Below The Surface

Hatch The Bird: Q&A


by Jennifer Kerber

Hatch the bird is a Colorado based band that is comprised of Ian Hatch on vocals, Jamie Beekman on harmonies and keys, Chris Cook as the Bass Man, and Eric Neal on drums.  Hatch the Bird’s influences are akin to Alex Clare, Bradley Nowell, DISPATCH, Cas Haley, Ottis Redding, and many more.  I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the lead singer, Ian Hatch, and got to ask him some questions about the band.



Your band name, Hatch the Bird, is one of the few greats I have come across. How did you first come up with the name, and how did you meet your other members?

Ian Hatch:  The name for the band is a metaphor for the moment when you are listening to music at a live show, and you get so caught up in it that nothing else in the world matters. It seems like there so much stress in the world, and so much to think about all the time, and our goal with Hatch the Bird is to let people take away from that, and relieve anxiety, and have a moment of clarity, when you can just feel it ease. All you have is the music, and you are in that moment. I really try to embody that while I am on stage.

All the members of the band are students at the University of Colorado at Denver, either in the recording arts program with me, or Music Business program. Jamie Beekman is an amazing piano player and singer, Eric Neal is the drummer, and Chris Cook on bass, He also plays with another band called Green River Vibration. We came together through school.

In your Biography, you tell us that you grew up in the mountains of Colorado, I too grew up in a small mountain town, and I know that the way I see the world is very different from some who have lived in a city their entire lives.  Do you think that where you grew up had a big effect on the music you play?

Ian: I grew up in Vail, Co. I guess I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I left, and you get to see the world a bit more. Then it really hits you, “WOW, I am very fortunate and it was just an amazing place to grow up.”  I think that growing up in the mountains definitely has an effect on the music I play.  I definitely have a bit of a country feel to it though, and I wouldn’t consider myself a country artist at all. The spirit of the mountains, and I think a lot of what I write comes from the experiences I had in nature, and those connection you get with the Earth when you are out there all by yourself. That definitely is an influence of mine.

Living in the city can be really tough to get back to the mountains. The hustle and bustle of the city if crazy compared to life in the mountains, everyone in there is on a different plane and move at a different speed. The stress level is extremely lower in the mountains, it’s almost hard to keep a job in Denver.  In Vail everyone is laid back, and I carry that attitude with me, and some see that as being lazy potentially, we do things differently in the mountains.

What do you enjoy doing the most when you are not performing or working on your music? 

Ian:  Well these days it seems like all I really do is work on music, which is awesome. I am really, really busy every day getting everyone on the same page for band rehearsal, setting up recording sessions, or writing with different artists. When I am not working on music, I am usually sleeping!  {Laughs}  But other than that I like to get outdoors when I can – I rock climb, try to go to the mountains, and enjoy the air, and weather.

My life ultimately does revolve around music, if I am not doing that, I feel like I am not doing much. It’s a good thing though, and I love that I am staying busy doing what I love to do. It’s one thing to be busty with a job you hate, when you actually like what you are doing it makes a world of difference in life.

 When I saw you play the CAM JAM, It was the first time I had heard you play live.  When you step on that stage I noticed a change come over you.  Once you had your guitar in your hand, and a microphone in front of you, your whole body relaxed and it felt as if the music just flowed. Do you practice a lot, or does it come naturally to have so much fluid motion between the vocals and guitar parts?

Ian:  One of my favorite things about being a musician is performing. To me it’s just the ultimate expression. And sometimes I even feel like I can’t practice the way I perform, I know people say practice the way you play, but for me I don’t feel like I can because I put so much energy into my performances, and If I did that every day at practice, I wouldn’t have anything left for the performance. My favorite thing in the world, is playing for people who haven’t heard me before, I really get off on that knowing that there’s a potential for really wowing people. Even if one person comes up after a show, and says, “Wow that was awesome, you have a great voice, or that one song really got to me.” That makes all the difference in the world to me.

My favorite part of this is performing. When you get up on stage, I feel like that’s where I belong.

I do practice a lot, my goal is to be prepared enough when I get on stage, and I don’t have to think about what I am doing. I find that when you get caught up in your head on stage the performance ultimately suffers. I want to be in the moment, just like I said before; you want there to be nothing but the music.

Your song “The Wait” is one of my favorites, to me, it speaks of that longing of waiting for someone to notice you.  What inspired this song for you?

Ian:  This song is about a song!  One of my biggest influences is Bradley Nowell from Sublime. That song is definitely personal to me; because of the experience of waiting and longing for someone we’ve all had I’m sure. The song that I based the weight off of is called, “Waiting for my Ruca”, in the song he meets a woman named Ramona at a party, and he mentioned that he was waiting for her. That’s where I took the inspiration from for this song; definitely put my own experience into it, you know, when you are intrigued with somebody and hoping that they will show some kind of interest back.

It’s definitely a personal song to me, and I am glad I able to share my influences from Bradley Nowell with the world. I think that he was an amazing musician that died too young unfortunately, and left an amazing legacy behind.

What is your outlook on the record industry today?

Ian:  Because the record industry has changed, and artists have lost a lot of profits on records sales because of illegal downloads. MY goal these days is to get my name out, and heard the music. I think that if people heard what I am doing, ultimately people will like it. I hope, you know I can’t guarantee anything, and I know everyone has to have their haters, and I can only hope I have a couple of those out there. But for me I just want people to hear my music and appreciate it. I don’t ever plan on selling my music, I think that it should be free for people to hear. I want people to hear it for free. I think it’s great how we can share music online.

The internet has opened up a whole new way to promote your music, but it also has it’s downsides I noticed that you allow fans to download your tracks for free off of your Reverb Nation page. What do you think about online music Sharing? 

Ian:  Accessibility is key in today’s music industry. If you make yourself inaccessible by demanding money, then ultimately you will miss out on fans.  I am totally open and working on setting up a donation based system. We are coming up with Hatch the Bird’s premiere album here very soon, my goal is to have it available for free download with the option of donating to our cause.

Everything costs money, studio time, gas to gigs, rehearsal, time and commitment. I hope that people will appreciate how much work goes into and appreciate the music enough that they are willing to donate to our cause. I do believe that if you have a quality product and you are able to record in good way, and are professional , I don’t see why people would be opposed to donating and helping out if they enjoy it.

What are some of your pet peeves?

Ian:  My biggest pet peeve in the world is when you go to a bar, and there’s a live band, and the music is entirely too loud. I’ve been so many little shows, in tiny bars, where there’s ten people in the crowd, and the music is just blaring loud, so loud I can’t stand to be in the bar. For me it’s just unnecessary, I appreciate when I can go out, and listen to a band and still have a conversation with the people I am with. In today’s world, louder is always better for some reason, and people think that if you bar pumps super loud music, that people will want to spend more money. For me to have moderate levels, is huge. To me, Loud has its place, the Fillmore I would expect it to be loud, it’s all about the time a place.


If you could give some advice to other musicians out there who are just starting out, what would it be?

Ian:  I sure it’s a little cliché, but just to do what you do, and stay true to who you are. For a while I tried to be other people, I wrote songs and sang and tried to mimic other people, and what I found is that people respond in the best way when I stay true to what I do, and I don’t try to sound like someone else. I think people really respond to being genuine, and people can always tell. It’s a huge thing for life in general is to be real, and honest with people. I think sometimes I am too honest with people, it’s a characteristic that’s rare these days, and everyone is so afraid of hurting people’s feelings, and you know, losing friends, just because they have an opinion. My opinion, I don’t feel like I need to be afraid to be honest, ‘cause if the other people can’t take my opinion, or they are offended by it, then why would I want to associate with those people. Life is about surrounding yourself with people who you aspire to be like, they say that you become the people you surround yourself with. You can’t help but pick up the traits of other people around you. We mimic everything we see in life, so it’s important to surround yourself with positive people and good energy, and people who help you move forward.

What is your favorite venue to play, and your favorite venue to go see a show?

Ian:  I think my new favorite venue is at the Summit Music Hall Moon Room, We played a show there June 6th. We just booked another show for our  EP Release. It’s a really, really, nice stage, and it’s bigger than a lot of stages I have played at in Denver.

I love going to the Fillmore to see shows, Ogden, the best venue in the world is ultimately Red Rocks Amphitheater. I love it so much, always such a great experience to go there. It’s not like most shows, where you show up and wait in line, go inside and grab a beer, etc. Red rocks is a whole experience, it’s an adventure every time. I hope one day I can play at red rocks. That’s my ultimate goal to get on that stage, look up and see that wave of people, and know that they are all there for me.



They just released their new EP  July 11th.  Head over to their website to get more links and a free download.





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