“Hey! You, you, you, we’re Hello Operator,” guitar/vocalist Mike Condo screamed into a soup can phone. With keyboardist Evan Huson, the two form the new-wave influenced duo Hello Operator.
It won’t be long until the rock band will hardly need an introduction. MacLeans magazine praises the duo as “newsmakers,” while Canoe.ca included the band in their top 12 acts to watch out for.
Having toured arenas in support of acts like Hilary Duff and with their single “Chasing Satellites” in rotation on MuchMusic, Hello Operator is becoming very well acquainted with the nation.
In support of their latest EP The Breaks, the Toronto-based twosome drove into Montreal last week with a full touring band. Mike Condo and Evan Huson tore themselves away from soundcheck for a few quick questions.
Evan Huson: So cold, but I love Montreal.
Mike Condo: There is a great music scene here. Musicians always talk about the big music community here and how they collaborate with the different bands. I just love touring. I like being able to see a lot of places and play for a lot of people.
People clearly like hearing you play. Have you read all the positive press in your favor?
Mike: I actually don’t read our press. I don’t want to spend too much time worrying. I’d rather focus on our music and on our fans. We want to do it all for the right reasons and not worry about what the public might be thinking.
Evan: I do read our press, but we’ll always just do what we do and make music regardless if people say good things about us or not. You didn’t have many good things to say when you wrote your current single.
“55 regrets” are a lot of grievances.
Mike: I usually vent when I’m writing and that relationship sucked real bad. No, seriously, it’s not actually about one specific person.
Evan: Though the songs on The Breaks sound pretty happy and upbeat, we did write bummer lyrics about breakups and things going wrong.
Among the remaining five songs on the EP, why release “55 Regrets” to follow the lead single “Chasing Satellites?”
Evan: “Chasing Satellites” was a good introduction to build things up and let people know who we are. “55 Regrets” is a strong song to follow up with.
Mike: And “55 Regrets” is simply my favorite song on The Breaks EP.
Why take on a synth pop, new wave approach to your music and not another genre like a straight up indie rock sound?
Evan: This is very natural.
Mike: 80s music just has a heavy influence on me. When I write, it comes out that way and the melodies cater to that genre of music. I don’t try hard, it’s natural. But we do try to write good, fun pop songs that rock. Hello Operator started off in that direction and it’s who we are.
1. “Viva La Vida”
3. “Electric Feel”
4. “The Hand That Feeds”
Nine Inch Nails
5. “Born To Run”