Back out on the road

Hinder is bringing its “Freakshow” back to the Mahoning Valley. The Oklahoma rock band has played several shows here over the years, both when it was a relatively unknown band and after the song “Lips of an Angel” propelled the group to multi-platinum success.

“We always played The Cellar (in Struthers) back in the day,” drummer Cody Hanson said during a telephone interview. “There were a lot of stories, none that I can share with you, but I remember we always had a good time.”

This time the band will be playing Rodeo Music Hall in Austintown in support of its late 2012 release “Welcome to the Freakshow.” Unlike some of the group’s past albums, there’s no concept behind “Freakshow.”

“The idea was just to have no idea,” Hanson said. “We put together a list of what we thought were the best songs, and we produced each song individually. We didn’t do it with an overall album theme in mind.”

The group – Austin Winkler, lead vocals; Joe “Blower” Garvey, guitar; Mark King, guitar; Mike Rodden, bass; and Hanson – also experimented with some different musical ideas, from incorporating digital samples to using a harp on “Get Me Away from You.”

Hanson said even in these days of music industry austerity, the band was able to experiment and takes its time on “Freakshow” by using Hanson’s home studio. The drummer co-produced the album with Marshall Dutton in addition to co-writing all 11 tracks.

“Definitely, the support from the label has gone away quite a bit,” he said. “But it works out better for us, especially on this record. We were able to make the record we wanted to make.

“Having a studio downstairs at your house, you don’t have to watch the clock (and worry about recording studio costs). And even when you are recording away from home, you’re thinking about getting home and spending some time there before you have to go on tour. Here, you really get a chance to relax and experiment.”

The March 7 date in Austintown originally was announced in January and canceled a day later, reportedly because one of the band members’ wives was pregnant and her due date was moved up. Hanson said there apparently was some miscommunication, because no one is pregnant and the band has a month of club shows scheduled in support of the new album.

“Save Me” was the debut single from “Freakshow.” In the press bio for the album, Winkler says, “I had just gotten out of rehab for drugs and alcohol, and I revisited the song. To me it felt like I didn’t need anything negative like drugs. Those aren’t going to save me. I can save myself though.”

In the live shows since the album’s release, “Should Have Known Better” and “See You in Hell” have been getting the biggest reaction in concert, Hanson said.

“Should Have Known Better” is the new single, and the band released a lyric video this week for the song, which starts with a piano-driven melody before swelling into a rock track.

“See You in Hell” is kind of an in-joke within the band.

“The way we’ve lived our lives, we may end up there,” he said. “It’s a funny, good-time song. We’re always making jokes we’re going to hell.”

Hinder will be playing fairs and larger venues in the summer, but Hanson said he is looking forward to the run of club dates.

“You can look people in the eye and interact a little more,” he said. “Then, after the show, you get to go back in and have beers with the fans and be social. That’s one of my favorite things about touring.”