The Orion

Q&A: Hellogoodbye on hot Chico moms, sex rock

Jake Hutchison

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Hellogoodbye put on a nonstop, energetic power pop show Thursday in the Bell Memorial Union auditorium. Photo credit: John Domogma

The Orion chatted with the musicians of Hellogoodbye about dangerous tour adventures, early influences and memorable fans before they took to the Bell Memorial Auditorium stage for a passionate power pop show Thursday.

The Orion: Tell me a little about your latest album, “Everything is Debatable.”

Forrest Kline, lead singer and guitarist: I built a studio in my garage, so I spend a lot of time in there. I write in there late at night and do some looping and recording. I’ve always written at home. I’d never been in a studio until that last record (“Would It Kill You?”). We went to Oakland and recorded, and it didn’t have the vibe. It didn’t sound good.

The Orion: Any big differences in your perspective?

Kline: It’s kind of a blend of two previous records more than a totally new direction. I don’t know, maybe I got a little sexier on it. Maybe a little more of a sexy vibe.

The Orion: What does a “sexy vibe” sound like?

Augustine Rampolla, bassist: You’ll definitely have to chill your chubby at the end of this album.
Mike Garzon, guitarist and mandolin player: In a word.
Rampolla: A little more sex rock. Sade with a little dash of Rhye.

The Orion: What were some influences on that album?

Kline: I really did kind of go into a big Prince and Flaming Lips phase.

The Orion: What piqued your interest in music?

Kline: It was Blink (-182) that made me want to start a band. My sister gave me “Cheshire Cat,” and then “Dude Ranch” was when I was like, “Great, I love Blink.” Now it is tinged by taking a trip to my grandparent’s (place) and that’s all I listened to. So now I think about that kind of boring trip to my grandparent’s (place) as a kid.

The Orion: I understand you are playing a benefit concert Sunday in Santa Ana. What are you hoping to do?

Kline: I hope some people show up, donate some money. My sister runs as principal of (Foothills Preschool). She is pretty sweet. She wants to start a program after school so kids can come in and do something enriching.

The Orion: What are you guys doing when not writing?

Garzon: I ride bicycles.
Kline: I just moved, so I’ve been home fixing up stuff, building stuff.
Aaron Flora, drummer: Surfing, rock climbing.

The Orion: Are there any dangers when touring?

Garzon: We almost died in Fort Lauderdale (Florida).
Kline: All self-imposed danger.
Garzon: We just tried to go swimming at night in the ocean, and apparently none of us are the swimmer Forrest is. He saved all our lives.
Rampolla: I just watched.
Garzon: The current gets strong at night.
Rampolla: Forrest was a lifeguard before the band.
Garzon: We were all out there late after (a) show. We’re swimming out there and (we) start getting pummeled by waves, and there was this one moment when I called out to Forrest and was like, “Hey, I might need some help in a second.”
Kline: (Another time) we were going camping, not really in danger. We were driving down a road at three in the morning, middle of nowhere, totally pitch black, and there were all these dead ends. The sound guy was like, “I didn’t know if I should say anything, but I think I saw a body in the street.” So we turned around, went back toward it. We came up and in the distance there’s a jacket, blue jeans and a face. It was a body. We pull up next to it and shine our lights and are like, “Hey, hey.” Nothing. And he just goes (sniffling noises). We were like, “Are you all right?” He was just like, “Yeah.” Then he goes “No.” I was like, “You were just hurt on the inside, huh?” He was just wasted, passed out drunk in the middle of nowhere. He had a sad night, like he got dumped.
Garzon: Yeah, He got dumped on the side of the highway.

The Orion: So touring is exciting. But how are fans?

Kline: Cool. They are safe, for the most part. They have an excuse to like you.
Garzon: Forrest, have you ever just had like, a weirdo fan who crossed the line?
Kline: One girl egged me on Halloween. Then that one girl gave me a letter.

The Orion: Was the letter nice?

Kline: It was very nice, nothing threatening.

The Orion: Nothing eerie about it?

Kline: Just like, “Leave your wife.” (Laughs)

The Orion: Over the years, the band lineup has changed quite a bit. How many changes have you had? Are you all fairly consistent members?

Kline: Well, it’s never like a clean flush. It’s just that some people get busy.
Garzon: You’ve never gotten mad and just said, “Everyone gone?”
Kline: That hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve got my limits.

The Orion: Have you guys checked out downtown Chico at all?

Kline: Yeah, it’s a cool place. Lots of neat little stores.

The Orion: No muggers?

Kline: Nope. Just lots of trees. It’s pretty down here.

The Orion: I was just trying to scare you with the muggers.

Rampolla: Oh, I thought you said “mothers.” I wanted to see the attractive mothers out there.
Garzon: I saw a few hot moms pushing strollers.
Rampolla: Mugger mothers. (Laughs)

Jake Hutchison can be reached at [email protected] or @poserpunk on Twitter.

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Q&A: Hellogoodbye on hot Chico moms, sex rock