It’s impossible to screw up with a black suit: interview with Hurts
From the very beginning of their career, opinions about Adam Anderson and Theo Hutchcraft are diametrically opposed: some love them for aesthetics and pop music for a wide audience, others hate them for the same reasons. Moreover, they are invariably impeccable in matters of style and fashion. This is recognized even by haters.
At the beginning of your career, we heard from you, “Do not leave! Never give up, because it is such a wonderful life!” On your third album, “Surrender” even the name itself hints at submission. Before or before whom are you capitulating?
Theo: The new disc is not about submission in its classical sense, but rather about liberation and the discovery of new things and yourself to the world. Freedom accompanying this effect is the main thing for us. We wanted to approach the new album with that very mood. There was no concept this time, as was the case with his predecessor, Exile. In any case, we are slaves to our ideas and perceive this experience as positive. I believe that here you can find a positive subtext.
On “Surrender”, you moved away from the seriousness and calmness of your first two albums towards pop ease. How to avoid using clichés for the artist in the context of this “new found happiness”?
Adam: Although new songs radiate more joy, we ourselves are not constantly affected by this feeling. Songwriting for us is rather located in the plane of memories. At the beginning it’s always cool, but more and more often there are times when, in view of the lack of good feelings, you have to turn to the past. My creativity is tied to previously experienced emotions.
You have always remained faithful to your purely visual aesthetics, where everything is impeccable, the clothes are clearly in shape. What did you have to give up in order to be ready to take such a risk in this area?
Adam: I think our style is part of brand recognition, because we do not constantly try to keep up with the times. We like a certain aesthetic that exists outside of time. We show it with the help of our clothes, video and creativity. We are not the group that invents a new look for each album.
Theo: Before an individual or group finds its own style and can combine it with its vision of the world, it takes some time. Why should we discard all this with the release of new albums? The visuals have always been important to us. The fact that the two of us are a kind of balance. Without him, we probably would have lost the prospect long ago.
Adam: It happened to me a couple of times in 2011 that I had to perform in the hood!
As fashion-related musicians, have you ever thought of doing the design yourself?
Theo: We, as a group, are still probing the soil in this regard. We don’t feel exclusively like musicians, rather we perceive Hurts as a project in which we constantly give in to a kind of aesthetic impulses. It would be easier to do clothing design ourselves than to look for it in the shops. I could stand in the studio, twirling my old clothes in my hands and say that they should copy it. Awesome!
There is hardly a picture where you are standing in front of a camera not in an expensive suit. What should be the perfect costume?
Theo: First of all, when you put it on, you shouldn’t feel like you are wearing a suit at all. Only in a really good suit do you feel like you are in a cage. Most importantly, good stuff. In theory, it is impossible to screw up with a black suit. Can be worn for any reason and more than once.
Daniel Radcliffe once said that he feels as British as possible when he puts on a suit abroad. Do you have the same feeling?
Theo: I never thought about that, but perhaps. We travel a lot and we are often told that we look like true British. It’s all about costumes!
Your very first fashion show ever took place in Berlin. Have you ever thought of “specializing” in this kind of performance?
Theo: At that time, for us it was primarily an occasion to give a concert. It was very strange to speak in front of all these beautiful people, but for us that we were bundled with fashion was in the order of things. This is another way to express yourself.
Adam: Even at a time when we had neither money nor a contract to record an album, we wore stylish clothes and wanted to look appropriate. From the very beginning it was absolutely natural for us. So we even felt better. Sometimes we inadvertently dress the same, but since we do not want to end up like The Hives, our appearance is not completely identical. There are no options.
In your opinion, is there clothing in which you can’t appear in public?
Adam: For me, this is clothes that don’t fit well. It’s terrible that people spend a lot of money on something that doesn’t even suit them. Still visually disgusting are these men’s deep-necked T-shirts. It looks ridiculously funny. Apparently, they were invented only so that men could show their muscles developed in fitness centers.