Last night, the news every 20-something red-blooded rock fan in the country has been waiting for was finally confirmed: Hundred Reasons will be playing their defining 'Ideas Above Our Station' album IN FULL at this year's Sonisphere festival.
Are Hundred Reasons back together? Did they ever even split up? Will there be a new album? We caught up with guitarist Larry Hibbitt at the weekend for the answers to these questions and more...
Larry, on Friday you tweeted that you’d “said yes to something” and now the news is out. Hundred Reasons will make their live return at Sonisphere this year. How has this all come about?
“Well, it’s the first time we’ve played for a while. It’s been 10 years since ‘Ideas Above Our Station’ came out this May, and we sort of fizzled out a little bit and never went out with a bang or split up. We’ve been talking about trying to get together to try and mark the anniversary – it’s not even a reunion, it’s not a comeback, I don’t know what it is! – but we wanted to do some shows to mark that it was an important thing for us and some other people.”
So the Sonisphere set will be ‘Ideas Above Our Station’ in full, then?
“Yes… that’s the plan. We’ll probably play some other things because it’s not very long! But the set will have all the songs in it.”
What exactly happened to Hundred Reasons? You petered out a few years ago and there’s been no word on whether you’ve been writing or planning anything for a while…
“Real life got in the way. To keep the band going, you have to really need it in your life and I think that need went away at some point. We had one knock after another with various labels coming and going – the last one being V2 – which was a bit of a blow. It was very disheartening. We always said as a band that we’d stay together and make music if we all wanted to and it was the right thing for us, and it soon became not that thing. A lot of us had other things we wanted to get on with, too.”
What has become of the five members of Hundred Reasons? Are you all getting married and having babies now?
“Yeah, some of us are! I just bought a house, although I’m not married and I don’t have a baby yet! I have a studio in Brixton where I record things and do some co-writing and bits and pieces like that. A couple of the guys are out on tour doing that kind of work and a couple of them have nine-to-fives. Everyone’s sort of got into life. Andy [Gilmour, bass] is still playing in Freeze The Atlantic. He’s got kids as well and is very happy.”
Is the Sonisphere appearance going to be a one-off then?
“There are plans to do more… I don’t think it’s going to be extensive touring. It’s kind of difficult getting everybody in one place to be honest. We’re being very selective about what we do. This isn’t going to lead to an endless tour of the UK or anything like that, but it will lead to some more shows before the end of the year. I think there’s a big desire to do a few things – some small, some a bit bigger – to be proud about what we did and leave a good-looking corpse, instead of trying to come back and reinstate ourselves as a valid current band, which I don’t think bands like us should do.”
So this is it, there won’t be another album?
“I don’t think so. We’d have to change our lives so much to put ourselves in a position where we’d make a good Hundred Reasons record. We could toss off an average Hundred Reasons record, but there’s no desire to do that. I don’t think that any of us want to do it full-time again. We’re being realistic. Six months of hard work to make an album is not really on the cards.”
Since your tweet on Friday, a lot of people figured out you’re doing something. Already people are going batshit. Has the reaction surprised you?
“(laughs) It wasn’t exactly cryptic, was it? I was quite surprised and flattered by how quickly people started talking and getting excited about it. Which makes me think we’re probably doing the right thing.”
Have you always been frustrated that ‘Ideas…’ is the album nothing else really lived up to, in most fans' eyes?
“I think there was that kind of thing a few years ago when things weren’t going very well. You get over that and realise that it’s not like someone else gave you those songs. We did that and it was really good. I think if you’re sensible and you know what you’ve done, you just end up with pride. That’s where we’re at now. That’s why I don’t think we would have done this 18 months or two years ago.”
Finally, When ‘Ideas…’ come out, there was a brilliant UK rock scene emerging, with HR, Hell Is For Heroes, Reuben, ThisGirl and so on really getting noticed. Today, there seems to be the biggest revival in good quality UK rock bands since that period. Do you have any advice for the bands coming up through the ranks now?
“I suppose you just have to write songs. Especially for bands like You Me At Six who are just blowing up, you have to remember why you’re in a band and why you’re doing it and not getting distracted by… going to Japan for 48 hours or whatever. I don’t have any regrets in the band, although I think sometimes we could have spent more time writing songs and less time surfing!
You have to be obsessed with it; you have to be in love with it. You have to always want to do it, day in, day out. Keep that enthusiasm and forget about everything else, and you’ll put yourself in a very good position.”
So that's that then. There's (probably) not going to be a new album and it sounds like this is summer is going to be more of wake than a revival. Either way, we'll see you in the tent to give one of the best UK rock bands of a generation a decent send off.
Wait... what's that Richard Blackwood?