Interview: Herrick & Hooley Talks Their Origins, ‘Famous Honey’, Tyler, the Creator and More

by on June 24, 2015

If you were tasked to describe Herrick & Hooley, you’d have a hard time doing so. The eccentric trio has certainly proven their appeal with the release of their latest project. A consistent vibe and unapologetic style make for a much appreciated sound that doesn’t come around very often. We recently had the chance to pick their brains about  their latest experiences and having the likes of Tyler, the Creator and The Internet cosign to their sound. Here’s what they had to say.

ILS: You guys have been playing music together for a while now. What made you decide to take it seriously when you did?

H&H: “In 2014 myself (Ian Olney) and our drummer (Hunter Lewis) were sitting on the beach of Lake Texoma and decided it would be cool to put together a little project, because we had already been dabbling in production. We thought it would be cool to just try to tell a story, so we made our first concept album “Late Nights”. During and after the album’s release in February of 2014 we made several covers filmed by our current cinematographer David Spector of “Spectography”, covering songs by Tyler, The Creator, Chance The Rapper, Gambino, Frank Ocean, and Sza. Once they got going, we got some feedback that our piano/drum duo was not enough. So, we turned to our other musically talented friend Michael Barnes who we had already been jamming with. Michael, being a proficient mandolin player, hadn’t played much bass guitar but he picked it up super-fast and we became the Jazz trio you now know.”

How would you describe your sound to new listeners? What is it that they should expect to hear?

“Rooted in everything we play there is Jazz. We have such a vast array of influence that our sound lands somewhere in between Jazz, R&B, and Hip-Hop with some sprinkles of electronic production. For a while the only projects we had out were “Late Nights” and an EP called “Aphelion” which were mainly electronically produced, then we put up those Jazz covers and people were into them and wanted stuff like that, but we didn’t have it. Our newest album “Herrick & Hooley’s Famous Honey” is a better balance of all of our styles and someone can listen to that album and hear a little taste of everything that influences us.”

How much did your surroundings influence your sound? What role did the suburbs of Plano, Texas play in it all?

“Growing up in a suburb can be creatively draining. Because there’s no culture in the suburbs you are able to search for what culture you belong in. That allows you to creatively decide wherever you want to go. So what we did is go to Dallas a lot and drew influence from Deep Ellum. After we started playing shows around Deep Ellum we felt more a part of the culture that is there. Downtown Dallas has definitely influenced how we think of ourselves as part of a burgeoning music scene.”

You’ve recently released your “Herrick & Hooley’s Famous Honey” debut project. What was the experience like in creating and ultimately bringing it to life?

“Creatively we come from such different places that it’s hard to narrow all of our creative ideas into a cohesive sound. But, when we did, it was something beautiful. Famous Honey is the compilation of all of our influences and new sounds we wanted to experiment with all jumbled into one project. It was a great experience and all of us put a lot of ourselves into it as far as our creative energy goes and I think people can hear that. When you put a part of yourself into a project people can just feel it, whether it’s Jazz, Hip Hop, or R&B.”

You guys have received a lot of buzz since you caught the ear of Tyler, The Creator. What’s that been like? How has it affected you as a group?

“Hunter Lewis and I have been pretty big into Tyler for a while, and we put Michael onto him. Since we got some recognition from him it’s been mind-blowing. To be able to cover some songs by your favorite artist, then have him follow you on Twitter, then message him and have him tell you he likes your music is crazy. On top of that we met up with him during one of his Dallas shows and just chilled with him for a while and gave him some hard copies of our album. It was crazy. He and The Internet have done so much for us as far as promotion goes, and it’s been great to hear positive things from them and we hope to hear more in the future.”

You guys are lucky enough to begin this career at a young age. You’ve got ample time to do something great. So, what is it that you hope to accomplish with your music? What’s the impact you want to make?

“We don’t have a goal with our music other than to make something we like. We put our emotions and energy into our music and other people can feel that human connection in all of our songs. With all of us going to college it will be difficult to pursue full time as far as shows go, but we won’t stop making music and you can definitely expect more from us creatively as we grow.”

It’s clear that you’re a unique set of individuals. With that in mind, what’s the craziest moment you guys have had since becoming a band?

“The first show we ever played was at Theo’s Bar and Grill in Grand Prairie. It was a biker bar and being a bunch of kids from the suburbs we were scared shitless. We only wanted to play there because it was the only open mic on that day, and we were just ready to get out there. When we walked in we thought the bikers were going to eat us, but after we played we got nothing but praise. We came to the realization that if we can impress a bunch of country folk into liking our Neo-soul/Jazz music then we could really have a future in music.”

Elaborate on how you came up with the name. What’s the significance behind it?

“[They’re] the names of Hunter’s left and right testicles respectively.”

What’s in store for you guys as you go forward? What are some projects you have coming up?

“We can’t talk much about the specifics of our new stuff, but we have a lot of projects coming up and we’ve been linking up with a lot of people who we will be able to make some dope music with. Expect more good music from us.”

Stream the album below and purchase it online at Bandcamp