Q+A with LEAF band The Hip Abduction

Photo courtesy of the band

In advance of the fall iteration of LEAF, held at Lake Eden in Black Mountain, Xpress is talking with a number of LEAF performers about their work and what they have in store for the weekend-long music and art festival.

The Hip Abduction is based in St. Petersburg, Fla., but the indie-pop-meets-roots-and-reggae outfit is no stranger to Western North Carolina. The group has performed at New Mountain, brought its tour for recent release Gold Under the Glow to The Grey Eagle, played Mountain Sports Festival and now returns for two sets at LEAF. Here, front man and songwriter David New talks about spending time in the mountains, cover songs and potential collaborations.

LEAF takes takes place Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. Tickets are available online through Oct. 20, unless they sell out sooner.

Xpress: You’ve played a number of shows in Asheville this year. Do you see any connection between the mountains and the coast?
David New: Staring at an ocean is no different than being in the presence of ancient mountains. Both communities carry similar vibes that connect with me to the core. If I go too long without either of them, I lose my sense of direction.

The video for “Before We Lose Our Mind” was filmed in the mountains — Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. If you were to set a video in Western North Carolina, where would it take place? Pisgah National Forest for sure. It feels like home to me.

Since you’ve been touring Gold Under the Glow for a while, what is currently your favorite song from the album to play onstage? It varies monthly, but right now it’s “Before We Lose Our Mind.” I heart that song.

You’re also known for performing well-chosen covers now and then. What makes a cover song worthy of your set? Picking a cover song is really tough for me. It has to be perfect. We go through three covers before we actually play one live. I don’t know, it just has to feel right and carry the vibe of the band well.

If you could collaborate with another LEAF performer, who would it be? If I have to pick one, Leah Song of Rising Appalachia. I love their message and we share some of the same West African instrumentation. They are some talented gals and beautiful singer-songwriters.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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