By Ariana Hwang
I saw him smoking in front of New York City’s Terminal 5, just after Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy anniversary show. He leaned against the venue looking like a clean-cut punk—he was a few inches shorter than his six foot two height, and wore dark, slim fitted clothing. His British accent leaked with smoke when he spoke to friends. Nothing about his projected self and visage had changed. He stayed the same since I first saw him play a show at Bowery Ballroom three years ago.
The name of this Welsh-born guy who frequently ventured all over New York City for a taste of good music was Matt Hitt. He was not only a spectator like me, but he had his own band called Drowners. Including Matthew Hitt, the singer and guitarist in the foursome, there was also Jack Ridley III on lead guitar, Erik Lee Snyder on bass, and Daniel Jacobs on drums.
Under Frenchkiss Records, the band recorded their first studio album in May 2013. I immediately loved the seductive lyrics and instrumental energy of that self-titled record, even the monochrome picture of a girl gazing away from the photographer. It reminded me of the reasons for liking Arctic Monkeys so much. The theme of unrequited love imbedded in their songs struck as emotionally relatable and joyful to listen to.
It wasn’t until a few months ago they released a more synth-pop, post-punk sounding second album called, On Desire. Matt Hitt admitted to the purposeful changes of the record. This was during the third opportunity I had to speak with him; it had lessened the mystery and questions I always wanted to ask.
Before Drowners, life in Whales?
Why move to NYC?
Growing up records?
Meeting the other band mates?
Passionate about modeling as much as music?
Appeals of 50s, 60s rock, post-punk?
Try another genre of music?
Defining band moment?
Free time away from music?
Woman on the first album cover?
“Cruel Ways” music video?
More synths on the new record?
Favorite/least favorite aspect of NYC?