Interview: Cody Hanson of Hinder
November 02, 2006 12:28 PM
by Christina Fuoco
When Hinder penned the raspy rock ballad "Lips of an Angel," the Oklahoma City-based act immediately sensed it could have a hit on its hands. The record company, drummer Cody Hanson said, thought otherwise.
"You never really know if it's going to take off like it did," Hanson said via telephone from Boise, ID. "We hoped. But as a band we always felt it was a hit. The label, however, didn't think so. They didn't want it to be on the album. So we worked really hard and fought really hard for it to make sure it went on the album and to make sure it was a single."
Touche. "Lips of an Angel" peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs, No. 10 on Hot Modern Rock Tracks, No. 14 on Hot Ringtones, No. 3 on Mainstream Rock, No. 1 on Pop 100 and No. 3 on The Billboard Hot 100. The album ""that spawned the cut, meanwhile, hit No. 7 on The Billboard 200 album chart in September, nearly a year after its release.
Prior to his Boise show, Hanson talked to LiveDaily about Hinder's long-building success, working with Canadian producer Brian Howes and who's the cheater on which "Lips of an Angel" is based. (Hinder also includes lead singer Austin Winkler, guitarist/vocalist Joe Garvey, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Mark King and bassist/vocalist Mike Rodden.)
LiveDaily: How's the tour going so far?
Cody Hanson: [Laughs] It's been very busy. Ever since "Lips" hit Top 40 radio, it's been crazy. But we're accomplishing our mission of resurrecting rock "and roll.
Your goal is to resurrect rock and roll? That's a formidable goal considering there aren't that many testosterone-heavy rock-and-roll bands anymore.
A lot of rock bands are so dark. Half of the bands aren't really fun. It seems like rap has the party. We want to bring the party back to rock.
It took a couple weeks to set up the interview because Hinder has been so busy. What is a typical week or day like in the band's life now that "Lips of an Angel" has become so huge?
It's very busy. Today we went to five radio stations, did two meet and greets, a soundcheck party and a signing after that.
It's basically what it's like. It's just non-stop. But that's what we like to do. We like to go out and work, and meet a bunch of different people and shake the hands of the people who are supporting us, whether it's a radio station or magazines or whatever. It's something we like to do--say thanks.
You were talking earlier about "Lips of an Angel." Did it almost not make the album?
Um, [the label] didn't want it to. But, in our minds, there was no way that was going to happen. We knew the song had great potential. They tried to make it a B-side but we weren't going to go for that.
It's such a great song. It's such an obvious hit. And, it's sad to say, but I think everyone can relate to the lyrics about pining for an ex.
I don't think we were really aware of how many cheaters there really were. [Laughs]
So who's the cheater in Hinder?
Nobody's a cheater. Nobody's a cheater. [Laughs]
What was it like to work with Brian Howes (Closure, DDT) as a producer on your album?
Wow, man. He's one of my best friends. He's got such a great ear for the band's songwriting. He's just unbelievable. We were really big fans of his band Closure. I don't know if you're aware of them? We were big fans of theirs.
Were you friends with him before you recorded the album?
Before we recorded the album, we went out to Vancouver where we thought we were going to be [making] an independent album. It turned out to be demos. That was the first time we actually met. We got along so well and worked so well together. It was just kind of, like, undeniable. He's basically part of the band.
What is the songwriting process like with Hinder?
Well, on "Extreme Behavior," I would come up with a chord progression for a song. Then Austin would come up with a vocal melody. We get together and do the lyrics together. Once we have the basic structure of the song, we'll take it to all the guys and let them put their own little twist on things. For the most part, it's me and Austin creating the structure of the song.
Have you started thinking about a new album?
Yeah, we have, actually. We started writing a little bit. We've got a pretty good start. I think we have a lot better start than we did when we started writing for "Extreme Behavior." We probably won't go into the studio for another year, maybe. But we have a really good start with really good songs.
You said you're off to an easier start. Was "Extreme Behavior" difficult to write?
I just think we're more experienced songwriters now. We have more experience working with each other and writing with each other. Before "Extreme Behavior," myself and Austin wrote separately whenever we were writing. Now it's better, and I think it's going to be great the next time around.
How do you feel about opening for Aerosmith?
They're one of our influences, just like every other band out there. Whenever we're asked the question, "Who's a part of your dream tour?" The answer's always Aerosmith. It's just like, "Wow, it's unbelievable."