USF Students Put the “Hibbity” in Hibbity Dibbity

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Ever wondered what a hambone is? What does “keep it trippy 2050” mean? How can a shakeweight be used as a musical instrument? All these questions and more were raised during my interview with Hibbity Dibbity after their recent show at Slims. The band is made up of three USF students, junior Christian Hasselberger, an English major and music minor on keyboard, harmonica, accordion, and vocals, junior Tom Relling, also an English major and music minor on vocals, guitar and shakeweight, senior Parker Simon, a philosophy major and music minor on bass guitar and hambone, USF graduate Chris Braun, and SF State sophomore Jack Gehegan on drums and vocals.  The band members, who collectively describes their sound as soul butter, sweet juju vibes, happy times, and psychedeliciousness (or rock infused with folk elements) came together backstage to discuss everything about their unique style.

FOGHORN: How did you guys meet?

Chris Braun: I met Christian first. We played in a band called Ghost Town Refugees. I met Tom on Halloween — he thought I was dressed as a Mormon — actually I was dressed as Andrew Jackson and my brother was dressed as Abraham Lincoln. Tom came up to us and said “are you guys Mormons?” and that’s the first time we met.

Tom Relling: I remember the first time Parker and I jammed (turns to Parker) – I’ll be honest you weren’t holding it down. But you’re at ground zero right now.  And surely but slowly we ended up playing at Slim’s.

FOGHORN:  How long have you been playing together?

 Tom Relling:  A month and a half, but Chris and I have been playing around town acoustically for about a year. Parker and I have been jamming for a while too, we used to play at house parties with our old roommate.

FOGHORN: Now to the most important question of them all: Where did that name come from?

 Chris Braun:  I was hanging with some of my best friends from Connecticut at Hardly Strictly. We were talking in old timely accents the entire time; this was during the time when Tom and I were looking for a name,  all of the sudden we were dancing around slapping our knees doing a lot of hamboning.  Just then, hibbity dibbity pops into my head and I said to my friends “we the hibbity dibbity boys.”  During that day we kept calling ourselves the hibbity dibbity boys saying, “Oh them hibbity dibbity boys they love their junction juice.” I was like that would be a great name for a band, I should check online to see if it’s taken. My friend said ‘you should be fine, because those sound like a bunch of made up words.’ I googled it, and turns out no one is called the hibbity dibbity.

FOGHORN: And the second most important question: Why was Tom using a shakeweight on stage?

 Chris Braun: There’s no musical value to it, it’s just for looks. We played rock paper scissors after seeing a shakeweight infomercial on TV, and decided whoever lost had to play the shakeweight on stage.

FOGHORN: Parker, you also play a somewhat interesting “instrument” as well: What is the “hambone”?

 Jack Gehegan: This is Parker’s special trick when he uses his hands and legs as an instrument. It’s the bees knees.

FOGHORN: And how did you develop your sound together?

 Tom Relling:  Chris and I had the tunes originally, then we jammed with Christian and it just came from a mixing and matching of sounds. We found this dirty rawness, and it gave birth to the present day configuration that we honed and deliver.

FOGHORN: What artists are you inspired by? 

 Collectively: The Allman Brothers

Parker Simon: Each member of the band is into different music, Jack’s into hip-hop, Christian likes electronic.

Chris Braun: We all have a similar interest toward jazz, that’s what brought us together, and that has influenced us in a huge way.

Parker Simon: We are bass for life, we keep it trippy 2050. 

FOGHORN: What’s been your coolest gig so far?

 In unison: Slims! You caught us at a good time.

FOGHORN: Last question. What is your goal as a band? 

 Parker Simon: To give the people what they need to hear, to have fun and make people dance, to make as many people  as we can have a good time at as many shows as possible. We’re not really concerned with fulfilling a certain image. No matter what happens its gonna be ok.

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