The Grand Prize Winner of STARBUCK’S National CD Contest,
FOOLS & HORSES have the music and charisma that has won them
legions of loyal fans, and continuous industry acclaim. Coming out of
Baltimore, MD with full force, FOOLS & HORSES features Matt Hutchison
on lead vocals and guitar, brother Tim Hutchison on drums and vocals,
Kent Warren on bass and vocals, and Steve Herrera on guitar and vocals.
FOOLS & HORSES have made a huge impact and fast climb to the top of the
Mid-Atlantic’s vibrant music scene, winning “Best Band in Baltimore” in 2008
and 2009 by the esteemed Baltimore City Paper, as well as “Best Modern Rock Duo/Group,”
“Modern Rock Recording – I Am the Ghost,” and “Best Album Art – I Am the Ghost” by the
Washington Area Music Awards.
Check out “I Am the Ghost”
“I always wanted to play with Kent and Tim,” lead singer Matt Hutchinson explains. “And we built on that until [original member] Billy
Left and we found Steve. We’ve always wanted to grow and be musicians. It was always our intention to make this work.
“Eight years in,” Kent explains. “It’s all or nothing.”
You guys have been around for a while now. Tell me how you got together.
Matt: I met Kent in High School at Severna Park. Tim and I went to Towson and we met Steve. I always wanted to be in a band with Kent.
A friend of mine mentioned you guys are big at Loyola University and you’ve recently played there. Do you think college kids identify with you guys? It seems to me that the idea of a “college-band” seems dead.
Matt Hutchinson: We tend to do really well with the college-crowd – Loyola, Hopkins, and Towson. It’s really tough and college events are under-attended with the exception of Loyola. College crowds are more straight ahead. The new album is pretty accessible. If we keep playing colleges there’s a flow. When those kids leave, there’s a new market for us. A lot of people dig what we do and a lot of people don’t.
Kent: We do our share of advertising.
Matt: Constant campaigning. We work up a good crowd. For better or for worse, we do what we like. We know a lot of people and have been built relationships over the years and we seem to be on the short-list for bands.
I’m originally from Frederick and you guys seem to do really well there as well.
Matt: We love playing in Frederick. Many muses come from there. They’re very welcoming.
Do you guys feel that it’s harder now to be in band in this climate as opposed to 10 years ago? On one hand it’s easier to get your music out there, but labels are very picky about who they sign, if anyone.
Matt: A band of our style, we’re very unique. But we’re very dynamic in our style and probably would have been better off 10 years ago.
Kent: Labels are so precarious.
Matt: The whole concept of artistic growth is gone. We want to build something. The bands we aspire to be are finally seeing some exposure.
Let’s talk about musical influences for a minute. Some of the songs sound like Elvis Costello to me in terms of lyrics.
Matt: I love Elvis Costello. But I don’t pick up on it. It’s a very big compliment. I love Simon & Garfunkel – they’re a big influence. And Jenny Lewis has an unconventional way of seeing things. I also look to Coldplay. Chris Martin’s style of writing encourages me rather than think too much about them.
Kent: I used to love Bob Dylan. That guy can turn a phrase.
Matt: I’ve always been a big fan of the Beatles and The Who.
Kent – you originally played guitar. Why the switch up from guitar to bass?
Kent: I’m not really a bass player, actually. The original bass player left, so I just kind of stepped in.
Matt: Though Kent has been playing guitar in the studio playing things we can’t tackle.
Kent: It’s just a matter of being in the studio.
Matt: Kent is so precise. It’s an artistic ride with him on bass. He comes along with different musical qualities, and it freaks me out. But I trust it.
Kent: Something was missing on “Cloudy Factory” so I just used a synth-bass.
Who writes the songs? Or do you guys have a songwriting partnership?
Kent: Mostly it’s Matt. We all just add our two cents. We’ll come along later and help out with the arrangement of the song.
Matt: Kent and I use Protools to record. We take collective credit. Each of us brings something unique. It’s unfair to say, “this is mine”. Why go through that? Keep the creative socialist band.
So the album “Fools and Horses” is finished, but why wait so long to put it out?
Matt: It will be available Sept 11. The new album is pretty accessible.
Kent: I think the album is more indie oriented.
Matt: It’s more where we are right now, so we thought we might as well self-title it. I live vicariously through my bandmates relationships. Lately I’ve been into existentialist things, so the lyrics are more positive this time around. It’s a little more moral – me laying it down. The recording takes the longest, and the mixing takes the second longest. Mastering takes maybe a day. We want to build up the buzz and build up the CD release party. Matt Davis on 98 Rock has been very supportive of us. We want to build on that so we’ll be around for a while. We’ve always wanted to be musicians. It was always a situation of us trying to make this work.
I’m apparently trying to pour more beer into Kent’s glass to get him to talk more.
The two Matt’s.