A chat with Dead Slow Hoot

Dead Slow Hoot Photo We caught up with Dead Slow Hoot before their EP launch in a falafel shop on Queens Road. 

Words. Ella Wildin

Can you describe your music for us?

Luke: Safe rock

Ok no risk taken?

Hugo: The kind of punk you can show your parents.

Luke: Our biggest fans are our parents.

Sam: You’re really selling us. The Tramlines description was bittersweet, anthemic, melancholy rock made in Sheffield.

We’ll go with that.

Luke: Polite Punk. Graceful Grunge.

Have you played mainly in Sheffield or…

Hugo: Exclusively in Sheffield.

Sam: We’ve not yet branched out. But we’ve played most of Division street and Leadmill for Tramlines was a highlight. The Star and Garter was where we started, that was our first gig.

Luke: And we haven’t been back since. They put the vocals through the karaoke system so the music was coming out of speakers at the other end of the building from where we were actually playing.

Hugo: And someone asked us to play along to the Artic Monkeys.

Sam: Hey, you guys sound like the Artic Monkeys, play along.

The band playing at SoFar Sounds

The band playing at SoFar Sounds

Is that an annoying comparison?

Hugo: It doesn’t happen that often, we do occasionally get it though.

Sam: We’re not even Northern.

Luke: I think it comes with the territory though, like when we played Bell Jar and there were these guys who just shouted ‘Artic Monkeeeeys’ the whole way through.

Sam: It’s all they want isn’t it.

Luke: I think it’s quite sad though. Because these guys would have been in Sheffield when the Artic Monkeys weren’t that big and they never bothered to go out and support a young local band. They’re just wanting another band to recreate that.

What’s the most awkward thing you’ve ever said to an audience?

Sam: On our last EP launch, Hugo forgot some of the words to one of the songs and our housemate came up and joked that ‘I’m so sorry Hugo’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt’, and there was just deadpan silence.

Hugo: And I didn’t say anything to rebut that, everyone just looked at me like wow, what an irresponsible man.

Luke: We’ve resorted to looking up facts about the date that we’re playing on so that we have something to talk about onstage. Ooh look who was born on this day. It’s Earth Day today.

So you’ll be milking that one tonight then.

Hugo:Let’s hear it for the Earth, come on guys!

But you’re quite lyrical, even if you can’t speak between songs, what you say during the songs is good.

Hugo: I never wanted to be that guy who had to explain every song before playing it. This one, I was driving down the highway and my girlfriend had just left me and I think you should just keep that in your mind while I play. I didn’t wanna do that. I prefer the lyrics to speak for themselves.

Sam: The lyrics have got better more recently. The lyrics on the new EP have gone more political, they used to be about Hugo’s failed relationships.

Oh, you did have the whole ‘driving down the highway’ vibe at one point then?

Hugo: Yeah but I didn’t introduce them! People just had to read between the lines.

Luke: Yeah the lyrics of that one went: ‘Look at me, my girlfriend’s left me and I’m driving down the highway’.

Sam: This EP’s more about Austerity and Refugees.

Hugo: The difference was that when I wrote the last EP I wasn’t in a relationship. I’m thinking on the next EP I need to redirect my anger though. I’m currently on a tour of restaurants with bad service.

Is this one included?

Sam: No this one’s quite good comparatively.

Luke from the previous band 'Dead Babies'

Luke from the previous band ‘Dead Babies’

Now your music has become more political, what’s it like?

Hugo: I kind of wanted it to be like I was having an argument with somebody and I wanted to win the argument. So I write what I’d say. It comes out as a response to something that someone’s said. So we’ve got one, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea which is not about refugees specifically it’s just about being an immigrant. People think immigrants are coming over to take advantage and have it easy. But even if you came over and you got a super kushy job and were making £50k – you still don’t live with your family, it’s still hard.

Luke: The line of the chorus is ‘You don’t know what it costs going coast to coast’, which can be applied to anything…

Sam: The people in power, who speak about situations that they don’t have any personal experience of.

What about the Scunthorpe song? I listened to it and thought, is it even about Scunthorpe?

Luke: It’s not.

Hugo: At the beginning of the song there’s a loop, it’s kind of like a reverse guitar. And Luke said it sounded like being at the sea on a boat and it being really early in the morning and you can hear some seagulls flying around. And a creaking.

Luke: Is Scunthorpe even on the sea?

Sam: We just liked the alliteration.

Luke: But whenever we played it live and asked if there were any audience members from Scunthorpe we’d lie and tell a story about how we went on a daytrip to Scunthorpe.

It was just a click-baiting title then! Is any of your music inspired by Sheff? What about your name, is it Dead Slow Hoot as in ‘that’s dead good that is’?

Hugo: No it’s inspired by…Oh I don’t know if we wanna give it away actually. We kind of like to make up things for it….


Luke: It’s one word out of all of our former bands – Sam Was in an ambient post-rock band called Slow Down, Hugo played in a Pop Punk band called Hoot Hoot, and I was in a death metal band Dead Babies.

I wouldn’t put it past you in that camo jacket!

You can get yourself a copy of  Dead Slow Hoot’s new EP ‘I Suppose They were Better Off as Dead’ here.