Childish Gambino, the US elections and indie disco music, we chat with Hercules Mulligan
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hey there! We (Ben Gaston & Trent Tyler) have been playing music together since we were 15 years old and Hercules Mulligan is our most recent and certainly most complete musical creation together. We grew up in Washington state but are currently based in the SF-Bay Area. We’re an indie-dance-rock-pop-neo-discoish band. Each song is a bit different in style, but with every track, we’re aiming to provide you with a soundtrack for an awesome time.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
Our latest single, Hold On To Me, is our 7th single off of our upcoming debut album. It’s an indie dance track that is high energy and marries acoustic and electronic elements with a big chorus. We’re super proud of the track and hope you like it!
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
Hold On To Me was written late last year (2019). We were looking at the chaos and polarization in the US political climate at the time and envisioning how bad things could get if the trends continued. The song is sung in the first person from the perspective of two rebellious lovers who feel like they are standing at the end of the world with the walls closing in. It’s kind of eerie to see what’s happening now, less than a year later.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
Energetic, Unique, Big
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
Bon Iver, 22 A Million was a very important record for both of us. All of Bon Iver’s records have been important to us, but this one came out during a critical period where we both were undergoing big changes in our careers and personal lives. It was inspiring in a variety of ways but it’s such a creative record that really inspired us to push ourselves and think outside the box.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?
Our favorite music video that we have made so far is Hermosa Henry. We’re definitely not alone in this but our favorite music video of all time is Childish Gambino - This Is America. It’s tough to top that.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
Working on our business, getting outside, and figuring out how we can help get more people to vote in the 2020 US presidential election. If we want things to get better and avoid another 4 years of this nonsense, we really can’t afford to have barely 50% voter turnout like we did in 2016.
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Every time, but it’s getting better with more experience and better pre-show preparation. We each have our own routine, but it usually involves a little bit of whiskey and some positive self talk.
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
We’ve been playing music together for half of our lives. Last year, we just got on a roll and developed a bit of a formula and structure for our jamming and songwriting process - the result is Hercules Mulligan!
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
Most of our songs tend to come out of an extended jam / improvisation session. We both write songs but we tend to switch off who is the primary driver of the melody and the lyrics for each song. Usually Ben starts rocking a beat, Trent picks out a melody on a guitar or a synth, one of us starts yelling random things until we develop a coherent thought, and then we build around that.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Our songs tend to focus on the quirks and oddities of being kind of old, super white business bros in 2020 San Francisco. Sometimes we’re looking inward and trying to explain something we’re feeling, sometimes we’re looking outward at the weird political climate we’re living in, and sometimes we’re just trying to make ourselves laugh.
WHAT IS NEXT?
We have three more songs to put out that will round out our first full-length album. After that, we’re going to get back to creating more tracks and get ourselves ready to perform live again whenever the COVID-19 crisis is over.
PLEASE TELL US ANY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS SO WE CAN SHARE.