Interview | The Hot Sprockets
Bursting out of Dublin by way of the Delta River, The Hot Sprockets have been one of the most consistently brilliant Irish acts of the past decade or so. Thrilling audiences with a sound that’s rooted in the 60s but with a crisp, contemporary edge, The Sprockets are set to release album number three, Dream Movers, which adopts some seriously wiggly, groovy tones. We recently sat down with singer/guitarist Wayne Soper.
Are there any jitters at the moment with the release of Dream Movers only a few days away?
To be honest, we haven’t really had any free time to be feeling the jitters. We do a lot of stuff ourselves so at the moment we’re really just focusing on getting all the vinyl that’s been pre-ordered packed and ready to ship and we’ve really just been doing that and honing our live set for the album launch next week.
Seems like a good way to keep off the nerves
Yeah, it’s just keeping busy really that’s stopped us from thinking much about how the album might be received. Whenever we do feel the nerves we just sit back and listen to some Dr Dre, that’s always good for chilling out.
It’s interesting that you mention Dr Dre because your new record definitely feels more groove orientated than your previous work. I mean it is called Dream Movers after all.
That wasn’t really the intention going into the album, it’s just how the songs happened to come out this time. I mean we are a guitar back, but on this album, we really just wrote a lot of the stuff without having the main focus on the guitar. The guitars still there obviously, but we were more focused on layering it into a different sound. We’ve been listening to a lot of hip-hop lately, stuff like Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak. I have been obsessively listening to Frank Ocean for years now, so that definitely comes through on the album. We’ve been jamming to a lot of Unknown Mortal Orchestra recently, so I think that probably gave a psychedelic edge to things as well. We always like to have a bit of a trippy vibe on what we do.
Festival line-ups this year are dominated by hip-hop or at least hip-hop leaning pop, and lots of the most interesting music seems to be coming from that spectrum. Was this something you were consciously aware of when the album was coming together?
Not really to be perfectly honest. I mean we are a guitar band at the end of the day, we are a rock band and Dream Movers is still a rock album. There’s a lot of great stuff happening in rap and hip-hop at the moment, for sure, but there’s a lot of stuff that’s just okay. That just happens to be the really popular type of music at the moment, and that’s grand you know? Genres and popularity just move in cycles a little bit. I don’t think there’s really much of a point to try and change your sound to integrate yourself into that, it wouldn’t be great if we just started to chase trends. Happy enough to just do our own thing at the moment.
Could we see The Hot Sprockets collaborating with a rapper in the future?
We already have! Well, sort of. I’m not sure how big they are, but there’s this great hip-hop group from Sligo called This Side Up, and they came out on stage with us a few months ago, a bit of a live collaboration I guess. We just got a sweet groove going with drums and bass and a few stabs or guitar here and there and they came out and starting to spit some bars over it. It was a really fun experience. If the right collaborator came to us or if the idea seemed organic and natural than its definitely something that we’d love to do.
I lived in Toronto for a big part of last year and I had a very surreal moment when I wandered into a pub bathroom and saw one of the cubicles plastered with Hot Sprockets stickers. Are there plans to make this album international?
I can remember that vaguely! We went over to Canada for about two weeks a while ago, for something called “Indie Week”. It was great craic and we just went mad, throwing stickers down everywhere we went. There are probably thousands of them around the place. At the moment we have some plans to tour Dream Movers in Europe-Spain and The Netherlands and Germany have always been really good to us. At the moment though we’re just kind of focusing on Ireland, with a UK tour down the line. We’re really proud of what we’ve done on Dream Movers at the moment the exciting prospect for us is just to get all over Ireland and play this album to a homegrown crowd.
Dream Movers is released on the 6th of April. Hot Sprockets launched the album at on Saturday 14th of April in Opium Rooms.