Q&A with Harrison Hudson
Harrison Hudson is an interesting 3-piece band from Nashville, TN. The nifty-thrifty band consists of Brandon Dees (Bass), Steven Kadar (Drums), and front man, Harrison Hudson (Vocals, Guitar). He takes photographs of people and objects to pay the bills, but it’s pretty clear that his music will one day pay the bills and then some. He’s got a big ole’ voice with a skinny frame of a body, and he’s signed to a rising label called, Favorite Gentlemen. He’s the guy who slips in and steals the star quarterback’s girlfriend without even knowing it. We recently caught up with this Buddy Holly-of-a-dude to talk about his roots, love, and Katy Perry.
Blue Indian (Luke Goddard): Hi, Harrison. Thanks for allowing Blue Indian to interview you. You’re the jam and we dig you.
Harrison Hudson: Thankyou.
BI: So, where are you at this very minute?
HH: I’m sitting in Fido in Nashville, TN. It’s a local coffee shop i spend lots of time in.
BI: Cool. Coffee is good. You currently live in Nashville, TN. Is this where you’re from?
HH: I moved to Nashville about three years ago. I grew up in Norcross, GA. I enjoyed my time there but I kinda hated the suburbs. I don’t think like a lot of hippies and city people do who feel that the ‘burbs are soul sucking and cookie cutter. I just had nothing to do most of the time. I didn’t know my neighbors because they were 80 and I didn’t care too. There’s not a lot of conversation starters with them. It’s like.. “so you’re old and dying… Let’s play Scattergories.” In Nashville, a small town, my neighbors are my friends. They’re young and broke and trying to be artists as well.
BI: Hilarious comment on scattergories and old people. So yeah, we were already a fan of your music, but we decided to “Google” you. We discovered that you’re not only a musician, but a pretty amazing photographer. Do you enjoy one more than the other?
HH: I love music. I enjoy photography. I do photography to pay the bills. I will literally shoot anything if you pay me (shameless plug here). I don’t get to explore photography much. It’s mostly work but it’s good work. I don’t mind it. But music is why I’m here. I do the photos to pay for music.
BI: Well, you’re definitely talented on both ends: music and photography. What are some influences for you musically?
HH: I grew up on the oldies station. So, I grew up on The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. These are my biggest influences. I’m also quickly influenced. If I hear something I like I’ll immediately want the band to start sounding that way. The guys put up with a lot in that matter. I am constantly trying to change things, but hopefully that will keep us fresh. I also am still trying to find my sound. I think I’m circling it now. The next stuff we release will be very close to what we want.
BI: You write a lot about love. You the romantic type or is it a front?
HH: I write about what I know. I’ve spent the majority of my “dating years” not dating. I guess it’s a frustration to me. It’s also the songs I grew up on. The Beatles and Roy and Buddy and Elvis wrote about love. It’s the most universal topic. Everyone knows it. However, I don’t think I’m ready to settle down anytime soon. I get anxiety thinking about those things. It’s a love/hate with love.
BI: Okay. Katy Perry. You wrote a nice, little ballad for her. Did it ever get to her ears?
HH: I think she heard it. I have some friends who know her that said they were going to get it to her. However, I haven’t gotten any confirmation that she’s heard it. I mean. She’s not just a star. She’s a superstar. To give you an idea, Manchester Orchestra, the band that owns my label has about ten-thousand followers on twitter. They’re a popular band. Katy has close to a million. She’s “OJ” big. I wouldn’t expect her to respond to the song. It would be strange if she did. If I was was even remotely known or successful, maybe I’d expect a reaction but this isn’t like Paul and John battling each other in their solo careers. It’s a no-name writing about a very famous person.
BI: Would you marry her? Honestly.
HH: That’s ridiculous. I don’t know her at all. It’s a celebrity crush.
BI: [Laughs] You’re song was convincing… ahh. You’re on Manchester Orchestra’s record label, Favorite Gentleman. What’s that like?
HH: It’s more like an artists community than a label. They are “Label that Enables.” They make sure you’re not being held back. If you need tires on your van or money to print a record, they’ll make it happen. But, They expect you to do you’re job and get on
the road. They expect a lot out of their artists. They help those who will help themselves. It’s a great place to be.
BI: A lot of good bands on Favorite Gentlemen, no doubt. You’ve played a show in Macon, GA before. Was Macon good to you?
HH: We haven’t played there enough times to get a feel. The fans have been welcoming though. We’ll just have to see if it grows. It’s a bummer when you have a town that has some super fans but you’re crowd never grows. The next few shows will decide if it’s gonna be a regular stop for us. It’s also tough to play there because they don’t have a lot of shows. It’s tough to just route through there because it’s hard to find a date with a show.
BI: Understandable. Where do you see yourself in 5-7 years?
HH: I don’t see myself anywhere. I’d like to see myself living off of music and music only. I’d like to make money strictly by creating and playing music. If I can do that I’ll be happy. I just don’t want to have to keep working and creating. It stretches a person a lot.
BI: Indeed. What consumes your time these days?
HH: Right now I’m writing a lot. I spend lots of time watching TV shows as well. Mad Men, Lost, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Breaking Bad, True Blood, Better Off Ted… yada yada yada.
BI: Sounds like some good consumption. Did you continue your education after high school?
HH: I went to a community college for a bit but dropped out and moved to Nashville.
BI: Nashville is worth it. Such a killer spot. What is your typical day? What gets accomplished before lunch? After Lunch? After dinner?
HH: Before lunch I do all of my emails booking and planning for the day. I also spend time writing. I’ll break for lunch and come back to either writing or editing photos. After dinner I am usually done for the day. But there’s never a time where I don’t write. I’ve never said, ” This idea seems cool but I’m done writing for the day.” Sometimes I write my best late at night. Normally after dinner though I’m at a show or seeing friends. I have a pretty typical work day. I just write songs and book shows and answer myspace emails instead of entering numbers into a spreadsheet.
BI: What can fans of Harrison Hudson expect next from you soon?
HH: We’ll be releasing music over the next year. Not sure what that’s gonna look like yet, but we want to get away from the traditional 10 song CD. So we’ll see what that will look like. Expect us to be on the road a good bit.
BI: On the road is good, so says Jack Kerouac. When will you come back to Macon, GA?
HH: Not sure. Hopefully this fall. There’s so much that goes into routing a tour that sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to do it one way or the other.