Their music has been described to resemble “Tom Hanks in his younger years;” their primary influence is the 1959 hit “Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love” by Dion and the Belmonts. Accordingly, Hellogoodbye seems to just be a couple of quirky guys having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. These “beatnik surfer dudes from California,” as Steel Train put it during the concert, took the stage Saturday, Oct. 24, at the House of Blues Orlando as part of the Use Your Sole Tour presented by Toms Shoes. Hanson also headlined the show (yes, the brothers of “MMMbop” fame), which was opened by Sherwood and Steel Train.
We caught up with the members of Hellogoodbye before the concert backstage in the dressing room area where they were hanging out with the guys from Steel Train. Everyone was very friendly and casual, acting as if we were old friends goofing around instead of doing an actual interview.
Hellogoodbye recently released a mini-EP entitled “When We First Met,” and when asked how the crowds on the tour have been responding to the new material, frontman Forrest Kline responded, “A lot of the kids, I think, that come are mostly familiar with Hanson, you know? And so they don’t, they can’t really determine our old from our new, but they seem to enjoy the new, I’d say. And that’s cool.”
There is also a music video released for the song “When We First Met” and the idea for that video came from the band members.
Keyboardist Joey Marro mentioned, “We had a weird hot tub session, remember that one? Brainstorming hot tub session?”
Kline confirmed, saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We did. We were at a hotel… in a hot tub.”
When asked what superhero any of the band members would want to be, the first response to come from the group was “Zac Hanson.” “Seriously, Zac Hanson.” “Zac Hanson.”
“He’s a stud.”
“Truly. Truly, he is.”
Kline then decided on “Jeremy Enigk from the Emogame where he floats in the clouds and he’s like the god of Emo. I’d probably be that.” Marro went with the Flash and then asked guitarist Andy Richards what his answer was, figuring it would be “something we don’t know about” given that Richards is British.
He responded, “Bananaman. You know who he is?” We did not, though as would be expected, apparently “he eats the banana and becomes a superhero.”
The goofiness did not stop backstage. Hellogoodbye was quite talkative between songs and even during songs, literally stopping to coordinate a wave in the audience for one chorus of “Oh, It is Love.” Kline told some Hanson fans at the front of the pit not to worry because he would let them know when the chorus was. At one point the band members also told an elaborate story about being confused between the Hanson brothers and Chris Hansen from “To Catch a Predator.”
As Kline stated in the interview, it was clear that Hanson had the biggest fan base in the venue and some of those fans did not seem to quite grasp how a concert line-up works, surprised that though the show started at 6:30 p.m., Hanson, the last spot of the night, did not start their set until over three hours later. Hellogoodbye had a shorter set than they would have if they were the main headliner, which also meant less spectacle at the end of their set. Previous tours they have headlined have ended with the explosion of confetti cannons or balloons dropping from the ceiling. All in all, they played a great, energetic set with a good deal of new music, so it would seem fans can certainly look forward to a new full-length album soon.
The guys of Hellogoodbye also came out upstairs around their merchandise table during Hanson’s set and were enjoying themselves by dancing up a storm with members of the crowd in that area. It was clear that they meant what they said in the interview. When in response to being asked how the tour was going they gave it an “A+,” saying it has been “real fun” and “top notch.”
Oh, and if you are wondering exactly how Hellogoodbye sounds like Tom Hanks in his younger years, you are not the only one. On their web site, www.hellogoodbye.net, in the Q&A section a fan named Jeanie asked just that. Kline’s response reads, “I’d say classic Tom Hanks (mid 80s) had a nice modest confidence and a very attractive charisma, coupled with undeniably likable roles, that is embodied musically by everything we do.”
So head over to the Hellogoodbye web site and get “When We First Met” for free and see exactly what classic Tom Hanks sounds like embodied musically. Also, catch Hellogoodbye in concert the next time they come around.