The selling point is simple for Philadelphia power pop outfit Hurry: they just make beautiful, entrancing music that’s perfect for a carefree summer day. Their latest LP Fake Ideas is no exception, delivering what is perhaps the band’s strongest collection to date. The ten-track effort boasts shimmering guitars and Matt Scottoline’s distinct vocal to create a world unto its own.
To celebrate the new album, Scottoline sat down to talk Pet Sounds, Adam Schlesinger, and more in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Easy, contemplative, whistful, pop
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
The future humanoids will hear my records and pine for a reunion tour. I will be 80 years old or whatever, and hopefully by then there will be some kind of implant I can get to reverse some of the effects of aging / augment my physique. I’ll return to the stage in my new form, and nobody will need to remember, as the past will become the present. My newly disfigured cyber-body will continue to tour until the end of time.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
I’ve always enjoyed playing abroad because it feels like vacation. Paris, London, Prague. Even if the show is bad, at least you’re somewhere kind of exotic. Otherwise, I like playing any city that has a great coffee shop for me to go to in the morning. I miss that feeling of looking for good coffee in a frenzy the morning after a show when you’re already late to start your drive to the next city.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
Whoever was the music director at Y100 in Philadelphia from like, 1993-1997. All that stuff is just drilled into me. And Adam Schlesinger.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
If we’re talking straight up quality, probably Vedge in Philadelphia. But my other, slightly more mythical answer is an Indian restaurant somewhere near Providence, RI that we got a pre-show meal at on tour. I was feeling kind of flu-y all day in the van, was dreading the show, and this meal literally brought me back to life. I don’t remember what the restaurant was called. Maybe I was just tired and/or hungry. But I still think about it regardless.
What album do you know every word to?
The soundtrack to That Thing You Do! Even the songs The Wonders don’t sing. It’s all deeply locked in there.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
My sort of clinical, true answer to this is Brian Wilson doing the Pet Sounds anniversary tour in ~2006. Hearing that album live with full orchestration was completely insane. At the time I lived in a shared apartment with a woman I sort of barely knew, and I had a stereo set up in the common living room. I got on such a Pet Sounds kick around then that I’d throw the LP on most days and blast it really loud. I think she thought I was losing my mind. I was probably annoying to live with. I even drove to New York around that time for a meet and greet thing at a record store with Brian Wilson. I woke up at like 4am to get to the store in time where it was happening. I finally got to the front of the line and said something about how meaningful his music was to me. He was kinda zonked at the time, or at least very disinterested in what I was saying. But I didn’t really mind. It was still cool. That or The Hold Steady at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park right before Boys and Girls In America released. That was kind of an electric night.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Ugh, I have no idea. Not what I wear. The real answer is probably like, Under Armor or something. But nobody does that. Do any bands wear athleisure live strictly for the performance of the fabric?
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
I love following Gerald Stratford on Twitter. Every time he posts a little update from his garden it’s like a quick dose of Xanax.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
We only listen to Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” on repeat. It’s terrible for morale.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
I searched the word comeuppance because after I typed it in a text to someone I was just staring at it wondering if I somehow made that word up or not. It doesn’t look real. Look at it.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Hurry – Fake Ideas. Am I the first person to ever make that joke?
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
One time somewhere in central Italy, a promoter put us up in an apartment for the night. It had two bedrooms, so we offered our driver for the tour to have his own room so he could get some rest, while we all would sleep in the other. Some time around 3am, a group of 5 Italians walked into the apartment with pizzas and burst into the bedroom our driver was in. I guess they had rented that room for the night? Neither of us spoke the other’s language. The promoter never told us any of this would happen. Generally, I feel like any time you’re abroad and there’s a language barrier, you’re going to end up in some unexpected situations. I also slept on the floor of a gas station in Ethiopia once.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
I have no tattoos because I am deeply afraid of commitment.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Badfinger. They always play “No Matter What” and there’s no way you’re touching that dial.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Just generally been supportive. I don’t know. I guess I’ve gotten some nice gifts or whatever in my life. I got one of those cool boom boxes with the slot machine graphics on it when I was in like 4th grade. But at the end of the day I’m pretty lucky, and people help me follow my dreams, sometimes in big ways and sometimes small ones. People coming to shows and talking to me about the music after. Buying records. My family and friends never discouraging me from investing so much into music. It’s cool. I’m grateful for that. One time I was at a Phillies game with some friends, and one of them was kind of ribbing me about how nobody listens to my music. Great friend. Anyway, literally 5 minutes later, I got tapped on the shoulder, and there was a group of like 5 college kids in the row behind us who asked if I was in Hurry. It was so triumphant. They had no idea of their impact in shutting up that friend. It would also be very nice if someone bought 500,000 copies of my new record so I could get one of those gold plaques.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Go to therapy right now.
What’s the last show you went to?
It wasn’t specifically a show, but I went to a little talk hosted by Joe Steinhardt at Drexel University with Laura Ballance (Superchunk/Merge Records). Afterwards we all went to a nearby bar and hung out, nervously talking about the coronavirus.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
I don’t ever find myself in this position really, and when I do it stresses me out, because you never catch the movie from the beginning. Something about just casually watching like, the middle of a movie on TV really stresses me out. Like, what are you doing? If we must watch a movie can’t we pick one and start it from the beginning? This isn’t a basketball game. I also don’t really re-watch films. Maybe this is all a personal problem.
What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?
I’ve been really into making Indian dishes, so I would probably do this Dal Makhani. He’d probably like it. Or at least he’d be polite. But honestly I kind of feel like he should cook for me.
Fake Ideas is out now. Listen and pick up a copy here.