Artist Spotlight: The Mother Hips
The Mother Hips, the center of which is the duo of Tim Bluhm (vocals/guitar) and Greg Loiacono (guitar/vocals), have spent over two decades writing, recording and performing songs – and die-hard fans have hung on every word and have enabled The Mother Hips to become a bona fide cottage industry. The band was even able to lay claim to its own rock subgenre, “California Soul”, based on its unique amalgam of pop, country-rock, soul and jam band vibes.
We caught up with co-head Hip Greg Loiacono to find out what’s up with the band – and what The Mother Hips will be bringing to the festival:
On the deep connection between the Hips’ music and the outdoors:
I draw inspiration from many things, definitely experiences in nature and the outdoors, and putting myself into different spaces has influenced my creative space. For instance, I’m about to put out a bunch of solo songs, and there’s a lot of ocean on that album, good oceanic imagery. A lot of Tim’s songs use imagery from naturalistic journeys. He’s always been an avid camper and rock climber and outdoorsman, and he reads a lot about California history, and so that’s incorporated into his music a lot. Nature and experiences in the outdoors have been a huge influence on us.
On the relationship between nature and altered states of mind:
When I was younger, there would be chemical experimentation going on. It’s been a very long time since there was any of that, but getting out into nature and spending some time, really getting in there, can be sort of naturally psychedelic. Maybe it’s more transcendent, getting you out of your busy life, bustling around. For me, it helps me remove myself from the trappings of day to day life and open up to some altered states, so to speak. Just being there and letting everything go out there is hugely inspirational for me just as a human but also in my art.
On a Mother Hips festival:
Yeah, we want to create a community-based festival where it’s about the music, but not just the music, and where everybody feels welcome. We’re interested in creating more spots that are about that community, and creating the opportunity for people to meet each other. We’ve got an ever-growing community that’s really spanning some territory now – people coming from Wisconsin, and Colorado, and Florida and North Carolina – so we’re hoping that this festival will become one of those opportunities, particularly because of the territory it’s going to be in, the band is really excited about that!
On what fans can expect from The Mother Hips at Bear Music Fest:
This festival is a great idea, I’m all for it and I can’t wait to be a part of it! We usually don’t create our setlist until we get to the venue and kind of get a feel for what it’s like there. It’s a spur-of-the-moment thing, like, ‘ok, cool – this seems like the vibe here’ – are people pretty rowdy and excited and ready to rock, or is this gonna be more of a country set? We get to do two nights, so maybe we’ll start with a mellower set, or maybe we’ll do half and half and finish with the rock. Either way is great!”
We’re going with “all of the above” and we hope you will too when we all get together with The Mother Hips at Bear Music Fest!