Darker sounds, fresh riffs and new line-up, Superhooch are back!
Spiralling down to earth from the confines of hard rock space is ‘Look Out!’, the latest album by Coventry’s psychedelic rock ‘n’ rollers, Superhooch. People may remember Superhooch from Godiva Festival 2017, where the band gained enough votes in the Godiva Calling competition to help open up the festival to some of the 179,000 visitors the festival attracts.
This year, armed with a new line-up, a darker rock sound and a new album with plenty of fresh riffs, the Coventry favourites performed new material to crowds on Deerstock Festival’s main stage, with upcoming gigs to include Birmingham and Wolverhampton. With such a change in style, seeing is believing for Superhooch and we urge you to get yourself to one of their shows. Chris Worsley, lead vocalist and guitarist took time to answer some questions regarding ‘Look Out!’ and his own musical background.
I’m Chris Worsley and I play guitar and sing. In Superhooch we also have Johnny Kingham on guitar and vocals; Steve Clarke on bass and vocals; and Peanut Marshall on drums and vocals.
You’ve recently changed your sound – how would you describe the transition?
It’s a long and boring story with many contributing factors really but the long and short of it is that my brother Jonny who was our original lead singer had to step down due to family commitments.
The remaining four of us had been playing together for years before in various different bands so we had become a very solid unit; both musically and mentally (the second of which can be hard to achieve: playing in bands with strange people). We toyed with the idea of looking for a singer briefly but very quickly we all agreed that everything seemed to feel perfectly natural as we were. I opted to stand up front for a bit just to see how it might work and I appear to still be standing here at this moment in time!
In regards to our changing sound I would say that due to myself and my brother having totally different tastes in music, and totally different styles of performing; THAT already changed the contrast of our sound. However, we did make a solid agreement that we would like to move a bit further away from the straight up hard rock thing and drive more towards something that sounds a bit more open to speculation. Anything goes essentially!
We got tarred with the heavy metal brush a little bit with the last lineup and we wanted to pull away from that completely and explore other ideas to fuck around with. We hit the reset button basically, and threw the memory card at the wall.
Your original sound with your previous vocalist seemed to have a really good response, winning you a slot at Coventry’s Godiva Festival in 2017. How has the new material gone down and what seems to be the consensus on the favourite song?
Yeah it was great fun playing Godiva Festival last year! We were all actually quite surprised we managed to get that one. I ain’t really had much chance to reflect on it if I’m honest as everything has kind of been non-stop ever since. We have some really dedicated fans that travel fucking miles to see us and it means the world to me. And it was fans like those that have helped us to achieve what we have. I think we may have lost a few fans with our new sound, but I reckon we’ve made a few as well so onwards and upwards. We hope you like the new direction. If not, that’s fine by me. All I know is that this is what we want to do now. if you dig it, come and party with us! Purchase our music. Buy me a beer.
Any influences? Or a favourite album?
We have lots and lots of influences but speaking for myself; I got into music through 50’s rock n roll, and 60’s -80’s hard rock. I’m forever loyal to all the stuff that made me decide that music was the path for me.
I grew up as a little boy obsessed with Jerry Lee Lewis, Guns N Roses, Sabbath, Motorhead and the Sex Pistols. I still listen to all of those. But over the years I’ve been getting into loads of stuff. I love The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and I’ve got a thing for The Residents. I love Ian Dury and I’m really into what his son Baxter is doing.
Errm, in terms of a favourite album though I wouldn’t know where to start really. My roots are rock n roll and riffs but there’s a lot of different stuff that arouses my ears. Same goes for the rest of the band. We are quite eclectic (all bands say that!) we share some common ground but we all lean in different directions. Us making music together is a constant battle of wills. The end result is either a compromise through gritted teeth or I’ve got my own way again… As far as my favourite album is concerned I don’t think I could answer. Appetite For Destruction by Guns N’ Roses turned me on to music when I was a little kid. It changed my life really. I always hated football because my legs are like back-to-front,rubber stilts. I heard that record and decided to be a musician instead.
What was your favourite album as a teenager?
I went off music in the beginning of my teens. I got sick of bringing my guitar to school and either getting it wrapped around my head or having to climb over the school fence and to rescue it from the side of the road. I went on musical hiatus and became a chav for a bit. Spitting outside shops and swearing at teachers. If you cant beat em, join ‘em right? Around about this time I first heard The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem and got well into that. My days of being a tracksuit and baseball cap wearing ragamuffin are behind me, but that’s a good album. I was also quite into The Streets a couple of years later. And I still adore Original Pirate Material. One of my favourites to this day. I then got sucked into the nu-metal thing for a bit. I couldn’t get enough of that shite. The less said about that the better. So I’ll stick with The Streets!
Your favourite Superhooch song and why?
I couldn’t tell you my favourite Superhooch song. It’s normally the newest I suppose! I like them all for different reasons depending on what mood I’m in and how well we play it that night.
Has the local scene in Coventry helped to influence the new sound? What’s your experience of your hometown’s music scene?
I’ve been doing this for about 12-13 years now; and in my opinion the music scene in Coventry has never been so vibrant. I take inspiration from anything I enjoy the sound of so without a doubt there are some local groups and artists that have had an influence on our music.
When I first got involved in playing gigs around 2005-2006 a huge portion of Cov’s rock bands were trying to sound like The Enemy. Honestly, it was unbearable. Nowadays I think the local scene is less afraid of individuality and trying ideas outside of their own comfort zone. Some Cov bands that are on the scene at the minute are some of the best bands I’ve played with.
Describe your best and worst gig.
I don’t think I can choose my best gig. I’m always cracking on forward so I don’t tend to look back too much. Godiva Festival stands out for sure. We’ve played Breaking Bands Festival twice and that was a lot of fun. Recently we did a show with some fellow Cov bands Wolf Suit, Slowbro and Luna and The Moonhounds at Square One in the City Centre. There was a good buzz in the air that night for sure.
As for the worst: I could give you hundreds from bands I played with in the past (near fatal electrical incidents, stopping a show halfway through to read out bingo results, upsetting and offending members of the audience and being asked to leave, vomiting on my guitar players shoes before the first number, the countless times I’ve played literally to a man and his dog etc etc..) but with ‘Hooch (touch wood), so far so good although we did do this one show at The Tin in Coventry last summer… It was originally meant to be at the Cathedral ruins but that fell through I can’t remember why. So I suppose we were a bit deflated from that. It was so fucking hot, band morale wasn’t going great because our future was fairly uncertain at that point if I remember right. There’s nothing more awkward than performing a show when its totally obvious that its just not gonna get off the ground tonight. But I suppose if I call that our worst then we ain’t doing too bad so far. We were shit that night though.
What was the last out-of-this-world-amazing live band you saw?
That’s a tough question but I think I’m gonna have to say Hawkwind really knocked me for six when I saw them a couple of years ago. I knew they would be amazing but I figured that as they’ve been going for so long it would be kind of run-of-the-mill. I kid you not it was so intense. The volume and the power, the dancers, the lights…
Every time I have seen Rush has been incredible as well. I like Rush. We also recently played with a band called The Best Thing Since Powdered Milk recently. Check them out they were pretty mental.
When will the new album be out?
The record will be out when we release it! Its gonna be over the summer. Might even be out before I’m not sure. I wish I could give you a date but its just gonna blurt out when its good and ready. Which it pretty much is. Keep your eyes and ears on our website and social media bollocks and you will know. It’s called “Look Out!” We hope you like it. If you don’t that’s your choice and good for you!
Written by Sophie Williams. Images © Anthony Weir.