We had the opportunity to chat with The Hugs for an Artist Spotlight Interview! This pop-rock indie three-piece from Portland, Oregon features Danny Delgato - lead singer, guitar, Kauri Voss - bass, vocals and Keagan O'Brien - drums. Their sound features dynamic vocals and a garage indie drive that powers their tracks. They are tenaciously fun and need to be in your rotation. The Hugs are releasing a 5th studio album in Spring 2019!
How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I've been writing songs since I was 17. I began on a four-track tape cassette recorder in 2006 in high school. Drawing a lot from Portland and London. I began to pursue music after hearing bands like The Strokes and The Vines and The Dandy Warhols in high school. I was fascinated with the production, songs, style..I thought all those bands were really the epitome of "cool" and I knew that's what I wanted to do with my life. I especially fell in love with UK Brit-pop culture and those bands from 1993-1999".
Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"Sometimes writing songs for me it takes a lot of structure or arrangement work and other musicians/producers to sprinkle new magic on a song and other times it seems to just arrive from a unknown place where songs come from. I write demos, i'm really into making lots of ideas and then letting them grow in my mind and doing 2 or 3 demos and each time improving something. It's important to let the song be what it wants, I try to hold true to that most of the time. Writing should be fun most of all! The lyrical content that connects with people is what really keeps me inspired to keep going. It's a great feeling to connect with your fans thru a lyric or sentence".
What artists have inspired you in your career?
"I'm a big fan of lots of artists from the 60's and 90's. Those two eras really connect to me on some mysterious level. I remember seeing The Vines (aus) and The Music (uk) play together when I was 14 and it blew my mind. I'm a beatle fanatic for sure. A friend introduced me to Elliott Smith and it made me want to become a much better lyricist and guitarist so he set the bar and still does. I also really got a lot of musical inspiration from Richard Ashcroft + The Verve. "Lucky Man" was the first I learned on the guitar to sing and play. Some of the 60's artists I connected with (at young age) are: The Doors and Pink Floyd. A few modern artists whom inspire me recently are: Peace, Declan McKenna, Swim Deep and Pond".
Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
I love the Carl Martin hot fuzz and boost pedals for distortion. You can hear it in action on The Hugs debut album. Vox bulldog is a great pedal. and anything made by TC Electronic. I'm doing some songs with a flying V by Gibson in open E tuning for this next tour. A nice full sound. I use Fender amps.
Our bassist grew up in a musical family and her father is also a bassist- so she rocks the fender jaguar bass that he gave to her on her 18th birthday and uses ampeg because of his influence.
Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"The vibe is fun and shambolic. Good ol' Rock n' roll and lots of excitement. I try to start that excitement the moment I wake up (and till the gig) the day of a show. There is a lot of dancing and moving around, too- we have a lot of fun on stage, making jokes, talking to the audience, so it’s a whole experience we share together".
What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"It's got a lot of soul. Someone once said we write happy songs for sad souls, can't argue".
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"The Hugs are releasing a 5th studio album in Spring 2019. 9 new songs that were recorded at Dandy Warhols studio in Pdx. I'm excited to let everyone hear. There is a song for everyone this time and i'm proud of that".