our listening habits on tour are usually a pretty diverse spread, but at least for me personally, I was listening to Nick Drake pretty heavily on our last outing. Bryter Later and Pink Moon are two of my favorite records right now.
On the worst sleeping arrangement… There was one time in Columbus that I accidentally got locked out of the hotel we were sharing with some friends and was unable to contact anybody, so I wound up sleeping on the bench in our van. Not fun in the dead heat of summer.
On staying clean… Showers are crucial, especially when you’re in a compressed space like a van. Most people who are gracious enough to let you sleep at their place will let you use their shower as well though, so I would recommend keeping your own towel handy and asking to use a shower whenever it’s available. Beat the stink.
On tour horror stories… One time in Barcelona I wound up staying out pretty late with some friends of ours from another band without really letting my own band know where I was, and I didn’t have any phone service to be able to contact them. When I finally got back to them they were all convinced I had been mugged or kidnapped, which is a fair concern when you’re traveling in a foreign country. I’d like to take this opportunity to once again apologize to my band for that: sorry boys.
On the best show ever… My personal favorite we’ve ever done was in Manchester, UK. There was a Manchester football match the same evening we played and the crowd was super rowdy. They responded well to our jokes about Oasis and our American ignorance. Love those accents as well.
On the smallest show ever… That same day in Columbus that the aforementioned van sleeping incident went down, we wound up playing an after show at a house party with some other groups from the festival we did earlier in the day. We played in a basement that was so tiny, the bands took up more space than the people did. No easy task for a five-piece.
On their favorite place to play… We opened up for a band at First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia once; that place is insane. It’s a real church, and the green room space provided to the bands is this gorgeous chapel. Cracking beers in church is a wild feeling, let me tell ya.
On their tour survival kit… Reusable water bottle (saves so much money on buying water at gas stations), long books (because listening to music all the time gets very old, especially when you’re playing every night as well), a phone with unlimited data (without GPS, you are doomed), and Palo Santo (for purifying the ungodly smells that accumulate in the van).
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