Interview || The One With Hippie Trim

Hippie Trim is a melodic band hailing from the Rhine and Ruhr area in Germany. In November of 2019, the quintet released their debut album, "Cult". We had a quick chat with bassist/lyricist Lukas Andrzejewski, who detailed the band's history, the album's creation and the meaning behind "Cult".

U: Hello from Greece and welcome to Unraveled! Can you please tell us your name and your role in the band?
Lukas Andrzejewski: Hey! I’m Lukas and play bass and sometimes also find myself yelling into a microphone. Apart from that I’m the lyricist in Hippie Trim.

U: Can you walk us through the creation and first steps of the band?
L.A.: Four of us used to play together in a band called “Earl Grey”. As we noticed that the project was slowly coming to an end, we thought about what we could change and in which direction we wanted to go. Eventually we decided to quit Earl Grey and disappear for some time to get the planning for Hippie Trim right. We knew it was hard to only rehearse and not play shows at all for a long time but we knew it would be worth it when Hippie Trim would finally start out. 

U: Hippie Trim is a very young band but you have already accomplished some impressive things; you are on a label, have gone on a national tour supporting Drug Church… Do you consider living life in the fast lane? How do you handle it?
L.A.: Haha yeah definitely. I guess that most of us are playing in bands for 10 years now and had enough time to make every mistake several times. We taught ourselves what you should do and what you shouldn’t. The most important thing is patience and hard work though. When we were younger, we wanted to immediately release a song that we wrote. Now we know that this requires lots of planning. For example your question makes total sense but most people who see this won’t know that we’ve been planning this band more than two years before we released our debut album. The beginning was good for us, that’s for sure. But this was all planned beforehand. Most of the songs for “Cult” were written between 2017-2018, when we still played in our old band. We’re so excited and thankful that people are enjoying our music. This is like the best thing ever. But I also have to say that we put a lot of work into this. Probably more than into anything else in our lives. Seeing that it’s slowly paying back (even if it’s just a bit) is so cool! 

U: Your debut album, “Cult”, dropped on November 29th. How was the writing and recording process like?
L.A.: Two of the songs ("Can’t Stop and "Blasphemy") were so old that we used to play them with our old band. Only live, we never recorded them. We noticed that they were going into a different direction and wanted to create something new that would represent the music under the right name and image. From that point on we just kept writing songs we loved and took a lot of time to finish it. We had an idea where this was going to go sound-wise from the start and tried to fulfill our vision. 
Recording was also very smooth. The team at the studio in Frankfurt where we recorded the album (Pitchback Studios) consists of the two nicest dudes ever. (Shout our to Lukas and Patrick if you’re reading this). We already recorded a single there before we recorded the album so we were past that get-to-know-each-other-point from the start and could just start recording right away. We’ve sent them demos beforehand so we all had an idea of the sound. We booked the studio for 10 days but were ready after 7. Best recording experience we’ve ever had. 

U: What does the word “Cult” represent for you? Why did you choose it as your album title?
L.A.: "Cult" for me (in the sense of our record) means friendship and community. At least that is what we want it to mean. In our case it’s basically about embracing your individuality, surrounding yourself with people you love and letting everyone do their thing. Everyone is welcome in our Cult. Hippie Trim is for everyone who wants to identify with it and sees something in this band. That’s what we intended this to be. 

U: By the time these words are written, you have already presented 5 videos off of the record. How important is visualization in the digital age, and how can a band use image to create an online presence?
L.A.: It’s crucial for sure. Nowadays there’s so much music coming out every day that it’s hard to keep track of everything you’d like to. Releasing music is not as hard as it used to be and everyone can do it him/herself by reading a few things about how it’s done. This means that it’s important to give the listeners something that they will remember. A video will rather make them check out your single than just a bandcamp release. You don’t necessarily need videos to make people like you though. As for me I can say that I haven’t seen videos for most of the bands I’ve (recently) discovered and really started liking. Music is still the #1 priority and you don’t need a video to make people like you. In fact you should focus on the music only and see videos as an extra that you can add when everything else is already as you want it to be. Creating an online presence is important though. Think of how you want to come across. Think of a cool photo (spot), what impression you want to leave etc. this is one of the most fun things to do in my opinion. 

U: Your lyrics are rather personal, allowing fans to identify with them. How do you approach getting to a state of openness without entering into a vulnerable position? How crucial is this element for your music?
L.A.: I have to admit that I had a really hard time on achieving that. First getting into that position was really hard for me too. I’d say: just do what you like doing. If you’re the nature person, go outside and search for inspiration there. If you’re more of a drinking, smoking or whatever guy, get wasted before you do it. Just get yourself in a state of mind that you’re comfortable in. I won’t comment on which type I am though haha. Also presenting the lyrics to the rest of the band was something I didn’t really like doing because the lyrics were so personal.  The guys were really cool about it though and gave me a good feeling when that was happening. We’re best friends so it’s definitely easier to do it in front of them than in front of people I barely know. It’s still an unpleasant feeling though. And as for the end product I don’t really have a bad feeling about anyone who might be thinking I’m vulnerable. First of all it’s because everything comes together and the whole band is responsible for the end product and second of all, as you said before, I want to make this as relatable as possible. All of that stuff came from my heart and I wouldn’t change a line. Those were just my honest feelings and thoughts at that time and I’m not ashamed of them. 

U: What is your local scene like?
L.A.: Not band, we actually have some cool bands and venues here! It’s not as supportive as it could be though. Everyone’s doing their thing and not really supporting bands they dig. It’s not as bad as it might sound when you’re reading this but it could be WAY better. That’s why we always want to push bands that we think are cool.

U: If you could cast each member of the band as a super hero, who would each member be? What super power does your music have?
L.A.: I’d really LOVE to answer that question but have no idea about super heroes except for the generic ones like Superman and Spider-Man and could never live up to the question. I’ll watch some Marvel though and maybe we can repeat that in the next interview! 

U: If you could have a 1-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age would you call and what would you tell yourself?
L.A.: Keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t take life too seriously. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about things you do. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Stay strong. Everything is going to be fine. 

U: Do you have any guilty music pleasures?
L.A.: I’d say Taylor Swift, Pale Waves and Scooter. 

U: Your house is on fire and you only have time to grab 3 things before you run out (family and pets are safe). What do you take?
L.A.: I’d say my bass but that stuff is in our rehearsal room so.. my PS4, my favorite pair of shoes and my favorite coat. I’m not all about clothes but if my music stuff is safe I think I’d go for them haha. 

U: What is it about punk rock that keeps people young?
L.A.: I guess it’s the spirit of rebellion. The attitude that you’re not better than anyone else. Asking questions some other people would not ask. And a sense of community and friendship... or maybe just cheap beer prices? 

U: 5 albums that changed your life.
L.A.: Blink 182 - "Take Off Your Pants And Jacket"
Four Year Strong - "Rise Or Die Trying"
Title Fight - "Shed"
Balance & Composure - "Separation"
Pity Sex - "Feast of Love" 

U: We are done, thank you for your time. Any final words?
L.A.: THANK YOU for doing this interview with us and thanks for caring about our band and reading this! We appreciate it so so much. 

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