The elegant and timeless vocals of Emanuela Hutter are often heard leading from the front in the band Hillbilly Moon Explosion, she spoke to Ten-Midnight.com about the band, Swiss music and her new solo album.
How did you get into Rockabilly music at the start, was it something you grew up with?
I didn’t grow up with Rockabilly. I simply came into it through Oliver who played in a Rockabilly band when I met him.
We never hear much about the Swiss music scene, how would you describe what’s happening?
Oh that’s a pity that you don’t hear much about it. The Swiss Music scene is great. Since we don’t grow up with Rock’n’Roll, Blues and Country Music as a part of our cultural daily life we are more tended to create something new and unusual. To play rhythmn or blues guitar was not very common when I was young. But we had and still have a lot of other music styles that are present in our daily life like Italian Cantautore, French Chansons, Arabic Sounds or German Schlager which I personally don’t like at all. And maybe of this unusual mix Swiss musicians are different and creative and therefore vanguard bands happen to be Swiss like the Young Gods, Yello or Andreas Vollenweider.
Your album “A Girl Like You” was released last year, how would you say the sound differs from Hillbilly Moon Explosion? Do you think this is another direction for yourself to enjoy or an extension from the band’s sound?
I think it’s an extension somehow because I’m the singer and songwriter in both bands. Or like an English journalist said: “Hutters Album is certainly a side step from the day job. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise for Hillbilly Moon Explosion fans. They’re a band who have always been willing to push the boundaries of the genre they tend to be placed in. This is an album for a different time and mood than that band. The Hillbilly Moon Explosion provides plenty of songs for raucous partying. Whilst this has an underground Paris bar feel to it – all low lighting, small tables and red wine…which sounds pretty fine to us!“
How did you choose who would accompany your on the album, and why?
My producer Neil Brockbank and me chose the musicians which we thought would fit. First I played a whole lot of my songs to Geraint Watkins and together we chose the ones we finally wanted to record. The last one on my record (Chagrin) which is actually a song by Geraint was recorded during that first session.
Hillbilly Moon Explosion have been around since 1998 and seem to have created a big following around the globe, although still not hitting the headlines of the commercial music press. Do you prefer the recognition of your music to be more underground or would you like mainstream success at some point for the band and all that goes with that?
I want the mainstream income without all that goes with it. Ha ha. No: I’m happy if I can produce the kind of music I feel is right and to be able to have some concert where some people are showing up.
The Hillbilly Moon Explosion has a distinctly recognisable sound but also has a touch of Country, Rockabilly, Psychobilly and even Punk about your songs, is this a result of each individual band members taste and influence or does the resulting sound depend on the song at the time.
I think it has to do with the band members and their way to approach a certain sound.
With the very excellent “My Love for Ever More” you collaborated with Sparky from Demented are Go, if you could choose one person to share a song with who would it be and what song?
Maybe with Max from . https://www.putsmarie.com
Maybe “Can’t take my eyes off you”
You got Sparky in again on your last album “With Monsters and Gods” for the song “Jackson”, what do you think makes his distinctive voice work with your own sound?
He’s a brilliant singer what always helps a sound.
What has the rest of the year got planned for you as a solo artist and Hillbilly Moon Explosion?
More song writing. Finishing an album I started with my friend Claudius Scholer from Skybird. Maybe some more concerts.
Favourite song you have been involved in musically?
Isn’t released yet. Will come soon. It’s by Scholer.
Favourite song of all time?