Interview with petz from HOG MEETS FROG and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
Petz: Imagine System of a Down, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frank Zappa and Alice Cooper would beget a baby together – I swear it would be called HOG MEETS FROG.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
Petz: HOG MEEST FROG is an international, Vienna based power trio. The Vienna I mean is the one in Austria, Europe – the motherland of e.g. Mozart or Falco, Harakiri for the Sky or Bilderbuch.
I am the Austrian part of the band.
Here in Vienna, there is a very strong, centuries-old coffee house culture. And I’m one of those people who sit in the coffee house for hours. When I’m alone, I watch people, read newspapers or write a bit; when I’m out with friends, it’s usually discussed, philosophized and politicized. All of this has a big influence on the music of HOG MEETS FROG – both musically and in terms of content.
What – or better- who originally made music an important part of my life were my parents. Because my father and also my mother(s) loved music very much. At home we listened to a lot of it– whether opera, pop, rock, country, singer-songwriter or chanson. And when the music didn’t come from vinyl, CD or cassette, the radio was on.
Another very important influence was my father as a social role model. When I was a kid, he played guitar even more often, and sometimes my big brother and I played and sang with him.
Finally I started playing bass when I was 17. And I got my first bass when I was almost 19.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
Petz: Musically and lyrically, the biggest inspiration for me in songwriting are the people I talk to or watch on the street or at the coffee house and try to understand their (inter)actions and stories.
But also the rhythm of an escalator, the sound a dog makes while walking or even a simple fart in the underground are just as good sources of ideas as world events, documentaries, science and many other things.
What I like to write about in my stories is – as with most – what moves me, what interests me. I like to mix observations of social developments and currents with scientific topics or (world) political issues.
I often tell these stories in the form of fables. I liked this form of storytelling very much as a child and also later at school when we read the Roman poets in Latin.
By the way, this is one of the three levels on which the EP title ‘humaANIMALization’ is based. It describes the transformation from human to animal.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
Petz: Our ambitions with regard to the band are primarily to play live and as often as possible.
In terms of our music, it is important for us to stay with us to develop and to make honest music that comes from ourselves and not to imitate other artists – even if of course there are overlaps with other bands. I don’t think you can avoid it.
In terms of the content we represent, we want to encourage our fans (if they want to or can) to question more – life, world events or even us and our music.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
Petz: I think I understand what you mean but “To be proud” is a phrase I wouldn’t like to use in this case.
So, let me put it this way: “The moments I enjoyed the most were the ones when I notice at a concert that we have a good connection to the audience, when I can hang out in peace with nice people after a good concert, or when we have finished recording.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
Petz: Unfortunately, we’re not very good at promoting ourselves on social media, and that’s not just because it takes an enormous amount of time.
The topic of permanent presence is in itself a very large and complex one.
But, to address a point that is important to me: for example, in my opinion, we live in times – also forced by social media – in which it is more important to appear authentic than to be authentic. Of course, this also means that many people spend more time thinking about how they present themselves than about the content they convey. And that automatically means output that is produced with high-quality technical tools, but inferior or even stolen content.
But this is just one point. I also don’t want to belittle the work of those who produce really good content.
Another point is that we – like many other bands – can’t live from our music. And so we also pursue jobs that enable us to make music. In this respect, our time resources are even more limited than if we could only concentrate on the band.
What I want to say for HOG MEETS FROG: I prefer to invest my time in the music and the stories we tell – even if I am aware that the chance to be “seen” is worse.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
Petz: At the moment we book our gigs ourselves and promote them through different channels, like facebook. As I said, we are unfortunately not the best at it and we are also currently talking to a booker. For us, it can only be an advantage if we have someone who does it for us.
In planning are now just a few club gigs and gigs at festivals. We are already curious about what will really come out of it.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
Petz: In principle, I think it’s okay to be able to download music online. Of course, it would be an advantage for music creators if users would pay for it or support the bands financially according to their own possibilities.
What I think of Spotify – well, on the one hand, what Spotify pays out to the artists with whom it makes money is just ridiculous. On the other hand, Spotify has unfortunately become so big and has so many users that you should be represented there as a band – I think. It’s a very ambivalent topic.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Petz: To be honest, there is no song I wish I had written. But there are, of course, some songs whose content I appreciate very much. But this list is very long.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
Petz: Another big issue.
I would change the attitude of the music industry towards music in general. You get the impression that most decision-makers in the business want to use bands to milk them.
I don’t wanna say everyone in the music business is like that, but a lot of people seem to think they’re something better than the bands. In fact, we all need each other, and that’s why I would like to change the music industry to a more progressive thinking, band-supporting and wealth-sharing one.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
Petz: At the moment I’m working on the promotion for our EP ‘humANIMALization’, which is currently in progress and still takes quite a lot of time.
But of course, we are also working on new songs and stories and on masks for the new characters of the next HOG MEETS FROG performance.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Petz: If you want to check out HOG MEETS FROG, you can for example go to YouTube and take a look at our videos, like a live-stream-gig we played in the Corona times in a small club in Vienna: https://youtu.be/OdHUslk8afM
Or of course, you can find us on Facebook. here you can find e.g. quite a lot of photos from our concerts ( https://facebook.com/hogmeetsfrog ).
(Still) not so much, but always something new can be found on Instagram ( https://www.instagram.com/hogmeetsfrog )or TikTok ( https://www.tiktok.com/@hogmeetsfrog ).
If you want to buy music from us online you can do that on all common platforms. But if you want to buy e.g. CDs or T-shirts, you can find what you are looking for from Feb. 24 2023 on bandcamp ( https://hogmeetsfrog.bandcamp.com ).
Hog Meets Frog links:
Band/Artist location – Vienna, Austria
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Check our page for Hog Meets Frog