When drummer Cody Hanson says that his band, Hinder, is about as happy as it’s ever been, it’s a nice enough sentiment on the surface. But when you really think about that statement, it’s kind of surprising. Back in 2005, thanks to hit singles like “Lips of an Angel,” “Get Stoned,” and “How Long,” the Oklahoma hard-rockers were on top of the world, selling 3 million copies of their album “Extreme Behavior.” One would think that, with a triple-platinum album and hit singles galore, that THAT period would be the happiest.
Not so, Hanson says.
“Back then, they were running us ragged,” he says. “We were probably playing too many shows and surrounded by a lot of people not really caring about our health and mental well-being. We have a lot more control over what we do now. We’re comfortable. Things are going well; we’re really happy.”
The band isn’t selling records in those multimillion-sized quantities anymore, but then again, very few bands are. The entire music industry has undergone seismic changes in the 14 years since Hinder’s biggest hit, and Hanson says these days it’s more about connecting with the fans they have than trying to write hits for the radio.
“When the first record went platinum, that was obviously a huge accomplishment,” he says, “but then everything changed in the industry. Instead of worrying about album sales, the focus has shifted to being out on the road and connecting with fans, trying to gain long-term supporters. So that’s what we do. We create the music that we want to create and that we think the fans will love; then we go out on the road and try to perform it to the best of our abilities and connect with as many people as possible.”
It’s a better place for the band to be in, and Hanson knows it because Hinder actually tried to write hit singles for a while.
“We’ve tried to change a lot of different things in the past,” Hanson says. “We were trying to copy what was on the radio, trying to make someone at the record label happy, trying to make what they think will sell. We’ve done that far too many times. At this point in our career, it’s important that we write the music we love, and that we hope our fans we love, and that’s pretty much all we can do.”
What Hinder does has actually been called a lot of different things. On the surface, the band’s catchy, riff-heavy new single “Halo” seems like crisply produced hard-rock. But over their nearly two-decade career, they’ve been called “alternative rock,” “post-grunge rock,” “neo-glam metal,” and just about every hyphenate in between.
“To be honest with you, I still don’t have a clue what we are,” Hanson says with a laugh. “I get lost in the labels, and I’m not sure what any of it means anymore. All I know is that we write the songs that we want to listen to. We just write what we’re feeling.”
With a new album on the horizon, Hinder has launched a tour with fellow early-2000s-era hard-rockers Saving Abel. The tour will bring both bands to The Spinning Jenny in Greer next Thursday.
“We’ve known the Saving Abel guys for a long time, and we thought it would a be a cool idea to reunite and hang out,” Hanson says. “It’s been way too long.”
If you go
What: Hinder, w/ Saving Abel & The Adarna
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13
Where: The Spinning Jenny, 107 Cannon St., Greer
Tickets: $22 advance, $26 door
Info: 864-469-6416, https://www.thespinningjennygreer.com