HINDER Drummer CODY HANSON Discusses the Band’s Backstage Rituals, Routines, and Secrets

- Aug 01, 2019 at 01:00PM
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Oklahoma City’s Hinder have accomplished a hell of a lot in their eighteen years together. This summer, the band are hard at work, touring the United States once again, taking their long list of hits around the country to play for their adoring fans. It’s been fairly non-stop touring for the hard rock quintet, ever since the release of their summer 2017 record, The Reign, a well-received album that saw the band issue six singles.

With the release of The Reign about two years behind us now, Hinder are getting tuned up out on the road for the release of their still-untitled seventh studio album that will be out sometime before the close of 2019. Fans got a tease of what’s to come when the guys released the single “Halo” back in January, which was said to be the forthcoming album’s first single. These guys just about never stop as they relentlessly tour, write and record for Hinder, and work on side-projects. To get up to speed on what they’re up to on their current U.S. summer tour, we spoke with drummer Cody Hanson about his and the band’s touring lives. He also shared a glimpse of some of the backstage happenings that occur before the band hits the stage.

Okay, so backstage. In the minds of many rock n’ roll fans, it’s the exclusive area where only the cool or lucky people get to access. How would you describe your demeanour when you’re getting ready to perform? Are you excited, nervous, uneasy, relaxed, restless? Give us a glimpse.
Cody Hanson: I think each one of us feels different before shows. It’s a little strange after all these years, but I’m usually a little nervous, but it’s nothing that a few drinks can’t fix.

Listen to Hinder’s just-released new cover version of The Eagles’ classic song, “Life In The Fastlane:”


How long before a show do you tend to get to the venue before your set actually begins? Do you like a lot of time to prepare on-site?
Hanson: We try to get to the venue by noon each day if possible. That way our crew has plenty of time to set up so that we can soundcheck before the opening bands set up.

With so many years together, I’m sure you have at least one or two. What are some of the backstage rituals you have developed that you do every time before performing?
Hanson: We like to clear the bus an hour before we go on to have a few drinks, warm-up and get in the right mindset for the show. We call it “pregame.”

What’s the most annoying thing about spending time backstage before a show? Is there anything or any situation that comes up that really gets under your skin?
Hanson: We’re pretty easy, I think. We don’t get irritated very often but small things like running out of ice when it’s time to “pregame” can be annoying.

Not to imply that you are some kind of diva, but do you have any requests or demands that you want met for when you’re backstage getting prepared to perform?
Hanson: As I mentioned before, it’s nice to clear the bus an hour before the show but it doesn’t always work out that way. As long as we can have some drinks and warm up then we’re all good!

Hinder’s sixth studio album, The Reign, was released on August 11th, 2017, via The End Records:


Do the members of the band tend to spend a lot of time together backstage before a show? Or do you prefer some quiet time away from everyone just to relax and reflect before you expend all that energy on stage?
Hanson: We’re pretty much together all day. We get to make fun of each other and laugh our asses off. That’s what makes touring so much fun.

Do you have any backstage freak out stories of a time or times that you have completely had a meltdown before playing a show? We’d love to hear at least one…
Hanson: The only thing that comes to mind for me is our very first trip to the UK. I was young, and being from Oklahoma, I wasn’t used to the beer that was a higher alcohol content. I didn’t realize it until we were already on stage, but those beers hit me like a ton of bricks. I actually had to stop in the middle of “Lips of Angel” because I couldn’t get it together. That was definitely a freak out moment for me and extremely embarrassing.

Would you say your backstage demeanour has changed over the years now that the band has been performing together for so long?
Hanson: It has changed a little bit. We’re still the same guys with the same personalities but we’ve learned some lessons over the years. When we first started touring, we were drinking bottles of tequila and Jager at 7 am at the radio stations and then continuing that all day. We have definitely learned to control ourselves a little better than that.

Check out our exclusive clip of Hinder Backstage in Boardman, OH on June 28, 2019:


Do you rehearse in any way before hitting the stage? Not so much with instruments but do you run through in your mind the sequencing of songs or keeping in mind what you have to do during certain songs?
Hanson: I always mentally go through the set before the show. I keep a practice pad and some drumsticks on the bus to practice rudiments and quickly run through some of the songs to get my hands and my brain working.

If you could pick one backstage secret to success or at least a word of wisdom for young musicians, what would it be?
Hanson:Learn more than just your instrument. These days, bands not only need to be musicians but they need to be able to do graphic design, photography, production, etc... Also, always keep your ego in check. Nothing destroys a band faster than an ego.

Lastly, do you have a favourite backstage food that you enjoy the most?
Hanson: Right now we’re eating a lot of cereal. Cinnamon Toast Crunch and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s fun to eat like a 12-year-old when we’re on the road.

Listen to Hinder’s newest single “Halo,” from their forthcoming seventh album:


Remaining Summer Tour Dates:

08/02 - Sturgis, SD - Iron Horse Saloon
08/03 - Golden, CO - Buffalo Rose
08/04 - Merriam, KS - Aftershock
08/06 - LaCrosse, WI - Cavalier Theatre
08/07 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line
08/09 - Billings, MT - Pub Station
08/10 - Three Forks, MT - Rockin' The Rivers
08/22 - Dubuque, IA - Backwater Stage Q Casino
08/24 - Dubuque, IA - Diamond Jo's Casino
09/05 - Lexington, KY - Manchester Music Hall
09/06 - Franklin, OH - JD Music Legends
09/07 - Marion, OH - Marion Popcorn Festival
09/08 - Concord, VA - Blue Ridge Music Fest
09/10 - Chattanooga, TN - Songbirds South
09/11 - Huntsville, AL - Sidetracks Music Hall
09/12 - Mobile, AL - Soul Kitchen Music Hall
09/13 - Miramar Beach, FL - The Village Door Music Hall
09/14 - Crystal River, FL - Rock Crusher Pavillion
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