The Hustle are a rock/blues band who have been through many a line-up change, honed their skills at endless open-mic sessions and junked their acoustic guitars in favour of a full-on electric attack.
Their endeavours are paying off; fresh from a stint at Glastonbury, Joe (vocals), Andy (guitar), Tristan (bass) and Ben (drums) will be giving it some at the Malt Cross this Friday night for our 1st Birthday knees-up. Alex Kocan caught up with Joe and Andy for a natter on all things Rockular…
So where's the rest of the band?
Andy: Ben’s in Spalding and Tristan’s in France. We tried to get a satellite link set up, but it went down. I think it was struck by lightning.
Where did your name come from?
Joe: The actual name came from a song we’d written, when we were known as Diffuse. Our studio wall was plastered with notes and songs and stuff we needed to remember. Amongst them was an instrumental song called The Hustle. The name’s since become a way of thinking for us.
Andy: People say a manual labour job is a good, honest living. But what if you’re in a band? Is that a dishonest living? We’re trying to
hustle gigs, etc to make an honest living.
Tell us a little about the origins of the band…
Joe: Me and Andy have been mates since we met at South Notts College a few years ago. We hung around, playing guitars as a way of communicating. Most people hung out and did other stuff; we just ended up playing guitars. Neither of us said ‘let’s form a band’, it just happened. We did open-mic nights for a year…
Andy: Our first ‘gig’ was an open-mic night at Junktion 7. I sat on the floor nervously playing guitar.
Joe: That was the first time I’d ever sung in public. I’d not had any band experience either. Andy had been in bands before though.
Andy: I’d more or less put my guitar to rest at the time as I was
doing more producing. I knew Joe had a great voice so I got him round to sing on a few things. I know it’s cheesy but his voice blew me away. I picked the guitar up again and things developed from there.
Where did you do your first proper gig?
Andy: At Bunkers Hill. We had no specific direction, then. We were just doing stuff. The second time was worse - I organised the night and everyone was buying me drinks. I was drunk by the time we went onstage…
Joe: You name it, it went wrong. We were out of tune and there were technical problems.
Andy: And the place was packed! It’s worse playing badly when there’s a big audience.
So what happened to the original line-up?
Andy: We were lucky enough last year to get to play Glastonbury, just me and Joe. We got the call totally out of the blue. The rhythm section said they didn’t want to play.
Joe: We never sacked the other guys - just ceased contact with them. We played Glasto on the Thursday, the day before it officially opened. When we went on stage there were about twenty people, but halfway through I lifted my head up and it was packed. It turned out great in the end. By this point we had a good bunch of songs we knew we could carry on with, and when the new guys came in we hit the floor running.
Andy: I spoke to Ben earlier. He said he’s influenced by dictators. Mussolini, people like that…
Joe: Tristan’s influences lie in UK hiphop which helps with basslines and makes him a great player. My influence is Pink Floyd.
Andy: I’m influenced by Hunter S. Thompson and brandy.
Joe: The Rescue Rooms is nice. There are not enough places like that.
Andy: The Malt Cross is great. The Social and Orange Tree, as well.
Andy: Terra Torra. It depends what you like, but regarding pushing
things forward I’d go with them. The Magic Heroes were one of the first live bands I saw in Nottingham.
Joe: In terms of a live show The Heroes have got it down to a tee. That kind of music would be suitable for a stadium gig.
What’s the most embarrassing record you have in your collection?
Joe: So Solid Crew. It ended up in my collection when I moved house, think it may be my sister’s.
Andy: Destiny’s Child. I don’t think it’s that embarrassing, but everyone who sees it does.
Looking forward to our soiree at the Malt Cross?
Andy: Definitely. Me and Joe played there about a year ago, it was the afternoon and people were drinking tea. I’ve got every confidence that it’s going to go well this time.
If you had to grow a moustache, which type would it be?
Andy: Hitler’s, because that’s all I’d be able to grow.
Joe: Tom Selleck. Andy’s a big fan.
Andy: I don’t understand! He always had beautiful women by his side, even with a dirty soup strainer hanging over his top lip. How’s that attractive?
Joe: Being a hairy rocker, I’m all up for ‘taches…