You wouldn't know it from their sports-centric name, but relatively new Portland band Hockey represents the shimmering cutting edge of the local all-ages dance party scene. The band, which not that long ago swelled from two members to four, recently released Mind Chaos, which utilizes the bare bones hipster funk of Jamie Lidelll alongside the hook-heavy pop charm of the Cars. The result is enough keyboard-induced friction to bring even the most tame basement show down in a wave of flames. The band collectively took a moment to talk about their rambling past, their Portland future, and what it's like to be un-Google-able.
MERCURY: What brought upon the move from Spokane to Portland? And prior to that, was there a reason to move the band from Los Angeles to Spokane?
HOCKEY: Spokane treated us well while we were there but it seemed like we exhausted what the city had to offer before we could even get settled. Anyone that's ever been there would probably agree that it isn't the best place for aspiring musicians and artists. However, aside from our run-ins with bike thieves and fundamentalist Christians, we really miss the place.
Before that, the band was a two-piece in Los Angeles. After playing a lot of shows, signing a development deal with Columbia, and recording with Jerry Harrison [keyboardist for Talking Heads], we decided that we weren't happy with the way things were going and wanted to go somewhere to regroup (literally, becoming a four-piece) and catch our breath.
Bands seldom relocate together, and rarely do they ever do it multiple times. Has it been difficult to establish roots in the Portland scene?
For the first six months, we were recording an album, adding a guitarist, and trying to self-actualize as a band. As far as playing shows and getting local exposure, no, we haven't really begun to establish any kind of roots in Portland. I think having finished the album and coalescing as a band, we are going to start setting our sights on playing a lot more shows and getting our name out there. We've also met a lot of wonderful people in the scene that have offered to help us get on our feet.
Do you have a live show in particular that is a favorite of the band?
Just last week we played a show with Japanther at an all-ages house venue called the Coop in North Portland. The show was incredible and it was just an overall beautiful experience. Kids have a way of living in the moment and not giving a fuck.
Is it hard to have a band name that is un-Google-able?
One of the many things that the internet has done to music is demystify musicians and artists. It used to be that if you were curious about a band you would have to go see them for yourself. We would like to maintain a sliver of that mystique.
Hockey perform at Slabtown on Friday, June 13.