The L Magazine: Here in New York, and I imagine everywhere else in the country as well, the phrase "toured with Interpol" can take a band pretty far. How did that situation come about, and what kind of impact did it have on your careers?
Dayve Hawk: We’ve had a fair amount of label interest from the beginning based on the strength of a demo I recorded at home, but everyone constantly said "you need to tour." I was kind of naive about how you go about doing that; so I just went to Interpol’s website, wrote them an email and said "Hi, I think we’d fit nicely so if you ever need an opener..." Their manager wrote back and suggested I send a CD. I did, they liked it and about a month before they left we got asked to join the tour. As far as impact, nothing changed for us but in everyone else’s eyes... we had that first nod of approval.
The L: Obviously, when reviews of your new record start popping up, you’re going to be inundated with all kinds of 80s references, partially because of the company you’ve kept, and partially because writers are, well, writers. How influenced are you by the big hitters of 80s music we see mentioned everywhere these days?
DH: Not nearly as much as I anticipate people will assume. when I wrote this record I was trying to combine electro with metal; like if Black Sabbath were way into ‘Let The Music Play’. I love synths, but I wanted to make this record without them. However if you play rhythmic, sparse music on guitars people are instantly gonna’ think "Post-Punk!" To me though, we sound more like Iron Maiden than Gang of Four. I don’t expect people to know my history as well as they know the current standards though, so I’m prepared for the inevitable. Plus, with our next record, the comparisons will stop.
The L: What was it like to work with Brian McTear on the record? I constantly see him referred to as a genius behind the board, and an utter joy to work with.
DH: Brian is great. He was very good at understanding what I was trying to do and not trying to change us while helping to insure we didn’t alienate anybody by having a totally introverted perspective. We’re doing our next record with him as well.
The L: What are your general impressions of the music scene in Philadelphia and your place in it?
DH: I would normally say there isn’t one. There are a lot of bands, but no connection between them, so it’s hard to call it a "scene." But I’m beginning to think that I don’t have the best perspective; I don’t go to shows, I don’t really know anyone in the city. So if there is a Philly scene I doubt we’re a part of it. I would love if there were though, I would love if the industry would take a look around and if we can contribute to that at all I’d be thrilled.
The L: What are your plans in terms of supporting the record when it comes out?
DH: I’d love to tour again. Especially behind the record, as we’ve never really played to people who are familiar with our music. We’re still in the "prove it" phase, so it’d be interesting to play for people who know what they’re getting into. We don’t have specific plans yet, but hopefully soon.Centered most humbly between post-punk 80s and emo, Hail Social boasts quite a rhythm section (with a tricky bassist) that keeps the songs upbeat and moving along.• The City of Brotherly Love really loves to be cooler than New York, and maybe this time they’ve got us. Hail Social, comprised of Whole Foods employees, combines early 90s Britpop with the moody side of post-punk. The band has toured with New York’s own Interpol, Secret Machines, Elefant, and TV on the Radio.