gig: subterranean // 3.2.17 // chicago
reppin: oxford, UK // 2010 - present
sounds like: hugo’s words - 'my music is like the kid in the corner of the high school house party"
latest album drop: Entirely New Blue (2015)
featuring: hugo manuel
So bummer news because my phone crapped out and died on me the other week I lost a few interviews, Mr. Hugo’s included. Nonetheless I have a mind like a steel trap (that’s a lie, my memory is a spotty as can be), but now it time to improvise. I bring you a combination of an interview, concert review sprinkled with some funny filler.
Hugo has been doing his thing with Chad (and prior with Jonquil) for almost 7 years, leaving room for some experiences, both good and bad, that have impacted him. He told me he recalls getting on the road with his CV bandmates and not planning a single thing in advance...that came back to bite them in the most furious way. Broken down van, miscommunication, the works. Knowing how to be a good band involves knowing all the logistics of touring. Hugo has also had to adapt to collaborating with others on stage and in the studio. Writing all your own music can put you in the “my way or no way” kind of zone, so that has certainly opened himself up as a musician.
Hugo had some killer insight about his lyrics, which don’t necessarily tell a story, but is more of a hodge-podge of sentences (as he describes). He wants his fans to be able to put their own meaning and interpretation to his lyrics, as that is part of the beauty of writing. Take your meaning and run with it. When it comes to the live set, this dude can bring it. For one guy, he puts a ton of passion and energy out there and it is well received. He moves through his tracks so fluidly, with a few funny cracks in between, but you can immediately feel it and get to dancing. As the fog machine bellows from below, it meshes so well with the lights and then Hugo’s luscious vocals hit you…,game over. He was very clear in saying while he certainly wants that connection with audience, it comes from the energy they give back...a little give and take if you will. Once that is established, that is when he finds his zone.
It is not something we think about all that much, but how do you want to be remembered? Most of us probably do not give it a thought because we are preoccupied with surviving and making it to the next day. When you are constantly in front of humans that you want to please, you may have a different take. Hugo, one of the nicest dudes I have sat down with, say he just wants to be that guy you can sit and have a beer with at the end of the day. At the end of the day, don’t we all need someone we can just shoot the shit with over a beer?
suggested listening experience: on the way home after a very long day at work // bubble bath // pre dance floor warm up routine