Brisbane-based Hound are collectively “ecstatic” after being selected to support Killing Joke at the Hi-Fi on the 6th of June; the seminal post-punk band’s first Australian show since 2004 and part of their Singles World Tour.
Hound rhythm-guitarist and lead-vocalist, Chris Cox, can be forgiven for feeling intimidated by the stature of Killing Joke, a band founded in London in 1978 who have since produced fifteen studio albums and are widely cited as inspiration for Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Tool, to name a few.
“They’ve just had a massive influence on alternative music in general; I mean, even Metallica covered one of their songs,” Cox said, himself exemplifying Killing Joke’s impact having played in various acts including thrash-punk band, Speedlab, and black metal outfit, Phalanx.
Hound drummer, Tom Butler, adds that “they’re kind of the cornerstone of post-punk”, a genre where attention is typically focused on fellow British pioneers Joy Division and The Cure.
Consisting of Butler and Cox, alongside bassist, Michael Gould, and lead-guitarist and backing-vocalist, Lucas Colin, Hound formed in mid-2012 and have gained recognition for their no-nonsense attitude and gritty sound that sets them apart from many post-punk revival bands.
“Fugazi and Killing Joke are the two bands that we all unanimously agree on,” Cox said, explaining how the band’s sound came to be.
“It’s the meeting point for us as musicians; Tom and I are into heavier shit, but Gould’s into different stuff and Lucas is into different stuff, so when everything’s factored in we sort of meet in the centre,” Cox said.
Influences aside, Hound don’t take their music too seriously and their love of a good time is the catalyst for the band’s name, with Butler explaining that “hounding is boozing and taking drugs and having fun, so it doesn’t really have anything to do with dogs or canines”.
Other than partying, Cox adds that “a hound is loyal, and a hound is emotional, and a hound is quite a complex thing in itself; there’s a reason why a hound hounds”.
It’s this philosophy that guides the band’s approach to music and that Cox believes enables the band to avoid some of the pretentions of the music scene.
“One of the most important things about our band is that we don’t want to see it as a pissing contest; we don’t want to try and be heavier, or more gnarly, or better, or more technical or faster than any other band,” Cox said.
Hound are keeping things simple in the lead up to the Killing Joke show, calming their nervous energy and taking their career, as Butler puts it, “one beer at a time”.