Fault sits down with Hey Violet

“You know what would be goals?” exclaimed Rena, the pink-haired vocalist and soul of the band. “What if we had holograms of ourselves? And then, if we were really tired, we could just send them out!” The outburst, met with cries of derision and glee alike, perfectly defines the spirit of pop-rock band Hey Violet – just a group of five friends from California determined to play music whilst encapsulating today’s youthful vision of a band on tour.

 

For those of you who haven’t heard of 5SOS’ first signing to Capitol Records, you probably should; and if you haven’t, your little sister definitely has. The young five-piece, consisting of sisters and founding members Rena and Nia Lovelis, Miranda Miller, Casey Moreta, and Iain Shipp, have been steadily taking over Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram with a Western hemisphere dominance counter-reflective of The Beatles’ rise to fame, albeit in a social media-led fashion.

Despite opening for prestigious bands such as Foo Fighters, Steel Panthers, and Lostprophets, and featuring at festivals such as Reading and Leeds Festival, the band haven’t let fame go to their head – at all. We’re interviewing the five in a hotel just off Shoreditch High Street and, despite their massive following, this feels merely like a casual sit-down with a couple of buddies. There’s none of the pretentious charades put on by other bands, or diva requests for no recording or certain questions. There’s just five relaxed friends, laughing, joking, and enjoying their time touring and seeing fans. Read on for our rapidfire Q&A with Hey Violet’s squad. Just a quick note: the interview has been edited for clarity. There was way too much bickering and squabbling over who’s who in How I Met Your Mother.

 

So, there’s five of you. If you had to choose five characters from Friends, who would you all be?

Rena: I’d be Rachel.

Nia: I’m Monica. [points at Miranda] You’re Phoebe. And Casey’s Chandler.

Iain: Which am I?

Rena: He’s not Ross.

Nia: I feel he’s more Ross than Joey. Joey’s kinda dumb.

Iain: But Ross is so naggy. Ross is annoying.

Nia: He is. But he plays keyboards though. Ross is a fuckboy.

Iain: Alright, I guess I’ll take the L?

Rena: I feel like both of them would be Chandler, with a little bit of Ross.

Nia: Yeah, you can both be Chandler.

Iain: What, no!

Casey: We’ll both be Chandler. No Ross.

Iain: Joey’s an actor, right?

Nia: Yeah, but he’s really dumb.

Iain: But he’s an artist. Career-wise, we’re both in a similar boat.

Rena: Okay, Iann’s Joey.

Iain: I guess I’ll take Joey, taking L’s left and right.

Nia: I’d rather be Joey to be honest.

Miranda: But nobody in this band is that dumb?

 

Same question, but How I Met Your Mother instead.

Nia: Thank you! I love How I Met Your Mother. It’s so much better than Friends.

Casey: Agreed, Friends sucks. HIMYM is life.

Rena: I think that Nia is Robin.

Casey: Nia is Robin.

Nia: I feel like, in a weird way, Casey is Barney Stinson.

Rena: What?! No way. Casey is Marshall.

Casey: I’m Barney Stinson in a funny way, not the player way.

Rena: Iann’s Ted Moseby. Casey is Marshall.

Nia: Rena and Iann are definitely Lily and Marshall!

Miranda: Who am I?

Nia: I need to figure that out.

Casey: I’m like funny Barney?

Miranda: I feel like I’m Robin?

Rena: Nia’s more Robin. We could argue about this forever.

But seriously, who’s who?

Nia: Iain’s Ted, I’m Robin, Casey’s Barney, Miranda’s Marshall, and Rena’s Lily.

 

What’s playing on your Spotify?

Iain: I’ve been listening to JoJe. He’s a little producer out of New York. He’s a bit like Frank Ocean? He’s not Frank Ocean, but that’s the closest thing I can describe him to. And probably Grimez, I love Grimez.

Nia: I like looking on the Spotify new releases and finding new things. I find myself going down a pit, and listening to the same thing, and I hate it.

Miranda: I’ve been listening to Tame Impala and Kendrick Lamar.

Rena: Yaaaas gurl, new Kendrick!

Miranda: It’s so good. Daaamn, right?

Casey: Mine is Father John Misty?

Rena: Probably Dream Koala.

 

What TV series are you guys binging at the moment?

Nia: The Walking Dead. The Office US. I tried to watch the UK version, it’s too awkward.

Rena: Black Mirror.

Casey: Rick and Morty.

Iain: Mr Robot.

If you could design your dream live show, what would it be?

Iain: Mr Robot. Oh wait, live show?

Miranda: We actually have a group chat where we send each other ideas for stuff we can’t afford yet for our shows.

Iain: We literally do.

Miranda: We love, like, pinks and blues and very vibrant colours.

Nia: I think also Miranda showed us this documentary that explained this one particular stage designer’s process. Kind of rather than having a normal band set-up, she would have the stage levelled so that all the members were on platforms so that they were equal.

Miranda: She was just so out-of-the-box when she designed things that, I don’t know if it’s all of your dreams, but it’s my dream to work with somebody who thinks like that.

Rena: You know what would be goals? You know how when you get off a plane and we’re really tired? What if we had holograms of ourselves? And then, if we were really tired, we could just send them out.

Nia: I wouldn’t like that.

Miranda: Being on stage is the fun part of life.

Casey: That’s like one step away from lip-syncing – not only are you not singing, but you’re not even there. Like you could be at the hotel just like telling the tour manager what to do.

Iain: But check it out, The Gorillaz sell out stadiums and they’re like not even real.

Casey: But that’s a cultural thing. The characters aren’t people, y’know?

Miranda: But being on stage is the thing that we live for!

Rena: Well, we just want a cool show, y’know?

 

How did you choose Hey Violet as a name?

Rena: Everyone asks us that. It’s such a boring answer. We were searching through names, and going on band-generator.com and finding names, and we had terrible ones like banana pie and all that. We literally went through over 500 different names.

Nia: We counted them.

Rena: Sometimes the names that were coming up were Hey Velvet, or Violet Mouth, and those words kept on coming up. And then somebody shouted out ‘Hey Violet!’. And we just really liked the sound of it.

What’s the go-to hashtag?

Iain: #beastmode.

Rena: Oh my god.

Nia: #fromtheoutside

Casey: Two bad hashtags in a row.

Rena: I don’t know if it’s my favourite, because there’s a lot of good hashtags out there, but one of my favourite ones is when people would do selfies for Hey Violet to gain confidence.

Nia: Fans started it on Twitter. It wasn’t us, it was them doing it just for confidence really.

Rena: It was about seeing each other, and making friends. It was a very positive project, and I liked that. I really liked that. It wasn’t just about their looks, but we actually got to see the fans who loved our music. That was really cool.

 

What’s the one question you’d ask yourself?

Nia: Ooo, what do we never get asked?

Rena: You know, this one is kinda hard, but I like this one. Describe each other in one word. We’re gonna argue though.

Miranda: Can I go first? Iann: underground. Rena:…

Rena: Choose wisely.

Miranda: I’ll come back to you.Nia: Manic. Casey: cynical. Rena: You’re, uhm, hold up, what’s like a word for like you go after what you want? Focused. But not like in a way when you focus on things, because your focus isn’t that great. Driven?

Casey: Okay, uhm, Iann: indie. That’s all he gets. Hipster. I change it, he’s hipster. Rena: annoying? Nia: Also annoying. And you too Miranda.

[lots of arguing]

Rena: Iann is obscure. I’m fashionable. Nia: Very stubborn. Casey is, uhmm, hilarious? And Miranda is intelligent. How would you describe us?

[Writer’s note: I had to describe the band. Please don’t judge me too harshly HV fans, pretty please]

Fault: Am I allowed to piss off the band?

Rena: Yes. Definitely.

Nia: Please, we’ve never had this before. But be honest.

Iain: Roast us!

Nia: If anyone asks us why the band’s crying, we’ll say it’s just us.

Fault: Okay, this is going to be bad, isn’t it? Nia, definitely ‘Italian’.

Nia: Wait, did you know that? I am Italian!

Fault: Rena: ‘Tumblr’.

Rena: Am I?

Whole band: Yeah.

Iain: Roasted.

Fault: Casey would be ‘drummer’.

Casey: I get that a lot.

Nia: I’m offended by that. I’m the drummer!

Fault: Iann would probably be dark and mysterious. That’s not one word, but that’s what I’ve got.

Iain: I’ll take it.

Fault: And Miranda? I don’t know, academic?

Miranda: I do study. Like, a lot.

Iain: We asked him to roast us and he just boosted our confidence. Except from Casey.

 

Check out Hey Violet’s latest release From The Outside here.
Words Danny Judge

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