“Was that the AIM pop-up sound?” an audience member asks a friend during the fourth performance at Extravaganza this past Sunday, May 18. For the annual Extravaganza Festival, sponsored by the Associated Students Program Board, powerpop band Hellogoodbye performed for a large group of mostly female students reaching their hands up to the stage from the field. Although the sound suffered from a few minor technical difficulties, Hellogoodbye rocked the crowd with their catchy, electronic harmonies.
I had the amazing opportunity of interviewing lead singer Forrest Kline and bass player Travis Head before they performed. Travis, Forrest, their friends, and girlfriends gathered in lawn chairs under a white canopy tent that Associated Students Program Board had supplied with mass quantities of Gushers, Capri Sun, and Fruit Roll Ups.
The dance-inspiring sound of Hellogoodbye began when Forrest and Jesse Kurvink, high school friend and current band member, recorded a few songs on Forrest’s computer. They each wrote some songs, experimented with the sound and lyrics, and looked for gigs in Huntington Beach, CA, their hometown.
Hellogoodbye achieved fame with their platinum single “Here (In Your Arms)” and appearance on MTV’s “Real World: Austin.” Their hugely popular single led the group on an international tour through Europe, but missed a few places that Forrest wanted to play. â€œWe missed Italy and Spain, he said, popping a blue gusher into his mouth. Travis joked that he would like to play in Antarctica or maybe at Coachella. To this Forrest responded with, “In all the world, you want to go to Indio.”
There’s a rumor that Hellogoodbye’s new album will be released sometime this year, but fans speculate how it will differ from their first. Since their last tour, Forrest has set up a recording studio in his home garage and the group is taking their time with this next album. Travis used the words “Emo” and “Organic” to describe the sound of their new album.
When asked if they had any advice for upcoming artists or groups, Travis said, “You have to listen to good music to make good music.”
“Yeah music is a pretty important part,” Forrest added, “Well start with t-shirts,” sporting a teasing smile on his face. Following the laughter, the conversation veered towards television. The short-lived cult classic “Arrested Development” is Travis’ favorite television show, while Forrest enjoys “The Office and Lost.”
â€œHere (In Your Arms)â€ was Hellogoodbye’s final song during their one hour set on Sunday. After Forrest’s first strums of his guitar, the crowd doubled. Girls, who were previously waiting in the never-ending line for henna tattoos, linked arms and surrounded the stage. While playing venues on college campuses is not quite like playing in Spain or Italy, Hellogoodbye’s legions of adoring female fans still lavished them with screams and gyrating hips in Santa Barbara.