By Nicholas Jason Lopez
A blend of groovy electro pop and funky alternative rock, France-based quintet HEY LIFE recently showcased their darker side when they unleashed the self-made video for their latest single “Insomnies” via 4us Records.
Although the absence of live performances by way of COVID-19 put a hamper on their music, which is fine-tuned for the stage and making people move, that didn’t deter the boys.
After their 2018 debut EP ‘Masquerade’ wowed fans and critics alike, HEY LIFE returned in 2020 with new songs, the highlight arguably being “L’Horloge.” “Insomnies” continues that march in a new direction, in the vein of bands like Bring Me The Horizon.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the members of HEY LIFE – Julien, JC, Antoine, Marc and Flo – about “Insomnies” and more.
Music Bugle – What inspired your new single “Insomnies” and did the video come out how you hoped?
Julien – This song has been written for those who struggle finding their place in the world. During those difficult times, I wanted to make a kind-of anthem, with a chorus you can sing on the top of your lungs in a packed audience during a show. The lyrics are mostly inspired by what I would have liked to be told when I was in high school, feeling like I would never fit anywhere. I wanted to write a song that I would’ve put in my headphones first thing in the morning, walking to school feeling like a badass and thinking, “Keep on looking down on me guys, my time will come…”
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
JC – Back to when we were struggling to find a nice band name, I was listening a lot to Lower Than Atlantis. One time, I heard this line in their song “Live Slow Die Old” that went, “Hey, life, although I’ve put some space between us, I still think about the future and what it’s got in store for me” and I told myself, “Hey life – love how it sounds – simple and efficient. I should propose to the guys!” and it was it!
Music Bugle – What’s the trickiest part of being a quintet?
Antoine – Planning food quantity.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Marc – We’re always proud to include a bit of the famous “French Touch” into our music and our visual identity, because we love our home country and its culture!
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Flo – Live music, definitely. Being able to make people move and unleash theirselves is the best thing!
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
JC – Right now, I’m listening to a lot of punk rock music, like when I was a teenager. We have some very good modern punk rock these months – Yungblud, Avril Lavigne, Mod Sun and Machine Gun Kelly, but my fav band of the moment is YONAKA. Their evolution is incredible!
Julien – My tastes are pretty messy, lately. I love the new Architects songs, but also the last Kim Petras album, which has a super strong production inspired by the 80s dance clubs. Also, obviously, Yungblud’s album “Weird!” – which I probably streamed about 500, 000 times! (Laughs)
Flo – These days, I’m listening a lot to The Hunna. I absolutely love their last album – top notch production and a lot of energy! Also, I’m listening to a lot of 80s-infused pop, like Dua Lipa’s last album, which is fantastic.
Marc – For me, it’s a lot of technical drums music with gospel chops and incredible groove, like Benny Greb and Animals As Leaders…
Antoine – Liking Bring Me The Horizon’s latest album and Yungblud a lot and going back to 80’s pop rock, with reverb on every single instrument.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
JC – To cope with the whole sanitary crisis and find new ways to keep on growing our community through digital ways, since we won’t be able to play any gigs anytime soon.
Music Bugle – Out of the shows you’ve played, which ones stand out the most to you?
Julien – I’d say it was our first EP ‘Masquerade’ release party! Unfortunately, I was sick that night and struggled a lot to sing, but we were amazed to hear the audience knowing and singing our lyrics so loud to keep the show going! It was a wonderful feeling and a memory for life.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Flo – I think social media can be very helpful for musicians, because it’s a powerful way to connect with fans, by producing original content other than simply releasing music and waiting for listeners to come by themselves – ’cause we all know that’s impossible! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Julien – Like literally all artists in the world, we haven’t been able to play shows for a year now and it’s something very hard to process for us, since our music is mostly thought for the stage…
Flo – Clearly, but in the meantime, we decided to adapt to the situation and to write a lot of new songs – this way, we’re planning to release new music a lot more frequently this year to keep our community happy and prepare them for a whole new setlist when we’ll be able to play live again!