Melanie Mae Bryan

A Night With HALOCENE

Music Scene Media
Jun 3, 2023
11 min read
InterviewsShows

by Melanie Bryan

Halocene is a DIY hard rock band from Phoenix, AZ that has opened up for bands like Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy, and they’ve even played the Vans Warped Tour (RIP). Active since 2008, they’ve released twenty-two albums and EPs in that time, which are a mix of their original music and covers. They are currently on their Maleficent Tour and stopped by the Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC this past Friday. I sat down with Addie and Brad in the Green Room of the venue for an interview, and this is what they had to share.


MSM:
You've been active since 2008. How has the music scene changed since then? And what do you think about the current state of the music industry? Like, do you think things have improved since you started?

ADDIE:
When we first started, it was kind of the traditional sense of a band where you record an album, play live shows, and gain fans. You know, like that was kind of the method of gaining a fanbase. But it's definitely evolved to being a more online situation. And we've kind of adapted with that. I do think we were pretty early on in adapting that we were like on MySpace back in the day when that was a thing, and that was how we kind of got our fans there. We've just always tried to stay on top of things.

BRAD:
I think it's easier than everything was before because there's so many tools available and you can take your own destiny into your own hands. And you don't have to like bow down to like labels and stuff, so I think as long as you have the drive and you're learning to participate in the experience of being more than a musician, like, you know, start dabbling and making like your own logos or t-shirts using services like that online, like you can really do everything yourselves these days. And need you to slowly grow is my advice to any younger people, because we've been doing this for almost 14 years now by ourselves. Just don't ever give up on yourself, but also don't pigeonhole yourself into only being a musician. And as you grow, you can just bring more people on board to like, collaborate with other people to help it. There's just like the YouTube and Spotify and TikTok now, so there's so many things.

MSM:
Has it been a challenge to evolve with the changing music scene, the way things have changed, or has that come naturally?

ADDIE:
I think that for us it's always come pretty natural for us to change. We love new things and I think just doing the same thing over and over again gets pretty stale. So we like mixing it up and when a new challenge like TikTok comes around. And you gotta figure out how to suddenly make, you know, a three to four minute full music video into something that is just a short version of that. It's a fun challenge.

MSM:
Would you do anything differently if you were to start over again from day one?

BRAD:
We might have changed our band name. For the first six years of our band, Google would always be like, are you sure you didn't mean hollow scene? And so eventually, when we won and got on this TV show that was owned by YouTube, they finally fixed it in the algorithm for us. So we collabed with Flo Rida on YouTube's best cover ever. And finally they fixed it. But for those first five, six years, it was really annoying. Anytime anybody would Google our name, it wouldn't come up. Things are okay now. But I don't know, I really like the way that things have turned out for us. We have struggled and maybe things could have gone better faster, but we're in control of our masters and everything in our own destiny and finances and everything like that, which is really good. But it doesn't mean that there aren't other trajectories for other people and artists to take. So, yeah, it's worked out for us. So I'm pretty happy.

MSM:
What would your alternate band title be?

BRAD:
We actually have a song called "Limerence", and what does that mean again? I think it's like when you're like hopelessly in love with somebody else, but maybe it's not reciprocated. Something along the lines of that. I thought that was a kind of a cool band name. But who knows? Maybe Singularity or something like that.

ADDIE:
That. That's basically what our band name means anyway, so Yeah. But it's alright.

MSM:
Okay. Can you talk about the creative process behind your latest EP, Maleficent, and what themes or messages you may have been trying to convey in it?

ADDIE:
So, we really like to let our fans drive us and the direction of what we are creating. We release a song and let them decide what they like. They tell us what they like and what they don't like, and then keep going from there. We don't just sit down, record a bunch of songs, put it out, and hope that everybody likes it. We release them sequentially, get the feedback, and continue to make the album with the fans. And we just think that that's kind of the best method of creating what they want to hear. This album definitely took a darker turn. I think it kind of touches on all the kind of topics that you might feel a little uncomfortable to talk about, whether it's mental health, abuse, sex...

BRAD:
Well, yeah, good sex, but then also sexual abuse, like victims and stuff, stuff like that.

ADDIE:
Just kind of the things that make you feel a little bit uncomfortable is what we tried to kind of touch on.

BRAD:
All those topics. Yeah. We're a little bit older now and so it's like we've had an opportunity to write songs about like all the other human experiences. Everybody has a lot of songs about breakups and this and that. And as we get older, it's like we have all this extra life we've lived, and we just want to try to be able to touch on maybe even some of this stuff that might make you (not purposely) uncomfortable, but sometimes you just get motivated to do something, you know? And so, I don't know, we're really, really proud of this. I know every band says that, but I'll be honest, I really fucking like our album two albums ago. But this one's really cool. It's been an outlet for both of us.

MSM:
Yeah. So what first ignited your passion for music?

ADDIE:
My passion for music came from childhood. I was really into The Little Mermaid and I was two years old and said I wanna do that And yeah, when you're two, you don't really understand what a job is. But I just knew that she looked really pretty while she was singing that beautiful song and I just wanted to learn how to do that. So every single birthday cake blowing out the candles, my wish was just that I could become a singer. As I got a little bit older, I learned to play guitar, you know, as like maybe nine and started writing songs at at 12. So it was always just kind of been a part of my life.

MSM:
So what first ignited your passion for music? (to Brad)

BRAD:
The first part was I got into Blink. Well, I mean Michael Jackson was the first thing I did, this was when I was really young...five, six. I just thought that it was so fucking cool, like the dance moves and stuff, you know, as it was for like the whole world. He was also the product of early MTV and so they made these larger than life superstars that probably will never, ever exist again to be that big. He was like the Messiah at the time, like Elvis. And so early on, that was my first kind of like, taste, but that for me, I was more about dancing and stuff. I thought that was cool. I'm not a good dancer, but I tried. Then it was like Blink. That came on board when I was in high school and that was more about just having a good time. And then I was like, okay, well I started learning guitar cause that was kind of cool. And then the first songs that I started recording that weren't absolute jokes, I started to like, have like emotions, like writing music, and being a producer. And that was really what made me want to be more of a producer and a musician because like, just to be like emotionally moved by even before lyrics and stuff came in, you know, was just like on another level. It was just, I felt like I tapped into something super human, like a superhuman experience. Not like a superhero, but like, it was just a very amazing experience, you know, so for me it was that. And then of course, you know, I have other bands and stuff that I've liked along the way, but me personally, the process of creating is just in itself.

MSM:
Do you have any pre-show rituals?

BRAD:
The rallies, things like that. Sometimes we'll do some pushups, vocal warmups, but not really. We just try to get all the super stressful stuff outta the way cuz we're still very "do it yourself". Like we're setting up our own stuff. We don't really have roadies and things. I don't know, just kind of talk each other out sometimes. Especially with not just me and Addie, but with like Lauren and the other musicians that play with us. If someone's having a rough day or something, we just really want everybody to boost each other's spirits. So if someone's having a tough time...I was actually kind of not having a great time tonight and Lauren totally pumped me up today, and that was super cool. So our rituals are just everybody trying to be on the same page and go out there and have a good time together.

MSM:
Do you have a particularly memorable performance or moment in your career?

BRAD:
There are a lot. So early, early on. I like to talk about it since I've been talking a lot, but maybe when we won our first Battle of the Bands or something.

ADDIE:
You, you can choose that one. I'm gonna go with London. We sold out a big venue in London, which is kind of mind blowing for me that we could have not just fans overseas, but sell out almost every single show overseas the first time we'd ever been there.  That was wild. And those fans were nuts and just I can't wait to go back.

BRAD:
Yeah. No, that's amazing. I would agree that we've had a lot of milestones along the way, and you know what the things are that you think "make" you, when you're younger in a band, you're like, oh, we got a song on the radio for a weekend, or we're opening for Blink 182. Those were it. We made it. And that's never the case. The moment that made you us feel like we're a real band was when people actually show up to your show and are singing your songs and stuff like that. And honestly it just didn't really happen for us that strongly until this last couple of years, and we've been a band forever.

MSM:
Is there a funny rumor that you've heard about yourself?

BRAD:
Well, there's been fan fiction of us and I don't even wanna say it cause I don't want people to go look it up. And we're married. Well, people think we're married, which is weird. (as they each flaunt their wedding rings)

BRAD:
So like, we did this Nine Inch Nails cover of "Closer" recently. A lot of the guys were like, Brad's a fucking genius to get all the girls together and shoot a video. It's just music. Actually, when I'm shooting a video, I'm complaining more about like my back and stuff than, you know. Yeah. It's all professional. Sometimes we dress up sexier trying to be like rock and roll, but it's always work behind the scenes. So if there's ever people think it's more than that. If they wanna believe that I went the distance, by all means. I'm happy with that part.

ADDIE:
Yeah. I mean, filming that video was a lot of fun, but it wasn't a massive orgy. It was just actually having fun, feeling comfortable in our bodies, and being silly.

MSM:
It was great.

MSM:
What is the weirdest or funniest question you've been asked in an interview?

BRAD:
Or even like at a VIP or something.

MSM:
Yeah.

ADDIE:
Well someone yesterday shouted from the crowd, can I massage your feet?

BRAD:
Yeah.

ADDIE:
And I said, sure, there's room in the van. Come on. Tour with us.

BRENDON (my friend that was my assistant):
Have you ever seen anything random or weird like in the crowd while you're playing?

BRAD:
Unfortunately, last night somebody stage dove right onto someone's face. That sucks. But that's not that weird in rock music, it's just weird for us because we don't get a lot of mosh pits. We're not that heavy. So that was unfortunate. It was exciting. We're like, dude, and then you see somebody get hurt and takes the wind out of the coolness of it. But from the crowd? I've had a bra throw it at me once, and this is really early on in our career. That was probably the biggest thing then for me. I felt so cool. I was playing drums at the time, too. I played drums on and off early in our band's career and one time I kind of had like a lap dance. That was cool. Yeah. My grandma's crazy.

MSM:
And what else are you passionate about besides music?

ADDIE:
I think family time with our son. I really love spending time with him and I miss him. That's all I can think about right now.

BRAD:
I agree. Once we had him, it's easy to answer that question now. Before, we were like, I guess when we go to the movies together, because we actually don't do a whole lot. Addie and I just took Paxton to his first movie, Super Mario Bros. Oh. And we grew up on Super Mario Bros, so even though it's kind of geared towards kids, it was just amazing to finally have something where we were all on the same page.

ADDIE:

And that day, when watching his face, he was crying and getting upset. And then me feeling that like when Mario was kind of losing. It's so magical to watch.

BRAD:
It's super cool. Yeah. Our kid's awesome.

MSM:
Yeah. And then, last question. What closing messages would you have for your fans?

BRAD:
Thank you for supporting us! Our fans are our everything. We've had pop albums, pop punk albums, and now we're kind of in this metalcore phase, and it's just all cause we try to give them what they want. Addie and I over the years have just kind of learned, like we could go out and play songs that we really, really love and, but if nobody really is into it, then what's the point? Because we can just do that in our bedroom alone. But if we have to go out there and they want us to play "Don't Stop Believing" or something, we're totally fine with that, as long as everybody's having a great time together, that's all we want. And the coolest thing lately is that we've been able to play originals this last few years more and more and more, so my message to our fans is, thank you for making our dreams come true. As cheesy as that sounds, it's fucking awesome.


Upcoming Tour Dates:

6/4 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Elevation 27

6/5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

6/7 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s

6/8 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups

6/9 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome

6/11 – Nashville, TN @ The End

6/13 – Tampa, FL @ Hooch and Hive

6/14 – Orlando, FL @ Level 13

6/15 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits


FOLLOW HALOCENE

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