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Hundred Waters on rebirthing perspective and approaching art from a different angle

17 July 2017 | 7:10 pm | Hannah Galvin

We engaged in a conversation with LA trio Hundred Waters on their new record Communicating, amongst the experiences that have shaped the LP.

When you inject your energy into a passion project, you're exerting emotion that cannot be artificially produced. It is through this inherent lead that the reward of your devotion and organic trajectory is to follow.

Approaching art in such a way comes with the intention of self-benefit that you are able to capture the essence of such emotion through a creative release.

This is entirely how HUNDRED WATERS have gone about their craft - they make music for themselves because they simply love doing so. It is just that extra bit special that they've found a community of fans who resonate with the way in which they artfully express themselves.

Recently dropping their Currency EP, the LA trio have followed it up with album number three - Communicating. A myriad of challenges and life they've experienced as a band, the record acts as part two of the aforementioned EP, and has been introduced with its first single 'Blanket Me'.

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Maintaining a stacked schedule writing, recording, performing and pulling off their fourth annual FORM Arcosanti Festival, we caught up with all three members of Hundred Waters for a chat on current projects.

I understand the three of you live together. Was this how Hundred Waters came to be or did the house happen after the band’s formation?

Trayer Tryon: The formation was kind of loose. We kind of had a full album before we even had a name. Even before we had clear band members, we just had some of our friends on that record. There wasn’t this idea that we were like exact, you know?

We definitely lived together before we were Hundred Waters, but we also made our first album before we were Hundred Waters.

So it was more the sense of just making music together as friends?

Tray: Yeah well we made a record, but it was just like, a record. It wasn’t like a record by this entity, it existed before we had any idea of being a band or that we were going to tour and stuff like that. We lived kind of in a small town where we weren’t really like all privy to hype-building and all this kind of stuff that city folk know about [laughs]. We were kind of just doing what we do without a rigid identity.

You also live with Moses Sumney. Is it an interesting experience living with someone creatively outside of the Hundred Waters project?

Nicole Miglis: It’s kind of funny because we end up finishing our projects at the same time. While we were working on it, we were pretty secluded from each other I think because we get so focused. When we’re actually working on music we’re not in the same space a lot, like he may be in other cities or other people’s houses, but now that it’s all coming together we kind of help each other with like artwork and singles.

Tray: Nicole’s on his record and he’s on ours too.

You’ve announced your third record Communicating. Could you please explain the core breakup and rebirthing theme to the LP?

Nicole: It’s a relationship that is growing in whatever direction, and trying to navigate as a group and as people as things change and people change. Communicating with each other what you’re feeling and not assuming that people know. It’s all very interpersonal so it’s navigating these relationships with this figure.

Would you say that considering the past few years, what with losing a band mate, breaking up and reuniting that this is your most powerfully driven record to date?

Nicole: Yeah I think so. All of our albums were a lot of work and a lot of emotion. This one I think there was a lot more living that we did before we wrote the songs. There’s a lot of experience and living in this one. There was more time to adjust those emotions. We put everything into it and were really dedicated I think more so than any other album.

Zach Tetreault: I feel like it’s a little more passionate or like intense probably just because our lives were different. Instead of hanging out touring every night and playing at a show talking to people afterwards, we were just living our lives here at home and having all of these changes in our lives. There’s a little less nonchalance in it if that makes sense.

Maybe a bit more maturity?

Nicole: Hopefully [laughs].

Zach: It’s like when it goes hard, it goes harder. When there’s tension it gets more tense. Or like when it gets loose, it gets looser.

I think you can hear that in ‘Blanket Me’. Would you say that’s the centrepiece for how the record is going to sound?

Nicole: It’s more just one part of it. I think the record has songs where each one is just a part of the story. That one’s towards the end as like a final letter or conclusion and then the rest of the record is pretty different - kind of all over the place.

Tray: Every song is its own statement and has its own feeling and time. There were different things going on for each song so the sounds of each one is pretty different. I wouldn’t say at all that that’s like the sound of the record.

You also dropped the Currency EP unannounced. What was the reason for not marketing that one?

Tray: We’re not really like marketing, pushy kind of people [laughs].

Nicole: Yeah if anything we’re like really bad at that [laughs].

Zach: We just really like making the stuff without having to throw it in your face.

Nicole: We’d finished writing those songs at a similar time to this album and they didn’t quite fit in on the record so we put them into their own little side piece. I think it’s still connected to the record but they’re their own thing so we just grouped them. We wanted to introduce them for the record as it’s part of the same thing but they hold different feelings. Kind of like a prologue, I guess [laughs].

Tray: There was just so much going on at the time that it was like we could only manage to do the push of it that we did give it. For us there was a hell of a lot happening where for others it may have looked like, “Oh they’re being low-key and they’re not really making a big deal out of it” but we were at our festival FORM, like working on that and working on our record, there was just all sorts of stuff going on.

I was going to ask you about FORM Festival. How has it been watching that event evolve over the past four years?

Zach: It’s all been pretty natural, it’s definitely been a lot of work. I think when you work on something really hard, it’s harder to see the transitions - it just kind of feels like a natural evolution. It’s been really fun and really beautiful to introduce new components.

Was it ever intended to be a yearly event from its first instalment?

Zach: No we just wanted to have an album release at Arcosanti at the time, and then we kind of got addicted to it.

Will it be returning next year?

Zach: Oh yeah, definitely.

How is the rest of 2017 looking for Hundred Waters?

Nicole: It’s a different time but it’s really exciting because we get to present this music finally - it’s like a whole different phase. We get to do all the fun things like all the art and the videos, the aesthetic part is super fun. It’s a lot of work, but yeah that’s what we’re doing at the moment.

Hundred Waters' third full-length album Communicating is due for release Friday, 15th September on Pod via Inertia.

Words by Hannah Galvin.

Photo credit: Jasmine Safaeian.