It might seem strange that a band can achieve national fame, securing a fan base hundreds of thousands strong, before ever releasing a full-length album. Thanks to the wonder of Myspace–that web-crack to scenesters and casual socialites alikeÂ–Hellogoodbye were launched into the limelight long before their debut LP was cut. Formed in 2001, the band is presently comprised of vocalist/guitarist Forrest Kline, keyboardist Jesse Kurvink, bassist Marcus Cole and drummer Chris Profeta. It isn’t hard to figure out why their unique electronic sound has earned them such widespread online renown.
“Listening to Hellogoodbye’s latest release is like ascending into heaven on a marshmallow cloud and being greeted by four extremely good-looking angels,” deadpans Kurvink. “Which would be us. We’re the angels.”
While “heavenly” is a stretch, Hellogoodbye’s uber-melodic approach to synth-power-pop is infectiously upbeat, and Kline’s catchy vocal hooks stay with the listener long after hearing their songs. Released in August on Drive-Thru Records, the band’s first full-length, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! showcases this successful songwriting formula, and has a pretty wicked name to boot.
“We had to call our album something, and it was down to the last minute,” explains Kurvink. “So Forrest wrote down a list of ten names, none of which had any real bearing, and the name we ended up with was on there. We thought that it was probably the most ridiculous thing we could come up with, and it’d be funny to hear people say it.”
Hellogoodbye has come a long way from writing pop songs solely to entertain their friends around the Huntington Beach area of California. In addition to their signing to Drive-Thru, the four-piece went on to win last year’s MTV2 Dew Circuit Breakout and are now touring alongside Reggie and the Full Effect, a band with particular significance to Hellogoodbye.
“When the Get Up Kids’ album Something to Write Home About came out, that’s the album that made me want to start really getting into playing piano,” says Kurvink. “Then growing up, Reggie and the Full Effect [formed and fronted by former Get Up Kids keyboardist James Dewees] were a huge deal to Forrest, Marcus and I. It’s just awesome to get to be on tour with one of your favourite artists that have inspired you.”
Despite their wild success, Kurvink and the boys from Huntington Beach have managed to stay solidly grounded in reality. Kurvink maintains that, aside from the inevitable increase in workload, no one in Hellogoodbye has experienced any other real change to their day-to-day life.
“We’re the antithesis of the rockstar band,” says Kurvink. “We’re just dudes that like playing music, and prefer playing in a band to working a desk job. We’re all extremely mellow, and nobody really parties. We watch a lot of DVD’s, and sit around in our bus. We’re actually extremely boring.”