Lamenting a decline of the radio industry, two members of the rock group The Hooters answered hard-core fans' questions about the band's history in an informal discussion last night with 150 students. Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian, both of whom graduated the University in the early 1970s, told the eager audience at High Rise East Rooftop Lounge of their quick rise to success and based it partly on luck and good timing. They added that they never expected their debut album, Nervous Night -- which sold over a million copies -- and subsequent performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985 to be so successful. "The album received a lot of attention in April of that year and when Live Aid was being organized for that summer in Philadelphia, we were just in the right place at the right time," Hyman said. But, instead of finding more success, the band's mainstream popularity and commercial success declined after the release of the next two albums. Hyman blamed the bad fortune on commercial radio, which he claims is forcing musicians to resort to "chart watching" instead of producing quality music. "What motivates us is to make a good record and put on a good show," Hyman said, adding that they did not want to "sell out" to the mainstream public. Although Hyman and Bazilian founded The Hooters in 1980, their association dates back to the early 1970s, when the two met in a synthesizer class at the Annenberg Center. Many students at the informal discussion used the night as an opportunity to ask personal questions, to get their photos taken with the duo and to get the band members' autographs. College sophomore Mike Smolarski, who said he will attend the Hooters' concert Saturday night at the Palestra, brought a copy of the band's latest compact disc, entitled Zig Zag, to be autographed. "The Hooters are great because they produce good music, but don't let the success go to their head," he said. Although some students expected the band to play some of their songs such as "And We Danced," and "All You Zombies," the two Hooters members preferred to talk about songwriting and answer people's questions. They emphasized to prospective songwriters that the they use the "Old-fashioned way" of performing songs -- without machines or synthesizers. Hyman criticized the increasing trend to computerize concerts with lip-synching and pre-recorded material and emphasized that their show this Saturday will just be old-fashioned rock and roll. "They won't be perfect but they will never be the same [show]," Hyman said. "We are still musicians, not programmers." Hyman and Bazilian's discussion is part of a new Distinguished Alumni Series as part of the University's 250th celebration. NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell spoke on campus Monday as part of the series.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.