Having been on an extended hiatus for over ten years, Hundred Reasons returned earlier this year with the incredible record, Glorious Sunset. Vocalist Colin Doran, still fresh off the tour supporting this record, highlights how the band came back together, the writing process and the lead-up to the most recent tour. Doran also does not rule out more from Hundred Reasons in the future and remains optimistic for the future of the band. Follow along on SoundCloud here.
Hi Colin, how’re you doing, sir?
Colin Doran: “I’m amazing. Thank you very well.”
Now, first of all, I’m going to apologise to you. I didn’t catch your set. I’m sure you can probably imagine some of the reasons behind it.
“Probably the traffic getting here today, which is beyond abysmal for lots of people.”
You are quite correct, but traffic aside, I want to ask, how did it go?
“I had an amazing time! Yeah, it’s just a real privilege to actually play Download 20. We did these festivals, like back in the day a long time ago and the crowd were just totally on form. We had a great time. We just came off stage absolutely buzzing.”
Now I have to ask, because I’ll confess straightaway, I was a huge fan of you guys back in the day and you kind of dropped off the radar somewhat and then your recent tour, I noticed it was there, and I had to go. By the way, it was an incredible show in London. What brought you guys back because I think the last album was 2007?
“It was a long time ago, definitely a long time ago, I think it was kind of like a really organic thing. Me and Andy (Gilmour) used to go out and do these acoustic shows. Sometimes we had our friend Tom playing guitar, and our booking agent Sean said, “Oh, you enjoy that?” Well, yeah, it’s great. Love it. Then he was like, what would you think about maybe doing a full band? I said, “well, I don’t really know how everyone else feels about it.” From our perspective, whenever we do something, we have to do it because either we know it’s gonna be a really, really good time, or it’s got to have something behind it, you know, a reason to do it. So we ended up sort of starting to write music again. We had a studio in Brixton at the time and we would just go there and hang out and write songs, but every time we were writing, really good songs are being written.
So we were really sort of buzzing, and we’ve actually got a really good record here and we had a label that was happy to put it out. So it also came around like that, lots of lying to people. Sean (Smith) from The Blackout does a podcast called Sappenin’, and I was doing a full interview with the Sappenin’ podcast about another band I’m in and was asked; “So what are Hundred Reasons up to?” I was like, nothing, but we were writing. We hadn’t announced shows but we were looking at doing all of that. So it’s like, no, we’re not doing anything. So lots of lying to people. It just came about, went really well and when it’s easy, which it was, it’s not sort of forced in terms of the writing process, which was just easy. So yeah, you go and do it.”
So it was basically trying to keep it a little bit secret by lying, is that what you’re saying?
“We kind of had to because the thing is, if the writing didn’t go well then we weren’t going to do anything. I’ve seen a lot of bands put stuff out, and it’s just average and they’ve not done music for a long, long time and you think well, it was okay, I guess. It had to really be good and we had to really believe in it because it’s just how we feel about stuff, we have our own sort of bar in terms of quality and you have to keep that. We didn’t want to go in the press saying we’re writing the record, because that then sets expectations and while the album is still sort of taking shape, and you haven’t decided whether you’re actually genuinely going to do it yet, you have to keep that stuff behind closed doors.”
That’s a fair answer, and I can respect that. So, during the recording were there any songs that really stood out for you? Ones that made you feel or made the band feel that you’re back on form, and actually coerced you into deciding we are going to tour, we are going to put this out and we are going to announce it?
“Well we’ve got songs on the cutting room floor, they are also really fucking good, but weren’t necessarily what you call something that would benefit an album. So when you’re putting an album together, you’re trying to put a selection of songs together that all sort of work well together and becomes like its own piece. So we’ve got about nine or ten songs that we still quite like. They ended up not being completely finished on a production level, but they were recorded and demoed and all the ideas were there. So for us, it was when we were picking out what we’re going to record properly, we were like kids in the candy shop, it was easy. The hardest decision was picking what to go on the record because it was all good.”
So could there be a B-sides release at some point perhaps?
“I don’t know. I’m not lying.”
I love the way you put that I’m not lying in the end. So when I see a B-sides out I’ll just be like, well… He’s a liar!
“No, no, because right now I genuinely don’t know. For me you have to be honest about certain things, but I don’t know if we would do anything with that material, because everyone’s still really busy, everyone’s doing things and there’s no reason to really do it right now.”
So, getting asked to do Download 20! What was that like being brought into this? Let’s be honest, despite the mishaps, the actual idea of Download 20, 20 years since the first and being part of that, what did that feel like for you?
“It was amazing! I know when we were doing shows again we were all really hoping that we would actually get asked to do it, and we were which is brilliant. We really wanted to do this, but obviously you can’t shove yourself down people’s throats because you haven’t done anything for a while. I think when the shows were doing really well on ticket sales, then Download thought okay, there’s something here. It is a really good slot, we really wanted to do Download, but we didn’t know if they’d ask us.”
It wasn’t just the show that you did here, it did ping on the Download app highlighting that you actually did a secret acoustic set here as well.
“I’m guessing if it went on the app, then it’s not actually a secret, but yeah, they asked us to do it a while back and we thought, yeah, why not?”
So there’s actually been sort of a renaissance of early Noughties bands coming back, do you think this is a good thing, like in the grand scheme of things, because there was some tremendous bands back then and now it’s sort of coming back. Symposium, for example, they’re making an appearance, yourselves, for example. So how do you feel about that?
“I mean, good music’s good music. So, you know, if people want it. I still listen to bands, probably even further back when I was a kid so from my perspective I don’t really think about that too much. Like I said, there’s fans of those bands, and the bands are up for doing it, and they’re having a good time. There’s a lot to be said about there being sort of no pressure to what you’re doing.
I’ve said this before, when you’re kind of doing it, and you’re doing it back in the day and you’re kind of on a bit of a treadmill. It doesn’t mean you’re not having a good time or enjoying what you’re doing, but once you’ve done one thing, you don’t have to do the next thing. You move on to the next and then you’re on to the next, but at this particular time, when everyone’s kind of doing their own thing, Larry (Hibbitt) is a record producer and our drummer does stage management stuff for really, really big artists, so it’s an easy thing to do, there’s no pressure, there’s no expectation, it’s just going to have a good time and having that sort of mentality around it helps.”
Now, the last thing I really want to ask you is, can you tell me anything about what might be on the horizon for Hundred Reasons? Or is this another, I don’t know, situation?
“We’re doing 2000 Trees in July, which is gonna be amazing because that’s another great festival. So we’re very privileged to be asked to do that and then I think what we’ll probably do is sit down and take a bit of stock. We’re not saying we’re not gonna do anything, and that’s the end of it after 2000 Trees. I think we’re just gonna have a little bit of a chat, because at the moment, it’s something that you don’t always get to do when you’re in a band, to actually just enjoy what’s going on.
At the moment it’s good to kind of sit back and just go right, really enjoyed that tour we just did really enjoyed Download, but actually be able to sit down because also you can’t do it in the heat of the moment either because obviously, anybody would go; yeah, let’s do it again because we had a really good time, but when you’ve let the dust settle a little bit, we’ll sit and have a bit of a chat and reflect and maybe there is something more to be done. But we’ll see.”
I do guess there’s a level of expectation from fans and maybe labels to get more out, but by the sounds of it, you’re looking at taking it a bit slower, doing what’s right for you guys, is that a fair assumption?
“It’s on our terms, and the label totally get that.”
Now, I’m just gonna end with one small thing. Last year, I did bad jokes, just to round it off. I don’t think I’m going to do that this year, because I got some very bad looks. So this year, I’m gonna try a little game, which is inserting an animal into a band’s name. For you have come up with Houndred Reasons. What do you think?
“Wow! It’s probably equally as bad as dad jokes and things like that. I’m not offended by it.”
Good. Good. Well, that’s my game, but I will ask you can you think of any animal known that you can put into a band at all?
“Oh, blimey, I’ll just go with Cancer Bats.”
Direct to the point, cheating a bit, but I’ll allow that.
“I’m using artistic license to cheat!”
Colin I really want to thank you so much for talking to us today. It’s been emotional trying to get to the interview with you, so I’m glad you’re here and thank you so much. You enjoy the rest of your festival.
“Thanks, you too.”
To keep up with all the future Hundred Reasons news, head over to their Official Website.