FROM the outside, Hector Bizerk’s career has been a rollercoaster of highs. The most recent shot in the net comes from landing a spot on Midem’s Artist Accelerator shortlist. Midem is one of the foremost industry gathering festivals in Europe. We caught up with frontman Louie of HB for a bit of a run through of camp Bizerk: “It’s exciting to have been selected on Midems’ Artist Accelerator shortlist, it would put us in front of every record label and agent in the world so it’s a huge showcase for Hector.”
For those who don’t know too much about Midem, we asked Louie to shine a bit of a light on it, he commented: “There are currently 60 bands on the second round, 12 will be confirmed for the festival over the next three weeks. It’s a panel of judges so it really just comes down to whether they like the cut of my jib.”
Speaking about his recent trip with Be Charlotte to Austin for SXSW, Louie laughed: ” I am looking like a true Scotsman, my skin is red like Pearl’s dreadlocks. It was 95F the other day, incinerating for pasty Glaswegians. I’ve not been performing at all, just doing my best to work it for Be Charlotte.”
And Austin’s just one place on a mass bunch of passport stamps for the band recently, playing France, the Alps, Camden and Inverness in recent months: “We tend to find that wherever we go we are capable of cultivating the type of atmosphere that allows people to lose themselves in the groove.
“Someone once described us as ‘pushing every primal instinct, modern minds had forgotten about’. I think the drums and bass combo allow that sort of fanfare and I’m confident we can do that anywhere in the world, whether there are 10 people in the room or 10,000.. We play the show with the exact same charisma and passion and fortunately audiences are often able to identify with that.”
TTV are certainly in agreement, during a recent trip to Rennes in France with the band, we witnessed firsthand what it is that makes the Hector broth so tasty. A unique combination of family, dedication, humour, thirst, hunger and intelligence seems to be in the mix.
With a run of shows, including a Glasgow date coming up, Louie reflects on his hometown: “Glasgow is always the rowdiest and most captivating audience for us. We are playing the Art School which is one of my favourite venues in the world.
“Pearl has been concocting a master plan for something that’s never been done before…and that is going to blow people’s minds! Straight after the show, we head to Cork in Ireland for Celtic Media Festival Awards, where our film ‘The Bird That Never Flew’ (Mackenzie/ Hendo directed) is nominated for one of the categories. It’s a fitting way to launch the new album!”
Jumping on a plane before Christmas to write himself, Louie’s got an album worth of solo material he’s currently sitting on. He says: “I’m unsure when I will release it. I wrote and recorded a whole album in Prague in December and wanted to release it as a free download in January. Our management told me how fucking ridiculous that was, that it would undervalue the work of the past two years that we’ve crafted for The Second City of The Empire.
“That’s why we have management, to help us not make those kind of errors. As artists we sometimes react intuitively. I often say more than I should have but this is an example of where the artist is on the cusp of making a cunt of it and the manager steps in and offers a better perspective.”
Always a true advocate of local music, Louie confesses his current loves: “Locally I love The Dirty Money Handlers, JR Green, The Lapelles, Baby Strange, White, Babe, HQFU. I also just bought the new Holy Esque album.
“I saw a band from Austin called The Octopus Project. They are like Mogwai on eckies! They did their own stage design and light show, which is immense! They all swap instruments and use a therman…which I had never come across before. Band of the festival for me.”
As we previously mentioned, it’s been all business on this recent trip for Louie, who jetted off to SXSW with one goal in mind. Nailing it for Be Charlotte, part of the Breathe Underwater Management roster: “I feel inspired in this new way of working. In some respects it’s a continuation of what I’ve always aspired to do, surrounding myself with talented, driven individuals and trying to get the best out of them…and letting them influence my trajectory too.
“I’ve been working with Be Charlotte for over a year now and we have taken our time to get things right. We’re now at a stage where people of huge influence in the record industry want to get involved and that’s incredibly exciting. She’s a true superstar and it’s a genuine privilege to see her evolve. The next year is going to be enormous for her, and for myself as we put the correct team in place to build capacity and infrastructure for her music in different territories across the globe.” Fighting talk. And we don’t doubt it for one second.