Hutch Harris Opens Up On Stand-Up Comedy, Musical Dynamics, and Being Manic


Before The Thermals were the creating post-pop punk magic they are today, guitarist Hutch Harris and bassist Kathy Foster were Hutch & Kathy, a folk duo with one self-titled LP full of sweet folk-pop melodies. Almost 13 years and 6 Thermals albums later, the duo are reuniting (even though they haven’t been apart), releasing the album for the first time ever on vinyl, and venturing away from their native Portland, OR for a cross-country tour. Before they make their way to Cuisine En Locale in Somerville on May 30th, hear what Hutch Harris has to say on his relationship with Kathy, The Breeders, and what’s next for The Thermals!

Boston Hassle: Who’s idea was it to reissue the Hutch and Kathy LP? Was a tour part of the plan?

Hutch Harris: Jealous Butcher, the Portland label that originally released the Hutch and Kathy LP in 2002, had the idea to reissue the record for Record Store Day this year. The LP had never been pressed on vinyl, so we are very glad to have it finally available on vinyl. We were taking a short break from The Thermals at the time, so it seemed like the perfect time to do a Hutch and Kathy tour. It’s our first tour in 13 years!

BH: What has been your favorite part of playing as Hutch and Kathy again? 

HH: I love playing music with Kathy. I’ve been playing music with Kathy for almost 20 years and I never want to stop. It’s been really fun to re-discover these songs that we haven’t played for so long. We love these songs a lot, and it’s been interesting to see how quickly we remember these songs.

BH: What is the performing set up for the tour and what can people expect?

HH: Kathy is playing drums and singing, I am playing guitar and singing, just like we did when we toured for the album’s initial release. People can expect a lot of the songs from the Hutch and Kathy LP, some fun covers, and some Thermals songs as well. It’s fun to play Thermals songs acoustic like this, it’s the closest we’ll ever get to being on MTV Unplugged.

BH: How did you meet Kathy?

HH: Kathy and I got to know each other playing punk shows in the South Bay, California in the late 90’s. But we actually met each other in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. Kathy’s friend was selling ganja goo-balls.

BH: What do you think works so well between you and Kathy, and has allowed you two to be able to play together for so long on so many different projects?

HH: Kathy and I get along very well, we have a great friendship and musical dynamic. I’m manic and hyper, where Kathy is very cool and collected. We balance each other out and compliment each other very well.

BH: What have you been doing in the world of comedy? What was your motivation for pursuing comedy?

HH: I started doing stand up in November of last year. I’ve been a huge comedy fan my whole life, and had wanted to do stand up for awhile. As soon as I started doing it I loved it SO MUCH. It’s incredibly fun, more fun than I even imagined.

BH: What is your favorite song you have ever written or are most proud of?

HH: Ha, so hard to say, I love all of my songs so much. I really like “Power Doesn’t Run On Nothing”, from The Thermals LP The Body, The Blood, The Machine. Most of what I have to say about politics, war and the human race in general is summed up in that song.

BH: Who do you feel has been the most influential person on you as an artist, or in life?

HH: Kim Deal! For so long. The Breeders are one of my favorite bands of all-time, and every time I’ve met Kim Deal she’s been incredibly sweet, friendly and down to earth.

BH: How is Westin Glass (drummer of The Thermals)? What has he been up to?

HH: Oh Westin is just fine. He’s just being super-hot and awesome, as always.

BH: What is in The Thermals’ future? Do you have anything planned?

HH: Oh yes, we always have plans. As soon as Kathy and I are done touring we will get to work on the next Thermals LP, probably have it out next year!

Catch Hutch & Kathy on tour in a city near you!!
FRI 5/29 BROOKLYN, NY – Rough Trade
SAT 5/30 BOSTON, MA – Cuisine En Locale
SUN 5/31 PROVIDENCE, RI – Parlour
TUE 6/02 PHILADELPHIA, PA – Boot & Saddle
WED 6/03 WASHINGTON, DC – Black Cat Backstage
THU 6/04 NEW YORK, NY – Mercury Lounge

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