The Hijacked’s self-titled debut album is out now.
It is surprisingly difficult to pull off that old school classic rock sound. Probably because it has already been done so very very well years ago. Having said that, Leeds’ quartet The Hijacked do a stupidly impressive job of bringing a fresh life and energy to the form. Coming across as somewhere between The Afghan Whigs and Aerosmith, the group pummel their way through ten tracks of high octane rock ‘n’ roll on their self titled debut. Taking a couple of breaks for a reflective rest, the album is exceedingly good run and catchy as all hell.
We spoke to the group recently about their lack of concern for fashion, their confrontational approach, and their future plans.
Overblown: You play a pretty straight forward rock ‘n’ roll. You don’t hear too many new bands of this vein around at moment. What drew you to this style?
The Hijacked: Thank you, to us that’s a huge compliment. Not enough people say that they are a rock and roll band. It seems to be unfashionable to say that is what you associate yourself as but we are hugely proud of it. We even say that we are rock and roll revivalists.
We didn’t have a formula or a plan to sound any one way. We are a sum of our parts, our influences and our likes. When we write we know if it’s a Hijacked song or not pretty quickly.
O: Your debut album was recorded in just one week. Do you think it was important to record quickly to capture the energy of the band?
TH: All in all the recording process was a little over one week, the mixing was another week on top. We did it in stages over the course of a few months. We love the studio, it’s a bit daunting, will the songs sound how we want, will they capture the energy of the band? We hope it did.
O: You played the Leeds & Reading Festival. How’d that go for you? How were you received?
TH: A great experience in all, been able to go backstage and into the VIP areas was obviously a treat just to see how the massive festival machine that is Leeds/Reading worked. The line up on our stage was so varied were a little concerned how we would be received but our “balls deep” rock n roll kept the crowds interested from start to finish. In Leeds we were the hometown band so the crowd reaction was fantastic but even better in Reading, those southern folk obviously know good rock music when they hear it.
O: Your singer Clark is known for his ‘modern social commentary’. Are many of the songs commentaries on modern life?
TH: Clark is very passionate about his own music. His lyrics generally tend to rise from some dark places, failed relationships, depression, even the odd night club character we have come across and coping with living life on a day-to-day basis on this crazy world. As a band and in Clarks lyrics we simply don’t see the point in pussy footing around a subject, like our noise we go straight from the heart and smash it into our music.
O: Speaking of modern life, how do you feel about the upcoming general election?
TH: Politics is a nightmare isn’t it? What’s golden to someone is shit to someone else and so it will never be right for all. As a band we don’t really discuss it, I don’t know what the others feel and who their parties are. Vote for whoever you like. We are lucky we can.
O: Your sound kind of reminds me of The Afghan Whigs. You’re maybe a little less funky. Have you listened to their new record ‘In Spades’? If not, you should. What do you think of it?
TH: just gave it its first listen this morning, Obviously The Wigs have developed their sound immensely over the years from when I first heard them. I think the biggest similarity is the drums and guitar sounds but I can hear a hint of Clark’s vocals in there as well. It’s great to be compared to such a great (long time) running band, Just listening to ‘Copernicus’ on the album, definitely the sound I want for the next Hijacked record. Thanks you may have found a contender for album of the year (with ours of course).
O: What are the band’s summer plans?
TH: Promoting the record, taking gigs were we can whilst working around two new additions added to the Hijacked family (babies). We will be then looking at hopefully getting some support slots with some touring bands so we can promote our own style of rock music to someone else’s crowd. We have even flirted with the idea of getting some gigs abroad in other countries, we really think Europe would dig our record. It would be nice to start throwing around some ideas for our follow-up album hopefully sometime next year.
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