Say hello to HelloGoodbye

In Arts & Entertainment
Christina Schroeter


Hundreds of high schoolers broke curfew to line up for HelloGoodbye’s midnight show at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. Outside, the line wrapped around two corners, and never inched forward.

Backstage, the band dodged MTV cameramen and fuzzy microphones on sticks to get a few minutes of privacy. But it’s a reality show, they didn’t have privacy. The band members ran around Los Angeles all day with microphones strapped to their tight pants and cameras hovering over their shoulders, and they were exhausted.

“I’m going to pass out any second,” HGB’s lead singer/guitarist Forrest Kline said as he unloaded equipment from the band’s van.

Just before 11 p.m., MTV officials ordered HGB affiliates to exit the backstage area and enter the venue through the front entrance.

HGB performed with pop-punk band Over It for MTV2’s “Dew Circuit Breakout,” a reality show that will air in November.

The contest could be the band’s next big break into the MTV world if it wins. Although the band has already been featured on “The Real World: Austin,” this is the chance to further the band’s professional career.

Just before midnight, HGB walked onstage one by one. Some of the crowd cheered as each set up equipment. Others scoped out the booty shorts and fanny packs for sale. Although the band is unusually energetic, Kline explained the band’s rough day to the crowd.

“Our heels are tired and our spirits are weakened,” Kline said. “I’m going to be tired, just act like you guys are having fun.”

The crowd doesn’t have to act, and not Kline ?_” nor anyone in the band ?_” acted the least bit fatigued.

During the set, Jesse Kurvink whipped his brown mop around while tickling his keyboard’s plastics and shuffling his feet. Marcus Cole rocked large red headphones while plucking at his bass guitar. Chris Profeta’s springy afro bounced with every dynamic drum beat. HGB’s merch seller, Steve Castillo, hopped onstage in a poncho, squirting fans (without avoiding MTV video cameras) with a Super Soaker. Kline energetically played each of HGB’s classic-pop-rock songs and passionately voiced his love life in the lyrics.

Kline began HGB by digitally creating songs on the PC in his room and singing along very shyly.

“A lot of that was that I was living with my parents at the time recording in my bedroom, singing all quiet and weird so I wouldn’t wake them up,” Kline said.

After recording and rerecording in his bedroom, HGB, who recently signed with Drive-Thru Records, is getting its first taste of studio recording for an album due out in March.

“I’m working out of a home studio with Matt Mahaffey [of the band Self], who is one of my biggest musical idols, so the vibe is … similar to the way I’ve always done it,” Kline says. “But … we’re making something permanent here.”

The not-yet-titled album will boast a wide spectrum of songs.

“There are some songs that are real synthesized and, you know, ’80s-ish, if you must draw thatcomparison,” Kline said. “And there are some songs that are more organic and classic sounding. But I guess they’re all still love songs.”

The band is working on its first full-length album and touring with bands like The All-American Rejects and Limbeck, but the HGB boys are some of the most down to earth guys around, even though they’re rising to a world of fame, and getting recognized in public.

“It’s always kind of uncomfortable,” Kline said. “You’ll see somebody and they’ll give you that weird look like, ‘I know you, who are you?’ and then you’re like, ‘Oh crap, do I know this person?’ and it’s scary. I hope I don’t sound like a pretentious jerk-head nowadays.”

After playing some pop gems like “Bonnie Taylor Shakedown,” and “Call and Return,” HGB played newer songs like “Dear Jamie-Sincerely Me” and a Hawaiian-guitar-style love-song, which will released on the new album.

When the venue shut the sound off on the bands and the fans at the end of the night, it was evident that the guys were exhausted, but they still hung out onstage to sign autographs and give fans sweaty hugs.

The fans say “goodbye,” but this is only the beginning. HelloGoodbye is just starting to say, “Hello.”

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