Band: Hey Hey My My
From: Paris, France
Sound: Playfully quirky and melodic, smart acoustic rock
Similar Artists: The Shins, Badly Drawn Boy, Rogue Wave, the Dodos
Listen Now: "Merryland"
This week, we're thrilled to try something a bit new for the Band of the Week. After we skipped town last Thursday, our good friend Jonathan picked up our slack and shot a fantastic interview piece with Hey Hey My My while getting to spend some time with them on their first string of U.S. shows. Many thanks to Jonathan for putting this all together. The rest is in his words (and video, above), enjoy!
Julien is soft-spoken, while Julien tells jokes. Julien has a bookish charm that's part punk and part Apostrophes , while Julien - all bedhead and toothy smile - has the scruffy laid-back cool of a late-for-schooler. And although they seem to get along like childhood friends, Julien and Julien couldn't be more different. For one, Julien plays guitar in the French band Hey Hey My My, while Julien...well, also plays guitar in the French sensation Hey Hey My My.
The guys were in town this past weekend along with their bass player Jeff, who might as well have been inspiration for a Charles Shultz sketch, and drummer Michel, a low-key modest type (until you see him punish his kit).
In the U.S. for the first time, Hey Hey My My kicked off their string of shows in New York by opening for Lightspeed Champion on Wednesday at Mercury Lounge. I wasn't there, but others were and can fill you in. I caught the band on Saturday night at Southpaw, which may I remind you, is a pretty super fantastic venue.
It rained like crazy and I got there early and soaked to watch the Epochs, who were tight (their drummer is one of the best drummers I've seen in years) but almost too tight. I won't elaborate too much, they were good, just not my thing. So I stood there with 40 or so people nodding their heads placidly, except for one chick, who was front-and-center and looked like she was trying to stomp out a wild fire.
By the time HHMM took the stage, the room had filled quite nicely. Especially for a foreign band with no real industry buzz to speak of.
And although none (well, few) of the people in attendance were personal friends of the band, by the end of the show everyone seemed to gang up with acclaim. Playing close to the entirety of their debut album, HHMM charmed, surprised, made out on stage, and pulled off some solid Brooklyn-style sarcastic jokes in what - although Julien would have you try to believe it - is not their native tongue.
I hung out with the guys a day after another packed show at Sound Fix (kudos to U.S. PR rep. Lee Kelly). We walked through Central Park, where one of the Juliens- after eating his first ever street hot dog - declared, "You have to hand it to them. It may not be a culinary feat, but it's certainly the fastest hot meal you could ever serve for such little money." (makes a flopping motion with his wrist: weiner plops into bun).
We sat on a rock, where I asked them a few questions (see video above)
The rest (after the jump along with some pics courtesy of Paul Park) are follow-ups sent via email as the park got cold and windy and we all went to grab a beer and a burger.
EF: What was the band's impression of your first U.S. shows? do you feel there
is a difference between European audiences and American ones?
Julien G: The impression was really cool. The audience was listening and for the first time people could actually understand our lyrics! Strangely enough I don't see a lot of differences between US and European audiences. I guess differences come from the types of audiences usually. If they're indie hipsters they are all the same everywhere! An audience who wants to enjoy their Friday or Saturday evening without knowing who's playing... The cool thing during our little trip is we got to play in front of different kind of people, Manhattan and Mercury Lounge, Brooklyn and Southpaw on a drunken Friday night, the quiet and listening audience (attentive?) for Sound Fix. Above all one thing really struck us. One guy came all the way from Boston and two guys came all the way from Washington DC to see us play at Sound Fix!! We were flabbergasted!
EF: What is the last record you bought?
Julien G: I bought the last album from Stephen Malkmus and Boxer from The National. Jeff bought the last album from Autechre and Michel some obscure indie punk band I don't remember. The other Julien never buys music.
EF: You guys are on the French label Sober&Gentle, which is releasing your
debut in Europe. Are you self releasing it in the U.S.? How is that working?
Are you currently looking for a U.S. label or a U.S. distributor?
Julien G: Right now we just have a digital distribution on iTunes and on the digital Other Music shop. So we're looking for a U.S. distributor or a label. And we're having good answers from some labels so far.
EF: Audrey Pic, of the Swedish pop band Envelopes sings on your track "Morricone." How did that come about?
Julien G: We met Audrey a few years ago. One evening Envelopes was playing in a French bar. We were struck by the greatness of the band and then met Audrey. We became friends and she got involved in the singing of "Morricone" and also she did this nice rapping on "Picking."
EF: You're finishing up a tour in France which will take you through to
August. What's next?
Julien G: Next is finishing our demos for the next album. And then recording it! :)
Other French bands worth checking out according to HHMM:
Stuck in the Sound, Low Milk, Cocoon,Eldia
See Hey Hey My My Live:
21 Mar - Toulon, FR @ Tandem
22 Mar - Avignon, FR @ Akwaba
25 Mar - Toulouse, FR @ Le Bikini
28 Mar - Rennes, FR @ L'aire Libre
3 Apr - La Defense, FR @ Festival Chorus des Hauts de Seine
20 Apr - Lille, FR @ Festival Paradis Articifiels
25 Apr - Chaumont, FR @ Les Silos
11 May - Nantess, FR @ Festival Rue des Sens
13 Jun - Mouen, FR @ Festival Mouen Fort la Zic
25 Jul - Riberac, FR @ Festival le Grand Souk
23 Aug - Montpellier, FR @ Les Nuits d’O.
Visit Hey Hey My My on MySpace
In the recent past, the following bands have been featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week:
Drink Up Buttercup
The Big Sleep
Pete and the Pirates
See the entire list of bands featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week HERE.