Hey Violet: “We make the music that we love to make”

Hey Violet: “We make the music that we love to make”

By Christopher Lee

May 18, 2017 14:52

On the eve of their European tour, we caught up with LA pop rock band, Hey Violet. Having originally formed as ‘Cherri Bomb’ back in 2008 while still in school, they have previously supported some huge acts such as Bush, Foo Fighters and The Smashing Pumpkins, as well as playing Sonisphere Festival in the UK. However these days, after a couple of changes in line-up and sound, the band has reinvented themselves.

Killer synths and Vocalist Rena Lovelis’ rasping tones have brought a fresh new take on what once was. Along with this change in style have come a number of comparisons to bands like No Doubt and Paramore which can only be a good thing. But Hey Violet seem to be taking it all in their stride, still striving to forge their own paths in this wonderful world we call music.

Sitting down with the band in their London hotel suite, the first thing we asked was how they’re all enjoying their time in the capital. The rest of the band had been in London before, but to bassist Iain Shipp it was an entirely new experience. “I love it here even if the weather is a lot different to California,” he says. “I do like it a lot but I couldn’t imagine enduring it all year round, but I’m certainly enjoying it now,” he tells us with a smile.

It’s definitely a lot colder than LA here so we decided to take the band back to their origins and the beginnings of Hey Violet. “Well the three of us girls started playing music together about ten years ago when we were 10-12 years old,” says the bands keys player and backing vocalist, Miranda Miller, referring to herself and the Lovelis sisters, vocalist Rena and drummer Nia. “For a while it was just the three of us playing and then we got Casey (Moreta) on guitar about 4 years ago and he was just such a good fit. And to complete the band we got Iain about a year ago who was playing with us temporarily and we trapped him for good whilst on stage.”

So that completes the five minds that combined form Hey Violet and as they say, they’ve been playing music for a long time now. But did they always want to be in a band? “I did!,” proclaims Moreta but Miller tells us “I kinda fell into it by accident, I’ve always performed but yeah! Here we are.” What’s refreshing to see is that even though they’ve come together in a disjointed way, they have a refreshing bond. Smiling and laughing with each other throughout and making it impossible not to enjoy talking with them.

Hailing from LA. Hey Violet are in great company with the amount of hometown talent, so what do they think makes the area such a hotbed for great bands. Shipp tells us “Well I think it’s got a lot to do with the areas reputation. The industry is based there so even if you’re not from there but you’re making music it’s bound to draw you in.” Moreta thinks it also has a lot to do with the local politics, as he adds “It’s also a very liberal, accepting state and so it allows creative expression in all forms of art including music.” Having traveled all over the globe, Miller explains that it’s not just LA that exudes great bands and music. “The same can be said for other cities. We go to New York and London, for example, and there’s hot spots of great bands there as well as many other wonderful places around the world.”

Wanting to be in a band goes hand in hand with a love for music, and we all have our own personal favourites that influence and shape us. So who specifically has made an impact on Hey Violet? Nia Lovelis tells us, “I guess collectively our sound is almost like a modern take on ’80s synth, so Cyndi Lauper, Gwen Stefani & No Doubt people like that. We also love Paramore, The 1975 and we’ve just been to see Panic! At The Disco which was awesome, but we really take our influence from everywhere. If we hear a cool sound in a song we ask ourselves how we can implement it into our own musi.”

Being influenced by a lot of huge bands out there – then also being compared to those bands when releasing your own material – might be quite daunting for some, but not Hey Violet. Rena tells us, “It makes us feel great to be compared to such legendary human beings. Obviously there’s part of us that’s like, we’re our own band and we make the music that we love to make.”A fair statement for any artist, but they are also very humble, as Rena continues. “But when people point out our influences coming across in our music we’re like, ‘thank you!’ We did take influence from them because they’re awesome.”

Having previously played with a number of huge acts, Hey Violet are no strangers to huge arena shows and armies of adoring fans already, which again ,could easily be overwhelming for a band only just about to release their first album. Nia tells us, “I’m only nervous about, and I don’t know if it’ll ever get to this point, but when you hear about people not being able to go outside, which isn’t at all a problem right now,” as Rena shouts out, “I wanna not be able to go outside! I want to have to have everything delivered and never see sunlight,” she jokes as the rest of the band burst into laughter. Shipp joins in “Admittedly for me it was a little nerve racking just stepping into the limelight, whereas the rest of the band had the build up and I was just like, here I am! But it’s really nice to have such large support already.”

Speaking of their debut album, ‘From The Outside’ is due out next month and they cant wait to finally get it out. “We’ve been ready to put out an album for nearly 4 years now so once it’s out and people can finally hear our music it’s going to be great,” says Moreta. Recording an album can be grueling at the best of times so just how did they find the whole process of recording their debut? Nia tells us “It was good, there was lots of writing and lots of changes. We went through quite a few versions of songs that we’ve put on the album as we had tons of different ideas. So the song that was isn’t the song that it is now but it was an amazing creative process and it’s really fun to have our ideas out there. It’s almost like a journal but totally not private, like ‘Dear Diary’ but to the whole world.”

Hey Violet’s debut album ‘From The Outside’ is released on 16 June via Virgin EMI and the band return to play London’s The Borderline on the 7 June. For all things Hey Violet check out the bands website here.