The group of early 20-somethings in Hey Hollywood has been taking Dallas stages for more than a year, and now is ready to give up day jobs and the like to live out the rock 'n' roll life. With the release of the band's EP Giants this week and an impending tour in January, Hey Hollywood sat down with us and told us about the group's hopes for a record deal and maybe even a Starbucks sponsorship in the near future.
How did you guys get together?
Alex Dean, vocals: All of us except for Erick (Johnson, lead guitar) had been in previous bands, but we were ready to take it to the next level.
What mainstream musicians would you say influence your music?
Brandon Deck, bass: I would definitely say that Coldplay is a big influence on us. The Beatles. Aerosmith. U2. A lot of indie bands including Copeland and The Format.
Justin Allen, drummer: We pulled a lot more influence from Rocket Summer and and Erick brought in a lot of the ambiance.
Fill us in on the new EP.
Erick: This is our third release, second well-promoted album and second release as a full band. Basically, (it's) our best foot forward and a sample of what's to come from our future album. Two tracks from Giants are on our MySpace right now, for the fans to check out.
What has been a highlight of your music career thus far?
Brandon: This year we were nominated for best act in town for the Dallas Observer awards. That was really cool and fun experience for us except every single one of us brought a guy to the award show and every other band brought hot girls.
Alex: ...but we're all straight.
Best/worst tour story?
Alex: About a year ago we did a Midwest tour which we were really excited about, but after our first show we broke down in the middle of nowhere.
Brandon: We got stuck in Waverly, Kansas, for four days; where we stayed in an abandoned trailer with no heat or power in 20-degree weather. We had to cancel the rest of our tour and it was the saddest drive home. Being in a band and touring is really fun.
Justin: We eat Ramen, peanut butter and jelly, Kashi bars and pop tarts, and we sleep in the van while we're on the road either in front of Starbucks or Wal-mart. Sometimes not showering is a bit difficult, but it's all about the baby powder, Febreeze and cologne.
Are all of you full-time musicians?
Justin: We're actually transitioning right now into full-time musicians. Our first step is this tour we're going on in January, and we're actually shopping around to different record labels now and see if we can get picked up and live the dream full-time.
What's an interesting fact about the band?
Erick: We all have love tattoos. They're all different but it's ironic we have a tattoo with the word love in it.
Brandon: Thats kind of a philosophy we live by. Love is all you need to survive. If you can do that, then your going to be fine. We're happy band. We're not party guys, we don't do anything illegal. We can recognize who our audience is and a lot of them are impressionable youth. So we try not to bring any sort of negativity into our music.
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Alex: We also drink a lot of Starbucks, in fact we like to locate a few on our tour route. One of our dreams is to be sponsored by Starbucks, so we can automatically go into any Starbucks worldwide and get free coffee.
Is there a plan B for Hey Hollywood?
Brandon: No back up plan. It's do or die. We are not planning on failing. No looking back. -- Erica Hoff
Hey Hollywood's CD release show is 7 p.m. tonight at The Door in Dallas. $10. Other bands on the bill include Ivoryline, Panima and Scenes and Sirens.