Like their name, Hippie Trim isn't an easy band to describe to someone who hasn't heard them before. "That is a difficult question," says bassist Lukas Andrzejewski from the group's homebase of Germany. "Whenever someone asks me that, I usually throw around some terms that nobody knows. Though, I guess it's a little different here.
"I would describe our style as a mixture of punk, grunge, hardcore, and emo. We also have some shoegaze and dreampop influences as well. Bands that we all think are cool and have certainly influenced us are Superheaven, Balance and Composure, Joyce Manor, Title Fight, Drug Church, and blink-182. But we all have pretty different musical backgrounds, so there's probably a lot more to it than the few bands I mentioned."
I'm chatting with Lukas a few days after the release of Hippie Trim's latest single, a summer playlist-ready track called "Pain Ball." Recorded in Frankfurt, the band collaborated with Americans Jon Markson (Drug Church, Such Gold) and Adam Cichocki (Free Throw, Like Pacific) for the track's mixing and mastering:
"The world we live in is extremely fast-paced and never stops. We lose sight of so many things in our everyday lives, which sadly seems almost normal these days. However, for a few people that is not the case and I'm incredibly thankful for that. 'Pain Ball' is an ode to friendship," says Lukas.
Formed in 2019, Hippie Trim's first year together was a banner one, with a sold-out first show, a run of German dates opening for Drug Church, and the release of their debut album, Cult:
I ask Lukas about the German punk community and how everything is working over there right now. "The German scene is difficult to describe. We actually have a few cool bands, but some of them have split up and with COVID I honestly lost track of it a bit. Also, I don't think the cohesion in the German scene is very good. Each band is very focused on itself and I have the feeling that other bands are not really granted anything. It feels more like a competition than a supportive community.
"I also find the image of many German bands a bit difficult. But that's also because there are a lot of labels, that don't really care about the bands they sign. They are out to make the highest possible profit out of the bands and push them in a direction that suits them best.
"Whether it's political or in terms of look. A lot of bands are like copies of other bands, and they're theming (whether it's through their music or social media) what's selling best and what's being talked about at the moment. I just think that the scene lacks in terms of soul."
Lukas continues to get some things off his chest: "Also, it is unfortunately very common for many to suck up to others in order to profit from it at some point. Furthermore, often not much value is placed on the art, but on the trappings, such as who you know or find cool. I hope that this will improve at some point.
"Nevertheless, there are some really cool bands (not only the one's that I’ll mention), to which my criticism from before does not apply at all:
- Tristesse from Berlin, for example, are an incredibly good band. Both live and on record. They sing in German and combined with the style they drive musically, I've never heard anything like it before. I'm sure these guys will go far.
- Everything In Boxes are a really cool band from Karlsruhe. They sound more like Gainesville than Karlsruhe though. A very talented band of incredibly nice and supportive people.
- Losing Sleep, who are also from that area, put out a pretty cool song not too long ago.
- Apart from that I would like to name Raw Plastic from Poznań, Poland. I love the lo-fi sound that these guys are going for. I've been friends with their guitarist Bastian for years now and we've been sending demos of our projects back and forth for as long as I can remember. If there is a demo from Hippie Trim, Bastian has probably already heard it. In June we will be suporting Fiddlehead together and I really can't wait for that!
- Out of Love from London are also a very good band. Due to COVID, our plans of playing shows together could not be realized yet but I’m sure this will happen soon enough. Both bands are not from Germany, but I would be negligent not to point them out."
As our conversation comes to an end, Lukas shows some love for what we do around here: "Thank you so much for letting me do the interview. No Echo is a great platform and I feel really honored to be a part of it.
"Also, thanks to anyone who read as far as this. We have lots of cool stuff coming up and I would really appreciate you checking it out!"
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