I first met the Hunches because of my old band the Household Highs. I didn’t really think anyone would come to see us besides friends of ours, but I noticed some "scene" looking people walked in to check us out. They came up to me and said they had a band called the Hunches and that that they liked our set. I saw Chris Gunn a few weeks ago at the Cramps shows and asked if they’d do an interview, and being a nice guy he complied.
What is the Hunches’ songwriting process?
I’ll usually come up with some crap on guitar and then the whole group works together to magically transform it into a song of sorts.
On your web site I found an article that said you are rumored to have studied under Zoot Horn Rollo (of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band). Is that true?
Yes, I took lessons from him for a couple of months. I would love to say that he taught me all of his intricate tricks but at that point in time I shunned any sort of guitar style that I didn’t consider rock ‘n’ roll. He started to teach me jazz chords and I put a quick stop to the lessons. Years later I got into Captain Beefheart and of course regretted being such a naive and closed-minded garage-punk moron.
How did you have come into his acquaintance?
He lives in Eugene, where I’m from. I don’t remember how I found him.
What was he like?
I just wanted to learn how to solo like that guy from the Saints but old Zoot just scoffed in my face. He told me that he was through with rock ‘n’ roll and saw that type of guitar playing as amateur and unworthy of his attention. Zoot now goes by Bill Harkleroad, wears jeans and a t-shirt, and plays indoor golf in his house. He told me that he saw early Stooges and Alice Cooper shows but that all of that music was crap. The only thing he liked that I brought up was Howlin’ Wolf. Bill Harkleroad still puts out solo albums, but they are supremely terrible in my humble opinion.
I know you guys are fans of bands like Crime and the Electric Eels. What other bands of yore, would you say have influenced your sound?
We love all types of music: Captain Beefheart, Pussy Galore, Cheater Slicks, Michael Yonkers, Dock Boggs, Electric Eels, Mirrors, Half Japanese, Velvet Underground, Suicide, 13th Floor Elevators, The Fall, Modern Lovers, Country Teasers, Birthday Party. The list is endless.
Any bands around town beside yourselves worth seeing?
Wet Heaves, Wiley Church Mice, Household Highs, Phantom Lights, Stick Figure, Nathon’s solo project. I’m sure that there are others. There’s also a lot of crap to steer clear of but we won’t get into that.
Last words for the rockers and rollers of PSU?
When you’re playing live don’t do that stupid move where you land on your knees and hold your guitar in the air. It will ruin your knees, which will eventually lead to hip and back problems. You’ll be crippled by age 25. Plus you look like an idiot when you do a move like that. I did that move a lot and thought I was great but in reality I was a stone cold fool.
The Hunches play with The Kills and Wet Confetti tonight (Dec. 3) at Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St.
Tickets are $11, and the show is 21+.