‘This is for the old souls, for the young at heart. Hellions, stand up!’ One listen to the new Hellions record, ‘Indian Summer’, and you find a band that is fully brimming with youthfulness, confidence and chaotic energy. After some heavy touring and line-up changes in 2014, the Sydney based trio are ready to take Australia by storm with their sophomore release and after that, the world. So before a busy 2015 kicks in, we had a chat with the bands’ chilled-out vocalist, Dre Faivre.
Hey Dre, how are you today?
I’m good man, how are you?
Yeah I’m good thanks. What are you up to right now?
I was sipping on a tea but now it’s empty so I may grab another. What are you doing?
Too easy man. I’m just chilling in Melbourne.
Oh cool. Is it still really crappy weather?
Yeah man, it’s still dogshit weather over here.
Yeah, it was like that over the weekend, it was a pretty South Melbourne weather vibe.
Speaking of the weekend, how was Unify?
Dude, it was incredible. It was just awesome, and that wasn’t just the artists tents, there were maniacs everywhere. The foods was awesome, and hang on, let’s look at that for a sec – the food was actually awesome for a festival. No one left with Unify belly, no one got sick. It was awesome.
I’ve heard stories about a ‘party-riot’ of hundreds of people running through the campsites?
(Laughs) yeah! I’ve heard that too. Apparently Mark from Break Even was leading this party-riot squad. I heard that he was mad crowd-surfing to the Parkway Drive DVD. It was insane.
That is next level, man. Did you guys have any weird camping, tent shenanigans?
Yep (laughs). One of our friends, Chris Moretti, he used to play in Heroes For Hire. And Potter [Heroes For Hire bassist], he was on one, he was running through people’s tents, and he cannonballed someone’s tents. Someone wanted him to [do it], like ‘Oh yeah, I just spent an hour setting this up, do it’. It was crazy.
It definitely sounds it dude. We should probably get into the album now (laughs). So with ‘Indian Summer’, where did the title come from?
In the literal sense, it’s a dry time in Autumn. In a figurative manner, it’s a time where you find some form of success in a part of your life. Not in a way that we think we’re successful, but just in a more personal way. Like us coming from that second album and having that year for it but then for our personal lives as well.
With the actual music of the album, will it be more varied like ‘Die Young’? Or will it all be more like the self-titled track and ‘Lie’?
It’s definitely like ‘Die Young’. We don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves and we just write what we want to write. Well, everyone does that, but not sticking to a genre. It’s definitely like ‘Die Young’ as it has few surprises to come.
Good to hear man. I noticed with the artwork for ‘Lie’, you’ve got not only a reference to The Bride, [the street name] but also to My Chemical Romance’s album, ‘Thee Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ [the theatre]…
Are you guys fans at all? Like, was that intended by you guys?
Yes, we are. We love it, and I don’t give a fuck. We all love it, it makes us smile, makes us dance, makes us happy (laughs).
(Laughs). Oh, that’s awesome, they’re actually my favourite band so it was pretty devastating when they broke up so suddenly.
Oh really? That’s awesome. At that time, when we were in a different mind space, it was pretty heavy. I was behind my long hair just crying (laughs).
With the rest of the artwork, it’s got a cool arcade/beat ‘em up/Street Fighter vibe to it, you big gamers?
Yeah, we definitely are and quick shout out, Pat Fox, he did that and oh my god, he put that all together by himself. He’s a massive nerd and it was just everything we envisioned it to be, and he hit it right on the head. It’s also got that Streets Of Rage feel.
With Dylan and Lewis leaving the band last year, has that affected the writing or the touring at all?
Ah, touring…yes. When you’ve gotta find a fill-in and you’ve gotta work around them. But we’ve got friend’s everywhere that’ll do that for us. Music-wise though, no, even with their input and everything. Mainly, it was just the touring aspects, like when they were initially gone, it was hard finding those replacements so fast and so quickly.
Yeah I imagine it couldn’t have been easy. Will you remain as a trio or bring in any full-time replacements?
At the moment, the plan is just for the three of us. We have friends everywhere who’ll help us out and we’re so thankful they’ll put their time in to help us play our music. So it’s not so much about filling out the band, but playing shows. I think what we’re doing is not so much looking for a replacement, but if we find that person who fits in really well, we’ll get them to play with us full-time.
Yeah, I get that. Once the albums out, I image you guys be hitting the road?
Yeah man, around March or sometime then.
Sick! Can you maybe give me a hint as to who it might be with?
Yeah, we’re touring with Void Of Vision. We’ll be taking them, they’re just great people.
With the music video for ‘Hellions’, did you guys just say, ‘Hey, let’s jump in front of a green screen and go nuts’?
I think at some point we had an idea for it. But we just had to bang out, and we’re pretty random so we thought we should just do some random stuff. it was definitely sporadic and all on the spot. everything you see was maybe thought about a minute or so beforehand before filming. We like that, we’re really sporadic people, and nothing’s planned.
I think that sums you guys up pretty well – sporadic and in the moment.
Yeah, when we saw the final edit, we were like, ‘This is us’ (laughs).
So you guys have been a band for a couple years, and I wanted to know if you still get people complaining that you aren’t The Bride?
Oh yeah man (laughs).
Do you hope you’ll be able to move out of that shadow, because, personally, I prefer Hellions way more than The Bride. Whenever I tell people that, they look at me like I’m crazy (laughs).
Ah man, people need to let it go, just let it go. It’d be awesome to think that we could do that randomly, just one show. but we ended that because we couldn’t progress with those members. It’s old now, we’ve grown into something that we want to do now. I prefer Hellions over The Bride too, personally. Like I loved playing bass in that band, but people need to let it go.
Oh, definitely. Once the album’s out and you wrap up that tour, will you be hoping to push Hellions out to overseas markets?
I think it’s time for Hellions to take go on a vacation. We need to go on a National Lampoon’s Hellions tour cause we really need to get out of Australia this year. Talks between us, we want to go to Asia, and Europe, especially Asia, we all live for that place. If we can’t, we may just force ourselves to go overseas. Even if I have to mow a hundred lawns, I’m going overseas (laughs).
I saw that Rock Sound (UK magazine) started covering you guys for the new album, so hey, you never know…
When I saw that I was like ‘Holy fuck’. It’s incredible (laughs). We’re having a time, having a ball, and we just really want this album to be out and so everyone can have a ball hopefully.
Well, on that man I think we should end it here so you can get onto the next person. Thanks so much for your time Dre.
Oh no worries Alex, thanks for having me dude.
‘Indian Summer’ is out January 30th via Unified.