Arthur Hatton is a singer-songwriter based in the southern US (first Kentucky and now Georgia). He has just self-recorded and self-released Odes, his first full-length album.
Arthur is also the founder and honcho here at Linescratchers. He sat down to talk with us about the desperation that bore his new album, why anyone should care that he’s Mormon, and how Eastern Orthodox Christianity has influenced his work.
Odes has a unique creation story. Can you describe the contributions from all the people involved and how it came together?
Well, there are a couple creation stories for Odes. The first is that the project was initially created to help me repair my car. Long story short, my wife and I were driving down to Charlotte, NC, with our very small baby, for a grad school interview, when our car broke down in the middle of Tennessee. We were then completely taken advantage of by an unscrupulous tow/mechanic guy and depleted our savings completely. We didn’t know how we were going to pay bills that month. So I decided that maybe I should just get a bunch of my recorded demos into some kind of presentable form on a Bandcamp account and sell them to raise money for our bills. I had been particularly inspired by a collection of ancient Christian hymns called the Odes of Solomon and a few of my songs were strongly influenced by those hymns. However, due to my pathetic need to pay the bills, a bunch of family and friends pre-ordered the album, enough that our immediate need was fulfilled. Since the matter wasn’t urgent anymore, I decided to create an album out of the material that was truly worthy of being called an album. Around 10 months later, Odes was finished.
A few of my musical contacts I’ve made through Linescratchers helped along the way. Ian Fowles (from The Aquabats!) volunteered to play lead guitar on some songs, and he can be heard in “Don’t Wake Me Now” and “Last Song.” Davey Morrison Dillard asked me to write a song to be featured in his upcoming film adaptation of the play WWJD? and that was “Don’t Wake Me Now.” Adam Kaiser of the Neighbors almost played drums but moved out of his city last-minute and couldn’t do it. I got a friend of a friend, Jared Palick, who plays drums in Portland, to play drums on “Last Song.” My sister sang harmonies on “Gabriel,” and my brother sang harmonies on everything and played drums on all the other songs, so it was really a collective effort from a lot of friends.
Lastly, Young Sim has invited me to list my album under his Feel Good Music Coalition label which I happily did. I love that guy and take every opportunity to work with him that I can.
Continue Reading →
This is me. My name is Arthur Hatton.
I’m posing with my newest toy – I’ve worked at a guitar shop since 2006 but have only now been able to take home a beautiful, prized possession: a Martin SWDGT with a Fishman pickup that I installed. I’m standing next to a painting that I did recently that was inspired by a song by John Wesley (the one who plays for Porcupine Tree) that I have decided to put on the cover of the album I’m currently recording.
I am scheduling this post to go up on June 28th, 2011, which is exactly three years and a day after the very first post of Linescratchers went up. I have told a little bit of my story to my contributors, and one of them mentioned that it might be interesting and useful to tell the story so far to our readership. Some of you have only recently discovered Linescratchers. Just a few of you – and you know who you are – have been with me since the very beginning. Our contributor Charles has eloquently explained why keeping records is important, so in that spirit, I’d like to tell you the story of Linescratchers from the beginning, complete with the controversial and the embarrassing details that make these things bearable to read. Hopefully it will give you an idea of what Linescratchers is for, why I started it, and where I want it to go in the future. Please forgive the long exposition on myself, but it should give you some context. Continue Reading →
Vol 1 No. 10, Week of May 2, 2011
In this issue: Ian Fowles gets spiritual in the desert, Fictionist can’t stop winning, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir gets manly, The Killers reunite, The Barefoot Movement lose us, a great gift for yo momma, all this PLUS Is Oskama Bin Laden going to have to break up now? and MORE!
Continue Reading →
When a member of The Aquabats! gives you free backstage passes to one of their shows just to give you a signed copy of his book, you know that he really feels strongly about the message contained therein, and that’s exactly what happened with A Sound Salvation: Rock N’ Roll As A Religion by Ian Fowles. As soon as he handed it to me, I opened it up to a random page and saw a large section on The Hold Steady, and knew I was going to love it. The basic premise of the book is that traditional religions in the United States, such as Christianity, have steadily declined over the last century, especially among young people, and that, for many, Rock N’ Roll has taken its place. Fowles argues that Rock N’ Roll is not just a past-time; for some, it functions precisely in the way religion does for its adherents.
This is not a new idea. Most scenies, hipsters, and people in the musical community are aware that some approach Rock N’ Roll religiously, devoting their time and energy to it and hailing its saints as more than human. Fowles’ book is unique in that it makes a point-by-point argument for this idea, using the definition of religion from the Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Eliade. Though I was skeptical at first, his entertaining and easy-to-read book had me fully convinced by the end, with one crucial qualification, noted below. Interested readers and fans of Ian Fowles might want to know that the first run of 300 copies are all hand-numbered and signed by the author. The link to get a copy is at the bottom of this review. Continue Reading →
Listeners of our podcast (especially my Dad) have raved about an epic band from Southern California, and their song Bellyfish. The band is Checkpoint Charley, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Kevin Packard is the guitarist and singer from Checkpoint Charley, and he’s agreed to answer some questions for us about his faith and the new Checkpoint Charley album slated for next year. He talks frankly about the state of the world today and the state of LDS music. You’ll find their songs are indeed epic, and as noted in the interview and our podcast, they draw from such diverse and bombastic influences as Weezer, Jellyfish, the Beach Boys, and Queen. Sounds too good to be true? Check them out. Featuring Ian Fowles and Kristin Lawrence.
Continue Reading →
This time, our Linescratchers interviewee needs little introduction. Ian Fowles is best known by the many bands he plays in and has played in, among these are Death By Stereo, Sense Field, Further Seems Forever, Hunter Revenge, and, more recently, The Aquabats! Ian is a quite articulate, thoughtful musician with an impressive resume, and it is our pleasure to present our latest Linescratchers interview with him. He talks about life on the road, his LDS faith, and The Aquabats!
To find The Aquabats! on iTunes, click here.
Continue Reading →