EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Hi Ho Silver Oh
The Hi Ho Silver Ohs radiate silly, fun, feel-good vibes, but their versatile sound is not a joke. The band’s bold willingness to continually change out members has surprisingly led to no discrepancy in their quality of sound. If anything, their changing environment is reflected in the best way with their latest album, Big Rocks. Currently, the four-piece band is making their way through California, on their first tour. College friend comedian/actress/musician, Charlyne Yi is touring with the group, and performs her own full set of music before them, accompanied by John Mackey on drums. The group + Yi
talked with The Owl Mag about what they’ve been up to on this tour so far, where they’re excited to go, and their gassy, muscular, happy feelings. After checking out this interview, you’ll probably want to see them even more. So, you probably should.
The Owl Mag: So as a group, what has been the most fun while touring?
Casey Trela: Well let’s see, we’ve had so much fun, it’s hard to pin it down. Charlyne, do you have a fun memory? We’ve known each other since college, and done lots of fun things. We moved up to LA, and that turned out to be fun. It wasn’t fun at first, but then it was after a little while.
Jon Mackey: My favorite fun moment in history of playing music was when we played in Washington DC in college. At Starbucks we ran into a homeless man, he talked to us for hours about all the cool stuff he’s done in his life. The most fun moment was hearing someone else talk about how much they love their life.
Charlyne Yi: A long time ago, me and Casey went to a party and played, some of it was songs, some of it was silly. It was outside of a house in a backyard right next to the freeway. It was so loud, no one could hear our music, but everyone just kind of nodded their head to the lack of music.
The Owl Mag: What is the weirdest dare you’ve ever done?
Charlyne Yi: Someone dared me to be myself; that was uncomfortable for everyone. I was looking in the mirror, so I told myself to do that, and it freaked me out.
Jon Mackey: I used to be super into prank calling people. My brother and I always prank called people. I was dared to kiss girls at least once a night.
The Owl Mag: What music do you listen to while on the road?
Casey Trela: Our original idea was mixed CDs, and we didn’t quite do that. Instead, we have aux input for iPods and use Spotify. I also have a DJ program on my iPad, I’ve been making everyone listen to me try to DJ. It’s been pretty eclectic. We played the first chapter of the audio book “I Am Legend.” It’s the best audio book available. That’s probably number one. We try to hit up all the charts, we do some oldies and goodies, some hip-hop, metal. Try to sneak in some Phil Collins. This whole time, Roxy didn’t bring Phil Collins, but she’s trying to find it everywhere she goes. And this morning we woke up to “Circle of Life,” from the Lion King.
The Owl Mag: What’s your favorite song to perform live off of Big Rocks?
Roxy Radulescu: I think I have two, can I do two? I really like playing “Pool Party” because it goes a lot of different places. It starts out really quietly, then kind of explodes and then brings it back to quieter place. It’s really fun to listen to while playing. It’s a good rocking tune, fun to play, a lot of people really like it, and just feel the positive vibes. Also, “My Confessor.”
The Owl Mag: Right now, on the road, touring, how are you feeling at this exact moment?
Kevin Manwarren and Roxy Radulescu: Anticipatory hahaha. Is that a word?
The Owl Mag: Haha, we don’t care. Putting it down, that’s great.
Kevin Manwarren: Also, gassy.
Charlyne Yi: Muscular.
Casey Treka: Aware.
Jon Mackey: Naked.
The Owl Mag: Hahahah.
Jon Mackey: Just kidding, I think I’m just going to say happy, cuz I’m hanging with my bros and playing cool songs.
The Owl Mag: What do you hope fans walk away with from your shows?
Charlyne Yi: I love them to steal all my things; that’s the most important thing to me.
Casey Trela: I think one of the things we wanted to do is present a good picture of LA. I think people have a bad idea of it.
Jon Mackey: I like people thinking we’re real people instead of weirdos that hold their music in some weird “holier than thou” way. I like it when people are like “those people wrote really cool songs,” and then come talk to us after. Everybody’s just comfortable and nobody feels weird.
The Owl Mag: What are you most looking forward to as a band?
Casey Trela: For me, just right now, since the band is constantly changing, I’m just very excited to be doing a tour. It feels like a step forward in our musical careers. We’ve been playing with people who are my good friends, we can also share the feeling that music gives you. Also, just enjoy the the driving around the country, seeing different parts we didn’t know about. We love learning how to play music as a lasting thing and all the knowledge you get from that.
Kevin Manwarren: I think the five of us are pretty good friends, and being forced to be in a van together for two weeks is a good chance to get closer and to have fun. I’m the sensitive member of the band, but also I’ve never been to Vancouver before.
Roxy Radulescu : I’m excited to go to Vancouver, I’m actually a Canadian citizen. I used to go to; it’s a pit stop coffee shop with very high nostalgic value. I’ve sort of been wanting to do this for a while. It’s nice to go up the coast; I’m very excited about Portland and Seattle.
Casey Trela: We have a day off in Seattle. It’s a good opportunity to see the national forest. Or maybe just do laundry.
Jon Mackey: I think I’m most excited for our day off in Seattle. It’ll be really fun, we actually have Casey’s friend from middle school who lives in Seattle. Probably going to stay there with him, he’s a really nice guy. He came out to our last show. It’s gonna be cool to see him again.
Charlyne Yi: I’m going to learn how to build a chair.
The Owl Mag: What, really? This Owl’s been working on that same thing.
Charlyne Yi: Oh really? That’s so exciting, I’m not kidding at all. I like the smell of wood.
The Owl Mag: Yeah, it’s great. Actually, I just saw you in This Is 40, which was hilarious, and I thought you were perfect for that role. I know it wasn’t super recent for you, but how did you like working on it?
Charlyne Yi: It was really fun, I was there for a month goofing around and improvising a lot, which is scary. And to find out which takes they liked was scary as well. I was terrified of what footage they’d use. I was thinking there’s no way that’s going to get in there, and it did.
The Owl Mag: So is there anything you’d like to add?
Charlyne Yi: I have something to say. Since my album, I went through puberty. So it’s really scary to see what the audience’s reaction is to my new voice. That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. The shows are good, I don’t think they recognize me, I’m the same person. I hope no one’s disappointed.