Hibbity Dibbity, a swamp rock (think blues-y, slightly funky ‘70s style rock) band founded at USF, has had a busy summer touring around the U.S., performing at BottleRock festival and starting to write an album. The four piece, made up of vocalist and guitarist Tom Relling, bassist Parker Simon, drummer Jack Gehegan and guitarist Christopher Braun, is ready for a homecoming show at The Independent on Saturday Sept. 2nd. Tom Relling and Parker Simon stopped by their old performance space, the Sacred Ground Cafe, to talk about USF and their latest tour.
How did you get the band together?
TR: My room number was 505, and I lived down the hall from Parker, and we got to be friends, and he ended up moving his bed into our room, so it was just me, Parker, and our other friend Gabe, and we started jamming in our dorm room. Then I met Chris, who was a couple years older and a PASJ major living off campus at that time, but we had come into contact through the media lab and through some other mutual musicians. We started out playing at Crossroads and Sacred Ground, and do the Earth Day thing at the bike powered stage, and did KUSF stuff and got super involved with Miranda [Morris, KUSF’s general manager] and everyone there. When we moved off campus, Parker and I kept jamming, and Chris and I started to write some songs together, and then we did USF’s Got Talent, and we placed second, so that was fun.
What was it like juggling being in a band and in college?
TR: The media lab and the crew really helped us develop it [the band], it wasn’t for Sheri [Brenner, USF’s Media Lab director] just letting us jam, we wouldn’t be here now. After that, we started practicing and getting songs together, and ended up getting money together to get an album cut. If it wasn’t for those early practices down in the media lab, we wouldn’t have been able to make our first album, and we credited her on the record.
PS: And Sheri still comes to the shows!
How has San Francisco and USF shaped your careers?
PS: For me, it’s very straight-forward, I met the people and I engaged with the city, but it’s still hard for me to think about this as a career. It’s easy for me to take it seriously, but it’s hard for me to take it as a career because it’s very day by day, we don’t know what’s happening a year down the road. I have goals but there’s nothing in sight yet, which is very interesting.
How does it feel to headline The Independent for your homecoming show?
TR: It’s super heavy, it’s a little surreal. I’m trying not to think about it too much, and just letting as many people as possible know that this is happening. We were out there representing California and getting deep into America, and to be able to come back and do our thing on our home turf is really exciting. I just want to give everyone that comes through a big hug.
You guys had your festival debut at BottleRock, what was that like?
PS: It was the perfect day, they take the best care of you, ever. I’ve never been treated like that in a musical setting, and we were the first band to play right by the gate, so right away there was a ton of people. The sound’s huge, you see a ton of people, and we played great! And then we immediately ran into the artist village, or tent, and we grabbed all the freebies. BottleRock is sort of an older crowd, so they had quality stuff, and I couldn’t believe what they were giving out.
What are you looking forward to now that the tour is almost over?
PS: Stay tuned for the “Tijuana Sessions!”
TR: Yeah, we have to line those up. We got some good things, but I’m really glad to get off the road for a little bit. Maybe we’ll do another USF thing, visit Sheri.
Featured Photo – USF Alums Hibbity Dibbity prepare for their performance at The Independent. HIBBITY DIBBITY.