INTERVIEW: Hooton Tennis Club

After the release of their much anticipated come-back single, ‘Monsoonal Runoff/People Want People Who Want People’ Gigslutz catches up with Hooton Tennis Club.

Gigslutz: What’s everyone doing to keep themselves busy during lockdown?

Callum: I’ve been reading, and then just going for walks and stuff. Just the one though, just one walk per day.

GS: So with you guys being in the band, have you found the time locked in to be quite a creative one or not?

James: Yeah, I’ve been making music a lot. I guess because it’s like you have all these ideas that you think, “one day I’ll get round to it”. I guess this forces that day. I’ve been working with Harry quite a lot, and on some of my own stuff. There’s been some Hooton (Tennis Club) stuff we’ve been doing this past week.

C: One of the songs we released (Monsoonal Runoff) we did partly in isolation. James did the first initial demo and then he sent it to Harry to get it mixed.

J: I sent it to everyone to say, “shock horror, I’ve been in isolation and I’ve done a Hooton demo.” Then Harry polished it up and we started layering it with different instruments. So Harry put some suitcase on it.

GS: I guess being in lockdown means you’ve had to improvise with how you record things, or what you record things with?

Harry: Yeah you’ve got to use what you’ve got really. Like, I don’t have my drum kit here, they’re still in a studio in Birkenhead. I’ve got little bits and bobs, like I’ve got one microphone here at the moment. So yeah, you’ve just got to make do really with what you’ve got.

GS: And bringing it round to the single, you’re back with your first release in 4 years, so what have you been doing with the time?

C: Well James and Ryan have been doing more musically.

J: Yeah, we did our second album, and then after that we really slowed down. We didn’t really make anything for a long, long time. I think maybe there we were all doing different things I guess.

H: Everything was a bit quick. It felt a bit forced to jump back in after the second (album). I think the demos were good, but we just weren’t completely in love with them.

GS: So with getting back together, and releasing a new single, was this a conscious decision or did it happen organically?

J: Yeah, one day Kevin McManus emailed me with a gig opportunity and basically said, “it’d be wonderful if you guys could do this.” So I put a message in our group and we all wanted to do it. It was going to be in the Wirral, with loads of other Liverpool bands, but that’s obviously very much up in the air at the minute. After that we started thinking about a warm-up tour, and then I guess Harry went through the vault of songs and picked out Monsoonal Runoff.

GS: When listening to the latest single (Monsoonal Runoff/People Want People Who Want People) I thought the lyrics were quite introspective, have I missed the mark with that or is there something to it?

J: I wrote the lyric, “people want people who want people”, last summer. It didn’t make sense and I kept trying to work it out. As lockdown started I did a demo and it just had that Hooton sound. I don’t know if it was directly about what’s going on. But as you drift through life and meet new people, it’s never too late to rekindle friendships. Nothing ever really changes in a way.

GS: Would you say the North West is still an accommodating environment for bands to come from? Or, with the potential closure of Parr Street Studios for example, do you think its shifted away?

C: I always think location doesn’t really matter as much as it did. Going back to the Parr Street thing, it’s terrible. I mean, for a city to call itself a city of music, but to be closing so many venues. I guess it is harder because all the places that bands used to frequent are closing.

H: If The Beatles had stepped foot in Parr Street for twenty minutes, fifty years ago, it would be saved with a big plaque outside.

GS: And last question, can you give any insight into what the future holds for Hooton Tennis Club?

Ryan: I mean it would’ve been gigging. It’s a shame really because it would’ve been a lot of fun to get back on the stage and play those Hooton songs. It would’ve been really fun. We could write songs in isolation I suppose.

C: Yeah it would just be nice to do some more music, and just to do some gigs.

Listen to, ‘Monsoonal Runoff/People Want People Who Want People’ HERE.