Photo: Pete Murray

Local synth-pop band Hockey has made a pretty rapid ascension from basement band to inking a deal with a pair of major labels—Capitol domestically, Virgin overseas—all based on the strength of their self-released Mind Chaos album. Drummer Anthony Stassi, fresh back from a European jaunt, took a moment to answer End Hits' pesky questions.

What happened on the previous US tour, did the biodiesel van not make it?
The previous tour was kind of a shit-show. We played one show in Phoenix to two of our friends and the bartender. There were a few shows like that. Asparaga, our veggie-van, made it as far as Denver and then began breaking down. A lot. We missed the rest of the shows and spent a week sitting in an auto shop with a drunk mechanic trying to figure out what went wrong with the veggie oil. Eventually we took it to another mechanic and it took him a day to figure out that we bought a total lemon. We were relieved it had nothing to do with the vegetable oil, but we still had to sell it to a grease monkey for scrap metal ($300). Jerm [Reynolds] and I had to drive our shit all the way back to Portland in a U-haul with our tails between our legs. It sucked.

How did the Capitol deal come about? Was there any hesitation in signing with a major label?
The deal with Capitol and Virgin came about through a couple people that Wyeth and Jerm have known for a few years: our friend, Heather Peggs, and a Scottish dude turned A&R rep, Steven Melrose. There wasn't really any hesitation in signing because it's a "major label" if that's what you mean. I do know that we based our decision on the people that we met and the visions for us that those people either shared, or didn't. We understand that "majors" aren't really respected in some circles but we have not had to (and will not have to) compromise our integrity or music and that's the most important thing to us.

Are they re-releasing Mind Chaos?
Yes, kind of. Some of the tracks remained as they were on the original, but we also re-recorded the ones we weren't happy with, cut the ones we wanted to be b-sides, and recorded a few new songs in Portland. Then we took the tracks to London and mixed them at Olympic Studios. I think there will be something like 11 songs on the new Mind Chaos. Virgin is releasing it in the UK in May and Capitol is releasing it in the US in June.

How did the Europe tour go?
We didn't go on a European tour. We went to London for nine days to play four shows and mix our album. All the shows went well and we met a lot of wonderful people. The most fun show was at a venue called Koko for Club NME. Over a thousand kids showed up looking to dance and have a good time in the most beautiful theater I've probably ever seen. It was our first time overseas as a band... and one of the best experiences of our lives. We are going back in February for our first UK/European tour. I heard something about a show on a battleship in the River Thames under the
London Bridge...