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  • Writer's picturechloe docto


Updated: Jul 18, 2020

photo credit to Liam Sheehan

Fate allowing the paths of 5 guys, at the University of Florida, to cross amounted to what is now a band with over 6.5 million plays from just their top two singles ("Younger" and "Stay") alone. The Hails, consists of Robbie Kingsley (vocals), Franco Solari (guitar + vocals), Dylan McCue (guitar), Andre Escobar (bass), and Zach Levy (drums). Their music warms the atmosphere of quarantine, perfectly pairing with warm summer nights and car rides around town.

"Denial", released on July 14, 2020, is a follow up to their most recent single "Situations". Envision an escape, as the band says an "escape -- be it in response to a life-altering moment or a long-held deep-seated burden, often the easiest way out is to deny", as you listen to this track's free-spirited groove. The slick bass drives an escalation to the explosive finale, transitioning from a rhythmic steady cruise to full throttle down the freeway. Just as their other singles, they are able to captivate listeners with the incorporation of a multitude of musical styles. The band pulls inspiration from music icons such as The Beatles, Radiohead, and Frank Ocean. According to Dylan McCue, the band's guitarist, "Denial" was "one of the first songs [he] started writing after [they] all graduated from college and could no longer live in the same city" because at the time he was "feeling some angst/uncertainty [..] and that came out in the lyrics."

I was able to listen to "Denial" early, and the moment I heard the intro I knew it'd be one of my summer staples. Prior to the release of "Denial" I was already an avid listener of their music, but I'm excited to watch their discography grow and watch them take off.



Interview by Chloe Docto

I was able to ask The Hails' lead singer, Robbie, some questions following the release of their single "Denial".

TB: Is there a meaning behind the band name "The Hails" or was it just an 'aha this is it moment'?

Robbie: It doesn’t really mean anything, but the word “hail” was taken from a poster I saw in college. I figured the name could take on its own meaning as time went on since the phrase doesn’t make grammatical sense.

TB: If you fan base had a name what would it be?

Robbie: That’s funny, I really have no idea. Fan base names are odd to me, but I get the appeal. I wouldn’t want to create it, I’d rather just watch it happen on its own.

TB: You guys went on somewhat of a "writing retreat" when you got a cabin in Shenandoah Valley. Was "Denial" in the works at the time?

Robbie: Yes. Denial was in the works from about September 2019 to January 2020. I’m not sure we touched it at the cabin, though. To be honest, we didn’t do much working. Lots more goofing off, and just catching up since we don’t see each other too often.

TB: With quarantine how has the dynamic of collaborating and songwriting shifted for you guys?

Robbie: We were already working remotely, so I haven’t noticed much of a difference. It’s strange because it always feels so hard to get the five of us in the same room. But our collaboration hasn’t suffered, so it seems like we can just be a band from five different corners of the country. Obviously that’s not ideal in the long run, but we’re smart enough to figure it out.

TB: Even though it feels like quarantine is going to last forever, do you guys have plans for afterward?

Robbie: I wish, but as we all know, there’s no determined end date. Once it’s safe, I’ll be desperate to play a show. In the meantime, there’ll just be constant music releases. I’m excited to watch our discography grow.

TB: What's keeping you guys sane during quarantine?

Robbie: As far as the band goes, we’re busy creating art and visuals for the upcoming releases. Writing songs and sending beats back and forth, as well. For myself, I’ve been playing sports games on my phone religiously. Retro Bowl and Tap Sports Baseball are filling the huge void I’m missing due to no sports.

TB: When you guys did perform were there any rituals/superstitions/rituals you guys would do before or after?

Robbie: Show up late, drink a beer, and wing it. I’m kidding. We just try to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. Show nights are great and it’s always entertaining to meet the people who are there. Usually, there’s a friend or two you haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes there’s people you meet and you become friends instantly. It’s just good fun.

TB: How would you say your music is different compared to your first EP, Impel?

Robbie: Focused. We didn’t know what we were doing with those first recordings. The songwriting and the production has changed tenfold. The music we’re putting out into the world now is much more of a true reflection of the five of us as artists.

TB: Some of you are able to play multiple instruments, so how did you guys establish roles? Do you ever switch it up for fun?

Robbie: If we’re joking around, definitely. Practices consist of us using each other’s equipment. Franco is the most versatile, that’s why we have him take on the keys along with the guitar. But, we never really had to decide on roles. Dylan plays guitar, Andre plays bass, Zach plays drums, and I sing. That’s just how we present ourselves.

TB: If you could collaborate with any artist or band who would it be?

Robbie: I’ve been addicted to “cz” by Mk.gee for the past week, so that’s who I’ll pick. We could make some sick stuff with our sounds combined.

Robert Kingsley & Franco Solari

Andre Escobar, Dylan McCue, Zach Levy

photo credit to Liam Sheehan






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