Melbourne’s Hopeless are one of the finest proponents of melodic hardcore on the Australian scene at the moment. The band are busy writing their second full length, which follows the recent release of the Human 7". Lead guitarist Tim Carter spoke to me about how the new album is progressing, his favourite hardcore bands and most importantly, Skan’s porn.
What is your name, your instrument, and where was the last place you went out to eat?
My name is Tim Carter and I play lead guitar in Hopeless. I am currently eating at "Ace’s Place", an Italian restaurant in the suburb that I live in. Like I’m literally writing this at the dinner table.
What made you want to pick up your instrument?
My dad is a seasoned veteran of gigging so music and musicians have been around me my whole life.
Name three bands in hardcore that are killing it at the moment?
Does it have to be Australian? If it does, then Phantoms, Distant Wreck and Colossus. If it doesn’t, I really like Foundation, Dead End Path and Fire & Ice.
The Human 7” sounds more aggressive than your debut LP. Was this a deliberate change? How has the band’s sound evolved throughout your career?
I think the change was completely natural. It’s just really a progression from what we were writing on Dear World and shows our influences changing with the ever changing music world. I don’t think the band’s sound has changed too drastically and the new record will be another step in that direction.
You will be playing Pushover on March 13th, complete with a big line-up of hardcore, as always. Which band are you hanging out to see the most?
I personally can’t wait to see our friends Break Even. It’s been a while and after a couple of European tours and a new guitarist I’ll be interested to see how they’ve changed and how far they’ve come.
You asked fans on Facebook to suggest songs for your Push Over set list. What came out of that, have you added any songs to the set via popular demand?
We might play Sleepwalkers or Young Wolves, which we rarely play live.
Will you be playing songs from your upcoming album at live shows?
We will definitely be playing a new track titled "Black Coffee Blues" at our upcoming shows.
Hopeless recently donated the profits of a Noise Bar show to the Queensland flood victims. With cyclones, earthquakes, floods, mindless political bickering, global unrest, what’s your take, is the world going to shit?
Yes, from the second humans stepped on it. It was just a matter of time really.
How do you think Skan (drums) or Tim (guitar) deal with pulling double duties when you play with Carpathian and Warbrain respectively? Playing one set alone is bloody exhausting.
Well I guess that’s me! I don’t really find it too exhausting to play in both bands one after another. The only thing that stresses me out is gear and its constant unreliability. Skan on the other hand is probably a lot more physically exhausted than anyone in either band so doing it twice in a row would suck I’d imagine.
In December you posted some grainy photos of the band writing for your second album on your blog. How are the songs turning out and how does it compare to previous Hopeless releases?
Graininess makes photos look more deep. The songs are coming along well, we are nearly done. It is different to the other Hopeless releases but at the same time it’s still a hardcore record and that’s something I don’t think anybody in the band wants to stray from.
Who are you recording the album with, and how close is it to release?
We have a lot of options that we’re considering at the moment to do with the album’s production and sound so nothing is concrete yet. You can expect it in the middle to later half of this year.
Adam Willet (Blackout) did the amazing artwork for the Human 7” and Dear World, will he be returning to do artwork for your new album?
At this stage artwork hasn’t even come up yet.
Which member of Hopeless is the biggest hit with the ladies on tour?
It’s obviously Skan. Haven’t you seen his porn?
I’ve had a promoter say to me that turnouts for hardcore shows in Melbourne have been quiet recently. Would you agree with this?
Yes and no, hardcore as a scene has and always will have good and bad times so a couple of quiet shows doesn’t necessarily mean cause for alarm. Turnouts fluctuate on a number of variables and they just seem to keep stacking up as opposed to the times where everybody would just be at every show no matter what.
Do any members of Hopeless have any formal musical training? Do you value that or think it’s important for a musician?
None of us have any formal musical training. I’m sure it’s important in some parts of music but we play hardcore punk and it has never been a part of the punk ethic. In saying that musicianship has evolved over time in this genre but it’s still all raw compared to other styles of music.
Is there a national (or international) tour on the cards soon?
There are a couple of exciting things coming up in both categories.
Melbourne institution The Arthouse will be closing in May, as you’ve no doubt heard. Will you be catching any shows there before they shut their doors?
I will not miss Mindsnare at the Arthouse one last time that’s for sure.
Unusual question, but have you read any good books lately?
My girlfriend read me a page out of Snooki from the Jersey Shore’s book the other night. It was riveting to say the least.
What is the most out-there experimental band you listen to, and what is the lamest and most questionable band or artist you listen to?
I really like Jacob Bannon’s side project Supermachiner, they’re pretty experimental. I also have a Katy Perry tattoo so there’s the contrast you’re looking for.
Any parting words?
Shouts to Young Wolves crew, check out the Colossus demo (sick new Melbourne band) and straight edge for 10 years next year. Word.