Q + A with Hovvdy
Interview / Isabella Castro-Cota
Photo / Johnna Margot
I met Will Taylor and Charlie Martin of Hovvdy on the porch of in.gredients, a package free grocery store and coffeeshop hybrid in East Austin reminiscent of a Portlandia set sans Fred and Carrie. They came equipped with an unintentional matching ensemble of shorts, tee, and a baseball cap, accompanied by a welcoming demeanor that reflects their warm and dreamy bedroom records.
Hovvdy released their first EP, “ep,” back in 2014 and now they’re starting another tour together. Charlie jokingly rubs Will’s back when I ask why they decided to commit to each other with Hovvdy, but it’s clear there is genuine care and respect between them.
“I think it just felt natural because we spent time together that was positive and efficient and good, so when we started to play songs and the name came, it just kind of felt right,” Taylor said. We’ve kind of gone through some other members, like some people who play with us, and so it has grown and it still is but it was just kind of natural.”
Taylor credits the effortless nature of their dynamic to what made them think more seriously about their music.
“In the same way we got together, it was kind of just natural. There was a good response and also a good feeling for us about it, it’s a good place for us to go. We kind of endure all these things and meet here together and share songs and it’s a safe place. A good thing for us.”
Since then they’ve rotated between members, but for now maintain a constant four piece with Sam Jacobson on bass and Andrew Stevens most recently on drums.
“Our first bassist was Sam and he plays bass with us again now. Initially we were just a three piece and I would actually play drums live and sing. Pretty recently we added a drummer so now I play guitar and keys,” Taylor said. “It made sense for me to play [drums] live because that way we didn’t have to add a fourth member from the start. Andrew ‘s an awesome drummer though, he’s as good or better than both of us.”
Their approach to fashion mirrors that same laissez-faire style.
“I think there’s times where I’ve thought about what I want to wear to a gig, but in the scenario when you’re touring or when you’re playing a lot you just kind of pack what’s good,” Taylor said. “I like clothes so it’s fun to think about them but I don’t always.”
August of the following year they put out the split “Stay Warm” with Loafer. They “wanted to do something with Merdurhaus Records and Loafer is one of their favorite bands and good friends. His name is Hugh...he’s a real talented guy. He’s also a drummer that’s trying to write guitar songs like them and Martin liked the idea of having their stuff combined with his.”
Now, Hovvdy is about to embark on a two week tour to promote their new album “Taster,” out via Merdurhaus and Sports Day Records April 15. Two songs off the album, “Problem” and “In My Head” can be found as demos on “ep.”
“‘Problem” and “In My Head” came about because we had recorded this EP and we were doing it on another tape label called Drip Tapes from Mississippi,” Martin said. “He just hit us up and said ‘hey the b-side is going to have four minutes of silence, you guys could fill it if you want.’ I was actually on tour with my other band at the time and Will was back home and we just wrote “In my Head” and “Problem” just kind of in response to that. Then we did an iPhone memo and those recordings made it on the EP but just as demos.”
Taylor also explained the most recent single off the album, “Meg,” which talks about new relationships and the enigmatic nature that accompanies them.
It deals with “being in a relationship where you share time and space with someone but don’t really know their past or their future or really their present,” Taylor said. “Meg is just an external figure, that’s my sister.”
They began recording about a year ago and finalized “Taster” throughout the last three months, combining old and new material to complete the album. Now they’re moving on to their next project.
“We had a handful of songs individually before we started the band, came together with those, and then kind of immediately starting writing new stuff,” Martin said. “Then we just cut it off for the album and decided on like ten. Now we’re just writing for the next thing.”
“I mean I guess the reason we stay inspired is because it’s fun,” Taylor remarked. “There’s a good pressure from ourselves and from our environment to keep writing.”
With over 900 likes and 400 plus Soundcloud followers, it’s safe to say that this isn’t a case of unrequited love.
Check out Hovvdy on tour (dates below), follow them on all their social media (@hovvdy), and make sure to catch them on the 15th for their album release at French House!
4/5 Nashville, TN - Pill Haus
4/6 Athens, OH - The Pink Mistress
4/8 Philadelphia, PA - Goldilocks Gallery
4/9 Brooklyn, NY - Silent Barn
4/10 Brooklyn, NY - Palisades
4/11 Washington, DC - Above The Bayou
4/12 Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
4/13 Athens, GA -The World Famous
4/14 New Orleans, LA - Heavens Gate
4/15 Austin, TX - French House (LP release)