Say Hello To Hello Hopeless – Interview November 2018

Hello Hopeless is a 3-piece rock band from Waterloo region, in Ontario, Canada.  Their music is fairly eclectic, absorbing a number of influences from different styles of music, but I think it is fair to call it energetic, to say the least.  

With a band name like Hello Hopeless, you might not expect that much energy.  Perhaps something slow, sad, and depressing. 

However, that’s not the sound that Hello Hopeless tends to make.  Instead, you get frantic energy that lets loose in all sorts of different directions, with instruments that pound your eardrums and singing that seems like it almost doesn’t even want to be “hopeless”, even if the lyrics take it in that direction.

The band consists of:

Garrett Thomson – Bass/Vocals (Twitter: @garrettbass, Instagram: @garrettbass1)
Nathan Heald – Guitar/Vocals (Instagram: @nathan_hellohopeless)
Will Bender – Drums (Instagram: @bilbender)

The band are just about begin touring to support their new album, “Dark Pasts, Brighter Futures”, which is a 7-song EP that the band has just dropped on iTunes and will be showing up elsewhere, no doubt. 

The first date is November 30th at the Boathouse in Kitchener, so you better get your butt in gear if you’re going to catch that one, because it’s tomorrow!  You can check out more tour dates on Facebook here.

After checking out their album, I sit down to ask the band a few questions about the production of the album, and what went into it.

Hello Hopeless Interview November 29th 2018

How long have you guys been playing together at this point?

We’ve played under the name Hello Hopeless for a year and a half, but we were in a band together before that time.

Where did you guys record this album?

We recorded it in our drummer’s house.

How long did it take you from the start of the process to the end? Was it relatively quick, or did it drag on and on and on until you wanted to basically die?

We planned our time for recording and the entire recording/mixing/mastering process took us 3 months to complete.

If you had to name a few bands / artists that inspired this album, who would they be? I’m definitely hearing a combination of the pop-punk thing (Blink), along with some old school heavy metal (Judas Priest), along with some old schooler pop-punk (Social Distortion). But maybe you don’t even like those bands, who knows? 

All of us liked pop punk music growing up but Nathan listens to more metal (Bullet For My Valentine, Asking Alexandria), Will listened to Royal Blood and Blink 182 and Garrett is into One Ok Rock and instrumental artists like Angel Vivaldi.

Side question – do you like when people point out who they think you sound like, or is that annoying?

Its fun for us now because every time someone compares us to another band, they always name something new. We don’t usually hear the same band name twice…except for Blink which we don’t really hear in our music. We do like that band though.

Were these tracks done live off the floor or just tracked to a click type of deal, one at a time?

We did everything one instrument at a time to a metronome.

Did this album turn out the way you wanted mix-wise?

More than we could’ve asked for.

These days a lot of bands record and mix their own stuff. Who mixed this album?

We sent all our stem tracks to Zach Gerber over at Skytrack studios for the mixing and mastering.

Were you going for a particular type of sound in the end, ie. sounding similar to something else, or just tried to get the best sound you could?

We just wanted to have a great sounding album. There was no particular record we were trying to emulate.

In terms of your instruments themselves, what kind of gear did you use on this album? I mean, what instruments did you all play and were those like, deliberate choices, or did you just use whatever stuff you had kicking around the jamhall?

We recorded on a 9 ply maple drum kit, Zildgian and Sabian cymbals. Guitar was done with an Orange TH30 and a PRS custom 24. Bass was recorded with a Traynor DynaBass 800H, Sansamp distortion pedal and an American Fender Jazz bass guitar.

Also, are those the same instruments that you tour with or did you just rent a bunch of awesome shit for the recording, which you had to take back? Or do you just tour with the same stuff you recorded with?

Everything we recorded with is what we own and perform with.

What kind of recording software was this album done with?

We tracked on Studio One 3 Professional and it was mixed and mastered in ProTools 12.

How many tracks did you record on the average session?  I’m gonna guess… 25?

10 drum tracks, 2 bass, but guitars and vocals varied depending on what the song required. Hurricane easily had the most tracks because there were a lot of guitar parts that went into it. The least amount of tracks on a full band song was probably in Inertia.

Did you have any particular gear, like mics you used, or amps that you felt really helped out with making this album sound nice ‘n beefy?

The SM57, MD421 and D112 made a big difference with bringing out the most in the bass and drums.

Was there some sort of Mutt Lange character in the background somewhere trying to make this album into the next Nickelback – Dark Horse, ACDC – Back In Black, or Def Leppard – Pyromania in terms of punching everything up for arena size or whatever?

No, everything was done between the three of us and Zach. There was a point where we took an entire song after recording all the drums, scrapped it and started the whole thing over with only the chorus lyrics as a foundation, but everything you hear comes from the band.

What song are you choosing for “the single”?

Hopefully we get around to making videos of some sort for all of the songs.

Are you going to be going the full social media promotional route with this album, or what’s the plan for promoting this bad boy?

To continue from the previous question, we are trying to get as many gigs as possible, but want to promote every song on its own over the internet by means of video. We are pushing our EP on all streaming services and contacting college and university radio stations for as much airtime as we can find.

Thanks for reading, folks!  Once again, you can check out the Hello Hopeless Facebook page here for more info on tours, tracks, pics, etc.

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