Pop Shop Podcast: Hey Violet Is the Rock-Savvy Pop Band Top 40 Needs

Hey Violet photographed at Billboard HQ on March 22, 2017 in New York City.
Jenny Regan

Hey Violet photographed at Billboard HQ on March 22, 2017 in New York City.

Welcome to the Pop Shop Podcast’s Headliner Interview, Billboard's weekly long-form talk with a compelling, inspirational voice in the world of music.

When Hey Violet releases its debut album, it’ll be the the first full length on 5 Seconds of Summer’s Hi Or Hey Records -- that’s not by 5SOS, that is (it also arrives via Caroline). The co-ed L.A. group partnered with the Aussies after four-fifths of its current lineup morphed from the teenaged hard rock outfit Cherri Bomb to its millennial-savvy, pop-friendly current form. The switch was a smart one.

"We’re still experimenting with different kinds of sounds," keyboardist-vocalist Miranda Miller says on this week’s episode of Pop Shop. "We love rock, we love pop -- we just wanted to find that balance."

Hey Violet uses guitar, keys, drums -- the traditional rock instruments -- to translate 2017’s bass drop-addled version of pop radio into songs that sound fresh and visceral. The down ’n dirty bass of “Guys My Age” can hang with Top 40 EDM, but in concert, it explodes with low end frenzy thanks to a living, breathing rhythm section. 

"Nowadays people are more open to genre mixing," bassist Iain Shipp says. "People are exposed to literally everything when you have apps like Spotify and Soundcloud. You're being exposed to multiple genres at once."

"Guys My Age" became Hey Violet’s first single to crack Billboard’s Hot 100 and got all the way to No. 20 on the Pop Songs chart. Its exuberant follow-up single, “Break My Heart,” is beginning to catch on at Top 40 radio. Even more shots at stardom will come with their forthcoming album, which figures to feature a horde of crowd-pleasers so far only shared in concert. Check out the 'cast below for more updates from the band on what they've got cooking on the debut.

Through it all, Hey Violet's tight-knit camaraderie is driving them just as much as their mainstream appeal. And you get to hear it firsthand -- listen to Rena, Nia, Casey, Miranda and Iain discuss what it's like to kick it with 5SOS, the lamest Instagram hashtags, who smells the worst after a show and a lot more. 

Click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes. The Headliner Interview runs every Thursday; previous episodes include Fletcher, Jimmy Eat World and AFI.