Interview: Ex Hex

Hailing from Washington D.C., Ex Hex’s success has been a long time coming. The trio have been cutting their teeth in bands for years. With their origins stemmed in garage and punk, through their refreshingly raucous power-pop it seems that now they’ve got the formula just right. Performing at End Of The Road following the release of their debut album Rips last year, the three-piece – made up of Mary Timony, Laura Harris, and Betsy Wright – are raring to cast their spell on Larmer Tree Gardens.

“I think sometimes the best shows we have are the ones that are smaller, and not in big cities,” frontwoman Mary Timony says. “I think they’re definitely some of our favourite places to play. We always have really good fun when we’re playing in Europe. And we’ve heard really great things about the festival.” Celebrating End Of The Road’s 10th anniversary, Ex Hex are thrilled to be throwing themselves into the frivolities. “We’re party animals!” they exclaim. “Our songs are kind of party songs in a way, because they’re fun to play, so we have a really good time when we’re playing live.”

Describing their sound as “a little bit twisted, but sort of classic at the same time,” with their debut album Rips the power-pop outfit have attained an infectious perfection. “We’ve played in a lot of bands before, and haven’t really tried to reference specific music,” the trio say of their aesthetic. “But with this band we were thinking a lot about what the music sounded like, rather than what it felt like to play.”

Enjoyment seems to be front and centre of what Ex Hex pride themselves on doing so well. “The one thing I wanted to do with the songs that I wrote for the band was to have guitar parts that were really fun to play,” Timony explains of the group’s contagious energy. “I spent some time writing leads that I liked, and trying to make them as catchy as the melody. I wanted to make the songs I was writing fun to listen to.” There’s no doubt that they succeeded.

“I think the songs are accessible to people,” Timony expands. “They’re not, like, brainless in terms of content, but I think that they’re enjoyable. So people seem to enjoy themselves. We have an absolute blast when we play live, so I think you can expect good things.” Readying to take to the Big Top stage on Saturday, there’s a definite sense of excitement. “It’s a challenge to play your music for people that haven’t heard it, ’cause you have to try and win them over, but I find that a fun challenge.”

As for how they’d fair over a weekend in the fields… “No, I don’t think I would go camping,” Timony laughs. “I don’t know, it depends. I’m sure at a different part of my life I definitely would have. I do like camping. I’m sure I could do it – but right now I’m too tired.”

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