Huntingtons – Talking "Songs in the Key of You"
Mikey Huntington

Interview by: Cliffy Huntington
Photos by: Tom Bastian

Huntingtons @ Skoolhouse
This interview was taken by permission from a promotional CD the band had with them at this years Cornerstone Festival. This interview was featured throughout the CD placed between a few of the songs which will appear on the brand new Huntingtons full-length, "Songs in the Key of You" due out this fall on Tooth and Nail Records. Here it is:

We are sitting in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, this is Cliffy Huntington guitarist for the Huntingtons and I'm interviewing the lead singer/bass player, Mikey Huntington. Obviously I have a lot of insides on the band; I'm in the band. But I'm still going to ask questions that I think the kids want to hear about, or that might be interesting to hear about. Some of the questions I don't even know the answers too. So some of them I'm interested in seeing what Mikey will say about them. So here we go…

Cliffy: Mikey how is this record different than any of the other Huntingtons records. There have been a lot of them. Tell me how you feel this one stands out from the other ones.


Huntingtons @ Skoolhouse
Mikey: It differs from the last two obviously from us not having quite as much of the darker Ramones side influence. Then if you go back further you get into a time frame when we weren't producing our own records. When Mass Giorgini was producing them. So our end of that actually makes a big difference as far as how they come out sounding because we don't have that extra person in there giving their input, which sometimes is good and sometimes it isn't. It's all around probably the poppiest album we have done. There aren't many traces of the faster tough songs that we have been kind of doing over the past years. So it's kind of a straight-ahead true poppy punk album, then I guess pretty much all the ones in the past have been.

Cliffy: Now is this the first Huntingtons record where you did every bit of the song writing. So I want to know if that was difficult for you. If it was a big laborious process and what songs came easy and which were hard. Just tell me about the whole process you went through in deciding what songs would be good and just the whole vision you had for the record.

Mikey: It took about a year to write all the songs. From the time the first one was written until they were all done. I think probably the biggest reason I did all of them was because the band was on tour for the entire year, which met that we didn't practice, ever. That we really didn't' spend any time at all during that entire time even talking at all about new songs much less fleshing them out and playing them and practicing them and stuff. All the songs were pretty easy to write. I didn't have trouble with any of them. The lyrics were all very easy to write. Almost all where actually done before we even got into the studio which made it easy to know what we wanted to do before we got there. Probably the easiest record so far to have written in that aspect because all the other ones before it the lyrics were being finished the day before I was recording them. People didn't know the drum parts and the guitar parts where all taught two seconds before we hit record. It's probably been the easiest one, but took the longest because it was about a year's worth of time.

Cliffy: Talk to me about the actual songs on the record. Which are your favorites? Which were hard to sing? Which were easy to sing? Which when you listen to them now after they are all done just really make you excited and happy that you did them and all that kind of stuff. Just talk to me about the songs.


Huntingtons @ Skoolhouse
Mikey: I think my favorite song on the record is probably "Sorry About Your Window". Then a close 2nd would be "Enchantment Under the Sea". I think the songs that were the hardest to sing were the ones I thought would have been the easiest, which were "80's Girl" which I thought would have probably been a one take or cake because it's the same key as "Rock and Roll Girl" and that was always a one taker. So that one was pretty difficult to do. I don't know, all the songs are a little more personal this time. Not directly talking about something with me or with whoever but just influenced by personal things where as things in the past was all made up, well not all made up but a lot of it was made up. Or fictional things about people that didn't exists were as these are more about drawing on true life experiences whether they be completely 100% fact or influenced by things that have happened and going on. So I think it's more personal and when I listen to it, it's like I know what I'm talking about and I can remember what I was thinking when I wrote that word or all those types of things instead of just things about people that don't really exist or situation that we know about but we haven't experienced first hand. It's more of a hitting home album and that's probably one of the reason it's one of my favorites so far.

Cliffy: Will this record be a hit?


Huntingtons @ Skoolhouse
Mikey: It could be, if enough people buy it. The right people hear it I think it could be. It's recorded really well. It's performed really well and I don't think there is a lot of filler on it, even though it is kind of long. So I think people will enjoy listening to it and I think it could be a hit. I see a lot of these songs, without sounding too big headed or prideful, are as good as songs that get played on the radio right now. But I think you could say that about a lot of bands that put out albums. It's just the right person has to hear it and the right backing has to get put into it in order for that to happen.

Cliffy: Now I want you to talk about the recording process of this album. I know you touched on it a little bit. But was this different for you then recording any of the other albums we have done? I'm sure curious as to what your take on it is and how did you see it all coming about and then how did it actually truly come about. Did the recording process match up with how you think it all ended?

Mikey: I think this was different than any other recording we have ever done in that all the songs less two were demo'd and everybody got to hear them for a little bit before we actually even started practicing them. Then we went to practice and from the time I recorded them as demo's to the time we got finished practicing they had changed. Some slightly, some not at all, some a lot. So the process was definitely different in that everybody kind of knew the basic parts to the songs. Then we got together and worked on them and added some things. Took some things away. But by the time when we actually went into the studio we were pretty clear, pretty much on everything we wanted to do so it was a much smoother process once we got in there recording everything since we had kind of already worked all that out ahead of time. Surprisingly enough I don't think any of the songs really came out the way that they were 4 tracked which is a good thing because the 4 tracks were real raw cut and dry kind of stuff. Then they really developed from the time I put them on a 4 track to the time that they were done being recorded and mixed and everything. It was a good experience and a good recording process and one that we will probably do again in the future just because it worked so well and we all really got a feel for the songs before we actually had to play and record them.

Cliffy: So I guess that actually answers my next question which was, is this the last Huntingtons record?

Mikey: No, because I already got some ideas and plans for some more stuff to come and I think if anything this, well no, it's not the first Huntingtons record of the Millenium, well actually it is if you're a believer that the Millenium doesn't start until 2001. So in a way it's kind of like a re-birth. Almost like a starting block for me because I think this record shows where we are going to continue taking it. Where as the last few we were experimenting a little more with kind of a different sound and just trying to do something different but it didn't really click and the songs weren't good live songs, a lot of them weren't. They are good songs and we still like them but it just wasn't really 100% us and what we wanted to do so I think this album is just kind of a starting point for it to build off of and be a lot better. So definitely not the last and hopefully the first of many more to come in this vein.

Cliffy: Well that's all the questions I have prepared. Thank you for your time. Thanks to all you guys for reading. The record is really good. I'm proud to have played on it. Bye.

Be sure to catch the Huntingtons on their 15 day tour this fall in support of the new record. If your in the Harrisburg PA area be sure to catch the band at the Decapolis sponsored show on October 12th at the Skoolhouse. The band plans to play a bunch of new material from the album. For more information on the new album, tour dates or just general information on the band check out their website at http://www.huntingtonsusa.com

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