Interview by Brittany Robinson
SXSW Press Team
Hibou is the solo-project of Seattle-native Peter Michal. After touring North America and Europe as the drummer for Craft Spells, Michal felt that his time with them had run its course and decided that it was time for him to create his own music. Last September, he released his debut album, Hibou, which garnered attention from music press, such as Noisey, NME, Pitchfork and more. I had the opportunity to interview Michal at this year’s South by Southwest. Check it out below:
Robinson: How do you like Austin and SXSW so far?
Michal: I love Austin. This is my first South By. We just pulled up today and showed up at the venue. It was my first time playing outside in, like, three years. It was so fun. Everyone has been super friendly. It’s only day one, we have four my days of this. I’m stoked!
R: Are there any differences between playing inside and outside?
M: Yeah, totally. There’s something about feeling that breeze when you are playing that is just so cool. It’s almost something I long for. When you are playing inside over and over again, you just start to feel the same. When you play outside, it’s almost like going back to your roots. I like to spend most of my free time outside, and when I perform I have to be inside. It’s like the best of both worlds for me.
R: You are originally from Seattle right? Are there any differences between Seattle and Austin, in the music scene and culturally?
M: I don’t know? I think Seattle and Austin are creepily similar, except for the weather. It seems that they have similar scenes going on. Have you ever been to Seattle?
R: No, but I’ve done a lot of research on it. You can tell they are pretty similar.
M: I guess the main differences are the weather, it’s a lot warmer here.
R: We have a slogan here, “Keep Austin Weird.” What’s one of your weirdest tour experiences?
M: There was this time I was on tour with Craft Spells in Toronto. We just played and I was standing outside of the venue. These two orthodox Jewish men came up to me with champagne glasses and they were celebrating. They asked, “Did you just play?” and we said “Yeah.” They threw them down and they stomped on them, and said “Your turn.” So I threw mine down and stomped on it, and I forgot I was wearing these vans with a really thin sole. The glass went into my foot completely. We were on such a strict schedule that we didn’t have a lot of time to deal with it. We went to the hospital and they said it was going to take few hours. We didn’t have time so I had to play drums with a gash in my right foot. Every time I hit the kick drum, my foot was just leaking blood.
R: Hibou’s music gives the feeling of summer nostalgia. Why do you think that is?
M: A lot of the writing happened in the summer. I’m kind of psyched about the new songs because in my opinion, I’m experimenting more. The self-tilted was very much, “I wrote it in the summer, so it sounded like the summer.”
R: If you could describe your music as a candy, what would it taste like?
M: I would probably say Haribo gummy frogs. They are like Swedish fish. You have to try it.
R: “In the Sun” is one of our most played tracks at the radio station, what are some of your top listens currently?
M: I’ve been listening to a lot of Wolf Alice. They are probably my favorite band right now. I can’t stop watching their live videos and performance. That song “Fluffy” is at the top of my list right now.
R: If you could explore a genre of music, what would it be and what would the name be?
M: I’ve had this name for a while. It’s called Fro-Yo Revelations. If I could describe plump as a genre, then it would be like plump pop-punk.
R: When should we be expecting new music?
M: I don’t even know yet. After this tour, I’m going to crack down on making music. I will probably go to the studio in the fall. So I will probably have something out next year.
Intro/Outro song- “In the Sun” by Hibou