San Francisco band The Hundred Days has just released their debut album, Really? August 16th, 2011. Really? recalls The Killers Hot Fuss-era, Franz Ferdinand, as well as British post-punk bands Echo and The Bunnymen, and The Cure and Joy Division.
Really? was produced by Michael Patterson (Beck, Ladytron, She Wants Revenge) and Nic Jodoin (Great Northern). Lead single “Sex U” has generated some a lot of buzz, with NME recently calling it “one of the 10 Best Free MP3s”.
Here’s an exclusive interview with the band.
You guys locked yourself in a house until you found “the perfect formula”. What’s the story behind this? How did you meet and decide on this dance-rock hybrid?
We met each other at a party and just got talking about music and found that we had a lot in common. Not too much, where we would just pat each other on the back all night, but enough where we wanted to play together. When we got together, there were immediate sparks. A lot of what makes a good band or a girlfriend or whatever is luck – the right person at the right time.
Jimmy Chen, you’ve described the band as a clash of ideas and that the tension drives the band. Do you guys all collaborate on songs, or does one person bring one idea to the table and go from there?
Yes, a lot of what we write comes from just jamming early in the rehearsal, when our ears are fresh. We record everything and just glean for gems afterwards. When we don’t know what we are playing yet, we really listen to each other very hard. If someone makes a small rhythm change in their part, we all immediately react. The smallest rhythm change in the phrasing can make the difference between cool and corny.
You guys are from San Francisco. Yet there definitely seems to be a huge British post-punk influence throughout, Really? What British bands inspire you? There seems to be a moody influence like Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen.
We definitely have a love of English bands in common – old and new. Its part of what drew us together. We have a moody side to us and we also love to just have a good time – like everyone else.
Dance-rock seems to have exploded in the past few years. Do you see it is as a reaction to the negative events in the world, or a musical reaction to the angst of grunge?
It’s definitely a reaction to both, but you can never predict how people will react – whether it’s to reflect what is going on or to drive you the opposite way.
Really? Seems to work really well as album – rather than a mere collection
of songs. It seems like a complete thought. All of the songs could be singles. What was your mindset going into making Really?
Thanks! Yes, we wanted every song to be able to stand on its own. We grew up with albums but now with singles downloads, we definitely kept that in mind as well.
What was your reaction to having NME name “Sex U” as one of the 10 Best Free MP3s”? They have a long legacy.
We are obviously very flattered. Thank you NME!
You guys are touring The West Coast now and are planning an East Coast Tour. What are your plans after that? What do you hope to achieve with Really? Any thoughts for the next album, or are you taking it one step at a time?
I hear them talking about going back to the UK afterwards but haven’t heard any firm details yet. Our goals are just to keep making music that we love and bring it to as many people as possible. Anything above that is just the cherry on top. We have just been trying to get this album out but we have already started kicking around some ideas.