The world has been given another preview of what to expect at Hangout Fest 2014. The official schedule has been released, and many have been busy mapping out how to experience the most bands.
Festival organizers have made it easy with the custom schedule tool. Many will be checking out some of the Hangout Fest veterans who will be returning to this year’s festival. The Tontons will be back to Gulf Shores with a batch of new material ready to go.
In 2010, this Houston-based alt rock band introduced itself to the world with their self-titled debut. This release was quickly followed by the “Sea and Stars” EP. As the band’s popularity began to grow, their tour schedule began to fill. The group was on the road for three years and developed a wide following, until something occurred to them.
In their eyes, the songs that were once brand new had become old. The Tontons headed into the studio to begin laying down tracks for what would be become their new album “Make Out King and Other Stories of Love.” This album was built upon the concept of three years’ worth of individual and group memories as they toured. This nostalgic concept made itself known after the album was complete.
“When we got into the studio, it was refreshing to have all these new songs,” said bassist Tom Nguyen. “It happened naturally, and after we were done we were like, ‘Whoa! That was weird. All these songs are about all this.’”
Being from Texas, it was only natural for the band to retreat to Austin for the album’s creation. While there, they employed the services of producer David Boyle (Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Iron & Wine). Nguyen explained that a majority of the album was already written when they approached Boyle. However, Boyle proved to be extremely helpful as the band wrote the final songs in the studio.
“We did all this awesome pre-production,” Nguyen said. “Some of the songs stayed the same, and some were shaped differently. It just changed out sound a little, but I think it was for the better. There’s thing we did that we wouldn’t have tried on our own.”
Nguyen will admit they were nervous to release this album. It had been some time since they had had this experience. Ultimately, everyone was satisfied. The fans cannot get enough, and the critics are singing its praises. Luckily, this is a good thing for The Tontons.
“I don’t think we went in with the idea that we wanted to please everyone,” Nguyen said. “We wanted to please ourselves.”