WRBB’s Dominic Yamarone got a chance to chat with Dimitri Giannopoulos from Horse Jumper of Love about house shows just before they played at NxNU.
Dominic Yamarone: You guys have been in the Boston music scene for a while and I’m sure a lot of our readers are curious about is how you got your start in the local scene. How did that come about?
Dimitri Giannopoulos: We just started playing shows and then people started asking us to play some shows here and there and we just kinda kept doing it until we were playing a lot of shows in a week. Now we try to keep it to once a month because it can be overwhelming playing a lot of shows.
DY: How did you guys meet?
DG: We all grew up in Boston. Jamie and John went to Boston Latin School and I went to Boston Latin Academy. I knew some kids who went to Boston Latin School and Jamie and I started playing in a band when he was like 14 and I was 16. And then, we played in a battle of the bands at Boston Latin school and John’s band was in it as well. I always just think his high school band was really cool, but we actually beat him. Then we met and two years later we were like “You wanna start a band or something?”
DY: Did you compete in the battle of the bands as Horse Jumper?
DG: No it was some other like crappy high school band Jamie and I were in. We mostly played covers.
DY: Do you have any super memorable moments or favorite memories from playing a show?
DG: Going on the road is always really nice, and meeting people in different cities. That’s always my favorite part; meeting new people every day when you’re on tour. One of my favorite shows I’ve ever played was in Bowling Green, Kentucky. We played at this spot called Sinkhole Sanctuary and everyone there was super sweet. It was a house show and just really fun. It was our first time ever in the south which was super memorable. Being there in the summer, it was super warm and buggy. It was a great experience though.
DY: Now that you’ve been playing bigger venues as well, what’s your favorite part about playing a house show over a club?
DG: It’s a little more relaxed definitely. I don’t feel like I get as nervous for a house show. When you’re at a venue it’s like “Alright, now we gotta do soundcheck,” but when you’re at a house you kind of just show up. You chill, then you play.
DY: How has playing house shows influenced your music style?
DG: We mostly played house shows in the beginning so that’s where we really found our sound I feel. Like playing in small basements, you adapt to the spaces. I remember playing our first venue and I was like, “Woah, so this is what everything sounds like.” I don’t know if that makes sense, but…
DY: Yeah, in that same vein your music has a very “wall of sound” style to it. Do you write songs that are more atmospheric for a setting, or do you want to command the attention of the listener?
DG: Not necessarily; that’s kind of just something that happens when we jam on a song. I normally just write a song on my acoustic guitar and then when I go to band practice I’m like “Jamie, John check out this new song I have!” And then John starts playing bass, Jamie starts playing drums and we just pick it up from there. Sometimes it gets loud, and sometimes it stays quiet.
DY: When someone listens to your album, is there anything you want them to take away from it?
DG: No, not really. I mean whatever they want I guess.
DY: Just for them to enjoy it?
DG: Yeah, I mean there’s not like one message. Just if you like it that’s cool, I really appreciate them listening to it.
DY: Are you working on any new music?
DG: Yeah! We’ve been working on a lot of new music. We’re all done with an LP, our second LP. We just need to master it. We’ve been working on that for almost two years now. It just kinda takes a while because I want it to sound good and then I think it sounds bad and I redo shit.
DY: How many demos do you go through on an average for a song?
DG: I don’t really demo songs. I mean, I take voice memos on my iPhone, and I have done demos before, but really the songs just happen. Me, Jamie and John play them over and over and over again until we just know them. There are plenty of songs that we play, that if we all just died tomorrow there wouldn’t be anything, they just like exist in our heads.
DY: Okay now for some quick, fun questions. First, what’s your dream festival to play, and who would be on the lineup?
DG: I dunno, I feel like a festival is really overwhelming. I feel like something like cool in the woods or something, like Woodstock or some shit; not actually Woodstock but like that. For dream lineup, I’d really want to open up for Oasis. It’d be sick to play with Oasis and like, Pearl Jam.
DY: On that note, who’s the musician or group that’s had the biggest influence the band’s style?
DG: I feel like my style of writing changed a lot after I listened to this band, the Silver Jews. I found this album American Water when I was like 19. It really changed the way I start writing or thinking about songs. Like that, and a lot of the Microphones or Mount Eerie kind of stuff. I feel like those are the main forces, I guess that’s what I mostly listen to. And I also really like jazz and stuff but I also like some heavy stuff and shoegazey stuff.
DY: Thanks so much for joining us, and hopefully we’ll talk again soon!
Want to hear the full interview? Give it a listen below and make sure to keep up with Horse Jumper f Love on their Facebook and Bandcamp!
[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/wrbb/horse-jumper-of-love-interview/ width=800% height=120 hide_cover=1]
Photos by: Christian Triunfo, Maya Dengel, Sarah Sherard, and Emma Turney