The Hip Abduction: Shaky Knees interview (2016)


Meet The Hip Abduction: David New (lead vocals/guitar), Pat Klemawesch (kamlae ngoni, guitar, vocals), Chris Powers (bass), Dave Johnson (baritone & tenor sax), Paul Chlapowski (keyboards), Matt Poynter (drums/vocals), and John Holt III (kamale ngoni, guitar, vocals).

The Hip Abduction (1)
Pictured left to right: David New, Matt Poynter, Chris Powers, and Dave Johnson. Taken from The Hip Abduction’s performance at the Shaky Knees Music Festival (2016).

I managed to catch up with the guys from the band, The Hip Abduction on Saturday afternoon while they were enjoying some of our local flavor- King of Pops flavored Popsicle. We sat on the roof top of a building nestled in the middle of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta while enjoying the august view of the park and surrounding downtown area. The weather was simply gorgeous and most definitely the right weather for such a wonderful festival. This was not their first time playing Atlanta as they had previously played at The Masquerade with The Expendables most recently.  Chris Powers (CP) and Pat Klemawesch (PK) were free to sit and chat a few moments about the band and the path they took to get to Shaky Knees Music Festival.

CH: How has the recent tour dates been treating you guys?

CP: “Well we just played Greenville, S.C. and had a BLAST! Then we had a show in Raleigh, N.C. at the Lincoln Theatre and played in front of a wonderful crowd. What a great room for a show!”


CH: I’ve read that you all started off first as an informal jam band of sorts and over time decided to make this something to pursue. What moment did you realize this was something that you could do for a living?

PK: “Well after surfing one day, I was introduced to Dave (David New- lead vocals/guitar) and we immediately jammed a good half hour. I had given a guy a CD with the artist Cheikh-Lo on it. Dave heard it and said he had to meet the guy who liked this kind of music. Turns out we only lived six blocks away from each other.”

CP: “I played with Dave back in April 2007 and PK came right around February 2010, which was the time we were working on the album One Less Sound. This was when I realized something was happening because people were showing up to our shows and singing along with us. I remember when we played the Ringside Café (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and it would feel like 150 degrees inside with all the people packed in this tiny building with the smallest AC unit. People would faint nightly at these shows!”

The Hip Abduction (7)
Pictured left to right: Pat Klemawesch and Paul Chlapowski. Taken at the Shaky Knees Music Festival (2016).

CH: From all your current 2016 tour dates, you will be touring basically until late September (09/24th Chucktown Ball with Umprhey’s McGee). Is there a venue/festival/city that you are most excited about visiting/playing in this upcoming tour?

CP: “Easy… the Fox Theatre in Boulder after listening to so many past live tracks from many different artists.”

PK: “And now we get a chance to play this place which is a very momentous time for us as a band. I am also excited to play the Purple Hatter’s Ball in Live Oak, Fl.”

CP: “Yes! That place has a really special vibe plus it is in our home state of Florida.”

PK: “The vibe there is very welcoming… feels right to go home and play with your people!”


CH: How has your sound developed from your first LP (One Less Sound) to the latest release, Gold Under the Glow?

CP: “I feel like you are what you are listening to at the time… we were listening to a lot of St. Lucia and Vactioner. Mostly synth-pop at the time. Then we were introduced to Dabney Morris (drummer for the band Wild Cub) who lives in Nashville. He made the synth elements come to life for us while we recorded in analog. Once Michael Goldwasser (producer for their self-titled album, The Hip Abduction) got with Dabney then we had all different analog synths and we also had more of a focus on our songwriting.”

PK: “That album took longer to coalesce… it was two years before the final version was available to make this album. The best part of this band is that we have such a diverse musical background which we use as flavor or texture for our music. We have always blended together some West African/Caribbean elements and rhythms and some poly rhythms.”

CP: “Everybody brings in something different… then having a producer (Dabney Morris) who can see what’s laid down and create a sonic sculpture.”


CH: What is one of your most memorable experiences (as a band) being on the road?

PK: (laughing) “Well that is something I can’t tell you… but I can share the time at Wanee (2014) when Gregg Allman stuck around for our set and gave appreciation for our performance. That was amazing! That is kind of royalty… ya know?!”

CP: “For me it was Sun Fest (2015) when we played with Kaskade and 311. That was the one for me!”

The Hip Abduction (1)
The Hip Abduction taking a break to enjoy Shaky Knees (2016).

We want to thank The Hip Abduction for taking the time to sit and chill with us at the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. If you get a chance to check these guys out when they come near your town, I suggest you do so without hesitation. We definitely will again!

Check us out and follow us on all social media outlets to stay up to date on our entire concert hopping: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (username: Concerthopper) and Twitter. All of us at want to thank you for your continued support and we will see you all this weekend at the Shaky Beats Music Festival in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

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