Originating from Miami, Florida, The Hails are a five piece band that is on the rise in the indie music scene. They have popular singles such as “Younger” and “Stay.” The word about them and their music has expanded beyond the nation thanks to these singles, and they have plenty more on the way. Dark Matter contributor, Marine Eltalkhawi, got to chat with the lead singer, Robbie, about their origin story and the music industry.
Explain the backstory behind the formation of The Hails.
We all met at the University of Florida. We all have interesting ties through South Florida and Tampa. We all relatively knew each other. We didn’t officially form until we officially went to U.F. (University of Florida) together. We have all done different bands that didn’t work out. Then we made one together, the five of us. We just jammed a lot, and it felt good. It sounded like success, and we grew from there.
My favorite song by you guys is “Sugar.” Can you explain the process into planning and creating that song?
Dylan pretty much wrote that one by himself, at least music wise, the chords and the melody. He has a couple of lines, lyrically, that I ended up kind of grasping a story around it. It was inspired by a couple of people I knew at the time. You know, people that kind of live on edge and didn't really have a care in the world. They’re like, beautiful messes, or whatever. I just rambled it with the theme of having fun. I wrote a lot of those lyrics. I just sat at a desk one day and kind of just let them out. It took a couple weeks. I love the juxtaposition of catchy melodies with powerful lyrics. That wasn’t entirely intentional, that’s just a taste thing we kind of like.
What career would you pursue if you weren’t in The Hails today?
I graduated from UF with an advertising degree. I guess something along the lines of that. It helps a lot with the band.
Are there any artists or other bands that you can say inspire your sound or message as a band?
With me personally, a lot of garage rock. I feel like Frank is a big R&B fan. Dylan is a big Radiohead fan. We all love a lot of old stuff- basically like, the Beatles and Pink Floyd, stuff like that. We love a lot of 70’s music. We grew with a lot of stuff. Our parents, they’ve always been into music. We’re still trying to figure it [our sound] out. But, I like the daily struggle of it.
What’s your dream collaboration and artist you want to tour with?
One producer and artist that I’d love to work with is Danger Mouse.
If you could switch bodies with any member of the band, who would it be and why?
I kind of like mine! I guess I’d have to be Dylan for a day, just because he’s a boss guitarist. He plays guitar in the way that I want to play guitar. He’s just phenomenal, he has a great musical ear. If I can get inside his brain and figure out how he uses fingers, that’d be really cool.
What’s something in the music industry you wish you could change?
There’s a lot that is controlled by labels. I feel like, more opportunities for people. You know, the internet is really helping out with opportunities for people. The internet is helping alleviate some of these issues by getting people more opportunity, more access. I think it is going in the right direction, but obviously labels still figure out ways to control what they’re gonna control, like Coachella headlines or whatever. Yeah, It’s a weird game. It’s interesting because it’s like you feel like the music that is supposed to rise eventually does rise, but it’s so hard to think too, because music is completely subjective. It’s interesting.
What is one thing you want your fans to get out of your music and your band as a whole?
I just want them to find themselves as people and understand that at the end of the day, we’re just five friends that make music together from completely different backgrounds, but somehow we gel together. We try to not take ourselves too seriously. It’s a process- it’s a struggle but a good struggle at the same time.
Can you share or give a hint at any future music to be put out or other announcements that your fans would want to hear?
We’re definitely putting out music some time in the spring or early summer. I don’t have a date yet, but we have music definitely coming out. We recorded some stuff and still are recording and producing some stuff. We’re trying to compile it together.
You can check out The Hails' music here.