"We very rarely get asked about our dynamic; how our band functions as a duo. It's something I thought about recently as we went into our ninth year of working together. In our job (writing pop songs), Theo and I work with an almost unspoken acceptance of the roles we have slipped into over the years. From a purely musical perspective, that can be unimaginatively summed up as: I mostly write the music, Theo mostly writes the lyrics and the melodies we do together. That's basically how it works, give or take moments where the lines between those three tasks become blurred, as they sometimes do. That's how our functional partnership works anyway – the strengths of one person compensating for the weakness of the other, to form something balanced.
"We have a quite odd but nonetheless fortunate chemistry between us that extends beyond chords and the pursuit of hooks"
As we went into our ninth year of knowing and working with each other, I began to appreciate and understand the unwritten underbelly of our group more, beyond just the technical task of writing songs. Like most relationships, I realised we have a quite odd but nonetheless fortunate chemistry between us that extends beyond chords and the pursuit of hooks. Aside from the obvious fact that we work towards a common goal, which of course binds us together for the greater good, our relationship outside of actually sitting down and writing songs is built on how little the differences between us as people affect the harmony of group.
And there are definitely differences. While my personality is naturally infused with a grim sense of caution and a nagging pessimism, Theo sees the brightest of light in all that surrounds him. I catastrophise over everything and he thinks he can fly. This makes for occasional lunacy as individuals but makes us realistic and calm as one voice. Likewise I'm extremely impatient, while Theo has always seen the bigger picture, keeping us hungry but sensible. I tend to be mostly propelled by fear, while Theo is by a distance, the bravest person I know. This makes us take chances but not say yes to everything. It's this meshing of two very distinct set of characteristics and how the cogs of our individual personalities entwine that sees us work perfectly as one. We have great balance as a pair.
"I catastrophise over everything and Theo thinks he can fly"
I think we respect each to the maximum, now perhaps more than ever. Hurts is a perfectly equal fruition of two personalities and skillsets that alone would be aimless and raw but that when put together forge something potent and unique. There's never been a power struggle because the band could not exist without one another. We rely on each other and need each other in order to succeed. We've been through so much over the years – from playing to one person in Luton (then having all our gear knicked out of a shitty Ford Fiesta) to tens of thousands all across Europe. Along the way there's been poverty, homlessness, rejection, alcoholism, numerous broken relationships, mental breakdowns... But there's also been unforgettable shows, in countries we never dreamed we'd get to go to, heroes we never thought we'd meet that have ended up as friends, not to mention the fullfilment of just about every exotic cliche that exists about lads in bands. These shared experiences and memories bind us further.
I think if you asked us nine years ago whether we's still be making music together and still be friends, I doubt either of us would say yes. We were very different back then. But over the years we've learned how to accomodate each others personalities, how to get the best out of each other and how to spend enormous amounts of time together without wanting to kill each other and In a strange way, despite our achievements in the band, thats probably the biggest success of them all."
This is synthesist Adam Anderson, one half of Hurts, speaking about his bandmate, singer Theo Hutchcraft. Anderson is a Taurus, Theo is a Virgo, a strong astrological union. Both signs are logical and down-to-earth, strongly disciplined and possessed of high standards. The pair first met outside the 42nd Street nightclub in Manchester in November 2005, whilst their friends got involved in a fight. Too drunk to join in, they began to talk about music and very quickly realised they shared similar tastes. After an email exchange of lyrics, they decided to form Bureau, which later became Daggers, and then Hurts, in 2009. Over the past year, they have played shows across Europe and in March released their second emotionally charged album Exile. This weekend they will headline the John Peel stage at Glastonbury.
Their latest single, Somebody to Die For, is out on July 21.
Text by Laura Bradley