Hey Violet is fast gaining name recognition in the music world thanks to the band’s feisty single “Guys My Age,” an anthem for anyone who has been in a relationship with someone who was too immature for them.
What some of the pop-rock band’s newer fans may not know, though, is that the girls of the group have been playing together for nearly 10 years already. They were originally part of an all-girl rock band called Cherri Bomb, which had success under Hollywood Records from 2011-2013, including two records and support slots for Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters and more — that is, until singer/bassist Rena Lovelis, her drummer sister Nia, and keyboardist Miranda Miller decided to take more of a pop route.
“What really changed it for us is that we wanted to get more hands-on with our music,” Rena Lovelis tells Billboard. “We wanted to create the music that we really connected to, and we just happened to connect with pop music a lot… We loved the idea of pop music, we loved hearing songs on the radio. We wanted to do exactly that.”
Two years after Cherri Bomb announced their new, poppier path by taking on the new name of Hey Violet, they’re on the radio with “Guys My Age” — “I’ll start crying when it comes on,” Lovelis admits. The song is also on its way up the Billboard Hot 100, sitting at No. 69 as of the Feb. 25 chart.
Billboard chatted with Lovelis about the success of the song and what she hopes for Hey Violet now that they know their new direction is resonating with fans.
Where the Song Comes From
[“Guys My Age”] came up because we were talking about past relationships and about how guys can just, bottom line, be super immature. And that goes for girls too. I know it’s called “Guys My Age,” but I really think that the crux of the song is not necessarily about age, but also maturity level — because a guy can be a few years older, or in his 30s or 40s, and can still be incredibly immature or not know how to treat someone else like they’re a priority. So I definitely think the idea of the song is definitely more about maturity level rather than like, “I need a 50-year-old in my life.” [Laughs]
The Fan Response
It’s incredible to see that people relate to it because that’s the whole reason we’re doing this is to inspire people and inspire ourselves to write even more music. I suffer from depression and anxiety, but I use that in my songs. And I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of. But it comes into that realness of the shit that’s going on in your life — use that in your songs. I poured my heart and soul into this song, and I was recording at 2 or 3 in the morning for it. It’s nice to see that it’s resonating with people.
We’re even more grateful for [the Hot 100 success of “Guys My Age”] because we weren’t striving to be there. If you’re looking to make a hit song or a single, you’re not going to find it and you’re not going to make it if you’re looking for it and you’re forcing it to be something that it isn’t… Just create something that comes from the bottom of your heart. That’s where it comes from, a place in your heart that people don’t access often because they’re ashamed of it or they’re looking for a hit. And that’s never going to get you the hit.
[“Guys My Age”] is such a simple song that’s about the fact that people in relationships can be insecure and immature and not know how to treat you right. So when we see what the song is doing, we look at each other and we’re like ‘How is it doing this?’
What the Future Holds
We’re a very emotional band, we’re very in touch with our sensitivities and all of that — I think that comes with us as people. Staying true to ourselves, but also having the creative side of ourselves that makes things that no one’s ever done before, or no one has thought to do before. It’s these certain little things – style choices, certain lyrics that resonate with people in a very weird, strange way. It’s really all about just us being ourselves, and if that’s what makes a mark in music then that’s what means the most to me.