Hey Violet Talk Album Progress, 5SOS Influence and 'Speaking From Our Souls' When Writing

Corey McLean
Hey Violet

Rena Lovelis breaks down the message of their “Guys My Age” video: "Hold out for something better, because you should be made a priority."

Earlier this week, pop-rock quartet Hey Violet unveiled the latest visual from its Brand New Moves EP, as the “Guys My Age” video decries immature teenage males and showcases the band’s recent swivel to more synth-based pop music. Singer-bassist Rena Lovelis, who stars in the “Guys My Age” video and hopes the song snaps some “selfish, lazy dudes” awake, tells Billboard that August’s Brand New Moves EP indicates where the band will go on its debut album.

"I think our idea was just about writing from personal experience,” says Lovelis, who formed Hey Violet out of the ashes of the band Cherri Bomb with her sister Nia, as well as Miranda Miller, Iain Shipp and Casey Moreta. "We’ve been in this situation before — we had people writing songs for us, older guys, and they didn’t understand young teenage girls at all, and it was really weird. I think we’ve gotten to a place where we can speak from our souls and just write songs that mean something to us, and that can mean something to our fans. We wanted to write an alternative-pop EP, and I think we successfully did that. You can hear that they’re our voices.”

Turning away from pop-punk and taking more ownership of their writing process came after Hey Violet spent much of the past two years on tour supporting 5 Seconds of Summer, who signed the group to its Hi Or Hey Records imprint on Capitol in March 2015.

"It was really nice to have musicians that are around our age and took us under their wings -- they’re like big brothers to us,” says Lovelis. "There’s been a bunch of advice that they’ve given us, but what's stuck out to us have been things like, ‘Artists feel things a million times more than other people do. It’s in our nature, and you just have to embrace it.’ I thought that was really cool, because sometimes I get into these whirlpools of, ‘What do I want to write about?’ and feel blocked. They showed me that I just need to let it be.”

With two EPs released over the past two years, Hey Violet is ready to put out its proper debut album — hopefully, says Lovelis, in early 2017. "We literally have enough songs for three albums now,” she says. “It’s just a matter of going through them, seeing which ones are ready for the album, and which ones need a little tweaking. It’s like choosing your favorite child — you can’t do it. You have to choose songs, but all of the songs mean something to you.”

In the meantime, Hey Violet has enjoyed perusing the fan reactions to the “Guys My Age” song and video on social media, and seeing how often their subject hits close to home.

"We get tweets all the time from people who are like, ‘I know exactly who I’m thinking about when I’m listening to this song,’ or ‘Hey Violet, you explained my relationship perfectly!’” says Lovelis with a laugh. "I think we’ve all been in those relationships. And it’s not even just about guys -- girls can get selfish in relationships and not give a guy the attention he needs. It’s basically just saying, ‘Hold out for something better, because you should be made a priority.’"