Hidden Hospitals consists of former members from Damiera of Equal Vision Records and Kiss Kiss of Eyeball Records. Much like its predecessors, Hidden Hospitals has quickly gained a loyal fan base and is already experiencing success at a rapid pace. From their second release, EP 002, the lead single “The Absence of Emotion” charted in the top 10 CMJ Rock Charts for six weeks - and has remained on the top 200 ever since. In 2013, Hidden Hospitals booked 150 national tour dates, sharing the stage with acts such as Cartel and The Used. Brain Fuse Records has signed Hidden Hospitals under a publicity deal to further promote and propel the band’s well-crafted music to the rest of the world.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Dave Raymond // Lead Vocal + Guitar
Jared Karns // Drums
Steve Downs // Guitar
John Scott // Bass + Vocals
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Hidden Hospitals? How long has the band been around?
Myself and guitarist Steve Downs were in a previous project together (Damiera) and have been playing/touring together for many years. Jared Karns was drummer for Kiss Kiss prior to Hidden Hospitals. John Scott had been in a number of Illinois based bands (most recently, Sherlock). In late 2010, we four came to be while Steve and I were auditioning bassists and drummers for Damiera. We already had a chemistry and mutual interest inspired mostly by our previous endeavors. However, during that process, it became clear that the opportunity to start something new and focused was outweighing the merits of continuing Damiera. In September of 2011, we released EP 001 and introduced ourselves Hidden Hospitals.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
It's an idea. It serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Hidden Hospitals: Places revealed to those seeking resuscitation, rejuvenation, decompression, atonement? all manner of mental healing. They may be permanent or provisional - comprised of the elements, or divined during reverie. Be it a song or rooftop. A bus ride or a night in the woods. Faith or trust in another. Danced, read or walked. Swam, watched or wandered. Breathe.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
I write all of the songs, then as a band we humanize them. From there it often delves into the hyper-real.. We’ve all got roles to play, and I think that’s our glue. Duality is likely the largest theme in Hidden Hospitals. An absence of elements sheds light on what remains. We play often on the dynamic of less against more. A sculptor reveals their intention by removing material. That speaks true to our band. If we didn’t adhere that approach, we’d flood every empty space and drown the song.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I’m currently listening to Chet Baker. Before that, Otis Redding. Before that.. Milosh. Before that.. Lorde. It changes, and I certainly don’t speak for the rest of the band with my listening selections. There’s a few staple bands that I think we all look up to though - ones that have made a career in being true to themselves and for a long time. Muse, Incubus, MEW, all come to mind - but each for different reasons.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Weezer inspired me to write music and sing, Hot Rod Circuit inspired me to start a band, Counterfit inspired me to be a tighter band, and Snapcase inspired me to be a performer. Those amongst a mix of other “right place, right time” elements.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
It might seem obvious, but we rehearse. A lot. It needs to feel like muscle memory, or else it doesn’t feel “on” to us. In general, we’re healthy individuals - which helps the “approaching a show” or “during tour” period. Moments before, sure.. stretching. Who doesn’t?
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Our producer J. Hall. He believed in us during a time that it felt like no one at all did, and has continued to play a major part in how we introduce ourselves to the world after writing songs. We’d not be the band we are without his focus and vision.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Seeing Thrice play live was inspiring. So collected, controlled, and their sound was nothing short of awesome. I had never seen them perform until this past fall at the Metro in Chicago. Seeing that level of professionalism (in rock music) was necessary for me. They presented themselves very well, and seemed very aware of their opportunity being on stage in front of a sold out crowd. So many artists squander that opportunity. It'd be an honor to travel with Thrice. I could say the same for Mutemath. So elevated and emphatic. Chemical, not contrived. They’re a special group of people.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We’re on our fourth year of being a band, and having gone through what I have in the past, that alone keeps me thankful. I love the people I’m making music with, and the further we go the more that shows in the music. We’re writing a full length record right now. We’ve dreamed in bigger, new ways and can’t wait to put it on stage.