Ever since their second single, "Lips of an Angel" hit the airwaves, Hinder has been ripping up the charts on a weekly basis while out on tour. After being certified twice platinum in United States, Hinder's appeal as one of the more popular up and coming rock bands couldn't be questioned. With their hectic tour schedule in full swing and the band hard at work writing their follow-up album, Hinder guitarist Mark King took time out from life on the road to talk about the band's multi-platinum success, how the tour is shaping up, and their approach to music in general.
JUICY BANDS: What is in Hinder's bus rider right now? MARK: That's a good question. Well, we actually have a Jager [meister] machine now, so we don't have that in there anymore. Since we're endorsed by them, we're pretty spoiled. We've got vodka and Captain Morgan, two cases of beer and some water. We took all the food off our rider to add more booze. JUICY BANDS: You recorded your EP with Brian Howes in Vancouver back in 2004. What was it like to go back there and sell out the recent show? MARK: Very rewarding, for sure. Vancouver, I forget how much I love that city until we go back every time. I just absolutely love it there. It's very cool, but you get kind of nervous on shows like that, because they know the music. They know every bit about it, so playing in front of B. Howes is kind of nerve-wracking sometimes. JUICY BANDS:How did you go from selling a few thousand copies of the Far From Close EP to signing with Universal Records and releasing a multi-platinum album? MARK: We recorded our pre-production there in Vancouver in 2004 and it just happened to be that Chief, the tour manager of Nickelback, heard it and he really liked it. He was looking for some bands to manage and we hit it off with him, so he is now our manager. Once that happened, we played three showcase shows in Oklahoma City, and had a bidding war on us from a few different labels and it just happened to be that Tom Mackay came from Universal. We hit it off with him and shared the same vision, so once we signed with them, we were in the studio a couple months later back in Vancouver at the Armory. We were there for two months doing it, then we've been touring non-stop ever since. Once "Lips of an Angel" hit the airwaves, I think a lot of people can relate with that song lyrically, and it's been a while since there's been a ballad like that, so people just kind of latched on to that. Once that hit, the record sales have just been out of sight for us. It just blows my mind. We're double-platinum in the States, platinum in Canada, and that's the short story of how we've been doing things. JUICY BANDS: I've heard the band's goal is to bring back the rock of the '80s. MARK: Yeah, totally. I think that once the '90s hit, the grunge thing happened and everyone got depressed, so it was cool to be unhappy, unlike the '80s, when it just a party and rock 'n' roll. I think hip hop came in and stole that party from rock 'n' roll. That's where the fun has been for a while, and we just want it back. We want rock 'n' roll to be fun again. JUICY BANDS: How much of your personal lifestyle changes when you want to bring the rock of the '80s back? MARK:[laughs] We probably drink a little bit more than we used to, but we drink a lot, too. We just like having a good time, party with anyone, everyone's welcome. I don't think we've really changed a whole lot, probably just drink a little bit more. JUICY BANDS: Extreme Behavior is your first full-length album, and you're working on a follow-up that may come out later this year. Are you guys writing new material while you are touring, or do you try to focus on one thing at a time? MARK: Definitely, we are writing all the time. We've got the acoustic guitars in the bus. We just pull them out of the junk box anytime the inspiration comes, something will happen between us. We actually just got a keyboard on the bus now, and I'm stoked about that. Yeah, we're always writing on the road, definitely always getting ready to rock and roll for the night. JUICY BANDS:Do you have any formulas, patterns or superstitions that you follow when writing? MARK: Not really; you just write what you know. For us, we start with the acoustic guitar. If it turns out that it's a good song with just acoustic guitar and vocals, nothing else, no production on it, it's going to be a good song. If it's not, if you have to add production to it to make it a good song, it's not a good song to start with. That's what we go with. JUICY BANDS:You've been touring with big name bands and smaller bands as well. What band or artist surprised you the most when you met them in real life? MARK:That's a good question. I'd say probably Aaron Lewis from Staind, because he's from that darker era of music of the late '90s. He's just the funniest dude ever. He's loving life now, as opposed to what it sounded like he was going through writing the album. It was just very cool, because I own every Staind album, and it's so weird to get to share stages with guys like that. He'd probably be the one that surprised me the most. Usually, the guys in bigger bands don't hang as much, but he was with us all the time. On our bus, the party was always on after the show and he was always there with us, unless he had a kick-ass dressing room. He's like, "Party's in my dressing room tonight, guys, let's do it." That was very cool to meet him. JUICY BANDS: What albums do you listen to on the tour bus as you travel from gig to gig? MARK: We listen to a lot of the old school Motley Crue, Guns 'n' Roses, a little Bon Jovi. As a collective whole, that's what we listen to together, for sure. All of us have our own different things, like I'm really into Binfold and piano stuff like that. JUICY BANDS: How about a few guilty pleasures when it comes to your own musical tastes? MARK: I think everyone knows we all have different musical tastes. Mike's the "emo" guy and Cody loves country. Austin loves old school Michael Jackson and Blower is totally a metal head. Me, I'm kind of a pop nerd, like Billy Joel and stuff like that. We all definitely come from different musical tastes. I grew up on stuff like The Beach Boys. My dad had all those old records like that, so I whip those out. That's where my musical stylings come from. I was always into harmonies an such, so Beach Boys, I love that stuff. JUICY BANDS: What has been the biggest difference between what you thought touring would be like and what touring is really like? MARK: [laughs] You know, at first, I thought it was going to be a hotel room every night, a shower every day, and we're going to be spoiled. Don't get me wrong, we are spoiled, but we don't get...we go days sometimes without showering. That was kind of a shock for me, and we rarely get a hotel room. We usually just get it if we're in dire need of a shower. We never, ever sleep in a hotel room. Other than that, we get to play a rock 'n' roll show every night, so it's a lot of fun. We're very blessed. JUICY BANDS: How do you feel about fans that download your tracks off the Internet rather that going out and buying your album? MARK:You know, I don't really care for it. I don't like it, but I understand. I was a broke dude, too, a few years ago. As long as they're listening to our music, that's cool for us, for sure. As long as we're still making money at the end of the day, I don't care that much, but if it interferes with me making money, if I go broke and people are downloading it, then it'll affect me, I guess. Until then, I guess I'm alright with it. JUICY BANDS: For your show in Seattle, you're meeting up with Finger Eleven. With the many different bands you join up with on tour, how does it change each show for you? MARK: Our show will always be the same. We'll do what we do, but it's very cool to get to play with new bands. I don't think any of us have even seen Finger Eleven in concert, and this is our first night with them, and that'll be cool. We all love live music, so getting to see a new band is awesome, but for our show, it's doesn't change. I guess I really don't think about that aspect of it. JUICY BANDS: Since you're doing a ton of interviews and getting the same questions over and over, are there any you want to be asked that no one ever asks you? MARK:One question that I think I like the most from any interview was, "If you could have an all-star band, who would all the members of that be?" That was the coolest question ever, because it really made us all think. The thing was, you had to be in the band, and it wouldn't be an all-star band if I had to be in it. JUICY BANDS: So, how did you answer that? Who would be in your all-star band? MARK: It was Dean DeLeo on bass, he used to be with STP and is now with Army of Anyone. The drummer would be Dave Grohl and for guitar we'd have Slash, and we'd also have Daniel Johns from Silverchair. He'd be the singer and the rhythm guitarist. I don't know if this would work, but we'll throw in Fiona Apple on piano and to sing the back-up harmonies and stuff. That'd be wicked. I don't know how that'd work, but I'd love to see it. JUICY BANDS: You guys are heading off to Europe in March. You must be stoked for that? MARK: Yeah, dude. None of us have ever been. We're all so stoked. I don't even know what to expect. You might never see us again. JUICY BANDS: Since the band has a Wikipedia page, a MySpace account, and a website, do you communicate a lot with the online fan base? MARK: Definitely. If nothing else, we just post something on our website from time to time, saying thank you, because I'm still such a fan of music. I remember going to the Weezer website, or whoever I was into at that time, and if someone posted something, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I try to do that as well, but it's still pretty surreal to me that I'm in a position that I can do that. We definitely all try as much as we can, because if it wasn't for our fans, we wouldn't be here. We try to do what we can. JUICY BANDS: Do you get to use your artistic side and provide input into your music videos or did you have a say in picking the woman on your album cover? MARK:Yeah, definitely. We told Universal the idea that we wanted, and they came with a bunch of pictures, which are probably still stored away on our bus somewhere. It was funny, the picture that we went with at first was that exact picture, but she had a black bra and panties on. We're like, "Hmm, can we try this in red?" They just went on the computer and switched up and it was like, "Yes, hands down that's the one to go with." We definitely get input on everything that happens with our career. JUICY BANDS: Did you make a New Year's resolution this year? MARK: [laughs] Not a serious one. I told myself I wasn't going to drink as much, but that's not really happening.