INTERVIEW: Killing Heidi still killing it years later
NOSTALGIA was in the air at the Harvey Road Tavern's Hotter than Hell festival on Saturday - but it might have been strongest during Killing Heidi's blistering set.
The Observer journalist Andrew Thorpe sat down with brother and sister duo Ella and Jesse Hooper after the show to chat about the industry, the band's future and their time at the top.
First of all, I want to say thank you - I used to tape Rage in 1999/2000 then make mixtapes and sell them at school. Mascara was always a good seller!
Ella Hooper: Clever man.
Jesse Hooper: We love a good bootlegger!
You mentioned onstage nostalgia was something you've come to grow into.
EH: Yes. Maybe that just means we're old.
Is there a reason these bands that were at the top of the charts 20 years ago still bring a huge crowd like this?
EH: I'm going to go on the record and say I don't know that that will be the case for today's chart-toppers.
JH: The way people consume music has changed a lot. There's a much more disposable band scene.
EH: It's churn and burn.
JH: There's still some great bands, but it's the songs as well. At that time there was no streaming, there was more attachment to recorded music.
EH: You had to own (the songs) more because they were an investment. It wasn't just a click - in the 90s you spent $30 on an album so you thought 'Yeah I'm going to really listen to this'.
It was a big decision, which album to buy.
EH: It was a big decision, and we all tried to make that decision worthwhile. We tried to give it everything.
Had you played Gladstone before this evening?
EH: I don't think so. We've been everywhere else but Gladstone. So we're ticking it off the bucket list.
JH: It was a really great vibe today, it was really fun.
You did say we might not see you again for a while.
EH: This is just a reunion, this is not a reformation. So we love being back together after all these years, but there are no plans for new music or to take it further. It will end at some point.
JH: We've ended it before and it will end again.
I knew Ella was 14 when it started, but what I didn't realise was Jesse, you were two years older.
EH: He was only 16.
JH: On Reflector I would have been 18 or 19.
But behind those fluoro pink dreadlocks...
EH: There was a kid under there! Absolutely.
Starting that early, it might have fallen off the rails - what kept the two of you on track?
JH: We just had a ten year break so I think that's the heart of it... I think that's why we're so excited and enjoying it, we haven't done it for a long time. We might put it back on ice so that maybe when we do it it still has a real fun vibe.
EH: Creativity and music is very mercurial, and it's very sensitive, and you have to listen what it wants. Some people think we broke up really early, we had a good thing going, but to us it was the right thing to do at the time, and we reformed ten years later and soon we'll give it a rest again.
JH: We still do some shows where it's euphoric, exciting, rejuvenating, like 'Let's do more' - and then we have a couple where it's like 'You know what - is my heart still in it?' So you've got to go with your gut.
What did Neil Young tell Pearl Jam? Learn when to say no?
EH: And he also said: It's better to buuurn out than to faaaade awaaay!