Hefner (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Hefner
Background = group_or_band
Origin = London, British
Genre = Indie rock, Urban Folk
Years_active = 1996 - 2002
Label = Too Pure
Associated_acts = The French ANT Rhatigan
URL = [http://www.hefnet.com www.hefnet.com]
Past_members = Darren Hayman Antony Harding John Morrison Jack Hayter

Hefner were a British indie rock and "urban folk" band formed in East London in 1995.cite book |last=Strong |first=Martin C. |title=The Great Alternative & Indie Discography |year= 1999 |publisher=Canongate |isbn=0-86241-913-1 ] They were active from about 1996 until 2002; since then they have played together only once, for a tribute to the DJ John Peel, who was a strong supporter of theirs.


Hefner's roots stretch back to 1992, when Darren Hayman and Antony Harding met at art school in Kent.cite web |url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:kifpxq9jld0e~T1 |title=Hefner biography |accessdaymonth=17 February |accessyear=2008 |author=Jason Ankeny |year= |month= |work=allmusic.com |publisher=Macrovision Corporation |quote= ] The band started playing live in 1995 and, after several line up changes, became a solo project of Darren Hayman. In 1996 he recorded a tape for Sticky Records (named "The Devotion Chamber") on which all instruments were played by Darren himself. His friend from art school, Antony Harding, assisted, providing backing vocals.

The band's first release was in April 1997 when the 7" single "A Better Friend" was released by Boogle Wonderland. The single featured Antony on drums and John Morrison (from Rhatigan) on bass. Shortly after the release, the record label Too Pure offered a record deal to Darren, who extended the offer to Antony and John. After a few more singles, Hefner recorded their debut album "Breaking God's Heart", which was released in 1998. A lo fidelity album primarily recorded in one take, Hayman has declared that this album is the one he is least interested in listening to, due to its unrealized potential.

"The Fidelity Wars" would be their next record (with the recent addition of multi-instrumentalist Jack Hayter); a darker collection of songs. In the official website of the band Darren has explained that all of the songs gravitate around the concept of breaking up.

Hefner had, at this point, recorded a large number of singles and EPs. "Boxing Hefner" collected some of those tracks that had not appeared on the previous albums, often as new recordings. The compilation also included some unreleased material.

"We Love the City" marked a change in direction for the band. In contrast with previous records, which had older songs, all of the compositions on "We Love the City" were made for this record, which had better production value and more varied instrumentation.

"Dead Media", released in 2001, continues the interest that Hefner had shown in exploring new ways. " Dead Media" is certainly different from previous records in the sense of its electronic weight, an interest that led Darren to eventually create The French.

After the band's final gig at the ICA in London on 10 December 2001 and the release of an EP called "The Hefner Brain" the following March, the band went on a seemingly permanent hiatus, save for one reformation for the "Keeping It Peel" tribute show, marking the death of one of their biggest supporters, Radio 1 DJ John Peel. In 2005 a t-shirt was released that read "Hefner, Britain’s Largest Small Band (1997-2002)", and in an interview Darren Hayman said "no, no reunion planned". [ [http://www.hefnet.com/interview.htm Interview with Darren Hayman] ]


In 2005, following a legal dispute between Darren Hayman and Too Pure, the rights to all of the band's Too Pure recordings were reverted to Hayman. [cite web |url=http://www.drownedinsound.com/articles/1018773 |title=Hefner:Catfight (review) |accessdaymonth=17 February |accessyear=2008 |author=Ben Marwood |year=2006 |month=August |work=Drowned In Sound |publisher= |quote= ] As a result, the band has released a best-of album, a 2 CD collection of 43 unreleased songs called "Catfight" and a live album, recorded at the BBC's Maida Vale Studios. All of the band's studio albums will also be reissued by the end of 2008 as 2 CD sets with bonus tracks. Also planned for the future is a compilation of BBC session tracks. The band recorded ten sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio One programme, as well as a number of live performances, and eleven of their tracks made it into the Festive 50.cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/artists/h/hefner/ |title=BBC Radio One - Keeping It Peel - Hefner |accessdaymonth=17 February |accessyear=2008 |author= |year= |month= |work= |publisher=BBC |quote= ]

Darren Hayman and Jack Hayter will be playing Hefner songs at a number of dates in Europe in June 2008. Despite this, Hayman has said that Hefner will not reform unless it's with the original line up. [cite web |url=http://www.howdoesitfeel.co.uk/darreninterview.html |title=Interview with Darren Hayman |accessdaymonth=29 May |accessyear=2008 |author=Paul Richards |year=2008 |month=May |work=HDIF |publisher= |quote= ]

Band members

*Darren Hayman (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
*Antony Harding (drums, backing vocals)
*John Morrison (bass guitar)
*Jack Hayter (guitar, pedal steel guitar, keyboards, fiddle)

Spin offs and solo projects:

*The French
*ANT solo project of Antony Harding
*Jack Hayter
*Hayman, Watkins, Trout, and Lee
*Stereo Morphonium
*Darren Hayman


tudio Albums

* "Breaking God's Heart" - Too Pure - 1998
* "The Fidelity Wars" - Too Pure - 1999 (#165)
* "We Love the City" - Too Pure - 2000 (#92)
* "Dead Media" - Too Pure - 2001 (#178)


* "Boxing Hefner" - Too Pure - 2000 (#144)
* "Kick, Snare, Hats, Ride" - self-released - 2002
* "The Best of Hefner" - Fortune and Glory Records - 2006
* "Catfight" - self-released - 2006
* "Maida Vale" - Belka - 2006


* "The Devotion Chamber" - self-released - 1996
* "The Hefner Soul" - Too Pure - 1998
* "The Hefner Heart" - Acuarela - 1999
* "Orphan Songs" - Everlasting Records - 1999
* "Revelations" - Too Pure - 1999
* "The Hefner Brain" - Too Pure - 2002 (#21*)
*Budget Album Chart


* "A Better Friend" - Boogie Wonderland - 1997 (7" only)
* "Lee Remick" - Boogie Wonderland - 1998 (7" only)
* "Pull Yourself Together" - Too Pure - 1998
* "Love Will Destroy Us in the End" - Too Pure - 1998
* "The Sweetness Lies Within" - Too Pure - 1998 (#171)
* "The Hymn for the Alcohol" - Sticky Records - 1999 (7" only)
* "The Hymn for the Cigarettes" - Too Pure - 1999 (#87)
* "I Took Her Love for Granted" - Too Pure - 1999 (#136)
* "Christian Girls" - Too Pure - 2000 (#76)
* "Good Fruit" - Too Pure - 2000 (#50)
* "The Greedy Ugly People" - Too Pure - 2000 (#64)
* "Half a Life" - Too Pure - 2001 (split 7" with Murry the Hump) (#152)
* "Alan Bean" - Too Pure - 2001 (#58)
* "Trouble Kid" - Too Pure - 2001

ee also

*Antony Harding
*Jack Hayter


External links

* [http://www.hefnet.com Official site]
* [http://www.antpop.com ANT's official site]
* [http://www.thethingis.co.uk/index.php/2007/10/09/darren-haymen-5-tunes-you-should-have-heard-but-probably-havent/ "the thing is..." magazine Darren Hayman Interview]
* [http://lorseau.hinah.com/gallery.php?c=pzic&s=session&g=hefner Concert photos] by Laurent Orseau (Black Session)
* [http://www.silbermedia.com/qrd/archives/hefner15.html Hefner interview (March 1999) for QRD]
* [http://www.silbermedia.com/qrd/archives/17hefner.html Hefner Interview (February 2000) for QRD]
* [http://www.howdoesitfeel.co.uk/darreninterview.html Darren Hayman interview (May 2008) for HDIF]

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