NEW YORK – An evening with Hinder is like hanging out with a bunch of frat boys.
Only most frat boys don’t have tour buses. Most have pledges – not roadies, managers, security guards and publicists – and sorority girls, not strippers, as their dates.
Plus, most frat parties eventually end.
But Hinder’s party is showing no sign of winding down. “Lips of an Angel,” their power ballad about infidelity, is a huge hit. Extreme Behavior, their debut album, has topped a million sales and was the 10th best-selling CD of 2006 . And at one point, the band was selling more than 100,000 ringtones a week.
Backstage at Nokia Theatre, the five rockers from Oklahoma City toss straws at one another, laugh at silly one-liners and guzzle vodka tonics from clear plastic cups.
We had imagined a flashback to the ’80s – big hair, loud music, some Lycra-clad ladies, a little cursing and drinks all around. We got four out of five.
Guitarist Joe “Blower” Garvey doesn’t talk much. He just sits, observes and looks like a pretty boy with his multicolored coif and muscular frame. His bandmates tease him for having a big head. They also tease drummer Cody Hanson for having a temper, a foul mouth and an undeniable hatred for Panic! at the Disco. His prominently placed bandanna, red hair and freckles recall Axl Rose circa 1987.
Bassist Mike Rodden is the most jovial and talkative of the group, and his nose rings can distract from his intelligence. Long-haired Austin Winkler, who said he used to sing with a cover band in front of a 7-Eleven, has a voice just as raspy in person as it is in recordings. And finally, guitarist Mark King could be considered the geek of the band. He repeatedly apologizes for saying corny things and asks for them to be stricken from the record because he knows they’re not that funny.
MTV : Are you having fun in New York?
Mark King : Last night we got crazy. We saw Silverchair and went out to eat and got pretty hammered and almost got kicked out of our hotel. Yeah, three guys decided to piss somewhere other than the toilet.
Austin Winkler : In the hotel.
King : I couldn’t find the bathroom, dude.
Winkler : We shot a video for our next single, “Better Than Me,” and we did Conan O’Brien’s show yesterday.
MTV : What’s wrong with the guy in that song? “You deserve much better than me.” Is he a drug addict?
Mike Rodden : He’s a hermaphrodite. [ They laugh. ] No, no, he’s a drug addict.
Winkler : We shot it in a really old cathedral. It was really cool. Nigel Dick directed it. I hope it turns out good. But we can’t tell you the end.
MTV : When will you be done touring?
Rodden : Never. We don’t plan on going home.
Winkler : There’s something I saw the other day on the schedule. It said D-A-Y O-F-F. I didn’t understand what that meant.
Cody Hanson : It must be a new venue.
MTV : The name of your album is Extreme Behavior. Can you give me an example of your own extreme behavior?
Hanson : Everything we do is extreme. We can’t have one drink, we need to have 30.
Rodden : In an hour.
Rodden : We visited a strip club for a couple of nights. … It got pretty messy towards the end.
Winkler : Blower’s hotel room got pretty messed up.
MTV : I read that you guys are trying to bring old-school rock and roll back, like MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e and Van Halen. What do you think has happened to rock in the past 20 years?
Winkler : It got really dark. It was all right for a little while, but then it got really old.
Rodden : I remember the vibe of all that dark rock at some shows, and I remember seeing the crowd and how they reacted and it kind of depressed me. So, for myself, I get tired of that and I think people are ready for rock and roll to come back and to have fun again.
MTV : Are you talking about emo?
Hanson : I’m definitely talking about emo. I hate that sh–.
MTV : Do you think it started with Nirvana?
Hanson : I think it definitely started with Nirvana. Of course, Nirvana was great, but it kind of killed the idea of the rock star, and it really hurt rock as a whole. That’s when rappers took over the idea of the rock star and hip-hop became so big.
MTV : Who would be your dream band to play with right now?
Rodden : We would have to take a time machine and go back to Guns N’ Roses ’87 and MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e.
Winkler : The Rolling Stones.
Hanson : There’s not many bands that are out right now that would be a dream tour.
Rodden : We actually turned down Guns N’ Roses, if you can call them that. It’s more like Axl Rose and puppets.
MTV : Where do you guys get your clothes?
Hanson : I like G-Star. That’s one of my favorite companies right now.
Rodden : We have a lot of cool clothing companies that send us sh–. Affliction, Dirtbag, Von Dutch, Bagpipe.
MTV : Where do you get all the lingerie on your microphone stand?
King : We collect them. Whenever girls throw them onstage, we like to create a relationship with them.
Rodden : At the end of our tour, we’ll probably donate them to eBay.
Hanson : Some of them are expensive.
MTV : What are your songs about?
Winkler : We try to write about what we know, what we’ve experienced, especially on this album, we’re speaking from personal experience.
MTV : So you’ve gotten your hearts broken too.
Hanson : We’re just real people like everybody else, and we have experiences like everybody else and so we like to write about that.
MTV : What are your thoughts on Jack Ingram’s cover of “Lips of an Angel”?
Winkler : That was a nice gesture.
Rodden : It’s somewhat flattering that someone would want to cover our song and also have it be the first single out on his album. But we weren’t too jazzed on the way it turned out.
Winkler : It just sounds like he’s reading a piece of paper in the vocal booth with our liner notes.
MTV : Justin Timberlake chose Scarlett Johansson to be in his new video. Emmanuelle Chriqui starred in “Lips of an Angel.” If you guys could choose any girl to represent your band, who would it be?
Hanson : I was looking at a magazine today and Mischa Barton looks pretty good so I’m going to go with her.
Winkler : Keira Knightley.
Rodden : I was thinking about Shannyn Sossamon. I don’t even know how to say her name, but she’s smoking hot.