Hilltop Hoods are still sitting pretty on the top on the urban music world in Australia. With nine ARIAs, multi-platinum sales, half a billion global streams and songs cemented in Australia’s DNA, the Adelaide boys are not stopping. February saw the release of their 8th studio album, ‘The Great Expanse’, and it represented everything the trio embody; greatness. But even after their undeniable success, MC Suffa (Matt Lambert) is still humbled by their achievements and the response from fans.
“It’s always a surprise when you come back and people are still there for it,” he says. “We don’t take anything for granted so we always come back, not with low expectations, but managing our expectations.”
Working with renowned songwriter, Sarah Aaron’s, and produced by One Above, ‘The Great Expanse’ features a tonne of hot collaborations from talented artists, including Ecca Vandal, Timberwolf, Illy, Nyassa, Ponda Baba, Adrian Eagle and Ruel.
“We like supporting people who we think have got talent, particularly people who are local like Adrian Eagle. All three of us really wanted to see someone who grew up in the area [Adelaide] who has a real gift just do well.” Suffa continues “with someone like Ruel, he’s hard to miss because the last year he’s been coming up so wildly. It’s hard to miss when a Ruel or someone comes onto the scene.”
As for future collaborations, could Eminem make the cut? “I don’t think that is on the cards any time soon,” he laughs.
Wishful thinking even though the lads have just finished up supporting the rapper superstar for the second time on his record breaking Rapture tour. “It was amazing! It was a really great experience! We actually did the Rapture tour about 7 or 8 years ago- the first time it came out here – so to jump on it again. We were really grateful for that opportunity and since we did it the first time we’ve gotten a bit more used to bigger crowds and put out a few more records so we were a bit more confident and had a lot more fun with the crowd so it was good.”
Stress less if you missed out on the sell out tour – the boys will be joining the line-up for Groovin’ The Moo and are also gearing up to announce a national headline tour. “There is a very strong chance, *wink*, definitely, that we will be announcing our own headline tour,” Suffa laughs. “We’ve done Splendour and Falls and doing Groovin’ but you definitely miss doing your headline shows as well. So we can’t wait to get back on the road again.”
There’s no indication of the group slowing down and if their album artwork is anything to go off of, their career is far from over. Fans would be aware that their album artwork tells the continuous story of protagonist assassin, ‘Armageddon’, an idea inspired by Suffa’s love for Iron Maiden and their character Eddy. When the story comes to an end, does that signify the end of Hilltop Hoods?
“We were talking with someone about this the other day…and they sort of suggested that someone standing on the cover with [Armageddon’s] decapitated head might be a good way to finish things,” Suffa laughs. “I thought that might be a bit too brutal and a bit too final. But as far as the artwork goes, we don’t have a final plan in that regard. It’s something that moves and develops as we go along. There’s no master plan behind the whole thing,” he continues, “I guess the one thing I can say is we have no intention of slowing down any time soon.”
Let’s hope not!
Hilltop Hoods, ‘The Great Expanse’ is out now.
Written by Tammy Walters