An Interview with Nathan Stocker of Hippo Campus!

Back in September, I had the opportunity to kick it backstage with one of our favorite guitarists and musicians, Nathan Stocker of Hippo Campus at the Life is Beautiful Festival after their set!

Nathan and I talked about the inspiration of their latest EP, warm glow, the beauty of impermanence and some of the lessons he learned about life on the road:

Desiree: You guys have been on a roll all year! How has been the recording process been for this new EP?

Nathan: All of our album was recorded in Pachyderm Studios. It’s full of history. [The people at Pachyderm] have made it in a beautiful atmosphere. It’s a very cool environment –very creative. You’re living with everyone there. You wake up, record, and work. You’re there for a purpose. It’s lovely.

Photo Source: Desiree Tolentino for Hippo Campus (2017)

Has there been any particular inspirations for your band?

It changes a lot. You listen to old music. You discover new music. We don’t want to tie ourselves down to anything specific. We want to allow ourselves to move and be true to ourselves, but a big part of that has been constant change in our lives.

We’ve got a lot of country vibes. The country has been a big influence on us upon creating. Not country music directly, but THE country and the state that the country has been in –politically, non-politically, socially. There’s always going to be two sides to every coin. Lyrically and musically, [our country] has been a primary influence. At least, it has been for me.

What makes your life beautiful in general?

I guess this. Just talking with people. Just looking around and going around to different places and seeing life in action. I like to think I’m always behind-the-scenes instead of on-set because there’s an element of false reality that applies to being on all the time. Just seeing how different everyone is and how different everyone lives. It’s incredible.

I like seeing people think that they’re in control and then watch it all rapidly change for them –myself included. I would think something last week and my view is completely flipped upside-down. Here I am, and hopefully, I’m a better person from it.

What has been difficult for you?

I’ve found it very difficult to hold onto the people that I loved before all this happened to us. Cultivating those relationships that already existed and mean something –family and old friends– you really gotta work at keeping those together.

I think about the sort of impermanence of all this. It’s both sad and beautiful. Two sides of every coin, you know? It’s insane. We’re just blessed to be there.

Keep up with Nathan and his band, Hippo Campus as they take on their tour by storm at: