A Chat With Hey Geronimo

Angela was privileged enough to have a chat with Will Bingley/Sir Bill/Bass God/Bingers/Billy Blue Eyes from pop boppers Hey Geronimo about their new song, current tour and future album. Catch them on the tour of their latest single, ‘Finale’ if you can, or bite your fingernails in excited anticipation for the album.

So, first up congratulations on the new single. I listened to it and I really really like it. Like, a lot.

Awesome. Thank you!

You’re launching your tour on Thursday night, right? So, what can gig goers expect from this particular tour? Will there be any new songs?

There will be some new songs. We spent the year – we didn’t tour a lot, but we tried out a bunch of new songs and we realised our best sets are the ones where there are no slow songs. Haha! Basically. We played for 45 minutes, and have slow songs in there, and even though they’re good to listen to it would always kill the mood. People would stop dancing. Then we would play thirty minute sets and it would be all just dance songs, and it would be so much more fun. So, I think we’re going to go with a much more – even though we’re already upbeat – as upbeat as possible for the set.

Jen Boyce [from Ball Park Music] features on ‘Finale’. First you’re trying to steal Sam Cromack and now Jen! How did that collaboration come about?

Well, we had a few people in mind. I can’t remember who they are now but there were a few different options we were thinking. Pete [Hey Geronimo’s frontman] always had the idea of having someone else singing on that bridge, but Jen’s voice just kind of suits it the best. It’s kind of vulnerable. You know what I mean? So it sounds really good in that particular part of the song. It adds a bit of emotional weight to it.

Can we expect a Ball Park Geronimo collaboration anytime soon?

I would love that but I can’t say for sure. I haven’t heard anything about that but I would love to do it.

Last time we talked you praised the Brisbane music scene. Over the course of all this touring have you found a home away from home? Any particular places you love to go to and play?

We’ve always had good gigs at Sunshine Coast. We were going to be playing but something came up so we’re not playing there this tour. But, that’s always been a really good gig. We all really like Melbourne. I just really love the city, personally, and I’ve got friends there. Also the sound at the venues in Melbourne is always really good. So I really love playing there. Pete [front-man of Hey Geronimo] now lives in Sydney and our management all live there so catching up with them as well. I don’t know… Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane. They’re all pretty comfortable, to be honest.

I see you’ve tried your own hand at interviewing.

*laughs* We were supposed to do more of those but it never ended up happening. I’m sure I would have gotten better so maybe we’ll do that again sometime.

Do you prefer being interviewed or interviewing?

I definitely prefer being interviewed, because I’ve done it more. But I have no problem interviewing people. But when it’s last minute and you don’t have any questions ready and it’s someone like Sam Cromack, who you really respect, and you’re like “Oh shit. Hang on. These questions all suck.” I’m sure you understand…

Oh wow, no! I am ALWAYS prepared for my interviews, I will have you know! *sarcasm*

*laughs* Even if you aren’t prepared, right?

Yeah. It’s kind of like, sometimes, even if I love the artist, it’s really hard to come up with original questions. And I just want to be like “Are you a cat or a dog person?”.

The problem is, if you have a really interesting in depth question about the music… like that one with Sam, that went for a lot longer than the sound bite we ended up using. And with the other [interviews], we got really interesting responses, but they were too interesting to put in a two minute promo clip! So we just completely streamlined it for the other ones, like “What does it sound like? What’s gonna happen live?” Just really boring questions, because you get simpler answers that are easy to advertise things with.

Yeah. I think that’s probably why I prefer typing up interview, because it can keep someone’s attention a little bit more, if they’re reading it in the first place. Or they can just skim and find stuff they’re attracted to and that draws their eye. It’s a bit harder when condensing it for, say, radio.

‘Finale’ sounds… to me, it sound crunchier than the stuff from Hey Geronimo from before. The sound was a bit thicker. It sounded a little more serious than say ‘Why Don’t We Do Something?’ or ‘Carbon Affair’. Is ‘Finale’ a good representation of what’s to come on the album? As you mentioned you had Jen’s voice on there because it’s more emotional.

It’s interesting. We’ve got four song writers and we all have a slightly different take on things. I actually think all the singles we’ve put out are a good an indication as anything. It’s going to be a really wide range of styles. And some of those singles from EPS will be on the album. ‘Finale’ is more of a serious song. It’s a little less light-hearted. Although, some of the songs that sound really light hearted are actually a lot more dark than they sound. We’ve got this weird thing where our lyrics are a lot darker than our music, sometimes. ‘Finale’ is a good example of that! And ‘Why Don’t We Do Something’ and ‘Carbon Affair’, actually! So the album’s going to be all over the place; in a good way!

‘I’ve Got No Money’ is actually a pretty dire song! I feel that, at the moment.

Yeah, I often identify with that song.

Speaking of the album, have you approached the recording and the writing any differently to past singles and EPS, seeing as it is quite a different project?

We recorded two songs with Steven Schram, who’s mixed our last few singles as well. One of those was ‘Finale’, another one will be the next single. We’ve got a few more songs to record with him. We’re also recording some songs with someone else that’s he’s going to mix and there are some songs from the EP which another person produced, which he’s going to mix. Steve Schram is hopefully going to be the glue that makes it sound as if it all came from the same band, because we’ve been recording it with a bunch of different people, at different times, different places. I think, because he’s got a very distinctive mixing style, it should sound similar in that way. It should sound as if it’s all part of the same album.

Are you recording at the moment?

Yeah, we’ve got some dates booked in between the touring weekends to finish up a few songs. Then I think it’s only two to go. We’re going to finish them off early in January, and then it’s done.

Woo, that’s exciting!

Super exciting!

This is such a cliché question, but what albums have you been listening to whilst recording?

It’s getting quite fragmented. In terms of stuff that’s directly influenced the album, I don’t think there’s been anything particularly recently. But we’ve all, at one point, been completely obsessed with Deep Sea Arcade, so there’s been a fair bit of influence from them. I think we’re a bit behind the times, to be honest. I can’t speak for everyone in the band, but we listen to old school music more than modern music a lot of the time. So the bands that we do listen to are a little bit of a throw-back anyway.

I am looking forward to Deep Sea Arcade releasing new stuff as well.

Yeah, some of their new stuff is really really cool! Ross in particular, loves Outlands. It’s his favourite album. I have been listening to it way too much; I don’t want to get sick of it. You know when you really like an album and you listen to it too much, and you try to stop yourself from listening to it? Like “I don’t want to ruin it”!

Yeah. With Taylor Swift, I’m like “Do I want to listen to Red again? Yes, yes I do!”

I’ve totally done it before! I have totally ruined music for myself by doing that. Not purposefully.

Yeah I have probably done that as well. Then you lay off for couple of months, and then you go back and it’s awesome again. But you have to step back.

Absolutely.  

Hey Geronimo have been a band for quite a while now. Have there been any advantages or even disadvantages by releasing those EPs and singles over a couple of years instead of going straight into the album?

Well, we probably didn’t have enough songs for an album, to be honest. We’ve really been waiting until we’ve got an album’s worth of strong songs, so that every song is good. Because, it’s something that’s once is out there, it’s something that represents you and it doesn’t ever go away. So it has to be something that’s still good to listen to in five years time. Regardless of you’re doing anything at the time, it’s got to be worth putting out. So there’s a little bit of perfectionism in it, but also, we’ve gotten some new songwriters. We’ve had a few personnel changes. So it was just making sure that didn’t interfere with it and getting everything back on track, logistically, before finishing the album.

And is there anything you’re really excited about to do with the album, like releasing it or touring it?

I’m personally really looking forward to getting it overseas, releasing the album overseas. We haven’t really released any of the singles overseas, to any extent, and I think there are a lot of really good songs on the album. I think, to be honest, the biggest selling point from my perspective, if I was to try and sell the album, is every song will be good. You know how there are some albums that are pretty front–loaded, or they’ve got a few incredible songs? I honestly think that every song on the album will be good, in its own right. And there will be some songs on the album that won’t be singles, that are really a lot more complex, lyrically, than the ones we’ve put out so far. That will be something to listen to.

Yeah, that’s finding the right balance, between singles and the hidden stuff.

When you listen to an album… I know with my favourite albums, there’s always a few songs I really like and they’re the ones that keep me listening to it in the first place. And then when I’ve listened to it for months, I don’t even like those songs anymore because I’ve listened to them too many times and it’s all the other songs that I like. So, I think that’s the sign of a good album, when you’re still listening to it in a few months time and your favourite songs have shifted.

Do you want that to happen when people listen to your album?

Yeah, hopefully every song has the potential to be someone’s favourite song. Otherwise there’s no point in it being there.

I have one more question. Do Hey Geronimo have any New Years Resolutions for 2015?

*laughs* To do with the band? Not yet. Our new year’s resolution, last year was to make sure every single show we had our own sound guy. Weeeee didn’t quite follow through with that. We’re getting there now. I think we’re a year behind on our New Year’s Resolutions. So, I’m not sure what the next years will be, but it will probably be a bit late-coming.

Thank you for speaking with me today!

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