One of Lawrence’s most exciting voices comes from four students at KU and their dream to share music with people. HIRETH is a term defined as “nostalgia or a longing for a home that doesn’t exist,” and the band takes this sentiment and infuses it into their music.
I recently sat down with three members of the band: Cooper Scott, Garrison Krotz, and Quinn Maetzold to discuss their latest show at the Jazzhaus, their future plans, and the weirdness of having fans sing their songs back to them at shows.
Your Culture Vulture: What’s been in the works with HIRETH lately?
Garrison Krotz: This is probably our most exciting semester to look forward to since the band started. We have 5 to 6 shows lined up and we have some recording time with a producer in St. Louis, so we’ll hopefully have something up on Spotify by the end of September.
Cooper Scott: September is booked solid, we’re going to be doing stuff every weekend.
GK: It’s funny because we had this idea of a band in a basement and we just started writing songs, and Cooper and Steve pulled these awesome songs together, and came to me and Q with them like “We made these.” So we picked the five best ones and put it out as an EP. So now that we’re actually going to record a song is pretty huge for us.
YCV: So where do your inspirations lie as a band?
GK: Definitely the Killers, the Smiths, and we mention the Cars, because the intersection of indie-pop sound we have with the classic jangle-rock sound of like REM and the Cars, it all ties together. We’re trying to be modern, while still trying to play back to the roots of the music we listen to.
YCV: Does Lawrence play any part in the music you guys put together?
CS: I think Lawrence is very different as a music scene than we’re used to- it’s kind of indie and alternative. We’re kind of pop-rock, so it’s a little weird for us to be here, and I don’t want to say we’re not respected, but we’re not seen as one of the bands in Lawrence because we’re not weird enough. We’re getting there though!
GK: Lawrence almost feels like a mini Austin, TX because it’s so weird, and it needs to stay weird, and we’re trying to add to that. When we’re on stage and we’re having fun and being weird, we feel like we’re working towards that.
YCV: How do you guys approach your live shows?
CS: When we write our setlists together, we usually try to tell a story, you know? Like the songs should build and then fall, and then build again. It’s one thing to go out and play your ten songs and then go off, but what we’ve worked on recently is trying to show that we’re having fun onstage.
Quinn Maetzold: I think the biggest thing we try to do in our live shows is that we try to show the audience that we’re enjoying ourselves so that the audience will enjoy themselves. Because the first couple shows, it was pretty awkward, but we’ve gotten a lot better at showing we’re having fun up there.
YCV: What do you think drives you forward as a band?
GK: I think at the core of it, we’re all driven by wanting to make music and share it with people. It’s about sharing our emotion helping people dive into something we’re creating. For me, making art has always been this thing that you can share, it’s not something that you want to keep to yourself.
CS: I think one of the coolest things for me has been at one of our shows, we actually saw people singing one of our songs, and we were like “oh my gosh, how do they know this? This is weird!”
QM: It was pretty amazing to see people who have listened to our Soundcloud, memorized the lyrics, and came out to the show to see us live.
YCV: So it’s weird having fans?
QM: It’s weird, but it’s a good weird thing. We’re just not used to it, yet.
CS: I had someone reach out to me for the first time in like 2 years saying he was driving to Manhattan and listened to our EP on the road and wants to hear more from us. So it’s just crazy that people our there are listening.
YCV: How do you decide what songs to cover at your shows?
QM: At the Jazzhaus show, we played mostly all our own original music, but when it came time for the covers, we picked the songs that we love playing and what fits our sound- what sounds like it belongs in the set. And when we play The Bull, we’re there to play to the patrons of the Bull that want to drink and sing along, so we try and pick songs that fit that vibe.
GK: You would not believe how quickly some of these covers come together. It’s usually how quickly we can learn the chords and if Cooper already knows the lyrics.
YCV: So what’s next for the band?
GK: We’re coming into these next two months 110% and seeing what happens. We have a ton of shows lined up, we have this recording in St. Louis for our new single. Hopefully there will be some record labels out there that come to one of our shows and likes us, maybe they’re reading this, and we want to share what we have.
CS: We’re working very hard, we’re not taking any downtime, we’re kind of just working as hard as we can for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to look too much into the future because these next two months are going to be crazy.
YCV: When’s the next time people can get out and see you guys?
CS: The next show is September 14th, at the Jackpot. We had an out-of-town band from Texas called Scuba Diver reach out to us about playing with them. On the 21st we have a Tunes at Night with KJHK, and on the 22nd we have a show at the Mini Bar in Kansas City. So we’ll be very busy.
The details for the upcoming show at the Jackpot in Lawrence can be found here