Interview With Mike Rodden From Hinder

Photo courtesy of Jenipher from Stage Rage Magazine!

Mike Rodden
Bassist from HINDER
September 2011

Hinder has been touring all year supporting their latest effort All American Nightmare. After a busy summer for the band, we got a chance to catch up with bassist Mike Rodden so he could give us an update on the band and what they are gonna be up to for the rest of the year. Also check out our Concert Reviews section for a review of Hinder’s Syracuse show from Sept. 4!


Rock Show Critique: What is currently going on in the Hinder camp? What are you guys up to?

Mike Rodden: We actually pulled into Fort Smith, Arkansas today. We’re playing a show here with a couple of bands at the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair. We’re starting a nine day run, have a couple of weeks off then we are doing the ShipRocked Cruise this year. After that I’m not real sure we haven’t had anything set up yet.

RSC: All American Nightmare has been out almost a full year, it hasn’t fared near as well as its predecessors. What would you consider the reason for that. I feel it is a very strong album, actually your strongest effort to date.

MR: Well Thank You I appreciate it. You know I think there’s a combination of things why it hasn’t done as well as the other ones. I think the industry as a whole has kinda taken a dump. Records just aren’t selling like they used to unless you’re Taylor Swift or something like that, they’re still selling just like they were. The radio side is kinda down. People aren’t listening to rock radio as much, their not going out to stores and buying discs because the stores aren’t carrying them anymore. They’re going on itunes and buying singles. The labels are not pushing our stuff as much as they used to. Just a whole combination of different issues that are turning the industry down the toilet a little bit. We’re happy with the sales that we have for this record considering all of those factors. We’re doing a lot better than a lot of the bands we’re out here with. We’re still happy with what’s going on. Fans are still kicking ass. We’re still pleased with what’s going on.

RSC: Will there be any more singles released from the record?

MR: Yes actually we’re releasing a track called “The Life” off of this album to different formats and then later on we’re gonna release another rock song. I think its gonna be “2 Sides Of Me” to rock radio but that one’s not planned out yet. October 3rd we’re gonna  drop “The Life” and see how that does.

RSC: That was one of the ones I would have chosen for an earlier on single, a strong track.

MR: Yeah see that was my choice too for the 2nd. Of course we wanted to start with All American, cause its the title track and we wanted it to hit rock real hard up front. My second choice over “What Ya Gonna Do” would have probably been “The Life”, but the powers that be didn’t see it that way so I didn’t get my wish.

RSC: You guys don’t have too much input on what singles get released at this point?

MR: We definitely do. I mean it comes down to a bunch of things. What the label feels is a good single, what we feel is a good single. If the label is not gonna push what our choice is and their only gonna push this single then we kinda gotta go with what they want but try and kinda talk them into something else. Its a combination of the both of us. We see it from the business side now more than we did before. We either pay for our single push or we compromise with them and try and settle on a song that will do pretty well.

RSC: Since the early part of the year I noticed the set list has stayed pretty much the same. Why did you guys decide not to play “Without You”? Does it get repetitive playing the same songs night in night out?

MR: Yeah it does. We work really hard before we take off on a tour, on an album cycle as a whole at finding the right flow and right feel for a set list. We practice for weeks trying to get every song in the right position. We’re only allotted a certain amount of time per night. So we compromise we put the singles from the first, second and third and a few more from this album cause we’re trying to push that album. We pick the big singles  off the first two and a couple of tracks from those albums that weren’t singles that we here from people that they want to hear. Basically we’re a rock band so there’s only a certain amount of ballads or low tempo songs that we can throw into our set without it just dragging or being a pop set so we gotta pick and choose. Keep the tracks rocking and throw those singles in for the ladies later every once in a while.

RSC: It seemed earlier on you guys mixed up the set list more. Is that something you will do more now that you have more songs in your catalog.

MR: Yes absolutely. The more discs we release the harder it is to make a set. There’s always people that wanna hear certain songs that we don’t have in the set list. We’re kinda like damn we wanna please everybody but we can’t sit up there and play for three hours. We usually stick to the same set because we feel real strongly about it. We usually stick to the same one for the majority of an album cycle. We’ll definitely add in “The Life” and maybe change things up a bit all around when the single hits probably in October.

RSC: I see this time around you guys went out and played as the headliner, playing clubs and smaller venues. Do you enjoy that more or do you like playing the arenas and playing as an opener better?

MR: There’s pros and cons to both. Of course playing the arenas and some of the sheds when there’s 20,000 those shows are just ridiculous. We’re up there playing and that’s always a great feeling from the numbers aspect. Also in that situation you can’t really go out into the crowd and hang out and sign stuff for people after the show cause there is 20,000 people there. So whenever we get into the 1500-3000 seater clubs you can go out after the set and sign merch for people, hang out and meet people and take pictures and all that stuff. And that goes a long way with our fans I think, that’s how we built our fan base in the beginning. Headlining is good cause we can play an hour fifteen, an hour and a half set. Opening up for someone like Nickelback and Aerosmith in the big arenas playing a 45 minute set is where it gets really hard to pick what your gonna play. We enjoy both really.

RSC: Are you guys looking ahead to the next album?

MR: We’re always writing, not so much over the last few months cause we’ve been touring so hard.  There’s still ideas going around the camp laying down demos and stuff. We’re about to have a break and after the cruise there will be some writing sessions. And we still have like 65 songs from this record that we did not use. We’re gonna go back and revisit those and see if there’s anything we want to change about them that will make us want to put them on the record and of course write a bunch of new ones. It’s gonna be a lot of work doing this next one cause we have so much material to pick from.


RSC: Do you see the next album as the most important one possibly in your career?

MR: Ya know people usually say the 2nd is the most important of your career. I don’t know that’s kinda how we went into that album. Thinking man we sold three and a half million on the first one we gotta to get close to that or do better or its gonna be a flop.  Of course we didn’t get close to that. I think every album is equally important. I think as long as we keep putting out good records that we believe in, it’s gonna work itself out. We gone past the point of stressing about, Is it gonna sell? Are the critics gonna like it? We just write music for us and our fans. We talk to our fans a lot and do the social media stuff. I feel like we know them pretty well. As long as we put out songs they can relate to, I think it will be a success. Our live shows aren’t getting any smaller. The sales aren’t really affecting that. Rock will come back there’s always a cycle when that happens the sales will go back up and everything will level back out again. It’s definitely important they all are.

RSC: Final question How long do you see Hinder doing the album-tour-album routine for? It seems you really haven’t had much time off recently.

MR: No we haven’t(laughs), the biggest break we had was seven months to do this record. I think we’re gonna do it as long as we can and as long as we enjoy it. We’re still having fun. We’re getting older so its a little harder to keep up with the pace we’ve set early on, I think we’re gonna tour as long as we possibly can cause that’s what we do. We didn’t used to make records and do all this stuff. We just used to play live shows, then you get signed and then you put out records and touring its just another aspect added to it.  The live show is what we’re about. God willing we’ll be doing it for another 20 years.

Thank You to Mike Rodden and Hinder.
Special Thanks to Nina Kolb for all her help in making this possible! 🙂
For more on Hinder check them out on the web at
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About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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