ZHU’s Live Band Hello Yes Returns With “Lost Signal” EP [Interview]


Hello yes was born on the road as guitarist Mitch Bell and saxophonist Aaron Leibowitz toured with the electronic artist ZHU, with whom they currently fill stadiums in support of the Swedish House Mafia. The sound is fresh, evoking Mitch’s smoky yet sophisticated guitar and Aaron’s saxophone in compositions that could be described as indie groove meets electro club.

Now they are releasing their new EP on gravity, Signal lost.

This new EP brings groovy house vibes mixed with their signature guitar/sax elements for the perfect combination. After their first live show at Lightning in a Bottle, fans can’t wait to get their hands on these never-before-seen dancefloor anthems, and Hello Yes is ready to share them with the world.

Listen below and keep scrolling for our interview with the duo.

As far as I remember, it’s not that common for an artist’s band to later form their own band. How and when did the idea for Hello Yes take shape?

Yeah, I think you’re right. Groups like The Wailers or The Heartbreakers were formed following the start of Bob Marley and Tom Petty and their integration into their respective groups. However, the Eagles were born as a support group for Linda Ronstadt. So, ya… Hello Yes formed between festivals and touring with Zhu around January 2018. We were already collaborating on music with Zhu, so the creative energy naturally flowed into some of our own ideas.

Your sound is clearly influenced by ZHU, but never sounds like it imitates him. How did you navigate between inspiration and imitation?

We learned a lot about electronic music and the scene just by being around Z. He’s a real master at what he does. His style is unique, and it would be pretty obvious if we tried to copy his sound. Our experiences with him helped shape what Hello Yes is today, but we also have years of experience and influences outside of electronic music. We like to connect all that information and inspiration that resonates in a sound that is “Hello Yes”.

With so much of your music using live instruments, did you find it hard to record/write/produce on the road or was most of it saved for your times? stop ?

Songs like “Out Of My Mind” and “Never Trusted Me” started as ideas on the road. One was in Tennessee and the other was in Montana. We recorded a bunch of voice memo ideas and then finished them at home later. We started “The Lesson” from scratch and pretty much finished in Ronny’s studio garage in Los Angeles. “Peace Of Mind” started out as a laptop on a flight to Denver, then we worked on the sax and vocal ideas back home in Oklahoma. Other times I will send Ronny a guitar loop to play with, or Ronny will send me a demo to arrange and add sounds. Ultimately, the best ideas rise to the top and we play them until we feel like they’re complete.

How did you end up with Gravitas for the release of your EP Lost Signal?

Signal lost will be our 2nd EP with Gravitas. Grav has been in the bass business for a minute now with artists like Clozee and Beats Antique. They really understand the culture behind the sound more than most and were a great first partner. It’s so important, especially in the beginning, to have a partner who believes in what you’re doing and has a bigger picture so they can help nudge it in the right direction, which he could do.

Do you foresee a time when Hello Yes will open for ZHU on tour, or will you be touring alone outside of ZHU? You have already collaborated with artists like THEY, Tame Impala and Jason Mraz.

We enjoy touring with all members of Team Zhu and look forward to future tours. Everyone on his team is a class act. As Hello Yes, we’d love to play shows in any capacity and we’re working to build that part of our world. So keep an eye out for us in 2023! And yes, if Kevin Parker wants us to go on tour with Tame Impala… we are ready to go 🙂

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About Eileen W. Sudduth

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