About The Band:
Hooby and the Yabbit are Ian Hawkins, Roy Whyke and Lee Williamson. Rock and roll troubadours playing an eclectic mix of rock, roots, blues and acoustic.
For any of our readers who are unfamiliar with yourself tell us a little bit about your band/project.
Hi. It started as a kind of Blues/Rock/Jazz band covering Steely Dan, ZZ Top, Johnny Guitar Watson, Roben Ford and all kind s of stuff, but a guitar trio you know – me on the bass, but I was writing songs as well and wanted to move in that direction. The other guys were a bit part time and started to fade a bit. So I built a studio around an old Soundcraft console I had and still have, and started work. Now we have this first release, ‘Out Of Time’, the title of which is in no small reference to how long it took!
In 2016/2017 We did a few gigs and festivals ,just a trio-including Neil Young, Led Zep, The Band , Tom Petty covers and old rock and roll stuff – Eddie Cochran and Link Wray – you can see some of this on Youtube – it was fun !
What was your earliest memory of music that peaked your interest?
My Dad playing ‘Yellow Submarine’ by the Beatles. I would have been very young then…. That and a very strange song called ‘Lily the Pink’- check it out.
Who was the first album/single you purchased?
The first single was Tokyo Joe-Bryan Ferry, The first album was A Farewell to Kings by Rush, but that was a lot later
I loved the sound of Roxy Music – I bought Virginia Plain as well – also ELO, Boz Scaggs and the Police, where I first got into drumming
When did you first pick up your respective instrument / or start singing?
My Parents got me a piano when I was 7- still have it now – had to miss Saturday morning TV to go to lessons. Hated that!
This was in the days before Vid recorders etc so a serious sacrifice indeed.
What route did you take with your music/instrument/lessons/music school / self-taught and any fond memories of that journey?
My Piano teacher was this funny little old Lady (as I remember her) called Janet Clark, who taught me how to think about music and break it down and mess with it to make learning more of a fun thing. I still use techniques she showed me that I have adapted to this day, both as a musician and as a teacher.
I had a couple of wonderfully eccentric bass teachers, like madly jamming away with you on a pair of bongos – like ‘just play what you feel man’ which is one reason why I cannot teach bass. Someone asked me for lessons recently and I gave my stock answer – Get one, start playing it, lesson over.
Later I ended up studying at Leeds Music College, where we performed with visiting dignitaries from America, toured Germany, ( not very soberly it must be said, band leader fell out of bus doors and such) and Ireland-Cork Jazz festival, again sobriety not getting much of a look in. Favourite memory that comes to mind is a certain college band leader stopping the band mid tune and then farting his way from one end of the room to the other before counting us back in again. In fact that’s the guy who fell out the bus…
Who were your hero’s as a young musician that inspired and pushed you to want to be a musician too?
Three Biggies-First John Lennon/The Beatles. When he was killed I was 14 and a bit lost maybe at that time, the BBC played the film ‘Help’ and that was it, I was gone. Had to have it – just the sound of the guitars and bass and the harmonies. I liked the fact they lived in the same house and stuff as well, something which a band I was in recreated several years later with the usual riotous results, so yep the Beatles.
Then fast forward to Motorhead-as soon as I heard it the world moved-the opening chords of the Ace of Spades, and then I went to see them in 82 – just caught the last tour that Eddie Clark did, and again – GONE! From that point never wanted to be anything else but a rock n roll musician. After that the last one would be Frank Zappa. Listening to him makes me feel like anything is possible in music, and I loved his political stance – God we could use some of that gritty ‘piss taking’ in the world right now I think!
Also the idea that music can make you laugh is just not widespread enough. Why so serious everyone? I think it’s because of him I built my own studio as well.
Is there one particular album or song that gave you a “Eureka” moment from your youth that made you want to be a musician?
Ace of spades aside… maybe the Beatles. I thought Twist and Shout was pretty knock out, or up on the roof of Apple -‘Let it be’ is that it? Rush, Moving Pictures ….. Pink Floyd ‘Echoes’…I think I’m too old to answer this question! – can’t remember now – I loved it all and still do apart from Tarkus by ELP – N0 FXXING WAY MAN!
What was the best gig you’ve ever attended?
For the sheer vibe – from Florida USA, Atco recording artistes Blackfoot at Hull City Hall, 1983.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Girls Aloud. I’m not talking about it
So any new music in the works currently or just released?
Four new songs on this release, and whole load in the pipeline. A lot of acoustic music actually which I’m just going to release online, and another EP/Album this year
Where and when did you record it?
‘Out of Time’ was finished in my studio last year and mixed in Bradford by a friend of mine, the same for the new stuff, though not sure about the mixing yet.
How does the songwriting process generally work for you?
Chaotic really. Bits and pieces all over and then ’pop’ bits fit together. Then sometimes they just kind of ‘come’ in one go. I have to record those – or I immediately forget them
My favourite way is writing with the band. That’s really immediate. bouncing off people kind of thing – the next day you’re listening back to it all excited you know?
What route have you taken to build up and establish a fan base locally & beyond your local area?
Well I’m known as a musician around here, but not for my own stuff, so I’m working a schedule together for the rest of the year and hopefully we are gonna have some fun, illuminating folk a little bit.
What is the music scene like locally to you and where do you fit in?
Erm…it’s okay could be worse I guess, though Wakefield’s a small place really, don’t know if I do fit in. let’s see.
Do you feel there are enough venues around you to help promote and establish up and coming bands like yourself?
Well that’s a struggle we all face. And not just in this country. I was touring with some American musicians who were saying it was the same there.
The fact is music and live music, in particular, ruled the world once and unfortunately this is no longer the case.
Having toured Europe lately I found a much healthier thing going on there than in the UK.
So the short answer is, NO!
What would you like to see ideally to help hard-working bands/artists get better exposure and opportunities to make a living from their craft?
Oh my god how long have you got!? Start teaching music/drama/arts properly in schools so we get more young self motivated empowered youngsters, who might appreciate the art of both themselves and others and take us forward out of this dirge we seem to have sunk into. Bring back youth services and youth clubs-where I used to work so bands can meet and practice , maybe have ‘turn your internet OFF’ weeks, so people have to go out to do things. People will be like-on the phone going-what’s going on tonight-oh yeah lets go …
What is the best piece of advice you have received on your journey thus far?
Don’t listen to old men in scrap yards
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learnt on your journey to date?
Keep going. That’s all there is. Get up one more time than you’re knocked down-however you wanna say it
With the music industry always constantly changing – how have you had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape?
I suppose it’s like a Pizza-once upon a time there was just a margarita, then came pepperoni or mushrooms-some looneys put kebabs on them or tuna. Personally I don’t go for Pizza. Hope that helps.
Does the introduction of New Technology / Digital Age / Social Media etc enhance your life as a musician or do you feel it can be more of a hindrance?
Hmmmm well I still practice my instruments same as ever-though I use YouTube etc now instead of a tape machine-being able to get what you want at the click of your finger that’s great. You can’t beat finishing something and being able to stick it out there for anyone in the world to find – that’s amazing. The pit fall is we’re all trying the same thing !
I think the game is the same really – get the band together –rehearse – go out and play it. This is still the basis of it all I think.
So moving forward what’s next for you?
Well I’m finishing some new recordings, I’m going to reform the band, get out there and play it. If you like the ‘Out of Time‘ release bookmark us because new stuff is coming.
How do you see the evolution of the band / yourself as an artist?
Well I think that’s for the journalists to debate maybe one day! This is my first release so early days yet I think
Do you have any short-term or long-term goals in mind?
Short term see above. Long term I’m going back into Education – first to learn, then to act on that learning, then to teach. Pass it on old boy, pass it on.
If you could tour with any band or artists who would that be?
I suppose I could say Jimmy Hendrix or Charlie Parker or blah blah blah. Really whoever I’m with is where I wanna be, then on to the next. That’s it.
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