Hey Violet on the Upside to Broken Hearts
Hey Violet’s success shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Over the past year, the young pop-punk band has attracted attention from publications like Nylon and The New York Times, scored gigs on late night shows, and racked up over 15 million YouTube hits for their single “Guys My Age.” However, it wasn’t until this summer that they finally released their debut album, From The Outside.
The group co-wrote it alongside producer Julian Bunetta, who's previously worked with One Direction (you know, nbd). Part of the album’s charm is its multi-faceted mood. It sits on the border between happy and sad by masking melancholy lyrics with catchy, danceable melodies. Just after the album's release, Clover chatted with the band’s lead singer, 19-year-old Rena Lovelis, about love, loneliness, and the inspiration behind the record.
You write a lot about love. What is it about that particular subject that inspires you so much?
Sometimes we like to feel happy and sad; songs can be listened to when you’re in a happy mood, but at the same time, the lyrical content can be sad. There's a strange dichotomy that almost gives new meaning to the song. When it comes to love, I love to pick it apart and over-analyze and break down and build back up in different ways. It’s not an easy thing to write about. You have to be so vulnerable, and you have to have gone through a lot of shit. I know I have when it comes to relationships. I love writing about love. It comes really naturally to me, even though it’s difficult sometimes.
Does writing about love help you process your own romantic experiences?
I definitely think it helps me to see the bigger picture on things. I know that sometimes when you’re going through something, it’s hard to realize that a relationship may not be right for you or maybe that’s not the person you’re supposed to end up with. I find that writing a song about something that you’re going through helps, because you’re putting out your emotions—like writing in a journal. It has helped me get through stuff in the past, and not even just love and relationships. Writing about anything helps you get through life in general.
What’s it like to play songs that have such personal origins in front of a large group of people?
Sometimes it’s weird, because not only are you sharing these personal experiences with a bunch of strangers, you’re also having to sell the song as if you’re going through it in that very moment. It is definitely an odd experience. But I’m kind of an open book in that way, and I had to be an open book when I was writing. It’s not like, “I don’t feel like sharing these songs anymore.” It’s more like, “I’m going to do it and I’m going to give my all.”
What artists were you listening to while writing the album?
I was listening to a lot of Cyndi Lauper, Blondie, Paramore, and other amazing women who shaped a lot of the sounds in pop and rock. We were also listening to St. Lucia, The Weeknd, Melanie Martinez, and a lot of people that have created these amazing pop melodies and really hit the nail on the head with that stuff.
Your song “O.D.D.” is about teenage alienation. What advice do you have for kids who might be going through that now?
You should never stop being who you are just because people don’t understand it. That’s what will eventually, and already does, make you you. In life if you feel a little different and out of place, just know that everyone everywhere feels that way at some point in their life, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It just means you’re a creative individual and you’re going to find your place if you haven’t already; hopefully it will be exactly where you want to be.
By Sophie Hayssen, 20