Every artist and every song has an inspiration and a message they intend to get across, one way or another. In the case of alt-pop rock outfit Dangerous Hippies and their new single “Hot Off The Press”, that inspiration stems from exploiting corrupt and bullshit-artist televangelists, and their message is simple: live your life how you see fit.
After an eye-opening intro in their music video with a voice-over of some televangelist speaking of hell and damnation for those that succumb to common vices, the screen fills with headlines of abuse, corruption, and other heinous crimes by the very preachers preaching. Do as I say, not as I do…
“Woke up today my head was reelin’/I shoulda been asleep but the doorbell was ringin’/Naked put some clothes on, I’m thinkin’/Somebody better have a goddamn good reason/Open up the door and it’s a geeky motherfucker with a tie and a bike and some literature.” I have to admit that last line flat out made me laugh.
Lead singer and guitarist Marshal Dutton and drummer Cody Hanson of massively popular 2000s band Hinder paint a very raw and honest picture with “Hot Off The Press.” Right away it’s damn clear this is a very real and honest situation that many of us have experienced, though Dutton may harness a bit more anger with their presence than others.
The song holds an early aughts pop-punk charm that can strike a chord of sentimentality in those who grew up listening to bands like Good Charlotte, Sum 41, or maybe New Found Glory in their teens.
We got the chance to pitch some questions their way to learn more about the new single, future plans, and much more.
So how did the vision for Dangerous Hippies come together?
We’ve been working on this project since 2011! It started when we were pitching songs for various things, which lead to us exploring different styles. In the process, we realized how fun and free it was, so we just kept going!
How does Dangerous Hippies’ sound compare or contrast to that of Hinder’s?
It’s quite different. It falls more in the category of alternative, but it has way fewer bounds within which to work with, so it might come out sounding folky, pop, or even with country elements added in.
Can you walk us through the songwriting process within the band?
It varies. Sometimes it starts with a specific idea from either Cody or I, and then sometimes it’s inspired by a current track from another artist that we’ve been listening to. And we listen to a wide variety of styles, so ya never know what’s gonna happen! We’ve always prided ourselves on being able to jump around, stylistically.
I was hoping you could talk about your new single “Hot Off The Press.” What incident sparked the writing of this song, and did it come all at once, or did it take time to develop?
“HOTP” was more of a happy accident, and it came together rather quickly. The idea was sparked by an irritation I have with religious organizations that mislead and take advantage of people, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. Promising hope is one thing, but using it to corrupt peoples’ minds and take their money with false promises is quite common, and frankly, disgusting.
Is it a standalone single or can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?
It’s standalone for now, but we will likely release a compilation of tracks at some point.
What kinds of messages and feelings do you try to convey through your music?
That’s something that’s never been consistent for me. Every song comes with a different feeling. It could be sympathy over heartache or depression, frustration with current issues or just something fun and all together tongue and cheek. I’m not willing to take myself too seriously in one direction or another.
How do you know when you have a quality song ready to be cut?
That’s a grey area, because I’m not sure you can ever really count on your convictions as a songwriter. For instance, you might think you have a smash, then you record it and find that your enthusiasm for a song was misplaced. Then, for another example, I’ve been a part of so many songs that I think are shit, then when the final cut rolls, I’m left speechless. It’s made me less judgmental over time, and allowed me to enjoy the process more evenly.
“Promising hope is one thing, but using it to corrupt peoples’ minds and take their money with false promises is quite common, and frankly, disgusting.”
Have you found this year to be helpful or hurtful to your creative process?
It’s been a net positive! While it’s felt meandering at times, its also relieved pressure in a way that’s been quite freeing.
What are one or two pinnacle moments you’ve endured in your music career?
One of the happiest pinnacle moments of my career must be when I became financially independent, and solely reliable on music for income. I don’t have any delusions about the ever increasing difficulty to make ends meet in the music industry, but it’s been over a decade now, and to me, that’s quite an accomplishment! And I owe it all to Code. Thanks homie!
What can fans expect from Dangerous Hippies to close out the year and into the next?
We’ve gotta plenty of kick ass tunes in the bank and we’re looking forward to playing live next year with fingers crossed that it will be possible!