The Hooters’ Eric Bazilian and David Uosikkinen Dish on Their New Album

Photo by Marc Gilgen

Bursting onto the Philadelphia music scene back in 1980, the Hooters are now celebrating the release of Rocking & Swing, their first studio album since 2010.

Several of its songs pay tribute to those early glory days, as they were favorites the group played live back in the ’80s club scene. The Hooters’ local roots have always been strong. The video for the 1985 hit “And We Danced” was filmed at the drive-in movie theater on the property of what’s now the Exton Square Mall. Entering their 43rd year onstage, the group joins Rick Springfield on the road this August—their first national tour since the mid-’90s. We checked in with founding members Eric Bazilian and David Uosikkinen to get their thoughts on the new album, the band’s durability and its unique sound.

MLT: What can listeners and longtime Hooters fans expect from the new release?

EB: The real old-time listeners will be delighted to hear us tipping our hats to our ska and reggae roots. Newer listeners will recognize a familiar “All You Zombies” flavor.

DU: The electric sounds of One Way Home and Time Stand Still are still a big part of our sound. Rocking & Swing is a record with a vibe.

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MLT: How does this album compare to your past works?

DU: Rocking & Swing brings us back to our roots. We were primarily a ska/reggae band when we started in 1980. It’s what put us on the map in the Delaware Valley.

EB: This is the most uniformly ska and reggae album we’ve ever made. It’s fast, furious and, above all, fun.

MLT: What’s the key to the longevity of the band?

EB: The fact that we’ve stayed together. We all have our own lives we live in our own way. When we get together, it’s a special thing—a magical bond. There’s a mutual love and respect that’s taken us around the world and seems to want to take us even farther.

DU: After so many years of touring and working together, we know each other very well.

(From left) The Hooters’ Tommy Williams, David Uosikkinen, Eric Bazilian, Rob Hyman, Fran Smith Jr. and John Lilley.
(From left) The Hooters’ Tommy Williams, David Uosikkinen, Eric Bazilian, Rob Hyman, Fran Smith Jr. and John Lilley. Photo by Marc Gilgen.

MLT: For younger generations unfamiliar with the Hooters, how would you describe your sound?

EB: Melodic, rhythmic, lyrical, eclectic.

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MLT: What memories stick out to you as original members of the band?

EB: Unexceptional moments onstage, on the bus, in hotels—when I’d look up and realize just how lucky we are.

DU: Meeting my musical heroes and actually becoming friends with a few of them. Some of the greatest drummers in the world are my buds. That’s pretty cool.

Visit hootersmusic.com.

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