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HUNNY

On today’s episode we welcome guitarist Jake Goldstein and bassist Kevin Grimmett of the band HUNNY. We discuss their history and the success of their local scene, which included bands such as the Neighbourhood and Bad Suns. We talk about their influences and pay homage to the Cure. Other topics include signing with Epitaph Records, predicting future trends in music, releasing a steady flow of singles, and more.

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Transcript

Evan Ball:
Hello, and welcome to Ernie Ball's Striking a Chord Podcast, I'm Evan Ball. Today I speak with the band, HUNNY, H-U-N-N-Y, just to be clear. We have both guitarist Jake Goldstein and Bassist Kevin Grimmett on the show, a great conversation. We talk about the band's history and the success of their local scene coming up with bands such as the Neighborhood and Bad Suns. We nerd out on The Cure more than once. Other topics include signing with Epitaph Records, building an audience, predictions of future musical trends and more. Jake's audio cuts out a bit in the beginning, but we get it sorted out. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Kevin Grimmett and Jake Goldstein of HUNNY. Jake and Kevin, welcome to the podcast.

Kevin Grimmett:
What's up? Thanks for having us.

Evan Ball:
Yes, of course. Alright, where did you guys grow up?

Kevin Grimmett:
Goldie, you here?

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, I was letting you go first. Basically, I grew up kind of all over until high school then a little town called Newbury Park, California. It's like halfway between Los Angeles and Ventura.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah. And I grew up in the Valley, kind of in Woodland Hills area.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Okay. And that's also for non California listeners, sort of like Northwestern LA.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah. It's like a suburb. It's kind of still encompassed under LA, but it's totally not the same. It's a whole different vibe, but yeah, encompassed under the same umbrella.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, we had Kid Bloom on the podcast, and he actually mentioned you guys and Bad Suns and some other bands from your neck of the woods. So sounds like you guys kind of nice little scene going there.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, it wasn't really... I went to like middle school with Bad Suns. So it was like Goldie had his scene out in Newbury and we had ours kind of in the Valley area. And we ended up kind of intermingling at one point.

Jake Goldstein:
Essentially like right when I got out of high school, a few friends of mine got a house together in Woodland Hills. So we kind of bridge the gap between like super out there suburbs, where we all kind of had this like, self-contained scene during my high school years. And then the Bad Suns dudes and Kev and like a few other people who had grown up more on the valley side of things. And it was kind of a little hub where everybody would like hang out and make music and just generally be creative together.

Evan Ball:
So this is during high school still?

Jake Goldstein:
This was right when we left high school, so I was-

Kevin Grimmett:
I was still in high school.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, I was a little younger.

Kevin Grimmett:
I think I was 15 or 16. So they were all 18 I was 15.

Evan Ball:
Okay, are the bands as they exist now already, is it Bad Suns, is it HUNNY? Or not yet, just a lot of common members and sort of early incarnations of these bands?

Jake Goldstein:
It was kind of like we had a lot of shared members, or we just have like, one off shows where groups that would end up being in these bands, would like play a genre that we wouldn't normally play. Like Kevin played in a show with the shoegaze band that I had at a time that also was with Gavin from Bad Suns and from like a few of our other friends. It was just kind of a mishmash of all of us trying things and kind of experimenting and forming these bands that now exist.

Kevin Grimmett:
And like Jason and Joey were kind of, I guess they played in like the first, like reincarnation of The Neighborhood. Yeah, just stuff like that. We all kind of joined each other's bands for a little bit.

Evan Ball:
Were all the Neighborhood guys around your age too? Are you at some of the same high schools?

Jake Goldstein:
I went to the same high school as Ray from Bad Suns and Jesse from The Neighborhood. And then Kev went to... No, you didn't even go to the same high school as Chris. You guys just went to middle school together.

Kevin Grimmett:
Right. Yeah.

Evan Ball:
Are you guys able to play in bars or parties? Or does the senior in revolve around a certain kind of gig or venue?

Kevin Grimmett:
Oh, yeah. I mean, it revolved around like garages, we'd play in garages or this venue in the valley called The Cobalt. It's not there anymore, but it like it was like the grimiest, they'd have hardcore shows in there, punk shows. Yeah, I mean, I remember playing with Jason's, one of his first bands, Buffalo... No, no, it was a Buffalo Blackfoot show with Goldstein's band I was playing in the shoegaze band and I was maybe 16, 17. So I had like wait outside until the set happened. And then walked on stage and played.

Jake Goldstein:
[inaudible 00:04:29] that was just a venue that was like 18 up technically, it was like a glorified garage, basically. But we played mostly just anywhere that would have us. There was like random houses out by us because there's a bit more space so you can kind of like do backyard shows and garage shows and things like that. Ray used to have shows in his garage and we call that the Hot Chocolate. There were like some cool bands that when two or three even punk and hardcore bands that were touring that would stop and play at this random garage in the suburbs.

Evan Ball:
Wow, that's crazy. Yeah, go ahead.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, I think Joyce Manor even played a show in Ray's garage at one point.

Jake Goldstein:
Chill for sure.

Evan Ball:
So are police a factor at all and these garage shows.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah. For sure. Occasionally, generally speaking, we had like an understanding with the neighbors at Ray's. But there were definitely shows we played, they got shut down by the cops for sure. There was a show I remember in high school that I was just playing in like a random formative bandwidth, whoever, from around. But before the headliner came on, the cops showed up, and we basically just caravaned the entire show to like, another empty garage that was maybe like two miles away or whatever the entire-

Evan Ball:
With friendlier neighbors.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, with friendlier neighbors, there was like maybe 50 kids in various cars, and we just packed it up and then moved to another cul de sac and did it there.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. That reminds me I don't know if you guys have ever been to Isla Vista near Santa Barbara?

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, we've been around there, yeah.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, okay.

Jake Goldstein:
Go up there every now and then.

Evan Ball:
In the olden days when my band would play there, one party would get busted and you'd just move down like across the street or something. There's always, "Sure set up in our garage, whatever."

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, I've definitely I've like street crawled there and like gone to backyard shows.

Jake Goldstein:
I was just going to say I think a friend of mine's older brother lived there. So even Santa Barbara is not that far a shot from Newbury Park. It's like Newbury's just near [inaudible 00:06:32] Marino. We'd road trip up there to stay with our friends, older brother and definitely saw like reggae bands and that sort of thing up there. Quite a few times.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. And we're in San Luis Obispo. So that's like the quickest getaway outside of San Luis. Do you remember a first friend's band to blow up or get a big boost?

Jake Goldstein:
Definitely. I think The Neighborhood Boys were the first ones out of that community that really took off because they had received attention super quickly. They put a video out and it kind of like went viral. I think they were probably the first ones to really have a go.

Evan Ball:
And did that happen pretty organically? Or did they have a label push behind them

Kevin Grimmett:
I think it was super organic. It was during the time of like Tumblr, and when Tumblr could blow up a band in like two seconds. It's not really a thing anymore. Yeah, it was super organic.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, I feel like their aesthetic really matched with the all that. They were doing like black and white and stuff in it. It really took off. They were really smart, though. They had a whole thing going where like, they didn't reveal their faces for a while. And we got to play their first show with them. And there was already hype building around it because everyone's like, "Who is this band?"

Kevin Grimmett:
Was that Rock City Studios Goldie?

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, yeah.

Evan Ball:
That's interesting. What were some of your big breaks like, were there certain breakthroughs, connections, events along the way where you felt you kind of stepped up a level?

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, absolutely. I think for us, it always feels like shows are the big breakthrough. We started playing shows around LA. And were fortunate enough to tour pretty early on with The Neighborhood and Bad Suns. And when we started playing shows at home, we were kind of playing like clubs and a lot of free shows or places like the Bootleg in Los Angeles, let us have like a residency. And I remember that residency was really like, at the start of it, it was maybe like half full. And then the last couple shows were selling out. And that was a really big breakthrough for us, I felt.

Evan Ball:
So what does the residency entail? How often are you guys playing?

Jake Goldstein:
I think it was every week for a month, I'm pretty sure.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah. It was like every Monday. And then towards the end of it, it was like it was like sold out. And we're like "What's going on?"

Evan Ball:
So are these all ages shows?

Jake Goldstein:
That one I think was actually 21 and up which was a surprise to speakers, generally speaking, we do much better in an all ages setting. But I think just because we had a reputation for like a fun live show. And we'd do themes and like project videos based on the theme over us. And like, I feel like it was just a really kind of... It was us finding our element, which I feel like the live shows for us always feel really great. But people kind of felt that reciprocity in the room and it just built hype from there.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, that's cool. Anything stand out as coming next.

Jake Goldstein:
I mean it's all the LA headline shows. Troubadour show after that was really fun. Same thing. We did like a balloon drop. Yeah, I mean, it's been kind of like every bigger headlining show feels like a step. I think that's just kind of natural, though.

Evan Ball:
Well, it sounds like you guys have been fairly thoughtful early on in your live shows if we got a balloon drop, and we have the projector.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, we just think it's fun to make it an event. I feel a lot of the times it's taken for granted that like a band is just a band and we grew up playing in punk and hardcore bands and stuff too. And that's definitely letting a band just be a band is really cool. But I think an added element of like, let's make this a crazy occasion and a cause for celebration just adds to the overall memorability of the night for sure.

Evan Ball:
For sure.

Kevin Grimmett:
It also involved us like, we were never really signed, we were fully like, DIY trying to make alternative rock music without a label or any kind of push. So anytime we would sell out a venue we were mind blown, because it was super organic. Besides the platform that The Neighborhood and Bad Suns brought us. A lot of the people showing up were true fans of whatever EP we put out or whatever we were making.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. One gauge of the traction, you're getting is to look at streams, how many people are listening to you. It's a nice visible marker. Do streams seem to result directly from playing live? Or does the music spread by some other means online?

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, I don't know. If you look at our monthly streams on Spotify, it's we were breaching... Were over a million right now. And when we put out these songs that were released, maybe two three years ago, are our highest streamed ones, but when we put it out, we put it out to a small base, and we didn't even know if it was going to work. So like over time, it's kind of shown. Yeah, we never really gauged the streaming until recently during pandemic, we're looking at it going like "Oh, shit." I don't know if I can curse on here. But I was like, "Oh, man, we're over a million monthly." It's kind of crazy.

Evan Ball:
So, that's interesting. So the pandemic, you've had a big boost actually in listenership?

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, it started off a big boost, and then it kind of came down during the middle. And now it's going back up over a million without any released music. So it's in the last one year, we haven't put out an album. So we have a couple tracks ready to go out. And I mean, hopefully it goes up from there.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, good. So you're recording? You have some new stuff you're going to put out?

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, the plan is to put a few songs out in succession. And that's been the majority of pandemic life is. He saw on before the conversation on Kevin's little video screen, he has a full studio set up at his house. So we've been over there just trying to be as productive as possible and enjoying self producing and working together to come up with some cool stuff with constraints.

Evan Ball:
That's great. So you guys still in LA? Or the Valley? Somewhere in there?

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah.

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kevin Grimmett:
Goldie lives in the valley now. I'm still in the valley. Joey's in the valley. Jason lives in La Brea.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, like mid city.

Evan Ball:
So when does Epitaph Records come up?

Jake Goldstein:
That was, what, 2018?

Kevin Grimmett:
2018 we'd finished an EP, and we were almost down and out. We were like what do we do from here? Because we had to self do an EP with my dad's friend. And we were just like, what do we do? So we didn't really have any push from anywhere. And we're just like, "Alright, we'll put on an EP." And then-

Jake Goldstein:
Let's see what happens. We'll like tour it, but nothing comes along. We don't really know what's going to happen because we can only like self fund recording, releasing and touring for so long.

Evan Ball:
Sure.

Kevin Grimmett:
So, yeah, we got a call from Brett or just randomly something.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah. Brett. Brett had had three separate conversations in a week of people telling him You should check out our band.

Evan Ball:
And you're talking Brett, the founder of Epitaph, right?

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, Brett Gurewitz.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah. Brett Gurewitz, who is just an incredible human being, but he reached out to us and was like, "Hey, we should probably sit down and talk. I've had three separate people telling me to check out your band in the last week, and I took a listen, and I really like what you guys are doing. So maybe come in and have a chat."

Evan Ball:
That's amazing. So do you know who turned them on to you guys?

Jake Goldstein:
There were a few people at the label. And I guess just like a mutual friend.

Kevin Grimmett:
Our buddy Reid. It was our buddy who Reid.

Jake Goldstein:
Oh yeah, it was Reid. Yeah, Reid.

Kevin Grimmett:
Epitaph is looking into a band on his little label called Danger Collective. And they're already signed. So Brett reached out and he was like, "Oh, they're already signed, but you should check out this other band HUNNY." And then yeah, Brett was like, "Alright, I'll check it out."

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, it was in addition to Reid, I guess also Chris at the label and a few other people, we actually have mutual friends that work at the label that passed it up the ladder and Reid was the final straw of like, "Okay, I really got to check this out." And then we went and met with them. And it was a pretty quick connection. And we kind of immediately felt like, "Oh, these people actually care." Because you can meet with people on the label side of things who are more like industry oriented, which it works for some people, but you can tell that there's like a real passion and love for the music that Epitaph puts out. They really care about their artists, and it was pretty evident right away that we were going to get along with them.

Evan Ball:
It's cool to be on a label with that kind of early underground history. I mean, I just think back like, I think of NOFX and Bad Religion, and Vandals, I think.

Jake Goldstein:
Absolutely.

Kevin Grimmett:
The Offspring, Alkaline. It's like a bunch of really cool bands we grew up listening to. And what was odd is that we make music that doesn't really fit their aesthetic, I would say so it was kind of cool in that sense too, that we were just like, "All right maybe we'll be a little branch off for them."

Jake Goldstein:
It's interesting too, because of the history of that label, like Brett is from Woodland Hills, West Hills area. So we have a mutual pedigree and just based on location, and like where we grew up, so he totally understood the landmarks and the references and the things that kind of informed what we were doing. Without necessarily having the end result be shared aesthetically.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Well, it's cool seeing how the label has evolved too. Back in my day, I just think of it as like pretty straightforward, these punk bands. And they've really sort of brought in a lot of cool bands, moving forward and had this longevity, which is great.

Kevin Grimmett:
It's really eclectic. I mean, I don't know if their core fan base is stoked on it, per se. They'll post a video of us and like, their dudes like, "What happened?" But they also have the punk bands. So I think it's good for them to kind of they're casting a wide net, seeing what works in different areas. But their core fanbase of like punk guys, they'll get heated at some of the stuff we put out.

Evan Ball:
I'm sure you all have individual influences growing up. Which bands or genres Do you think have most influenced or inspired HUNNY directly?

Jake Goldstein:
I feel like it would be like, dishonest for us to completely not comment on The Cure as just being like, collectively our favorite band ever.

Evan Ball:
Oh, I like that. One of my favorites, too.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah. So it was kind of I think our early ones were like The Cure and like The Killers and kind of that like early 2000s like new wave and then we kind of branched into a little more like punkish of... A little more pop-punkish. I'm into the Blink and stuff like that. We kind of like were listening all these bands that I feel like on Blink's self titled they like they had Robert Smith sing on a song and like they were kind of bridging on this weird Cure, pop punk thing. So we love this whole kind of cure influence.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Since you mentioned The Cure. I got to dig a little deeper. Any albums that stand out for you guys.

Kevin Grimmett:
Disintegration is bomb, Head on the Doors. Amazing. I mean, Head on the Doors. I mean, I don't know which is my favorite.

Jake Goldstein:
I'm a low key Wish fan, I love Wish. So good.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Yeah, I think Disintegration comes top of mind for me. I know it's maybe their biggest, probably is their biggest but it's just so-

Kevin Grimmett:
It's incredible.

Evan Ball:
... Big and dramatic. And like unapologetically dramatic.

Jake Goldstein:
It's really cool to listen to the demo recordings that came out with like the remaster and stuff of Robert just like writing the songs with the drum machine at home, too. Because there are such strong like, songwriting elements, the production always gets the shine on that record, I feel, because it is incredible. But it's cool to hear those songs in a place where they're not quite polished yet. And the songs are still amazing.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, I think Pictures of You is on there, instrumentally. And it holds up without vocals. It's just, I mean, the lyrics are already sparse in the normal version. I think it's just a testament to how strong the songwriting is, they just tapped into something where it's just, you're sort of at ease just with these long songs, and he'll just come in after two minutes, and it feels bold to me.

Jake Goldstein:
Oh it's super bold, yeah.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, like even Lullaby on that album. He's like, he's singing with like, the whisper, "Spiderman." All that, you're like... It's like, it's crazy. It's super different from everything. And every song is bomb.

Evan Ball:
I say it's a dark album. It also has one of their popular songs. I mean, Love Song's on there, too.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, it's really funny. I feel like no one talks about how that band is fully a riff band. Like all of those songs. The reason those two minute intros work is just because the riffs are so good. You would never like really categorize them as a band that's known for riffs, I guess, but throughout their catalog, it's just incredible riffs over and over again.

Evan Ball:
And they're so patient with it just sort of adding layers in, you're not rushing to get anywhere. You're already there.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, they're using like the bass six was, which is like in between the guitar and the bass and they're able to layer so many guitars and a bunch of chorus pedals. Great band.

Evan Ball:
Cool. All right. Any other bands you guys want to throw in there? I heard the Killers. I could hear that.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, all of that. Because that's kind of when we were coming of age learning how to play music. I feel like all those like early 2000s kind of like revival bands, like the Strokes were huge for us. And Phoenix and I feel like they really inspired me to use a lot of like, high chord inversions and really, like layer things in an interesting way. I mean, for me, personally, like Johnny Marr, I think is like the sickest guitar player ever. Johnny Marr and John Squire have like The Stone Roses are incredible.

Evan Ball:
This is great. We like the same stuff.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, man. I mean, we just got to go to the UK for the first time, right before the pandemic. And going to Manchester. We were so excited that we had a great show because like, a ton of bands that we love are from there. And so the fact that the show was good, we were like, so happy that we were embraced by that. Even if it's not the same community at all, it just felt, I don't know, it felt like a landmark.

Evan Ball:
That's cool. What does the HUNNY songwriting process look like typically?

Jake Goldstein:
It's kind of varied from release to release. We used to write a lot more in the room together, but now it kind of starts with a spark, either from like Kevin or Jason or myself, or we'll bring like an idea for a song to the table. And then we kind of hash it out in a room together. But it's been at Kevin's house with a logic session going and we just kind of really pick the songs apart lyrically, and melodically first and then we say, we just go off on production, like just add things, and then kind of edit from there.

Evan Ball:
So you're kind of writing as you record, so it's instant feedback, basically.

Jake Goldstein:
That's been the process for this release.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, pretty much.

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, just like plugging in going. "Oh, that sucks. That's good. Okay, cut that." Or we'll usually come in with the skeleton of the song has been hashed out on an acoustic guitar. So we can kind of go in and then edit from there.

Evan Ball:
You use like software, drums and even bass, maybe to get it down there.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, pretty much software drums to start. And then once we get the entire skeleton of the song, we'll go to our little lockout and have our drummer do a drum part to it and mix it in with the electronic drums and kind of get a nice blend between all that stuff.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, yeah. So the bones of a song are sort of there from an acoustic guitar. So you have chords, melody.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, we usually start with... We'll have like a verse or we'll have like a verse melody or like a chorus. Like this course is good. Alright, cool. Now we have to write the entire song around it. So it'll start off with ideas, like one of our songs Televised, like Goldie had that like awesome guitar part. So we're like, "Alright, that's the re-intro for everything. We have to get to that." So everything else has to... So it will start with like, kind of like a big brain part.

Jake Goldstein:
A big brain part. I love that.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, the best part.

Evan Ball:
Okay, so I got some more general questions now. If you could tour with any band past or present, who would it be?

Jake Goldstein:
That's so hard.

Kevin Grimmett:
I wouldn't want to say The Cure, because we take influence from them. And people just be like, "Man, The Cure is way better than that band." So it has to be something contrasting but also like make sense. That's tough.

Jake Goldstein:
Past or present. That opens up the net so hard.

Evan Ball:
Yeah it's a pretty big pool.

Jake Goldstein:
I got to see Stone Roses play at Coachella when they did their first like reunion headline. That would have been cool. There's like a little bit of... Just because they're so incredible live.

Kevin Grimmett:
Honestly, maybe Blur.

Jake Goldstein:
Blur would be so sick.

Evan Ball:
Nice. Okay, any predictions of what music looks like, say 10 years from now, maybe musical trends or business models.

Jake Goldstein:
I just think that the marriage of like organic and electronic stuff is so interesting. I feel like they're still like vastly separated for the most part, like electronic bass music has its own lane. And like guitar, bass, or typical organic bass music has like a lane. And I feel like the things that are really exciting and interesting are the things that are merging the two. So I think there's just going to be attempts to kind of like, solidify that. What that looks like I don't really know.

Kevin Grimmett:
I don't know. I feel like as time is going, I feel like more nostalgia is playing in. All like the emo rap is taking from like, old emo riffs with like old pop punk bands. So I feel like it's going to keep on looking back and reimagining that with rap. I feel like raps is going to, that kind of singular artist. I don't know if like the band dynamic is going to be as bomb. I feel like people are really gravitating towards individuals in music right now. Billy Eilish, or like Slowthai or any of these kind of big names.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, the mega artists, you look at any of the award shows. It's like it's sort of like individual superstars. If it is a band it's like Green Day.

Kevin Grimmett:
It's these legacy bands.

Jake Goldstein:
Which is so funny. I feel like there's a case to be made because a lot of those have so many writers on them. A lot of the time, a lot of those mega star albums have teams of 10, 15 writers like it still is a group format. So it might just take the right combination of people that are like a hit factory machine to really counter that, that end up coming up together rather than meeting later.

Evan Ball:
I think HUNNY could fill that spot.

Jake Goldstein:
Hey, we'd love to.

Evan Ball:
What about, do you think there are any changes like business model wise that might stick after the pandemics over? Hopefully it's over.

Kevin Grimmett:
I think the dropping singles is going to be the format. To drop albums is not really... I think it's too much for people to absorb. So I feel like everyone's going to be dropping singles that are like their best foot forward and changing vibes and trying to catch this TikTok wave of like, "Oh, this trends happening right now I have to add a little bit of that in." Which is cool. I mean, it's cool. I mean, I don't know if the album format is going to be as popular.

Evan Ball:
You can act more quickly with a single.

Jake Goldstein:
I think it's always a pendulum. Singles have come into vogue more than albums repeatedly, like through the course of musical history. So it's that's just the way the pendulum is going right now. I totally agree. I feel like no one wants to sit and consume an album. Especially once we're out of lockdown people are going on the move.

Evan Ball:
Before I forget speaking of singles, or I don't know if it's singles, but you guys mentioned you have some songs you're releasing soon. Anything else you want to say or release dates.

Jake Goldstein:
We can't give a concrete release date yet, but it's going to be... When does this come out?

Evan Ball:
Let's see March sometime.

Jake Goldstein:
This month. If it hasn't already come out it'll be in this month.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, we're going to shoot a video for it next week.

Evan Ball:
Okay, cool. So listeners, check it out. If there were a time machine do you have any advice for your high school selves?

Jake Goldstein:
Find Kevin Grimmett? No, I already knew him. I'm just kidding.

Kevin Grimmett:
yeah. I guess I would be like, probably release more music, because we have so many songs that are just in the vault. And I look back at them now. And I'm like, I can't put that out now. After being in this band for this long, it sounds so immature. So I wish like we would have put out more songs that were of the time. Because we'd just have a way bigger catalog of more people to pick through. Yeah, I don't know. Just don't be so picky.

Jake Goldstein:
Don't be precious. Allow yourself to put things out as you create it. I think that that's kind of how we're looking at things now is like, it's so interesting to be able to catch a glimpse into where an artist is at in the present moment. And I think if we would have allowed ourselves to do that before there would just be so much more for people to listen to. But now it's like, we feel past it. Because it's not where we're at. So it doesn't feel right to release it. But to go back and tell yourself, "Don't be so precious. And just put things out as you do it." I think that's really solid advice.

Evan Ball:
Do you have any strange fan encounters that come to mind?

Jake Goldstein:
I feel like people that come to shows and stuff are really cool. I don't know if there's anything like super crazy or weird.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, strange. Let me think.

Evan Ball:
Well, once you guys hit the road again, who knows what happens?

Jake Goldstein:
Oh, yeah, for sure.

Kevin Grimmett:
It might be crazy.

Evan Ball:
Pent up craziness.

Kevin Grimmett:
Oh, no, I can't even imagine going to like a merch booth now. It's freaky. I have to have a hazmat suit or something.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Do you have a best or worst gig that comes to mind?

Jake Goldstein:
The worst one is easy for me.

Kevin Grimmett:
Which one?

Jake Goldstein:
We played a gig in Omaha, we've since been back to this venue so I'm not going to name the venue. But we played a show in this room that was closed off to like the rest of the venue. And we started to just the sound guy. And ended to like maybe two people in the room. It was just real bad, real bad show. And it was like I think eight degrees outside when we played so we had to push in through the snow and out through the snow immediately after our set. It was so bad.

Kevin Grimmett:
We call those shows a humbler because you do it. And you're just like, "Dude, what am I doing?" I could be going to college right now. Or literally doing anything else.

Jake Goldstein:
I could just be at home in Los Angeles, where it's 75 and sunny. But here I am in Nebraska and it's 8 degrees.

Kevin Grimmett:
Playing to a sound guy who's like, he's bummed and the two people there are not there to see you or just happened to walk by the venue.

Jake Goldstein:
The inverse of that would be like the El Rey Show we played right before this pandemic hit was unbelievable.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, like sold out three weeks in advance. And we were like, "This is crazy." And it was like all our fans who like started from the beginning and it was cool seeing everyone in the same room.

Evan Ball:
That's great. Where was that?

Jake Goldstein:
The El Rey, in Los Angeles.

Evan Ball:
And then the Nebraska gig hopefully you guys didn't drive out just for that.

Jake Goldstein:
No, that was part of the tour.

Evan Ball:
It was part of a bigger tour that had more hits than misses.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, that was a part of a tour that was really... That was like a harrowing tour just because it was cold and there was crazy circumstance but that was definitely the low.

Evan Ball:
What song gets the biggest reaction when you play live?

Kevin Grimmett:
Televised is like our biggest streaming song right now. And I think that is a really good reaction because we're writing it kind of is like a ballad type song with like a pretty part. And then we were like, do but we still want to mosh in the chorus or something. So we like added a tempo change and like people, all start raging at the chorus.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, so tempo change anything else that you think explains its appeal?

Kevin Grimmett:
Well, it starts off with like Curish, kind of Bedroom Poppy string line that's pretty and everyone goes "Oh really." It kind of differs from the rest of our catalog. So it's like cheeky and like kind of British Invasion feeling. And then it goes to like a frigging... I forget the templates, it's a 20 BPM tempo change. And this it comes out of nowhere, so like anyone who wants that kind of pretty part has it. And then when it gets to the chorus, you're like, "Okay, now, I can push around and go wild." So kind of has the best of both worlds in the same song.

Jake Goldstein:
I also think that lyrically the way that those parts interplay with each other works to the same advantage because it is more sweet and pretty during the verses. And then during the chorus, it's a little more harsh and brutal truth. And so all of it just works in tandem to be we're going to lull you into a false sense of security with this verse in this intro, and all these like really pretty things. And then the chorus is just a complete 180 and a jump. And I feel like people respond to that kind of like disparity within one song because it's not done very often.

Evan Ball:
So it sounds like it's conducive to playing live. But as well, it's your biggest streaming song, I think you said.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah.

Evan Ball:
Any other songs that come to mind?

Jake Goldstein:
We write with live shows... Well we did before, pre-pandemic. We wrote a lot of songs with the intention of like, we want this to go over well live. So I think that almost methodically, we've kind of been, we know what people respond to when we play and what they kind of like about our songs. And then we try and like backwards engineer things that will play well to audiences in that way.

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kevin Grimmett:
What's another song? Probably Vowels is our second streaming song. I think that one just did well, because it kind of like reminisces of like that kind of Killers era, like that kind of four on the floor chorus. Mr. Brightside kind of chorus.

Jake Goldstein:
A triumphal chorus with like a really singable part.

Kevin Grimmett:
Fist pump in the air vibe, where people can just like, sing back at you and kind of epic in that sense. So I think that one did well, because of the nostalgia kind of it.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. So is that kind of something you might take into consideration? You're talking about thinking on some of this stuff up front. Maybe it's let's try something with four on the floor at 100 and whatever BPMs.

Kevin Grimmett:
I mean, we have, we do that with every song, but we don't know really what works. Because those songs when we did them, we did the same thing we're like doing right now like thinking about it. And then like, it just happened to work. So we've done that with other ones and, it just doesn't work? So it's like...

Jake Goldstein:
We just gave it our best guess.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, we put them out and like, they like didn't do well when we first put them out. We're like, "Oh, it didn't work." So our next thing, we changed the style and rethought it, and then that song out of nowhere, started like streaming really well. And we're like, "Oh, okay, so we did something right two years ago." okay you just don't really know. I don't know.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. All right. Next one. What do you think about Robert Ochoa?

Kevin Grimmett:
Huge fan of Robert.

Jake Goldstein:
He's from The 805. We love him.

Kevin Grimmett:
What do you think about Robert?

Evan Ball:
He's the best.

Kevin Grimmett:
He just came off mute.

Evan Ball:
Okay good, just checking we haven't put him to sleep.

Robert:
My ears are burning.

Evan Ball:
All right. Just checking.

Robert:
I'm also a big fan of the Cure though. I could have joined that conversation for two more hours.

Evan Ball:
Oh, we could keep this going. Well, real quick. I'm going to throw out Blood Flowers as an album that sort of escaped me for a little while. But it definitely grew on me and is super strong.

Kevin Grimmett:
So a couple of years ago, what was that 2017, I think, in between tours, I drove for Uber for a bit. And I picked someone up in the valley and drove them to Hollywood Bowl as the Cure was playing. And had to drop them off on the side of the road. And I just like, turned off my phone and stayed in near the Hollywood Bowl for a while to listen. And it was the night that they did like majority Blood Flower songs. And it's pretty unbelievable even from outside the Hollywood Bowl.

Evan Ball:
Oh, that's cool. Wow. Yeah, there's a lot of stuff. I actually don't remember. I'm pretty sure that's maybe mid 90s, late 90s. But sort of post-Disintegration, I guess. Or I can't remember was after Disintegration, but there's a lot of gems. I feel like they've gotten forgotten about. The early stuffs always really cool but I feel like the stuff that's not supposed to be as cool. There's so many gems in the like around 2000. I don't have exact dates, but there's a lot of good stuff in there.

Kevin Grimmett:
Blood Flower's is 2000.

Jake Goldstein:
Blood Flower's is 2000.

Kevin Grimmett:
And The Cure, the self titled 2004 album's really good too. The song called the End of the World on there's really good.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. So that era, there's a lot of stuff I think that just got left over.

Kevin Grimmett:
There's gems in there.

Evan Ball:
For sure.

Kevin Grimmett:
I feel like the production maybe made it less. I don't know. I feel like if they kept their 80s production or like, mixed it with the 90s.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah, I feel like they go right up to the edge on Wish. There's some great stuff on there, obviously like Crime and Love and Letters to Elise and a couple other songs on that. But they really like did some 90 stuff on that. And then after that I feel like the production went like a little too modern and maybe people fell off of it.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, I could see that for sure.

Kevin Grimmett:
Still good, still good.

Evan Ball:
But, it doesn't offend me.

Jake Goldstein:
Not at all.

Evan Ball:
Do they have something new coming out? Have you guys heard that?

Jake Goldstein:
I heard the rumor.

Kevin Grimmett:
You've heard the rumor, Goldie.

Jake Goldstein:
I've heard a rumor they're putting stuff out. Yeah.

Evan Ball:
I just crossed my fingers. I don't want it to be bad. Do it one more time.

Kevin Grimmett:
I think he can. I mean, where did we just see him Goldie? Rose Bowl?

Jake Goldstein:
We saw them in Pasadena when they did that festival. That was the first time we'd all actually gotten to see them. And we went together and it was just like, hit fest.

Kevin Grimmett:
You just realize like how great of a singer Robert Smith. I was like there's no... He sings so incredible. Like, there's no way he can't make something good.

Robert:
Is that the one that's at the Rose Bowl.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah.

Robert:
I was there. I watched that. That was quite the set. It was getting all foggy.

Kevin Grimmett:
So good.

Robert:
Because the fog came in over the golf course on the other side of the Rose Bowl it was pretty cool.

Jake Goldstein:
Yeah.

Robert:
Pretty cool moment.

Kevin Grimmett:
You're playing a forest. And it was so perfect. It was incredible.

Evan Ball:
The Cure if you're listening, I hope you're enjoying this. They're actually big fans of this podcast. Not really.

Jake Goldstein:
On the contrary to what Kevin said earlier, if they do want to take us out on tour, we're not going to say no. We'd do it.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. You weren't rejecting him when you didn't mention him on that question?

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, we don't even have the option. But yeah.

Evan Ball:
Okay, final question. What strings Do you guys play? Just curious.

Jake Goldstein:
Power slinkies, elevens.

Evan Ball:
Boom.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, I play the orange bass strings, I think. Is that which... I only know the color.

Evan Ball:
The hybrid slinkies? Does that sound right, the 45 to 105.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, I think those might be the ones. And I also just bought bass six strings from you guys. Because you're the only people that do it.

Evan Ball:
Do you play six string bass? Are you talking about like the guitar bass type instrument?

Kevin Grimmett:
The guitar bass type instrument, which we, like The Cure, used a lot. So I was like, all right. And I saw Blink 182 using it growing up. So I was like, I got to get one. So we've used that on everything we've done. It's crucial. So yeah, you're the only people that make the strings.

Evan Ball:
Good to hear.

Jake Goldstein:
Please keep making them.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, don't stop.

Evan Ball:
Well, we only sold three sets last year. No, just kidding.

Kevin Grimmett:
It's all to me.

Jake Goldstein:
It was us.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. All right. Well, maybe one more question. What do you guys have planned coming up? I mean, I know it's hard to plan.

Kevin Grimmett:
We're going to like put out more music, we're going to try to like put out a song a month, with a video and content and just keep up in that aspect. Because we kind of took a year off to write a bunch of music. And we just want to, what I was echoing earlier, just like just put out more music. And don't be so precious with it.

Jake Goldstein:
We've been stockpiling in preparation. So we have a lot of stuff in the vault that's ready to go.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, we're just going to put out singles. And if it works, cool. If it this one doesn't hit as hard, all good. Another one's coming out next month. Because when we were doing kind of the, alright, let's work this year. And then make an album and then put it out next year. And it's just so much relying on that album. And it could be the way it was pushed and it didn't work because of the way it was released or. So we just want to subscribe to just like putting out cool songs that we like, and see what happens.

Evan Ball:
And are you guys even... Are you at the point, are we at the point where you can start booking like in September? Or is it just, you don't even mess with that at this point?

Kevin Grimmett:
No one even knows.

Jake Goldstein:
We technically have holds for the fall, I think late October, early November, but we'll see what happens. We have them just in case that's a thing, but we'll find out.

Kevin Grimmett:
Everyone's just guessing. Any kind of booking agent is just like, "Oh let's try for this. See what happens." So they're all kind of filling up slots, and then they're just getting canceled, and then filling up slots and then canceled. Like I saw the Weekend book for 2022, like a huge world tour. So they're just banking on that everything's good by ;22. I mean, I hope the end of this year is good to go. Because we have a tour lined up.

Evan Ball:
We need to start making more venues because once we get the green light, every band on the planet is going to be racing to the venues.

Jake Goldstein:
Absolutely.

Kevin Grimmett:
It's an actual problem. Because we can't get slots for our favorite venue. Oh shit, we're playing this venue instead of this. And we're like, "Oh, man, this is booked." So we'll see.

Evan Ball:
Interesting stuff.

Kevin Grimmett:
Can't wait for live shows to come back, though. It's one of our favorite things. So.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Well, Jake and Kevin, thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Kevin Grimmett:
Thanks for having us, this was awesome.

Evan Ball:
Thanks for tuning in to Striking a Chord, an Ernie Ball podcast. Make sure you're following HUNNY on social media as they plan to release a steady flow of material, remember H-U-N-N-Y. If you'd like to contact us, please email strikingachord@Ernieball.com

Evan Ball:
Real quick, Jake, the first two words you're saying aren't coming through? I don't know if it sounds like that to you guys too.

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, it does sound like that. It's like you have like an attack knob turned up, Goldie.

Jake Goldstein:
Let me see if it's better if I just use computer audio. Hold on one sec.

Evan Ball:
Unless you want to start every sentence with testing one, two and then go into it.

Jake Goldstein:
That seems pretty unnatural. Is this better?

Kevin Grimmett:
Yeah, it sounds way better.

Jake Goldstein:
Okay, I'll just use the MacBook speakers and if that's an issue, just let me know and I can try and figure something else out.

Evan Ball:
Okay, cool.

Kevin Grimmett:
Hell yeah.