BAEBLE FIRST PLAY: Interview and Exclusive Video Premiere with Hawai
  • WEDNESDAY, JUNE 01, 2016

  • Posted by: Lea Weatherby

The alternative pop-rock band Hawai is refreshing, both literally and figuratively, with an addictively airy, summer sound that you can breathe in and breathe out, over and over.

The Southern California five-piece has been hard at work in the studio with producer Lars Stalfors (Cold War Kids, Deap Vally) on their debut EP, Working All Night. In anticipation of its June 17th release via Antler Records, Baeble had the pleasure of premiering the luminous new video for "In My Head" and caught up with Hawai frontman, Jake Pappas about change, passion and putting in the work.



Lea Weatherby: You guys started playing music together when you were in your teens. Naturally, over the years you grow and develop creatively, would you say that those developmental years together informed the sound you have today?

Jake Pappas: Yeah, I think we'll always be developing and evolving our sound. I can't imagine we'll have the same sound a year from now or even a month from now. But our hibernation years certainly helped with honing in on our songwriting.

LW: You attribute much of the evolution of your sound to working with Lars Stalfors, in what ways has that collaborative mentorship challenged you the most? For better and/or worse?

JP I think overall Lars gave us the confidence that we had something unique and challenged us to organize those ideas into a song. It really helped us continue in a forward direction, to never stand still, and to keep digging for new ideas. It's easy to throw away something that doesn't come together as easy as you'd like. It's nice to have someone confirm that you are onto something good and to continue writing.

LW: What was the hardest part about reinventing yourselves? What specifically has changed and what, if anything, will always remain the same in terms of who you are as a band?

JP: I believe human beings are constantly "reinventing" themselves, adapting to culture and fashion. I think reinvention is constant so it was just as hard this time around as it was the last 40 times. Something that seems to always remain in our band is jamming. We can't seem to ever give up our love for jams. Long jams.

LW: What experiences or emotions inspire your songwriting most?

JP: Every day I'm inspired by something, whether it's something happy or something sad. Depending on what kind of mood I'm in, writing always goes hand I hand.

LW: What was it about music that made you feel like it was the right vehicle for storytelling?

JP: I knew how much music affected me, especially in high school. I heard about bands that I had never heard of before, and this changed everything for me. I remember seeing David Bazan at the Glasshouse in Pomona when I was maybe 18. I remember leaving telling a friend of mine that I wanted to do that for a living. It was a big moment for me, a total shift in perspective. I knew that night how powerful music was.

LW: Our experiences shape us in many ways, is there something specific that you feel has changed you as an artist or changed your approach to music?

JP: If I told you then I'd be giving a secret away. But yes there are a few specifics that have definitely changed me as an artist.

LW: Is there a track on the upcoming EP that you feel the proudest of, and conversely, a track you feel the least proud of?

JP: I'd say "On My Own" is the song I feel most proud of. It was very out of the box for us. We never had songs with a ton of repetition so this one kind of pushed us out of our comfort zone. It was our ode to pop structure: Verse-chorus-verse-chorus-chorus-chorus-chorus-chorusss

LW: What does the EPs title Working All Night, mean to you guys?

JP: It's in a sense, the commitment we've all made together to do this music thing.

LW: If you could communicate one thing about the identity (based on the sum of its parts) of Hawai to your fans, what is it that you would you like them to understand about you as artists and what would you like them to take away from this album?

JP: I think we always want our identity to be that we're good human beings. We want people to feel something from the EP...but mainly to just enjoy it.

LW: What would you say to other musicians, writers, and artists of all kinds about the meaning of work and the necessity of passion?

JP: The meaning of work is the manifestation of energy. I just looked that up! Another definition of work is applying the mind to learning and understanding a subject. Without passion work is just work. It's the manifestation of energy. But with passion, the work put into learning music is really rewarding. We like that we are able to enjoy what we are doing.

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