Leading up to our November 10 showcase, we'll be getting you familiar with some of our Dallas Observer Music Awards nominees, either via past features we've done on them, or new ones. You can vote for your favorite acts, venues and more right here.
If you've ever wanted to employ the phrase "hardcore ballooning" and have it not refer to some sort of sex act, Home By Hovercraft have you covered. Helmed by husband and wife Seth and Shawn Magill, the five-piece's music is classically informed, and yet pop in its translation. Their musical components include tuba, piano, mandolin and a step dancer, and they're currently at work on songs for the musical On the Eve, which is about Marie Antoinette, time travel and a hot air balloon. So, naturally, they're nominated in the Best None of the Above category.
Take a listen to "Rocket," the first single off their upcoming album, Are We Chameleons?, for a sense of why their songs are so singalong-able. Seth Magill and Michael Federico, the co-writer for the musical, tackled a few of our questions.
First of all, tell me about Marie Antoinette and how she got into a hot air balloon. Hardcore ballooning and royalty go hand-in-hand. Marie Antoinette was a big fan and supporter of the first hot air balloon. We're pretty sure that balloon was also a time machine, but our sources on that matter are questionable at best. We can't give away all our plot secrets either so for now the tagline for the musical may best summarize the how: "History Is Revision, Words Are Power, Time Travel Is Cool."
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If Marie Antoinette was a celebrity in 2012, who would she be? Ageless, attractive, gossiped about, and prone to the occasional public outburst. So...Tom Cruise?
Besides Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson and Jersey Boys, what other historical figures deserve their own musical? Ozzy Osbourne has a Rasputin musical, so that guy is off the table. How about Jesse James, Marie Curie and Val Kilmer.
What do you think about you group being nominated for "none of the above"? Should we burn all genre labels to the ground? We love the nomination, recognizing the challenge to identify genre for a piano-led band with a tuba, mandolin, and step dancer, who also just wrote a musical. Genre labels shouldn't be burned to the ground, maybe just sanded down a little bit, blended and texturized. We don't happen to fit into one genre easily. Possibly a more fitting category would be "a mixture of the above." (Or maybe we need to tighten up our elevator pitch?) The title of our new album, Are We Chameleons?, speaks to this very notion.
If Home By Hovercraft were a shade of paint, what would it be? We prefer to leave an impression, so really we could be any paint color as long as it's fresh and someone sits on it with white pants.