Rob Freeman (Hidden in Plain View) - 10.21.13

Interviewed by
Rob Freeman (Hidden in Plain View) - 10.21.13I got to email to Hidden in Plain View guitarist/lyricist/vocalist and The Pilot Studios producer Rob Freeman. We talked (of course) about the recent reunion shows, Life in Dreaming's vinyl pressing, and whether he has any upcoming projects, among other things.

How did it feel to finally play the Resolution songs live? And were they well received?
It felt really great. You know, we basically wrote and recorded that record while we were breaking up. So, even though I loved those songs, there was always this kind of dark cloud hanging over it for me -- and I think most of the guys would say the same thing. So, 7 years later, it felt great to come together again as friends and play those songs. It was literally the first time we played many of those songs because we wrote a few of them in the studio and actually never played them live - It made me realize that some of those songs were the best we ever wrote. I know I was in a pretty dark place while making that record, but I think sometimes when you feel knocked down like that it allows you to write very freely. Maybe it's the whole there's-nothing-left-to-lose feeling…Or, maybe you're just frustrated and feeling desperate… I guess that's why there are so many great songs about relationships falling apart - because you are uncomfortable. It's kind of hard for me to write a song when everything is so dapper. I guess it's easier when I have something to bitch about.

What was the hardest part of learning all the songs for the HIPV reunion show?
The hardest part was trying to find the songs on YouTube so we could listen to them and figure out what the hell we were playing, remembering all of the lyrics, realizing the ones on Lyrics.com aren't correct! Actually, it was a lot of fun. Obviously, the ones we had toured the most with came back to us quicker than the ones we had never played, but we tried a whole bunch of songs until we settled on a final set list. One thing that was tricky was the fact that Spencer, our drummer, lives on the West Coast, so were only able to practice with him the week leading up to the show. So, we stepped things up into 2013, and Spencer actually built us some pretty accurate drum tracks that we were able to practice along to while in the studio. That really helped us work out most of the material. Come last week of practice, it was just us running through them all together over and over, working out the transitions, and all the other fun stuff that makes it a "show" and not just 5 guys playing the songs one after another.

Is there ever a chance of HIPV playing together/recording again?
There is always a chance!!

What was your favorite part of the reunion?
I can't pick a favorite - the whole experience was great!! It was just all so exciting!! I mean, so much led up to that night - months of preparations. And just the last week alone -- We were at the studio 14-20 hours a day fine tuning everything. It's almost like I forgot how much really goes into it all. Morning of the show, we left my house at 8 am to head over to my studio to pack up, then drove the 2 hours down to Philly. The guys at the TLA were incredible to us and gave us a 4 hour sound check. That felt great, to get reacquainted with the stage again, but by then it's only 5 o'clock, and we don't take the stage for another 5 hours, and then at that point everything is supposed to start… But, I can honestly say that I don't think I ever felt an energy like the one that was in the room that night. It was pretty intense, and, thankfully, the adrenaline was flowing like no other. It was great looking out over the crowd seeing so many familiar faces -- thoughts running through my mind like, "Hey, look it's Kate and Eve… Wait - they are from Chicago… Holy shit - they came out here from Chicago??!!??" It was just a real mind trip -- a fast and blurry mind trip!!

Were you surprised by the amount of people excited for the show?
Surprised is an understatement. People came in from all over the world. It just made that night that much more special!!

Life in Dreaming was just recently released on vinyl, is there a chance for any other HIPV material to get pressed as well?
We all think Joe Dent @ Company Ink Records did a really awesome job with the LID vinyl release. I think we would be happy to release more, although it's not exactly in our control to do so.

What makes an album recorded at Audio Pilot stand out from others?
So, I hate to preach about the studio and come off sounding like some sort of local cable advertisement… (Montgomery Flea Market…) The studio itself is really cool. We have a ton of awesome gear that is available to all of our artists. The rooms sound great, and it's located right in the heart of a really cool town. So, as far as vibe goes, I think we nail it, but, when it really comes down to it, there are thousands of amazing studios out there. Ultimately, it's all about who you work with. I don't believe that any two artists are the same. I treat every project individually -- really listen to songs and see how I can put forward all of my effort and passion to help it translate as best as possible. There are a million things to understand about recording technology - I'll be the first to admit that I don't know half of it - but that's never been the most important thing to me. I understand songs, I understand what music moves me, and I know how to capture the right tones and performances to do so. And it's not just about me -- It's your music. It's about helping you bring your music to a place where you are super proud to share it with the rest of the world. There is no right or wrong in music. It's all personal. So, I would say check out a bunch my work and see if you dig it. I've worked with hundreds of diverse artists over the past 15 years - Hopefully you'll find something you can get into.

Do you have plans on releasing new music, with any project?
Right around the new year I released a solo album Destination You. I only made it available for about 2 months. This year I plan re-release the album with a few more songs added to it.
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