BACKSTAGE: Herrick and Hooley
If you haven’t heard of Herrick and Hooley and their most recent album, Texoma, you’re missing out. The Dallas, Texas natives are creating a new sound incorporating jazz, hip-hop, and electronic elements that is much deeper than meets the eye. We chatted with vocalist and writer Ian Olney about how three friends from Texas embraced growing up and moving on to create their second album.
Ian, Michael, and Hunter are three friends that met in middle school in Dallas. “We were all friends and all played instruments, and finally we were like, ‘We should put some stuff together.’ It was in 2014 that Hunter and I were like, ‘We should work on a project seriously and not just cover songs.” We didn’t have an idea of what we wanted to do, we were just like we should make some songs and then the best ones we will put together.” Their first album, Famous Honey, was more focused on “the sweet things in life,” said Olney. But Texoma meant more than laying down some tracks with friends. The lyrics for Texoma started with - what else? - young love. After finally getting the girl of his dreams, it was time for Olney to go off to college. “I was like I don’t want this to end,” and the songs just came pouring out. “When I was writing, it was very much like I just need to get this out.” Hunter, the band’s drummer and producer was also going through an emotional time as his mom battled breast cancer. “Everything he was producing you could really feel it, that was sort of his therapy to deal with it. You can hear that so much in Texoma. I was going through not having my girl and he was going through all the stuff with his family and that’s where the sound really came from for Texoma and the themes, mixed with all of that was us growing up and growing apart from childhood,” Olney said. It’s hard to believe these guys are just freshman in college. While they knew it was more of a summer album, talking about love, lakes, and freedom, their sound remained dark. Olney tells us they describe the album as “a summer album that feels like winter,” a juxtaposition that isn’t common in any genre, let alone a hip hop, R&B album. Using their album as a way to escape was a form of therapy for the group, going back to their days at Lake Texoma, where they could celebrate their friendship and freedom. As Olney tell us, “just like for us, it’s all about love.”
The group is still so young, but wise beyond their years. They have big plans to tour and another upcoming project with Mallory Merk, who was also featured on Texoma. “Mallory Merk was on Kanye’s team and she is on our album. We are working on a crazy project with her that’s going to be really dope.” We can’t wait to see what’s next for these guys. Check out Olney’s answers to our 21 Questions.
Favorite childhood memory?
Hanging out with friends on the weekends in my musty ass room listening to music, playing video games, and eating garbage.
Biggest musical influence?
Biggest life influence?
First moment you knew you wanted to a musician?
When we were playing for money on the street.
First CD you ever bought?
Hoobastank by Hoobastank.
If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Questlove during the time that Mos, Common, Badu, and D'Angelo were all recording in the same building and Quest was going back and forth laying down tracks for all of their albums.
If you could play any classical instrument what would it be?
Cello or flute. I just got a flute, and am working on cello.
Either a deserted tropical island in Polynesia with my girl, or an isolated cabin on an Alaskan lake in spring with my girl.
Dream musical collaboration?
Either Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu, or James Blake. Or Chance the Rapper, or Childish Gambino... The list goes on.
Describe your personal fashion style in three words?
Comfortable, soft, earthy.
Three current songs on repeat that are not your own?
“Just One More Day” by Otis Redding, “Oui” by Jeremih, “Believers” by Norvis Junior.
One article of clothing you cannot live without?
The last time you were surprised?
When I heard “Believers” by Norvis Junior.... Mm.
One irrational fear you have?
Best moment as a band?
One of the best moments was the first show we did. It was an open mic at a bar in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of hicks. We played R&B and Jazz and didn't know how they'd take it. They looked like meth dealing bikers, but they came up to us and said how much they enjoyed it and told us to keep doing what we were doing.
If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?
A filmmaker, or owning a pizza joint.
We listen to “Gang” by Hurt Everybody and go into a bathroom together as a squad.
Favorite venue you’ve played?
Either Club Dada or 3014 Space.
Words to live by?
Foreplay is key.
By Mischa Teichgraeber