Features

Band Of The Week: Hosta

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ffw-0521-hosta1

Greg Moore, Iris Shepard, Randy Kehne

“No More Video Games”
[podcast]http://www.freeweekly.com/files/2009/05/nomorevideo-games1.mp3[/podcast]

Band members, instruments and day jobs:
Randy Kehne (drums) — Linux System Administrator
Iris Shepard (bass, vocals) — Doctoral student, U of A
Greg Moore (guitar, vocals, keyboard) — Graphic Designer/Artist

Band born: Our first show was at Iris’ house Oct. 4, 2008.

Type of music: We try to mix a lot of influences together. We are definitely a rock band in the tradition of Velvet Underground, but we want to mix that in with electronic sounds and elements of hip-hop. We like the way bands like Radiohead and Medeski Martin & Wood experiment with sound. We want our shows to be fun and exciting and we want people to dance. We want to push boundaries and experiment but we also want our songs to stick in your head. Most of our songs are about breaking up: ending unsatisfying relationships, breaking up with your parent’s ideas, breaking up with religion, quitting sucky jobs. Personal and social transformation is what we are about.

Originals or covers: We play all original songs. But we keep talking about doing a cover of Johathan Richman’s “I was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar.” We have also discussed covering the Pixies “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven.”

Sounds like: We have been compared to the Pixies and Talking Heads. We don’t think we sound very much like either of them. Sometimes Iris sounds like Nico when she sings. Her voice recalls a kind of 1960s vibe that can be found in bands like Belle & Sebastian or Camera Obscura, kind of a rainy day psychedelic type thing going on there. Greg’s singing is kinda talky like Lou Reed or Jonathan Richman. There’s definitely a vein of nostalgic ’60s pop running through many of our songs. But there’s also laser sounds.

Songwriter’s muse: Roller Derby

Influences: Velvet Underground, Pixies, Stereolab, Fiest, Radiohead, M.I.A., Outkast, Cat Power, Power Pop, Electronic , Rock’n Roll.

What kind of crowd do you draw: Human beings who wanna have fun!

When and where do you practice: We recently went from being a living room band to a garage band. So now it’s Randy’s garage. We are all neighbors. Actually we all live in a huge house that has been converted into apartments. Now we have taken it over and it has become an indie rock commune with a trampoline in the front yard. We’re basically indie rock communists.

Any albums: We have one seven-song EP that’s just called “Hosta.”

Total number of tattoos and piercings: Actually we have zero tattoos or piercings. There’s nary a scratch or mark on any of us.

Back stage ritual: We’ve never played anywhere that had a backstage but Iris likes to take her guitar into the bathroom and sing. Sometimes it helps to be alone before a show to get focused and centered. Randy likes to eat before shows. We’re always like where’s Randy? He’s off getting a burrito.

Funniest or strangest thing that ever happened during a performance: After we played at George’s, Randy misplaced his car and thinking it had been stolen, he made a police report only to find it later in another parking lot! We’re still not sure how it got there. Then a month later, Randy’s car got towed during a show at the Smoke and Barrel. Randy is no longer allowed to drive to shows.

Plans: Write new songs. Hone our sound and incorporate more electronic music. Randy just got a new electronic drum pad thing which is opening up awesome new possibilities. We want to deepen our musical visions and push ourselves to be more skilled song writers and performers.

Goals: We are building a fan base in Fayetteville and soon we will be ready to start trying to book out-of-town shows. In the future we’ll do some touring and make a full length CD.

Upcoming shows and tours: We are playing the Smoke and Barrel on Saturday with the Memphis Pencils. You can also catch us at the Firefly Festival at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks on July 21.

Dream act to open for: Memphis Pencils!

Last CD purchased: Greg checked out Ratatat from the library and it is awesome! Randy downloaded “Everybody” by Black Box.

Most played songs on your iPod? Hosta is an iPod free zone. But Randy listens to the Jazz Channel on his TV all the time. Iris listens exclusively to Outkast. Greg is on a Kraftwerk binge again.

Web site: Myspace.com/hostaband

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