In the latest Artist Spotlight interview on Loudwire Nights (Aug. 29), Chuck Armstrong welcomed Jon and Nikki Stipp to the show to discuss their band, Hooked Like Helen.

Jon and Nikki first met each other when they were both in Los Angeles nearly a decade ago.

"We were musicians together first before we were dating each other," Nikki explained. "It was kind of like a classic rock sort of seven-piece outfit; we had harmonicas and all kinds of things, bongos going on."

Once they started dating, they discovered they were going to have a baby and that prompted them to move to the Cleveland area in Ohio where Jon is from originally.

"That's kind of when our son and Hooked Like Helen were born, simultaneously," Nikki said.

Their journey together toward the birth of their son and band also included—and still includes today—a significant focus on sobriety and recovery. This may be most beautifully and powerfully captured in their recent song, "Sleepwalker," which highlights some unforgettable lyrics like "I know you just want peace / You get close when you go to sleep" and "Stay with me, stay awake / Hold you as you start to shake / The kitchen floor is spinning / I can't make you live."

"It's always had a special meaning to us as a band in took on a whole new level of meaning for us after playing it on tour and getting to hear from fans their stories of addiction or sobriety," Nikki once said about the song. "We are so incredibly grateful for the experience to get to heal with others and get to connect with others through music."

Building Hooked Like Helen as Husband and Wife

Among other things, Jon and Nikki talked to Chuck about what it's like being a husband and wife making music and touring together.

"We understand each other's craziness," Nikki admitted. "We have the same craziness. The passion that you have for music and for those highs—we can just completely share them together."

Jon also noted that they've learned how to keep their family life somewhat separate from their band life. "If we get in a creative difference, then that's more of a band argument than it is a husband and wife argument," he said.

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"I feel like we do a good job, not subjecting the rest of the band to marital squabbles on the road," Nikki added, laughing.

"[It's amazing] getting to work together on what we love every day."

What Else Did Jon and Nikki Stipp Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • What their favorite concert of all time is—and why they both have the same answer
  • The weirdest thing that's ever happened to them while touring: "It was kind of crazy when Icon For Hire's bus broke down in the first two days of the tour together."
  • What they'd be doing if they weren't making music; as Jon said, "I hate that question."

Listen to the Full Artist Spotlight Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Jon and Nikki Stipp joined Loudwire Nights on Tuesday, Aug. 29; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream "Sleepwalker" at this location and then check out Hooked Like Helen's full tour schedule.

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