I recently had the chance to chat with Chris Freeman of pop punk band Hot Mulligan. Read the interview below then check out their latest album “Pilot”.
First off Chris, how are you doing right now?
I’m doing great! Thanks.
So right now you are about to finish a US tour with Knuckle Puck and then jump right into about a two week tour supporting Boston Manor, how is that going for you? Is the nonstop tour cycle something you have always wanted with the band?
I guess so. It’s not something I thought could happen when the band started, but after we did our first DIY tour I knew I wanted to be on the road as much as possible.
From doing the hometown Real Friend / Knuckle Puck show in Chicago in Dec. to then being support on Knuckle Pucks tour how has touring and playing with some of the most popular pop punk bands right now been compared to what Hot Mulligan was previously doing?
It’s a big step up. We’ve never been the smaller band on a tour just because we were going out on our own or with friends before we were offered support slots. It’s been great. These are some bands we listened to before this band did anything, so it’s really cool to be out on the road with them.
Can we expect a headline in tour in support of Pilot sometime in 2018 or are there already more plans in the pipeline already?
I don’t think we’ll be doing a headliner this year. We’ve got other plans, but we’ll be around!
Do you feel as if to survive in a band in current times you must tour year round as a full time job nearly?
Yeah, definitely. It’s hard to keep a job back home with a heavy tour schedule, so really the only way to make your time touring worth it is to just keep touring. It’s a great full-time job to have though.
With the release of your first LP “Pilot” how does it feel now that it is out? Did you ever expect it to be getting such praise from fans?
It feels awesome. We knew this record was either going to get a lot of hate or a lot of love. We’re glad it was the latter. We hoped our older fans would like it, but had no idea what to actually expect.
What was the writing and recording process like for you being the bands first full album release? How did you come up with the track names and the order that you’d put the tracks in?
The writing and recording process was a little stressful. We didn’t have as much time as we thought we did, so I feel like we definitely got on each other’s nerves a bit at times due to the stress.
The track titles are basically just things we hear or say in real life and say, “Hey, write that down. That’s a song title.”
Track listing just came naturally. After writing a song we’d just decide, “This song goes here,” and that was it.
Who are you some of your personal inspirations that you channeled into making music for Hot Mulligan? Are your personal favorites that same as your inspirations?
We’re definitely heavily inspired and influenced by late 90’s Emo, early 2000’s mall Emo, some Emo revival, and 2010’s pop-punk vibe. It’s hard to pin it on bands specifically. We just like the sounds, but my personal favorites definitely shine through as inspirations for us when writing.
How do you feel personally when someone you don’t know tells you that your music has helped them in one way or another?
It feels great, but it’s still something I don’t really know how to respond to. I think it’s cool, but I never expected that. I feel like all we can ever say is “Thanks. That means a lot.” And it does, but I wish I could put it into more meaningful words sometimes. I don’t know.
Any tips on touring for new bands? Or want to tell those who aren’t in bands what touring is actually like?
New bands, just book your own shows regionally. Just go have fun. Do it because you want to. You’ll learn as you go along, and if you plan well enough and work smart enough, it will work out.
Touring is like working a full time job that you can’t leave. You work overtime for weeks or months at a time, and then you can finally go home. With that being said, it’s the coolest job to have.
Before we end this are there any things you’d like to say to fans, old or new, who may be reading this?
Thanks for supporting us. Come out to a show sometime. We’ll be around a lot more this year.