An "Indian Summer". An "Indian Summer". Photo by Stephanie Weil.

Indian Summer: An Interview with Lenny Hines (by Unger)

Ya gotta love Tidewater's own Freedom Hawk!  Straight outta Virginia Beach, the guys just released their cd/record entitled "Holding On" on Small Stone Records.  A real testament that the band keeps rockin' and never let's theirr audience down, but also they keep the visuals going by recently releasing a new video for the song "Indian Summer", a great tune from "Holding On", Hardcore Norfolk agrees: Great song, great video! Drummer for the band, Lenny Hines, answered a few questions about the video for us, check it! 

Unger: This is the second video that Freedom Hawk has done with the dynamic duo filmmakers Bradford Davis and Chip Johnson, looks like it went great. How was the newly released "Indian Summer" video different compared to the "Stand Back" video filmed a few years ago (equipment, location, props, screenplay, etc.)?

Lenny: First let me say that we were stoked to work with Bradford and Chip again. They are talented guys, pros at what they do, and this is reflected in the work they produce. They are also smart enough to know they can’t do everything, so they surround themselves with an equally talented crew. 

So, how were the two videos different? Beyond the obvious differences such as location and story line, I would say that, from a band perspective, there was much more work involved with “Indian Summer”. For “Stand Back”, we were in a comfortable environment. There was a stage to setup our equipment and a green room for us to hang out in. There was food, beer, coffee, and people willing to fetch any of that for us if we needed something. For the most part, we hung out in an air conditioned room relaxing and drinking beer until we were needed.

For “Indian Summer”, the experience was more like this: “See that steep 25 foot sand dune? Ok, we need to haul all of your equipment over that and setup in the sand during the heat of the day.” In short, there was much more lifting and work involved, in an environment that was less accommodating than Alley Katz (where “Stand Back” was shot). Don’t get me wrong, the crew was just as friendly and we did have some help with our equipment. For me, this was definitely the hardest I’ve had to work in a long time.

Unger: May I say, Keith Jackson, the director behind the "Indian Summer" video, did a fantastic job as well. How did you come about choosing Keith for the video?

Lenny: As far as I know, Keith was Bradford’s choice. You’re right, he did an outstanding job! 

Unger: Did Freedom Hawk have much to do with the overall visual theme of the "Indian Summer" video, like before shooting and collaborating with Keith?

Lenny: This was all Bradford, Keith, Chip, and their team. To be honest, any input from us might have ruined the video. Music is our thing, visual art and storytelling is thier’s. 

Unger: This was shot in or near OBX right? Was it tough to scout for a location for this video? I can only imagine how strong the heat was you guys and the crew put up with that day.

Lenny: I’m not sure what went into finding the location, but Keith had Jockey’s Ridge National Park picked out prior to shooting the video. Yes, this is in the OBX and it ended up taking two days to complete the shooting.

The heat on the first day was almost unbearable. It was close to, if not over, 100 degrees outside and it had to be 110 with the heat index. It took us hours to haul our equipment out to the location, not only because it was very long trek through the sand and dunes, but mostly because we had to stop every 15 minutes to cool off. We would sit in our van with the AC blasting, drinking water, soaking wet in our sweat, and panting like we just ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. We sat there until we worked up the courage to go back out in the heat to do it all again. As we passed each other I recall statements like “What the fuck are we doing out here” and “This is insane” and “This better be worth it”.

Once everything was where it needed to be, Bradford, Keith, Chip, and the crew came back from filming the highway and car scenes. We setup for the shots, changed out of our wet cloths, and began shooting. About 15 minutes into the shooting, clouds started roll in, the wind picked up, and we could hear thunder in the distance. A storm was headed our way. All that work to get our equipment out there and we had to take everything back with only getting a fraction of the video we needed. Luckily, this time we had the help of the entire crew so it went much faster. 

The second day of shooting went a little bit better. The heat wasn’t as bad and we only had to get the drums and guitars (no amps) out the location. I recall the same statements as we passed each other “What the fuck are we doing out here” and “This is insane”. To be honest, I am surprised we showed that day after our first experience. This time we knew what we were getting ourselves into, but I think we knew it would be worth it. 

Unger: Just a quick question about touring, You guys have been hitting the road a lot lately, even beyond the mid-atlantic and east coast, have the crowds been pretty receptive? Got some future dates I can post below this interview?

Lenny: The crowds have been very receptive. We often do well in merchandise sales, which is usually a good indication that at least a few people enjoyed the show.

Yeah, we have had a few out of town gigs lately. I think we would all like to play out of town more often and for longer periods of time. However, I’m amazed at how our fan base continues to grow with the little amount of touring that we are able to do. Our number of friends and fans on Facebook is modest at best and we aren’t huge by any means, but that number grows by a few every day. We have fans across the US and overseas. Places we’ve never been. I guess touring the information highway is subsidizing our inability to tour the actual highway right now, but it’s definitely not as fun. 

Sept. 14: Port-O-Call, Kill Devil Hills, NC

Oct 20: Baja Cantina Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, VA

Nov 2: The Assylum, Portland, ME

Nov 3: Small Stone Records Showcase at the Radio Bar, Somerville, MA

Nov 21: Jewish Mother Hiltop, Virginia Beach, VA 

Dec 1: Small Stone Records Showcase at the Majestic Theater, Detroit, MI