Hockey Dad Talk Brain Candy and Future Plans
Hockey Dad have been making huge waves ever since their 2016 album, Boronia, and they’re only getting bigger with their new single ‘Itch’ in heavy rotation on triple j and their upcoming tour and album, Brain Candy on the way.
We recently had the privilege of having a chat with Zach Stephenson of Hockey Dad about their highly anticipated upcoming album, plans for the near future and behind the scenes of their zombie apocalypse music video for their recent single, ‘Itch’.
The Creative Issue: Thanks so much for taking the time to have a chat! How has isolation been going for you guys? Have you and Billy been spending much time together?
Zach Stephenson: Yeah no worries! I mean, it’s been as good as it can be, really – we haven’t been hanging out too much actually, no. We’ve just been doing what everyone else is doing, just watching Netflix, waiting for it to blow over. We have been writing a bit of music though, trying to keep busy, you know.
TCI: How has the creative process been since the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you been able to come up with any new ideas?
ZS: Well, we’ve been coming up with ideas and I think we’ll probably come together and talk about it maybe at a later stage, but right now we’ve just been trying to compile a bunch of ideas and when we get back together, we can finish all of them off.
TCI: I’ve been keeping up with a few of your recent instagram live videos and heard the mention of possible country music on the album, is that true?
ZS: Yeah, there’s a couple of songs on the new record that definitely have that country vibe and there’s a few of them that didn’t make it onto the record that are a bit country. There’s one or two songs on the album where you’ll definitely hear the country.
TCI: Who and what were your inspirations behind the upcoming album, Brain Candy?
ZS: Bands like You Am I we got really into and really enjoyed which kind of gave us another spark for this record sound-wise. I think getting on with life, you get different ideas and we’ve just been trying to keep it fresh lyrics-wise and ideas-wise for the next album – I think we’ve done a pretty good job!
TCI: Your most recent singles have a bit of a different sound and feel compared to Boronia and Blend Inn, was this intentional or did it come naturally?
ZS: I guess a bit of both – it’s always intentional and you always wanna keep it fresh and change some stuff up. I don’t think that was a goal to achieve but we didn’t have to work too hard, I think the songs kind of help with that. As time goes by, you get into different things and get into different sounds and I think our records will always sound a bit different, depending on what we like to play at the time. So yeah I think the sound has definitely changed, but we didn’t have to focus too hard on it, it came pretty naturally.
TCI: The music video for ‘Itch’ is definitely different from your other music videos – the makeup looks amazing! How did you create the concept of the video?
ZS: The concept of the whole zombie thing was the director, Laban’s idea – he came to us with this whole story line for the video, all the ideas and got the whole crew together, so we kinda just jumped in. It’s the first time we didn’t have to think of a concept for a video, we kind of just jumped into his idea and we just got to play parts pretty much, which is awesome.
TCI: How did you guys go behind the scenes?
ZS: Its was the most legit video we’ve ever filmed – it was a ten-person crew and it was shot in LA with all these permits and stuff. It was so different to what we’re used to doing, which is just filming at home or you know… doing things really illegally. So it was good, it was a big change.
TCI: It seemed really relevant to the album name Brain Candy because you guys were eating brain cereal!
ZS: Yeah, we tried to tie all that in and get a few easter eggs in there.
TCI: Your upcoming tour has been postponed, what are your plans for your downtime when you’re not touring?
ZS: I mean, it pretty much depends what will be happening in the world, but I think we’ll just stay at home and keep writing. We’ll be writing songs with other people as well – we wrote some stuff with Toby from Skegss the other day. Because everybody’s off and on holidays, so everyone’s getting bored and wants to write cool songs with each other, so we’re trying to make the most of it and create some cool stuff while we can, and as soon as we can start touring again, we’ll be straight out there. I can’t wait to go back on tour.
TCI: You guys have always supported your local Aussie bands – what band will you be repping on Aus Music T-Shirt Day?
ZS: I’ve got a really nice Murlocs shirt that I might wear. There’s also this really cool band called Rock Music Fan Club – I think I’m gonna buy one of their shirts and wear it for sure.
Hockey Dad’s third studio album will be hitting shelves on 31 July 2020 before they kick off their national tour later in the year.