Interview: Pete Kilroy of Hey Geronimo

hey geronimo

Hi Pete. Hey Geronimo are being labelled a ‘supergroup’. Firstly, can you tell me a little about how you guys came to be making music together?

Ahh yes. We were taking the piss a bit with the supergroup tag, but it’s fun to think that way. The band came together when Blame Ringo was booked to play a Beatles tribute night, but half the band was engaged. Myself and Ross still wanted to do it, so we enlisted Andrew, Greg and Tony to fill in. It was so fun that at the end of the set we looked at each other and said – let’s make this a permanent thing!

You’ve just released your debut EP – I‘ve been enjoying the summer-y, upbeat vibes. What has the response to the EP been like so far?

We spent a lot of time honing the writing and recording of the songs so we were very confident when it was finally finished. No corners were cut, and I think the feedback has reflected this too. The aim was to make sure it was all really strong, super, upbeat and fun – and that’s how it turned out, so we’re happy!

You’ll be setting off on the ‘Special Best Tour’ in September and October, taking in shows from the Sunshine Coast to Adelaide. What is the level of excitement like in the camp, and what can fans expect from a Hey Geronimo show?

We’re super pumped because we love touring. It’s great to give people an excuse to let their hair down and have a good time. We want peeps to learn the songs, have a few beers, dance, sing along, and ultimately get a bit loose. We’ll be doing the same!

I recently read a review of your EP that described you as “the new Little Red”. Is that an accurate description, because I’m getting more of a Beach Boys/Vampire Weekend feel?

Personally I haven’t really heard any Little Red so I can’t comment on that. We’ve been getting lots of “Beach Boys” though, and that’s cool. In fact, we’d never really thought of that, but now it’s affecting our writing. Now when we reach a crossroads writing we’re erring towards the mega harmonies and the whole Brian Wilson vibe. Not a bad hero to emulate at all.

Hey Geronimo is one of many Brisbane indie bands doing well at the moment. Do you think the quality of music coming out of Brisbane has improved in the last few years? Or is it simply that more people are taking notice?

I had this conversation with somebody interstate just a few days ago. They were gushing at the Brisbane music scene. I’m not sold on the hype to be honest. I think bands here have to work a bit harder due to how the scene is playing out here (ie limited venues etc) so that might be something, but regardless, people analyse it all too much. Maybe those interstate are just surprised that a Queensland redneck can hold a tune at all? Not sure.

You’re playing at BIGSOUND in Brissy, which is going to be EPIC. What bands on the bill are you looking forward to seeing?

We’re huge Ball Park and Hungry Kids fans, so they’ll be first on the list to see. Personally I’m keen to see a bit of Loon Lake, because I think we share a bit of the same vibe, and Courtney Barnett too. She’s great. It’s always a great couple of nights and this year really does seem to be bigger and better than ever.

What are your plans for after the tour, do you have any more recordings in the pipeline? Can you plan that far ahead as a band, or is it a matter of seeing what happens, or what opportunities arise?

We’re starting the recording of our debut album early next month. No rest for the wicked. The tunes are there so we’re going to record them, then release them. Bands over-think these things too much sometimes. Should have something ready to go in the early part of next year. Hopefully a million shows between now and then too!

If Hey Geronimo could share a stage with any act, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Hard to speak for the other guys, but I think myself and Andrew would want to jam with Ben Folds Five. Such a hard rocking, fun band. Good chance we’ll be throwing underwear at the man come Harvest time.

And lastly, a AAA Backstage tradition: if Hey Geronimo was an animal, what would it be and why?

Probably a giant squid. Creating havoc on the high-seas could be a fun way to spend the weekend.

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