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Q&A with Hutch from the Thermals

Q&A with Hutch from the Thermals

Date: Nov 24 2008

Themes: Alternative, Interview

Grammar: Comparing Quantity


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

The Thermals are an American pop punk trio, and as catchy as their music is, the world portrayed in the lyrics of their last album, The Body, the Blood, the Machine, is pretty dark. Vocalist Hutch Harris sings about an America run by Christian fascists. The songs were inspired by how much power conservatives had in the country at the time.

But now that Barack Obama has been elected, does Hutch see the world differently? Just before he left for a European tour, Jason talked to him about the election and performing abroad.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Jason:  So you do a lot of touring internationally, and I wonder, what’s your favorite country to play in?

Hutch:  It’s got to be Germany. Like, even before we were getting successful here and in the UK and other countries, Germany and the Netherlands jumped on it just right away…

Jason:  Have you picked up any German from your shows there?

Hutch:  I know a little bit. I know some short words…I was talking to a German band one time because most German bands that we play with are all singing in English. And of course they speak English. They grew up…I mean, their English is better than ours.

Jason:  Wow.

Hutch:  It’s more grammatically correct. They say “months” instead of “munts.” They say “second” instead of “sekind.” But anyway, I was talking a German man and he was saying that the English language, the thing is you have so many more words to choose from than in German that you can be way more expressive.

Jason:  I just wanted to ask you about how you feel about Obama’s victory and if it’s affected your world view.

Hutch:  Dude, I’m stoked. So stoked. I was scared until the last minute, really. I didn’t even have a drink. I wasn’t gonna, like, get drunk at some Obama party and then have it turned around and have McCain steal it. So yeah, it totally changes my world view. Choosing Obama wasn’t choosing the lesser of two evils. We also dodged a bullet with those other two.


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Hutch says that Germany and the Netherlands were some of the first places where the Thermals got popular. He knows a little German, but most of the German bands the Thermals play with know a lot of English. Hutch says their pronunciation of English is often better than Americans’!

On election night, Hutch was so nervous that he didn’t celebrate until Obama had won for sure. He feels more positive about the country now because a leader was elected who he actually likes, not just one he tolerates. He also thinks if McCain and Palin had won, it would not have been so good. So one can imagine the songs on Now We Can See, the Thermals’ new album that comes out on April 7, will probably be a little less gloomy!

Visit the Thermals’ website and click here to see their European tour dates and more from Hutch!

Do bands in your country sing in English? What nationality do you think has the best English pronunciation? Tell us how you feel about Obama’s victory.



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I agree with you and I hope no war again in the future.

07:12 AM Nov 24 2008 |




The thing is" I am also sooooooo stoked about Obama's  historical victory.


04:57 AM Nov 24 2008 |


VOLTSSuper Member!


The thing is I hope Hutch is right about the new president.

and fewer financial crisis and wars !!!

04:13 AM Nov 24 2008 |



different people in different ways that treat their rights.it is so good.

03:36 AM Nov 24 2008 |




a few bands and singers only sing english songs,but sometimes songs in their album consists one or two english songs,for me ,a chinese ,english songs are a little difficult to learn ,if i want to master it proficient,that will be impossible.as for the band , which band i like most is Beatles!

03:14 AM Nov 24 2008 |

Jay K

Jay K


We have no band singing in english,only some singer sing some famous english song ,not original.

03:09 AM Nov 24 2008 |




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Only a few bands sing in English in my country,

 I love soft Rock but not hard rock.

01:34 AM Nov 24 2008 |

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