Interview: Hoozbah

At The Diversity of Classic Rock, we’ve reviewed some tracks from Hoozbah, and you can read the reviews here and here. In early July, they released their new album, Do Better and I had the privilege of interviewing the band. If you want to learn more about this Montreal rock band who keep rock and roll alive, keep reading.

Angie Moon: How did the band begin?

Naz Hoozbah: The band began in 2016 with a recording project and has had an evolving line-up since then. The current lineup is a 5-piece consisting of Marc on bass/vocals, Xander on keys/vocals, Sam on guitar/synth/vocals, Frank on drums, and myself (Naz) on guitar and vocals.

AM: How did you get into classic rock?

NH: For me it was something that I got into at a very young age and it’s a taste that has stuck with me over the years.

When Hoozbah began, the idea was to keep some key elements from our classic rock influences but it would be hard to call us exclusively a classic rock act as we have such different and genre-spanning influences.

AM: Why the name Hoozbah?

NH: Why not? But if you really wanna know it’s meant to be synonymous with Chutzpah which means shameless audacity and cojones.

AM: What was recording Do Better like?

NH: This was our first studio album done the proper way, and it was definitely a learning experience. We’ve made some good choices, some not so good ones, but at the end of the day all that matters is that we finished what we started and there you have it. From here on in, we only plan [to] do better.

AM: What makes the debut [album] better and different from your previous work?

NH: Definitely the sound quality, due to the fact we were recording this one in a proper studio. We took a few older songs that we felt weren’t done justice to with our older recordings and re-did them, and now you have a pretty good introduction to what Hoozbah will be all about in the coming years.

We definitely took this album in a more tender and sophisticated direction in parts and we want to pursue that side of things in the near future.

AM: Favourite bands and albums?

NH:

  • Rolling Stones, (Exile on Main Street)
  • Guns n Roses (Appetite for Destruction)
  • Aerosmith (Rocks)
  • The Doors
  • Pink Floyd
  • King Gizzard [and the Lizard Wizard]
  • Sex Pistols
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Frank Zappa
  • James Brown
  • Curtis Mayfield
  • George Benson
  • Herb Alpert
  • Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • Quincy Jones
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Dean Martin

AM: What is the music scene like in Montreal?

NH: Very niche but very much alive and well. The one downside is there’s so much stuff for everyone that it makes it hard to get people to come out to your thing coz there’s so much other stuff going on.

AM: Is it hard being a band that performs in English in Montreal?

NH: Not at all. Though it does have its limitations when it comes to playing festivals in Quebec.

AM: Describe a typical gig that you play. What makes it unique?

NH: We come in style and we bring a lot of energy to the stage. You will definitely need your dancing shoes, but be prepared to start the evening off with feeling and a few ballads.

AM: If you could time travel and hang out with any musician who would you pick?

NH: Keith Richards and Bobby D in their prime, John Lennon too. Frank Sinatra and George Gershwin would be pretty fun, maybe Mozart.

AM: What are your goals and plans?

NH: We are currently planning a lot of shows for the fall, writing new music, and working on 2020 plans! The goal is to get more music out there and be heard by as many people as we can.

AM: What advice would you give new musicians?

NH: Get good at what you wanna do, keep your mind open to new things and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

You just gotta make sure that you’re putting your efforts into something worthwhile that you’re passionate about.

You can follow Hoozbah on Facebook, Bandcamp, and Instagram. Their new album can be streamed on Spotify.

Shout out to my good friend and Topaz level Patron, Patrick.

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