Hellogoodbye's Re-Introduction: Inside The Group's Dance-Pop Comeback
Band mastermind Forrest Kline reflects on "Here In Your Arms" and talks new studio album.
It’s been a long, hard road for Hellogoodbye since the high school-friendly dance track “Here In Your Arms” soared to No. 14 on the Hot 100 in 2006, becoming the band’s breakout hit. After label troubles thwarted their cause, the Forrest Kline-led pop band is set to release a lovey-dovey new full-length, “Everything Is Debatable,” on Oct. 29 through Old Friends. The group will also return to playing arenas, this time while opening for Paramore on tour.
“I think [there's] a lot of people who sadly, didn't know we'd been around for the last 6,7, or 8 years,” says Kline, the creative force behind the band since its formation in 2002. “They're suddenly surprised to see our name again.”
Following the 2004 release of their self-titled debut EP, Hellogoodbye established a fervent grassroot following as the irreverent, dance-friendly good guys of the Bamboozle circuit. More hits certainly could have followed “Here In Your Arms,” but a lawsuit with label Drive-Thru Records (which ceased to release music following 2008) halted activity for over a year.
A half-decade later, Kline is now with a completely new backing band, and has matured into a writer of lush pop tunes that make getting re-acquainted with Hellogoodbye well worth the effort. The synthesizer grooves are still guiding the way, but Kline has come a long way in weaving guitar and bass into the mix, layered among all the other bells and whistles. Check out the music video for their latest single, “(Everything Is) Debatable”:
Longtime fans will remember Hellogoodbye’s penchant for love songs, which has also evolved on the new album. In 2010, Kline married his longtime girlfriend, Chelsea, and of course, their romance is chronicled in the lyrics of the new album.
“It's funny -- there are always love songs,” Kline admits. “They're not entirely as simple love songs as they used to be. They're a little bit more than that, but I think every song, at its heart, comes back to some kind of love.”
On the label front, Hellogoodbye is getting some much-appreciated support from Old Friends Records, which will issue the new album following a re-release of their 2010 sophomore album “Would It Kill You?” “When we signed with them, the record was pretty much written, so it was a finished product they were getting,” Kline says."We're one of the first bands [on the roster], so we get to kind of brand the label, too. We're not stuck with a label with some strong stigma."
It’s the beginning of a new era for Hellogoodbye, at a time when more dance-conducive singles from Passion Pit, Capitol Cities and Foster the People are finding a home on alternative radio. Could “Here In Your Arms” and Hellogoodbye’s other earlier work have helped inspire the change?
“I'd be flattered,” Kline says at the suggestion. “I think it would definitely be just a sign of the times. I wouldn't say I invented it... When I was in high school, that was probably the first time kids in high school had personal computers and were learning how to program music and record stuff in their bedrooms… I think that's what spawned all of that sort of stuff.”