Nashville indie folk band Humming House will return to the Musicians Corner stage this Saturday. The fun-loving, genre-blending quintet are currently touring behind their masterful third album, Revelries. We asked them about life on the road with Kacey Musgraves, rehearsal time, putting on a memorable live show and more.
How does it feel to be on album number three?
Justin Wade Tam: Like I'm 12 years old at Six Flags Magic Mountain again! It's been an amazing roller coaster ride since we started this project 4 years ago. We're very proud of this new album and are thrilled to finally have it out in the world.
What's touring with Kacey Musgraves been like? Have you gotten to know her personally?
Leslie Rodriguez: Touring with Kacey Musgraves and her whole crew was a great experience. We were so impressed by how diverse her fanbase is, and they all were so excited to see her that it made it a great experience for us because the fans were already so happy to be at the show. Playing for enormous, diverse, excited crowds in beautiful theaters was an experience that we got addicted to really quickly. We got to spend some time with her, the band, and her crew as well and they are a great bunch of people. Her assemblage of band and crew was another aspect that really impressed us - she has some of Nashville's finest crewmembers and musicians on the road with her. It was a real pleasure to be a part of the gang for a couple of weeks.
You recently played the Cayamo Cruise and performed at Forecastle, Americana Music Festival and SXSW. What advice would you give to a band or singer songwriter hoping to replicate your success?
JWT: My advice would be that there isn't one way to gain the attention of an audience. It's first and foremost about making great art that you truly believe in. From there finding the right team to help the project succeed is key. Then it's all about connecting with your fans every night as genuinely as possible and staying the course.
Where do you guys rehearse, and how often? What are rehearsals like?
JWT: We rehearse in my studio/rehearsal space affectionately called The Toaster. Humming House rehearses quite a lot; we're constantly working on new material and refining our sound. When we're in town it's usually 1-3 times per week. Rehearsals are our chance to experiment... it's a time when we get to create music on our own terms. Everyone writes their own instrumental parts, creates counter melodies, arranges harmonies, and determines the rhythm of each composition. It's a hell of a lot of fun!
What are your goals when playing a live show?
LR: I think the obvious answer here is to put on a fun show that is well worth the audience's time and discretionary income, and that is simultaneously really fun for us. But this is also our job, not just a fun hobby, and we want the shows not just to be fun but to be great. We want to get better every time, so that the next time we play for the same crowd they see something a little different, a little better, a little more exciting. The technical aspect of putting on a good show is really important to us.
What do you like about Musicians Corner?
JWT: I love the community aspects of Musicians Corner. It's an inclusive festival that brings all of Nashville together through a shared love for music in our most central park. Emerging talent is able to open for larger artists, the food vendors are spectacular, the beer garden is picturesque, and there is even a place for children to learn about music at Kidsville. It's really Nashville's best festival for the whole family!
What's a show that stands out in your memory?
LR: I'll stick with the Musicians Corner theme here, because Musician's Corner was my first home-town show with Humming House. Two years ago we played Musician's Corner and I remember it being an incredibly hot day. We played right before Ben Sollee, who was wonderful. I had been transitioning into the band as the female vocalist since that March, but it wasn't until June that I got to sing with the band in Nashville. All of my Nashville friends and family came out to hear me for the first time with Humming House and it was such a proud moment for me. I love Musicians Corner and Nashville, and I'll never forget that show!