A group of quirky, fun-loving emo rockers from California, Hellogoodbye seem to take as much influence from modern pop-punk as they do from the original Nintendo sound bleeps that held children captive in the late '80s. Formed by high-school friends in 2002, the group infused its playful brand of indie power pop with sugary sweetness, catchy dance beats, and enough energy to tire a group of five year olds. Hellogoodbye, named after a quote from Saved by the Bell's Screech Powers, was comprised of vocalist/guitarist Forrest Kline, bassist Marcus Cole, keyboardist Jesse Kurvink, and drummer Chris Profeta. They released their self-titled EP as a free download on their label's website, and the physical album hit stores with an additional track in November 2004 on Drive-Thru (where Kline used to intern). The move worked to the band's advantage and its music quickly spread; the single "Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn" made minor waves on MTV and garnered the band a pretty notable following for having only a handful of songs to its name.
Extensive touring commenced, as they joined up for gigs (which often included water guns, confetti, and costumes) with bands like the Format and the All-American Rejects. The music video/live DVD OMG HGB DVD ROTFL appeared in the fall of 2005, and by the year's end the band had won the on-air MTV Dew Circuit Breakout contest, beating Over It and Tub Ring in the end. Early 2006 was spent playing sold-out nationwide dates as openers for the Academy Is... before hooking up with Motion City Soundtrack and Straylight Run in the spring for the MTVU Campus Invasion Tour. A spot on May's Bamboozle festival preceded a summer spent on the Warped Tour. All this activity ultimately led up to the release of their highly anticipated full-length Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, which finally hit stores that August. The album was a chart success "Here (In Your Arms)" raced up the singles chart.
After more touring, the band began to run into some problems. First came the departure of Jesse Kurvink, then more lineup shuffles and a protracted lawsuit led to a lack of product from the band until a self-released single ("When We First Met") arrived in late 2009. By then the band had shifted musical direction away from emo-pop and toward a lush indie pop sound free of Auto-Tune and novelty songs. By the time they released their 2010 album, Would It Kill You?, the band consisted of Kline (who played nearly everything on the album himself), drummer Mike Nielsen, bassist Travis Head, keyboardist Joseph Marro, and guitarist Andrew Richards. The group toured after the album's release, garnering a spot on the 2011 Warped Tour. Marro left the band in early 2012, citing family issues, to be replaced by Augie Rampolla of You, Me, and Everyone We Know. Later that year, Old Friends Records signed the band and re-released Would It Kill You? with a couple bonus tracks. The next album was another Kline solo project apart from the drums and some horn and string parts, and brought some '80s influences to the table. Co-produced by Joe Chiccarelli, Everything Is Debatable was released in late 2013. ~ Corey Apar
- Huntington Beach, CA