As one of our followers said on Instagram over the weekend, there are "little pockets of fun" all around Hinterland. There are also little pockets of thoughtfulness. Our Studio One staff hung out in the Hinterland Cafe for part of the festival and had the opportunity to talk with a handful of the artists who played the main stage, asking them about everything from what inspires them, to why music matters right now in this moment in history. Here are a few of the most compelling conversations we had this weekend at the festival.
Michael Trotter, who is one half of the duo The War And Treaty, is a veteran and is no stranger to how the use of firearms and violence affect our lives. IPR's Tony Dehner talked with him and his wife Tanya on Sunday morning, the day after the news broke about mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. In one of our most thoughtful interviews of the weekend, he said that he hoped their set Sunday would unite festival goers at a time when it could be easy to feel divided.
“At the moment, we’re seeing Americans kill other Americans right here in America, and I think that this is a unique time to try and put our differences aside and realize that we are all one in the same, that we all want the same things,” he said. “As an artist, to be able to hold hands with my wife, and stand up on the stage and say ‘hey, we have a responsibility to one another, and that’s to protect and serve and love each other.’ That to me is the ultimate thing. I believe that that is what we are created to do, and I believe that that is what our art does.”
During this interview, Hippo Campus told IPR's Mark Simmet that they feel that music is coming to a place of protest again.
"Music is the most accessible that it's ever been," said lead singer and guitarist Jake Luppen. "It really gives artists a platform to really speak to maybe where they come from or what they've experienced as a person or as a demographic. I think that's important."
The band released their emotionally charged album "Bambi" in 2018 in response to the cultural conversation that started after #MeToo about creating more space for men to process emotion.
IPR doesn't play a lot of country music, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk with up and coming Grammy nominated country singer/songwriter Brent Cobb. In one of the more personable conversations we had with an artist this weekend, we asked Cobb about a song that he considers a personal anthem. He sang the chorus of Roger Miller's tune "Where Have All the Average People Gone” when he was talking with producer Lindsey Moon.
Cobb is a new dad to a four month old son, has a five-year-old daughter and gushed about how most of his songs are about his family in some way or another. He told us that it's his family who's most inspiring to him right now.