#TBT: Lollapalooza edition with Hippo Campus and Frenship

Fast Company was on the ground at Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park earlier this month. The stacked lineup included Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Tegan and Sara, Run the Jewels, Zara Larsson, and way more. In this special Lolla-themed #TBT, we revisit two artist Q&As in tandem with Red Bull TV.


Hippo Campus

Fast Company: How do you overcome creative roadblocks?

Jake Luppen (vocalist): We get out the N64 and smash it. You need to take a break sometimes.

Nathan Stocker (guitarist): It really dilutes any sort of negative vibes. You play and then it’s over with; it’s done.

FC: What would you say the Hippo Campus brand is?

JL: Minnesota is pretty central to our brand, where we’re from. We get associated with that quite a bit.

NS: We also don’t want to clearly define it because it’s always changing. It’s like water: There’s no shape.

FC: How do you solve differences within the group without damaging your dynamic?

NS: There’s a skill set we’ve had to adapt to where we have to respect each other’s privacy and opinions. We’ve learned to respectfully disagree and be honest about it without any sort of tension. It doesn’t matter what you think; it’s how you think it.


Fast Company: What’s your creative process like? Where do you find inspiration?

James Sunderland: Feelings, probably more than anything. I think a lot of our songs start as—and this is a clichéd verb—a vibe. It sounds stupid, but “Capsize” started out like that.

Brett Hite: I think the more interesting part of our creative process is a little bit more down the road. That’s when it becomes unique. When you’re revisiting and editing your original idea, you have to acknowledge that something doesn’t feel right. It’s that balance between being creative and critical.

FC: What is the Frenship brand?

BH: Inclusive. Very inclusive.

JS: It’s lighthearted and fun, but also thoughtful. We give off campfire vibes.

FC: How do you solve differences within the group without damaging your dynamic?

BH: Fistfights and kisses on the cheek.

JS: We have pretty different personalities, but I think we speak pretty bluntly with each other. If we don’t like something, we bring it up. Things get hashed out fast before they become a thing.

BH: It’s a skill you have to learn.