A few minutes before their first ever gig in Paris, with Crossfaith, RockUrLife had the chance to meet Tim Hider (guitar) from The One Hundred to talk about the band’s young (but successful) carreer, and about its bright future.
We’re now a few minutes before your first ever gig in Paris, so how does it feel?
Tim (guitar): We’re a little bit nervous, but excited as well. We’ve been on tour quite a long time with Crossfaith. Something like 15 days or so for a couple of weeks, so it’s good to be here in Paris, finally, after a long time, and it’s our last date before we go back to the UK. We’re excited.
It’s the second time you play with a Japanese band (last time, it was Coldrain), and you’ve also done a remix of one of Crossfaith’s songs. So, do you have any affinities with the Japanese music scene?
Tim: I know Coldrain and Crossfaith, and I know One OK Rock and Fact as well for the Japanese bands. But other than that I don’t really know a lot about the Japanese music scene. I recognize that I don’t know much about Japanese bands. I know Jacob, our singer, is quite into it, since he likes anime and final fantasy things, and that’s all that’s really big in Japan. He’s more of a Japanese expert, but I don’t know a lot about it, other than the bands that we’ve played with.
You seem to be really open minded when it comes to music. Your own music is a mix between nu-metal, core, hip-hop, rap, dance. How did you end up mixing all these influences?
Tim: I don’t know, it was kind of we were in a band all together where we played just stand of metalcore kind of music, but the fact is that we got bored of playing that stuff we were not really into it anymore. Si that’s when we knew we had to play something else. We wanted to do something different, something not many people are doing. It kind of came from bands like Limp Bizkit or Papa Roach. All these bands, not doing the classical rockband kind of things. We tried a lot of things to make it sound more British, we sat down and wrote some songs. And when we had enough songs, we had a clearer idea of what we’ll be doing, we kind of knew what we wanted, and that’s how we came to what it is now.
You have like one hundred influences. Is is somehow related to your name? What’s the meaning behind this name?
Tim: (laughs) There’s not like a real meaning behind this name. Not a special one. We basically wanted to pick a name that is different. We had to pick a name that was cool, because we thought all bands have a rubbish name. We wanted to pick something that we liked. We just spent ages, we spent a couple of weeks writting down so many different names. And eventually someone said “The One Hundred”, and anyone said “hey! That one sounds alright!”, and then we used it for a couple of weeks and then we decided “well yeah, let’s call ourselves The One Hundred!” It wasn’t an exciting way of getting a name but that’s how it happened.
Both your unique style and your lyrics show that you want to break the mould, to be different. Even the name “Subculture” claming an identity which is far from the mainstream thing.
Tim: Absolutely, yes.
Why is it so important for you?
Tim: We felt like a lot of bands were doing similar things, exactly like we did back then. They’re doing similar things. But we wanted to sort of keeping ourselves away from that, to do something different, something which would stand out, as different. This is where we thought that we didn’t want to sound like other bands, if you know what I mean. And we wanted to make something different, a different sound that would please everyone at the same time, because we all have different influences, which I think we’ve done in a way. It’s not just like we wanted to be different of everyone else, it’s to stand out more, which I think we did.
Now what would you do if you become a mainstream band? Would you change for another unique style or would you be happy to be the leaders of a new generation?
Tim: I think we probably be happy to become mainstream. I don’t know, we’re not going to sort of start writing some pop songs in order to become massive. We just want to keep doing what we’re doing, to get better in what we do, and if with that we become big, well, we would be happy with that. We’re not gonna go and just write some Justin Bieber tracks (laughs) but if we ever become big and mainstream, we’re not going to be like “oh no, we don’t want this”, we’d rather be like “oh cool, it’s a good thing if people are listening to our music”, we’ll be happy with that.
Now that we’re talking about being mainstream at any price, in general, what do you think about the music industry nowadays?
Tim: It’s hard to say, I’ve seen lot of different sides, from when I was in small bands, to where we are now. And I think it’s complex. Everyone knows everyone, which is kind of good and bad in some ways. It’s good, because if you know someone, either you play with or not, they can help you out or they can link you to someone else. But it can be bad because if it’s someone bad or if something bad happens, it kind of reflects badly on that person, and on the work. I think I like that thing in the music industry, that everyone knows everyone. We just have to be with the right persons.
Did you feel any pression?
Tim: Everyone that I’ve met has been really friendly, so it’s been really positive for me, I think.
Among the bands or in general?
Tim: In general, yes.
We’ve talked about the production side of the music industry, but now talking about the music which comes from that, for example, could you give us an idea of what you’ve been listening to recently?
Tim: Recently, I listen to a lot of different musics. Way too much music. Some of my favorite bands I listen to, they’re not particulary new bands, but I listen to Underoath quite a lot, and Balance And Composure is another one I’ve been listening to. I’m trying to think of new bands that I’ve been listening to. I’m really into PVRIS as well in the bands, even if it’s quite far from what we’re doing in the band. Sissy. (laughs)
Anything that could become a new cover, like “Black Widow”, for example ?
Tim: I don’t know. We’ve messed around with the guys doing stuff like that, as band practice, we’ve messed around doing stupid covers like Green Day and things like that. But I don’t know if we’re going to another official one that we’ll release. Maybe one day, but we don’t really have plans for it now.
What is the most important thing for you to choose a song?
Tim: I don’t know, I just love playing music and playing live is what I enjoy the most. Something that would make people jump and dance. I don’t know about the others, but I think that if you ask Jacob that question, he would say he likes writing lyrics and music, and whatsoever, so it would be important for him. And of course, I do enjoy that sort of things, but what I enjoy the most is getting on stage, playing to people and see people jumping around, and singing back our songs, it’s awesome. It’s a really cool feeling. Playing live is my favorite thing of all, so I guess it would be something like that.
So would it be the energy? When it comes to writing a song, do you give more importance to the rhythm then? It’s hard to miss your lyrics.
Tim: It depends on the song. Sometimes it might be a guitar part that I’ve written. And then I take it to Jacob and then we add some drums part or something like that. Or sometimes Jacob have like a synth part, or he writes his vocal part and then we start something. Every song is different so it kind of hard to say. Like we have a little piece of an idea, and then we brought another idea and eventually make it into a song. It’s not like ‘we have to get a rhythm part first’ or a topic first. It’s just that every song is different, so sometimes it’s a written a part, sometimes it’s a guitar part.
On the effect on people, is your music aiming to make people think, in some way, like to open their eyes? Your music is kind of engaged.
Tim: Yes, I think so. Our lyrics are quite open to interpretation, which means they don’t necessary mean what it sounds. But the way Jacob writes his lyrics, his lyrics are about the things that he likes. Some of the lyrics are about “The Walking Dead”, but the way that they’re written could be about politics. If somebody who listen to our music likes politics he’ll be like “oh that means that”, and I think that’s why he writes it that way, so that people can take what they want. So it doesn’t have to mean what it originally mean. It can mean whatever people want it to mean. I think when you listen to music, you have the need to relate to the words. Like It’s a big connection to the song.
Despite the different interpretations, is there something you’d like to share through your music? If we had to learn one thing from you, what would it be?
Tim: Never give up, keep going, and don’t be scared of being what you want. For example, I think if you want to play music and you want to play live, then you should do it. Just get some of your friends gathering in a little garage or something, bring some guitars and play some songs together, and eventually after you’ve done it a few times, you get good enough to get your first gig and I don’t know even if you’re bad just play music to a crowd. It takes time, we’re all rubbish when we start, I have to say, so yeah, keep practicing, keep going.
On a deeper level, when it comes to the impact of a song, or the lyrics, don’t you think music could be a kind of catharsis maybe?
Tim: Yes, I think so. Definitely yes. I listen to music all the time and sometimes I think so. You can listen to music and get many feelings, There’s different musics for every feeling, yes. Like being happy if it’s a happy song, or when you’re feeling down, you can listen to something to feel better, or whatever you like. I think music can be a therapy sometimes, yeah.
On that topic, which bands has meant the most in your life and why?
Tim: Bands probably Green Day. Because they’re like the first band I’ve really listened to and I think maybe if I’ve never listened to Green Day, I don’t know, I wouldn’t even be in a band right now. They’re the first band I’ve ever learnt on guitar. They just made me want to take a guitar, and play guitar. So Green Day had a massive influence on me. Even if it doesn’t sound. But there’s also some heavy bands I listened to. It might sound crazy, but Slipknot as well, when I was young, it was the first heavy band I’ve listened to. So it’s kind of like Green Day was my first band, but Slipknot was the first heavy band. That’s how it works and lead me to the kind of music I’m listening to now, so yeah these two bands.
Is there any song that changed your life?
Tim: “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” by Green Day would be one of my favorite ones. That will sound silly of me, but I was nine or ten, maybe older, I can’t remember that, I was singing it, in my bedroom, playing, pretending I had a guitar and could play the guitar, and singing along to this song. I recognize probably one of my favorite songs is that one. And yeah, good words, I like the lyrics.It’s really meaningful as well, so yeah, that one.
Now, let’s take the opposite case: is there any fans that told you how your songs were important to them and changed your vision of your own work?
Tim: Yeah, we were quite of surprised to get a lot of fans. I don’t know how many times somebody said things like “oh, you’re the best band we’ve seen”, but that seems crazy to me, because it’s like I mean, I’ve seen a lot of great bands, and these bands have been told to that they’re one of the best bands and they are, but to us, that sounds insane, so it makes our work a lot more meaningful. Obviously, I see people jumping around, having fun, and then some of them tell us “that’s the best gig I’ve ever gone to”. For example, one of the first gig of this tour, we played in Vitry LLe François, and somebody came to us and she said it was the first gig she’s ever been to, she was like “It was amazing”, she said she had the best time. It was the first time I’ve ever been to Vitry, it was the first time she went to a gig, it was kind of a first experience. It was cool that somebody came to the show and we were the first band she saw. Maybe it will be something she will remember for life, and we’re part of it. So yeah, I think it’s pretty cool. When people tell us things like that, I like it. I really like it.
Talking about fans, you’re still a young band, but with an already solid fanbase. Some of your fans even got your logo tattooed. What does it mean to you ? Is it somehow a responsability?
Tim: Yeah in a way I guess it is I think. When we saw the guy, he got the tattoo, that was crazy as hell, we were like “WOOOOOOOOOW!” and then we thought that we’ve never imagined somebody get anything to do with us tattooed on him. And it obviously means that we mean a lot or something. And that is really cool. But yeah I guess. For the responsability, I guess it lies more with Jacob, who writes the lyrics. He has to be careful not to say something stupid, I think. I don’t know, I think I’m just doing my thing and playing music. Jacob has more to worry about beinig responsible. (laughs)
About this logo, could you please tell us more about it?
Tim: Yeah! Our name is The One Hundred, which is TOH, so it’s a kind of combination of the three letters, with a circle around it. Our producer is also the graphic designer so when we started to think of the logo, she came up with that. It was wicked. That’s how it happened.
Where do you find your inspiration in general, both for your visuals (the video for “Unleashed”, for example) or your lyrics?
Tim: So lyrics it’s Jacob, again, he writes all the lyrics. And I think he takes all his inspiration from the stuff that he likes. “The Walking Dead”, for example, and “Final Fantasy”. He tells stories again. He takes stories from the things that he likes, and give them different meanings. He doesn’t say like “it’s about this”, but he’s making songs out of this, by telling stories to a song. About the inspirations for the videos, I think, for “Unleashed” for example, we had a bunch of different people who we did the videos with, to give us ideas, because we had a few ideas back then, of what we would like, but it was cool, we could build upon ideas, with their other ideas we came up with. The “Unleashed” video, it was directed by Tom J. Cronin. He came with the main concept of the video, and then we worked on it with other ideas, from us. It’s kind of a groupe effort, in fact.
Did you meet any difficulties with the writing or recording?
Tim: No, I don’t think so! Because it was our first ever EP and we had not realeased any music before that, so we could do whatever we wanted to do. There was no pressure to sound a certain way or whatever, so it’s kind of really what we wanted, and we had as much time as we wanted to write it, we could write any song with what we wanted to say. It’s not that we are a bunch of particulary slow writers (laughs), but I don’t know, it must have taken us a good two years to write the EP. It won’t take that long to write the album thankfully, but yeah, there were no real pressure to get anything write or wrong, it just kind of trying different ideas and see what sounds best, in terms of music or words, and what doesn’t.
Do you think things are going to be different for the album?
Tim: Yeah we’ve written the album now and we’ve spent a lot less time writing songs. It’s not like we had as much time as last time. It’s kind of like we know we have to write the album on time. We do, we write a song, and then we come back to it later on day, “we do like this, we do like this”, we kind of build it song by song. We’re at the time where we’re more like “we should change that one a little bit”. We go through now, and sort of trying to do the best we can do and change some of the songs. So yeah I think. No, there’s not too much pressure, because again it’s a self-release and I think people expect it to sound exactly the same as the EP or not completely different, but I think it’s alright.
Should we expect something really unexpected, then?
Tim: Oh yeah, I think there’s some songs on the album that sound a little bit like the EP, but it’s definitely different from the EP, and some songs that are quite unlike. But I think that’s all I can say, I don’t want to give too much away!
Alright. Then, what’s next for The One Hundred?
Tim: We’ll be touring the UK with these guys (pointing at Hiro who’s fooling around) after tonight, and then we’ve got another tour later, in May. And the Slam Dunk Festival. And then hopefully the album, which should be out for Summer! After that, probably an headline tour on the UK, and then we’ll be back to Europe. In fact, we don’t really have official plans, but it will be something like: Slam Dunk, the album, then tour, and again tour. (laughs)
What are your dreams for the future?
Tim: It’s kind of crazy to say, but we were lucky enough to tour with Mötley Crüe, at the end of last year, but we didn’t get to play Wembley with them. So that’s one of my dreams would be to play Wembley one day to say that we’ve made it.
To finish, our traditional question: as our media is called “RockUrLife”, so what rocks your life?
Tim: What rocks my life ? Beer has rocked my life on this tour. I’ve drink way too much beer on this tour. Beer and chocolate rock my life. (laughs)
Tim: Yeah, really healthy! I think I will have to go home and get back to the gym as soon as possible!