The show at Club Karma is part of Hellogoodbye’s latest West Coast tour, launched last week in Arizona, with My Favorite Highway, Limbeck and FUN. While he’s “super looking forward to hangin‘” with his buddies in the other bands, Kline’s also excited to play a hometown show of sorts. Hellogoodbye hails from the O.C., so fans from all over SoCal are expected to make the big trip inland to catch this Huntington Beach-reared power-pop outfit.
“Home shows rule!” exclaims Kline, who clearly loves the word “rules.” “I know a lot of the people who usually come, and it’s like we’re actually friends. I mean, we’re not, but shh, don’t tell them. Ha! It’s been a little while, though, so we’ll see if the familiar faces come out.”
It’s been a while because the group’s been working on a new album, the follow-up to their 2006 debut LP Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! on Drive-Thru Records. The group hoped to release the new 7” single “When We First Met” for the tour, but “business-esque complications” got in the way of a physical release. Instead, the band is streaming the song on AbsolutePunk.net, giving fans a taste of what the new album will be like.
“I’d say it’s a pretty solid barometer for the bulk of the [new] record,” he remarks. “There’s a lot of upbeat, sort of doo-wop-y Beach Boys stuff. There are a lot of real performances, not just deftly sequenced parts, and everything has a really good energy. Me and my girlfriend got engaged this year, so most the songs are about that, but it’s also about having petty arguments and realizing how unimportant that stuff is.”
In addition to “When We First Met,” fans at the Victorville show will hear other new tracks as well.
Kline continues, “We’re playing a couple new jams at the show, which is going to be a breath of fresh air for sure. They’re super fun to play. We’re also going to have some rad, expanded instrumentation. Our friend Danny is going to play some trombone, percussion and autoharp.”
The Karma gig will also help the band warm up for its surprising national tour opening for Hanson (yes, that Hanson) this fall. Kline says he’s “stoked” and that “they seem like real good dudes,” but the band mastermind reassures us that the Hanson tour does reflect a new reality for the indie act—though the group is no stranger to mainstream crossover. Though their base might consist of indie rock and Warped Tour loyalists, the band had a surprise sleeper hit on Zombies!, “Here (In Your Arms),” which ascended to No. 14 on the Hot 100. Not many major label rock acts climb that high on the Lady Gaga- and Black Eyed Peas-dominated singles chart, let alone an indie pop-rock act. This creates a level of industry expectation for the forthcoming disc, even if the band implies they’re only concerned with creative expectations.
Says Kline, “It was never our trajectory originally [to have a pop radio hit], and after it happened, it still isn’t. I think it’s important not to focus all your effort towards making a hit.”
Kline hopes the as-of-yet untitled album will come out soon, but in the meantime, the Victorville show remains the best place to hear new Hellogoodbye tunes. Longtime fans will also appreciate the return of drummer Aaron Flora, who left the group in 2003 to attend college.
“Aaron contributes lots of suggestions,” jokes Kline, “like, ‘We should go get a smoothie! It’s only six miles off the freeway.”
Hellogoodbye with FUN, Limbeck and My Favorite Highway at Club Karma, 12152 Cottonwood Rd., Victorville, (760) 955-1600, www.hellogoodbye.net, www.myspace.com/karmaconcerts; Tues., Aug. 18. Doors open 6PM, $15, (advance), $17 (door).