It's hard to pin down Hunter Root to any one musical project. On some days, he's shredding with Medusa's Disco, a full band dedicated to pure rock and roll excess. At other times, he pairs with MD's Wynton Huddle for primarily acoustic excursions in Indian Dogfood. On March 2, he'll be striking out on his own with "They Finally Cracked Me," a solo full-length with all instrumentation done himself. As a preview, we talked to Root about each track on the album.
1. “Cheap Wine”
What are you hoping to accomplish with a solo record that you felt you might not be able to with Medusa’s Disco?
The solo record gives me the opportunity to put out material that wouldn't necessarily fit into Medusa's Disco. I've written so many songs that it isn't possible to have them all be played in the band, so this an outlet for them. On top of that, I want to establish myself as a creative entity outside of MD. I really enjoy working on things at my own pace and having the creative freedom to do whatever comes to mind. On a side note, a few extra bucks would be brilliant.
Obviously, you’ve got the guitars locked down, but are you playing all of the instruments on the record? And if so, was there an excessive amount of practicing to get all of those parts down?
Indeed, I am playing all of the instruments. I didn't do any practicing per say, I just spent longer periods of time tracking certain things. Guitar, vocals, and bass are all very attainable for me. The biggest challenge was the drums. I hadn't played them consistently in over 9 or 10 years.
3. “So Sick”
What lessons, musical or otherwise, have you learned through MD that you’ve put towards "They Finally Cracked Me?"
Through MD I got to be a part of making a decent amount of records (three full lengths and an EP). Having that experience definitely gave me a better idea of how to record and produce an album. Just being in a band, especially one like Medusa's Disco, improved my playing/singing dramatically over the past 5 years.
You mention a favorite saloon in this one, is that located in Lancaster or elsewhere?
I didn't have a particular bar in mind when I wrote the lyric, but if I had to pick one it would be the Caribbean Inn. It was a local dive in Manheim, a select few people made it worth while going. I spent a lot of time my 21st year in there, probably a little too much.
5. “Hook or the Worm”
Which do you end up feeling like more often than not?
Like I say in the song, I've been both. Life has been a fair balance of the two. Which is great, and I'm thankful for that.
6. “Television Head”
Do you plan on playing any solo shows in the near future behind the record?
Not necessarily, I'd love to if the opportunity came up. I haven't really gone out of my way to do a show, I'm more interested in recording the material.
7. “Let The Rhythm”
Did any of these songs start as Medusa’s Disco songs and go in a different direction?
Nope! I could see some of them being done with the band though. I kind of hope we end up doing a couple from this record.
8. “Silly Situation”
Whether it’s the subject of the song or not, what is the silliest situation you’ve ever been in?
Once upon a time we played a sweaty show in NYC. The following day we stopped at a diner for some grub. I used the restroom and when I was urinating I decided to pull my drawers down to my knees, like I was in elementary school, to let some air flow down there. After that I went to wash my hands, but decided I'd wash my privates while I was at it because we were on the road and a bird bath sounded nice. I thought I locked the door but to my surprise a young woman opened it and exclaimed, "sorry!" We saw each others faces in the mirror. It was brilliant.
9. “Moving With The Storm (She’s Not My Queen)”
Were all of these songs written in a certain period of time, or have some been stowed away for a while?
Most of the songs were written in the past year, with the exception of Straitlaced and So Sick. They are both about 7ish years old. It's songs like that that inspired me to do an album like this. I wanted them to see the light of day.
No question here, but I like this one!
The instrumental, I'm glad you dig it!
What are the odds you’ll open a show solo for Medusa’s Disco at some point?
Haha. It's not likely, but it's easily possible. That sounds like a job for Indian Dogfood!