Hospital Sports

Hospital Sports

By Courtney Sanders

Tuesday 1st October, 2013 9:25AM

Hospital Sports are an Auckland alt-folk trio who have all known each other for a while but started kicking it together musically two years ago. They will release their debut, self-titled album this week and we caught up with Danny Ebdale and Morgan Allen to discuss their journey to-date, as well as to get an insight into each track on the record, which you can listen to throughout this interview or over here.

How did you guys form and what are your musical backgrounds?

Morgan: I met Danny at a party a couple years ago and had heard a lot of his solo stuff beforehand. We got talking about music and decided to have a jam, and it was fun so we kept going haha. He then invited his friend Nick to play drums and we started playing high energy kinda punk instrumental type songs. Then Nick had to leave and we got out friend Maddy to play drums for us - the whole sound pretty much changed then.

As far as backgrounds go, I guess we all started learning instruments when we were in primary school. I started on the piano and Danny was actually a drummer before he picked up the guitar. I can't speak too much for the others but I had played in a few other bands and recording projects prior to Hospital Sports but found it really refreshing to just think about being the bass player in the band and leaving most of the writing up to Danny. I know Danny has always been pretty consumed by music and is a fairly prolific home recording artist so yeah, I think we just share that interest in creating. We both knew Maddy through various mutual friends and we both went to the same high school so it was really easy to start jamming together and write some music.

When you started Hospital Sports did you know what you wanted to sound like or was developing your sound a more organic process than that?

Morgan: Well Danny writes all the melodies and the core of the songs really, and then Maddy and I just add our own style to the rhythm section and help with ideas about dynamics and things. I think Danny has a pretty clear idea about how he wants the song to sound when he puts it together and it's great to have that vision. There's always the organic element to it though; I mean the way Maddy drums really defines the rhythm section of the tracks and that style is pretty specific to the way she plays, so the sound is always going to evolve from all our own influences.

For people who haven't heard your work, how would you describe your sound?

Morgan: Music that you go to sleep to when you get home at four in the morning, when you're all wired and just need to slow things down a bit.

Do you have any particular ongoing influences or inspirations, sonically or otherwise?

Morgan: I think if you listen to artists like Owen, Red House Painters, Sharks Keep Moving, and Helvetia for example, you'll hear some influences and similarities.

You're releasing your album this week! Was there anything particular that you wanted to achieve with this album? Any overarching theme or a sound that you wanted to communicate?

Danny: I tried my best to keep it a little stripped down and not add too many guitar or vocal overdubs because I have a tendency to add lots while recording, but there are times when it sounds like a five piece band which is when I go with my instincts and don't think about how we sound live. I like to see those parts more as little details to give it more life, and even though we don't use acoustic guitar live, in my head it's always sounded more warm and intimate than an electric guitar. There isn't really a theme or concept but lyrically it's very honest (with lots of fiction).

When and where did you write the album, and what were your influences or inspirations at the time?

Danny: All of the songs were written in between April 2012 and February 2013 and we worked on them in my old practice room in Torbay and Maddy's house. I was listening to a lot of Owen and American Football at the time.

How did you record it?

Danny: We recorded it at a studio in Takapuna called Nomad Soundstore with our friend Solomon Bagley, and me and Morgan recorded it ourselves at our homes in between January 2013 and September 2013.

Now that it's a finished product, what would things stick out to you as the most important, or the things you're happiest with?

Danny: I'm glad we didn't rush it, I hate rushing while recording. I'm super happy with it and it's my favorite thing I've done at the moment.

Can you please give us a little sentence describing each song please!

'Dinosaur': Being avoided and feeling ghost like. This was the first song we worked on together as this lineup.

'Days': Giving up and giving in to the man.

'Sunspots': How to cope and also how I don't get enough sun.

'The Long Run': Unfortunate truths, my teeth, and other weird thoughts.

'Ferriswheels': This is originally a guitar song of mine, but it sounds way better with drums.

'The Finishing Line': A warning.

'Lighthouses': Growing up and moving on.

What are Hospital Sports' future plans?

Danny: I've got heaps of ideas so we're gonna start working on them soon, I'm really looking forward to that. We're aiming to go on a tour around NZ this summer too so that should be fun.

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