YRB Interview: The Hours

By Jessica Caballero

British duo, The Hours, have been taking the United States by storm since the release of their debut album, It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish. Infused with a sound so fresh, The Hours, consisting of Antony Genn and Martin Slattery, are sure to make you bop your head and sing along to every lyric of their songs whether you’re a fan of rock n’ roll, hip-hop, pop, etc. YRB caught up with Antony to talk about the first effort, touring, how The Hours came to be and their new EP I Want More, which is now available on iTunes.


YRB: How did The Hours come to be?

Antony: How did we come to be? Well, we got sick of working for the people. We got sick of – it’s a bunch of things really – but I’ve made a record with Grace Jones, which was cool, you know, we’ve worked with Sly Robbie and a bunch of people – but you know [Grace] was always late to the studio and I just thought, “Why am I spending my life waiting around for people?” And we’ve both been involved with other musical projects and bands and producing records and all that kind of thing… Anyway, one night we went to go see Radiohead and they were just so awesome and just totally in their own zone, their own universe that they have created for themselves, and Martin turns to me and he said, ‘Man, we’ve done some really great things and worked with some great people, but if I’ve got one regret it’s that I never did my own thing.’ Then I just said to him, “Well, let’s fucking do our own thing for God’s sake!” And he says, ‘Yeah, but what are you going to do?’ and I said, “I’m gonna sing man.” He said, ‘You can’t sing,’ ‘cause I never sung before, and I said, “I can sing. I just never had anything to say until now.” So we went to the studio and that was the beginning of it.


YRB: It was said the musical genius, Patti Smith, had a lot to do with the formation of The Hours. How did she influence the band?

Antony: Well, I went to see Patti Smith because my friend Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers plays with Patti sometimes, and so he says, ‘Come and see Patti. We’re gonna play the whole [album] Horses.’ So I never seen Patti Smith and I went to go see [her] and she walks on stage and was just so powerful. She just walks on stage and she meant every beat, every note and every syllable that was coming out of her. At that exact moment I just thought to myself, “God man, I got to write more powerful music, more potent music. Music that just sings from the heart and just cuts to the chase.” And [I] literally just pulled my phone out my pocket and wrote in my phone, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s not where you’re from it’s where you’re at. You get knocked down, how quick are you gonna get up?” And I went in the studio the next day and I pulled Martin and I said, “Man, we gotta fucking write some more ballsy music.” Had to quit fucking around with this and that and we’d been singing jittery love songs and I said, “We gotta write some more potent shit.” He got on the piano and I got on the guitar and we wrote “Ali in the Jungle” in about an hour and a half. He got on the drums and we didn’t even have a drum stool, so we just set the drums up in the [restroom] and he sat on the toilet, and those are the drums that are on the record, him playing drums sitting on the toilet.

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