Sharing the stage with Saving Able and Three Days Grace, Hinder will play the WRIF Harleyfest at the Freedom Hill Ampitheatre in Sterling Heights on June 15. Hinder, which is comprised of five guys from Oklahoma, was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Catching up with founding member Cody Hanson, the drummer for Hinder, he shared his dream of opening a bar, his history of making music with his grandfather and how each song on the new album varies by track.
Author Marisa Williams: Growing up, were you ever scared of tornadoes in Oklahoma?
Cody Hanson, drummer of Hinder: Not really, they’re kinda common. I wasn’t ever really scared growing up, but the older I get, the more I am kinda, especially after seeing people wiped out.
Marisa: What inspired the old school carnival theme for Welcome to the Freak Show?
Hinder: Well we kinda just started with the title, it kind of made sense with the title. We never got to do an album content that was theatrical so kinda fun.
Marisa: How did you get started in music? Did you come from a musical family? What were your biggest musical influences?
Cody of Hinder: Well, I guess I sort of came from a musical family. My grandpa was from South Dakota. He was a blue grass musician, so he would always bring his guitar, harmonica, and stuff like that, and we’d write little kid songs. I guess that’s how I got my start in music. I was pretty all over the place growing up in music. I would listen to country, but then I guess probably Buddy Holly and Jimmy Hendrix growing up were my biggest influences.
Marisa: What instruments do you play, and how old were you when you learned to play them?
Cody of Hinder: I’m not professionally trained in any instrument, but I started playing drums at 12, and guitar shortly after that. I started to teach myself piano a little bit. I’m terrible at it, but I can get around, do chord progression and stuff like that.
Marisa: How do you go about writing music? What comes first for you: drums, guitars, vocals or something else? Has the process of writing changed for you over the years at all?
Cody of Hinder: Nah, the process of writing has not changed much, but the recoding process has changed. I learned to demo songs quickly. I have a studio in my house now. I never had that before, so that’s nice. I can write and record at same time. I just sit with an acoustic guitar. Sometimes the vocal come first, or it might start with a guitar riff. It can come about a million different ways.
Marisa: What’s the coolest thing about your latest project?
Cody of Hinder: I think the coolest thing is that every song on the album is completely different. There’s something for everyone. From the actual songs to the production standpoint, it’s pretty cool.
Marisa: What is the scariest thing about being on the road?
Cody of Hinder: The thought of it ending someday, and not being able to tour any more; that scares the hell out of me.
Marisa: What do you consider to be your career high and low points so far?
Cody of Hinder: High points, I guess when we did our first arena and ampitheatre tour, which was called “The Bad Boys of Rock,” which we headlined with Papa Roach and Buckcherry supporting us. We grew up listening to those bands, so that was pretty awesome. It’s been about 12 years that we’ve been together, so everyday that we get to do this is a high point. It’s been the same lineup for a long time, which is pretty hard to accomplish these days. The low point was when we realized… When we first started, we always had a lot of fun, but waking up at 7 a.m., and drinking a bottle of tequila at the radio stations, being drunk all day… Once we realized we were all drunk asses, that was a low point, but we fixed the problem.
Marisa: What’s your favorite way to travel and why?
Cody of Hinder: On a tour bus, definitely. It’s like a little house on wheels, and you have everything you need right there.
Marisa: What’s your favorite place to travel to, and is there anywhere you have not been to that you would like to go to?
Cody of Hinder: My favorite place is Amsterdam, for obvious reasons. The only place I’d like to go is Rome.
Marisa: What’s your biggest musical fantasy?
Cody of Hinder: Probably to play a show with 1987 version of Guns n’ Roses.
Marisa: If you were an unicorn, and you could be any color but white, what color would you be and would you have any special powers?
Cody of Hinder: Green. To be able to fly, and I’d have x-ray vision.
Marisa: If you were yogurt, would you be mixed fruit, fruit on the bottom, what flavor and why?
Cody of Hinder: Strawberry, on the bottom.
Marisa: Describe yourself as either a dog, a cat or a cartoon.
Cody of Hinder: I love dogs, so I’d be a dog probably. I’d like to think I’m loyal – way too much sometimes, to some people any way.
Marisa: Do you collect anything?
Cody of Hinder: Yes, musical instruments.
Marisa: Do you have any hidden talents or special skills?
Cody of Hinder: I’m the kinda guy that tries to be mediocre at a long of things. I’m not good at one thing, but I’m mediocre at a bunch of things.
Marisa: What’s the most important thing to remember?
Cody of Hinder: Probably that you’re not better than anybody else.
Marisa: What’s your best aha! Moment?
Cody of Hinder: Man, I barely remember what I had for lunch 15 minutes ago, so I don’t remember…
Marisa: If you were not doing music, what would you be doing?
Cody of Hinder: I’d probably open a bar. When I was younger, I wanted to open a strip club, but I don’t think my wife would like that now, so I’d back that down to a bar.
Marisa: What are three things you must have with you when you are on the road?
Cody of Hinder: Definitely beer, vodka and diet Dr. Pepper, oh, and hairspray.
Marisa: What is the one thing you fear being stolen while you are on the road?
Cody of Hinder: My cell phone.
Marisa: Any advice for musicians starting out?
Cody of Hinder: Find another job.
Marisa: Where can people find your music?
Cody of Hinder: www.hindermusic.com, www.youtube.com/artist/hinder, www.facebook.com/Hinder, and www.myspace.com/hindermusic.
Marisa: Closing thoughts and additional comments?
Cody of Hinder: Not really except to say thanks to the fans for all the support throughout our career, and buy Welcome to the Freakshow, or we will hunt you down.
The author of 100 books, Marisa Williams earned her Master’s in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University; for more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz