Fight Clubbing with Hub Cap Annie: An Interview

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Conner Hastings, disguised in a JFK mask, practicing in his living room. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

 

As Palahniuk wrote in his ’96 cult-classic, “It’s only after you’ve lost everything, that you’re free to do anything.”

Tyler Durden told us it was time to stop playing it safe, to take real risks and to skim the tallow off for glycerin in our makeshift bombs. While Conner Hastings and Jacob Bright haven’t sought out therapy through running an underground fight club, the motto speaks to how their own project came to exist. After loosing all interest in the standard ‘college degree, white picket fence and 9-5 career’, the two decided to devote themselves to music; a passion that had been with them for years but didn’t stand out until they realized it was their freedom. Since, their decision to quit college and form Hub Cap Annie has been a significant success, perhaps proving Palahniuk’s radical mantra to be true.

Conner Hastings (Left) and Jacob Bright (right), disguised as JFK and Clinton. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

Conner Hastings (left) and Jacob Bright (right), disguised as JFK and Clinton. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

Nashville-bred Hastings and Canadian-turned-Okie Bright met by chance through friends while they were attending two separate colleges: Hastings at the local College of Charleston, Bright at Tennessee’s Suwanee. Knee-deep in their sophomore term, each went through a chain of events that compelled them to drop the books and pick up their instruments. They met shortly after, shared ideas and must have felt something click – within a few months, Jacob had moved to Charleston and Hub Cap Annie was formed. Upon hearing them play together live for the first time, privately in their living room, it made complete sense as to why they took such a leap of faith.

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Conner Hastings, unmasked. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

Of course, the move to Charleston wasn’t exactly easy for Jacob. He recalled not eating for the first several days after moving into a near stranger’s home and attempting to get settled. Yet that old anxiety seems to have disappeared, as the two communicate through knowing looks and unspoken words. While the connection is present when they’re speaking, it manifests as second nature when you witness them perform. Connor merely presses a few notes into his keyboard and Jacob will immediately pick up with his drums, to roll into a composition that could be anywhere from easy and light, to melancholic or somber. While they cite a love for crescendos and energy, its obvious there’s a forlorn ironic undertow to their seemingly happier tunes.

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When Conner isn’t writing new music or jet skiing at his day job, he paints. His artwork is hung all throughout their apartment. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

When asked where the inspiration of their contradictory music comes from, there was an uncertainty between the two. It’s just what seems to manifest, they said, as the boys bounce ideas off of each other, listening to the syllables in the music. Whether they’re experimenting with sounds in their own home or their practice space in Redux studios, it’s a natural ebb and flow that leads to their countless pieces. So much so, that the few compositions recorded and released on their Soundcloud just cannot do them justice. Of course, the two are still new to the scene, only beginning to publicly perform and write original pieces late last year.

Jacob Bright, unmasked. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

Jacob Bright, unmasked. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

“We’re extremely raw and young,” Conner confessed during our rooftop interview. Overlooking the city, they recalled all of the ‘firsts’ they’ve been through as a band recently just to prove their point; their first encore at Big John’s Tavern, first recorded EP, first opening gig for Stop Light Observations and now, their first headlining show at Music Farm’s Chucktown Gets Down next week.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint their exact sound, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll enjoy the two if you’re interested in anything from grungy pop to folkie blues. If you’re still unsure, take five minutes and listen to “It’s Easy,” one of my favorites that also features Coleman Sawyer of Stop Light Observations on the fiddle.

Jacob Bright on drums. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

Jacob Bright on drums. Photo by Jess Marie Spence.

If you’re interested in seeing Hub Cap Annie perform live, potentially masked in their presidential attire, then stop by the Music Farm next Friday, August 29thNot to mention, Big Yen, Carina Point, Ashton Stanley and Superflow will accompany them on stage that night. The first band goes on at eight and there’s only a $5 cover fee but bring some extra cash for $2 PBR. 

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Freshman at the College of Charleston, studying Arts Management and International Business. In the past nineteen years, I've fallen in love with live music and yoga, art and rainy days, tattoos, hot coffee, surfing, running, reading and writing.


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