An Interview with Hutch Harris

A Man of Many Talents

Hutch Harris, lead singer and guitarist for The Thermals, was gracious enough to take some time out of his busy schedule of Rockin’ people’s socks off to answer a few questions for our humble little site.

Hutch tells how and why he makes music, how he got started with music, how he would feel if his band were compared to Good Charlotte, and his current feelings for mainstream radio.

Hutch also gives a feel for what the life of a Rock Star is really like, and of course, weighs in on the Ketchup vs. Catsup debate.

[mars] What drives you?  What made you wake up one day and decide to be a musician?

 i am driven by the need to create, the desire to express myself, and the ambition to succeed.  my father is a musician, so it makes sense that i became one. 



[mars] Some of our readers have never heard of your band.  Shame on them!  How would you describe the band?

 i’m sure there are probably a lot of amazing things your readers have never heard of.  we describe the band as post-pop-punk.  it’s loud, distorted, catchy and smart.



[mars] What is your favorite song/album you have made to date and why?

 although the body, the blood, the machine is our most popular record, my favorite is now we can see.   i’m very proud of the lyrics, the stories told on nwcs.  the drumming (by kathy foster) on that record is amazing as well. 



[mars] Is it Catsup or Ketchup?  Fender or Gibson?

it is catsup and it is ketchup.  ketchup you put on a hamburger.  catsup you put on a hamburger sixty years ago.  i prefer fender guitars and amps.  i own six fender amps and four fender guitars.


[mars] At we have a personal vendetta against mainstream radio for destroying music as we once knew it.  Your music reminds us of a time when music was awesome; the 90s.  How does it make you feel to hear some of the songs that are considered “good” on mainstream radio?

i don’t hear many songs i like on mainstream radio these days.  metric, the joy formidable and foster the people all have had pretty good songs on the radio recently.  these songs remind me of the 90’s as well, in a good way.  we love the 90’s as much as you guys do.



[mars] What do you like most about what you do?  Is it just being able to make music? Performing the music? What?

 we like touring, recording, writing, and everything in between.  it is absolutely amazing to make a living doing something we love.  it is a dream come true.



[mars] Does it bother you, flatter you, or something in-between, when you are compared to other bands or artists?

it depends.  if we are being compared to the buzzcocks or guided by voices, we find that flattering.  if we are being compared to good charlotte, we find that supremely insulting.



[mars] I first discovered you guys back when I got NHL 2K7.  How did your song end up on that game?  How cool is that?  Do you like hockey?

the people making the game contacted us through sub pop records.  we’ve done a few video games.  it is cool!  we don’t follow hockey.



[mars] Is the life of a musician everything you thought it would be?

it’s all that and more, baby.



[mars]  Do you have a collection of songs that have never been heard before?  If so, would you release one to (it’s worth a shot to ask, right?)

yes, we do have some unreleased songs.  no, you can’t have any.  yes, it’s worth a shot.  it’s always worth a shot.



[mars] At what age did you first begin to play music?  Does musical talent run in your family?

i started playing electric guitar at age 15.  musical talent does run in my family, my father is a professional piano player.  i already told you this dammit!



[mars] Many people search for meanings in songs, even if there isn’t a meaning.  When you make your songs, are you concerned about them meaning something or does it just kind of happen?

 sometimes i’m very concerned with the meaning, sometimes it does just happen.  it’s important, when you are creating anything, to change approaches from time to time, and to not force anything.



[mars] In 10 years from now, where do you see yourself and the band?  

 we will be quite old at that point!  older than you think.  i don’t think about the future so much.  we will keep this band alive as long as we are enjoying it.



[mars] What current band that most people have never heard of could you recommend to MarsBands readers?  What makes them special, in your opinion?

the band nurses, from portland, one of our favorites.  their music is psychedelic and transformative without being pretentious.  quite rare, i think.



[mars] What advice do you have for individual artists or bands who are trying to make it in the music business?

first concentrate on making art, then concentrate on the business side.  many bands focus too much on business.  they put networking and marketing before creating.  art first, always!



[mars] When you’re not on tour and you have some free time, what are you doing?

i like swimming, running, eating, drinking, reading, watching.  i love doing collage.  i’ve designed all of our record covers.



[mars] Who is your favorite new website, that you are currently answering interview questions from, and whose name is based off a red planet in our solar system?

 hmm, hard to say.  i think it must be



Isn’t he clever?

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