Continental Drift

25 April 2012 | 9:00 am | Staff Writer

“It kind of feels like an end of an era. It’s going to be a bit of a celebration of the album, a celebration of the band and a goodbye to friends as well,”

When Andrew McCubbin of Hope Addicts released his first solo album way back in 2001, he already had a grand plan mapped out of what his future should hold. Fast forward more than ten years and now, as he prepares to relocate to Europe, he's living that vision he dreamed up all those years ago.

“I just always had a feeling that the music I was writing would go well over in Europe. I'd never been to Europe at this stage,” he admits, “but I had a feeling that I'd like it. It's always been my long-term plan to tour Europe regularly and then hopefully relocate. When I did that solo album I went over to Europe and did a solo tour to start with and met people. Once you meet some people, you meet more people, and then it just starts to grow. I'm pretty happy with the way it's worked out. It's been a great journey.”

But why relocate there? Well, apparently Europeans can relate to the emotion and intensity found in Hope Addicts' music. He recalls a man coming up to him after a set they played in the Czech Republic, holding his hand over his heart to communicate because they had no shared language. “We seem to have really positive responses, and promoters that come out of the woodwork and wanna book us things. Things keep developing at their own pace rather than us having to push it too much, so it could be considered easy because we get a lot of opportunities. It means that we can play every single day whereas it's probably a bit harder to do that in Australia, and with so many cities so close together and so many countries as well, you can just play every single day of the year if you really wanted to. In some ways it's kind of a no-brainer.”

Hope Addicts have indeed toured Europe regularly, playing shows and festivals, sometimes performing every day for months on end. One of their most memorable shows was at a festival in the Czech Republic and involved McCubbin's son who, three years old and wearing protective earmuffs, somehow got onto the stage and started singing into a bass drum mic, to the delight of the thousand-strong audience.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Most recently, they toured there last year promoting their new, self-titled album, which explores a harder-edged sound than the previous records. “A lot of our music in the past has sort of been intensely quiet,” says McCubbin. “I really wanted to push it to the other extreme as far as I could and just be intensely loud.” So he tried to write differently, and took the resulting songs to the rest of the band, who proceeded to put their own stamp on things. “This particular line-up seemed to be a lot heavier and louder, and between the new songs I wrote and the way the band works together, it went in the direction I was wanting it to go in, but not deliberately pushing it that way. It's just fun when things are really loud!” he laughs.

Not one to make concrete long-term plans, McCubbin isn't sure what's in store for the band as far as Australia goes, but their upcoming album launch at the Old Bar is going to be their final Melbourne performance for a long time, and the last show with their current line-up. “It kind of feels like an end of an era. It's going to be a bit of a celebration of the album, a celebration of the band and a goodbye to friends as well,” says McCubbin. “It might be almost a little bit sad at times, I'm not sure. I think we're just gonna have fun and blast it out and enjoy ourselves. Get loud and sweaty, I think.”