Last updated: 02/14/2009 11:00:00 AM
Matt Talbott: guitars/vocals
Tim Lash: guitars
Bryan St. Pere: drummer
Jeff Dimpsey: bass
Champaign, Illinois based Hum has a new record out. It's called Downward is Heavenward, and it's their fourth full-length, their second on RCA. The album was recorded in Champaign by Mark Rubel at his Pogo Studio, Mark and Hum sharing production credits. Hum's 1995 RCA release, You'd Prefer an Astronaut, quietly sold 250,000 copies in the U.S., and their latest effort is another lovely piece in the musical puzzle they patiently began assembling back in 1989. Their first two full-lengths, Fillet Show and Electra2000, were put on Poster Children's 12-Inch Records. Hum has recently formed their own Martians Go Home label for the re-release of Electra2000 and the vinyl release of Downward is Heavenward.
You could say that Hum's sonic universe is a solipsistic world that exists on its own terms, a maelstrom of sensation and colors, a thick metallic vortex of fuzz tones guitars with a silent core at the center like the eye of a hurricane -- a cacophony of overlapping harmonics and dense shards of electric guitar that provide a counterpoint to tales of innocence corrupted, love lost, and the past mourned. But that might be a little extreme. "Sometimes we start loud and bring it down and then get real loud again for the end," says guitarist Matt Talbott.
Eschewing individual personalities to the whole, Hum is much more than the sum of its fast and scientific parts. "We are democratic to a fault," says Matt. "We barely function sometimes because if one guy doesn't like the part, even if the other three do, we'll rework the idea until we're all happy with it. That's why it took so long to finish this record." Hum plans to spend the year touring in support of their new record. And at their current rate of production, we can all expect another record sometime after the beginning of the next millennium. Says Talbott, "by then, hovercraft and magnetic rail will be the predominant forms of transportation. And most third-world countries will be reaping the rewards of unbridled capitalism. That should help a lot."