Warning: Parts of this story may be true.
When talking to hellogoodbye bassist Marcus Cole, it quickly becomes apparent that he loves joking around a little too much, in fact. Soon, I'm left wondering which parts of the interview are factual, and which are utter bullshit.
Mind you, none of this should be surprising, coming from a band known to perform with a cardboard cutout of Beyonce, or to dress up as fruit onstage. Or whose name owes something both to The Beatles and to "Saved by the Bell." In fact, Cole's voicemail recording features someone who's obviously not Cole, calling me "Brown Sugar." He purports that it's Barry White a close friend of the family.
Well, of course he is.
hellogoodbye stars singer-guitarist Forrest Kline, who started the band in high school in 2001. Kline, Cole, keyboardist Jesse Kurvink and drummer Chris Profeta have gained notoriety quickly. Cole says that appearing on MTV's "The Real World: Austin" as the feature of a South by Southwest Music Festival documentary produced by the show's cast may have boosted interest in the band.
"I'm not sure how we got on the show, to be honest. I'm sure it was all industry politics," he says, hinting at a potential truth before reverting to his less honest ways. "Maybe we did some sexual favors; maybe we had some people killed. I can't really go into detail, but it helped us."
It certainly didn't hurt, but what really shoved hellogoodbye into the limelight was a subsequent appearance on MTV's "TRL," and winning MTV2's Dew Circuit Breakout contest.
To that point, the group had only recorded a self-titled EP in 2004 and released OMG HGB DVD ROTFL, a DVD of concert and tour footage. So it was time to pony up and come out with a full-length album. In August, hellogoodbye released Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, a largely pop-punky, keyboard-happy endeavor that would make Molly Ringwald bop in appreciation.
Though Kline depends on vocal distortions, he's also able to break outside the synth box with the disco beat on "Homewrecker" and "Oh, Is It Love," a sweet acoustic-pluckin' number in the vein of John Mayer.
It's a fine full-length debut no thanks to Cole, or really, three-quarters of the band. According to Cole who starts a lot of his already-dubious stories with the words "I'll be totally honest with you here" Kline wrote and recorded most of the album's material himself.
"I didn't play a single note on that record," says Cole, when asked how the recording process went. "On the EP, [the bass line] is all downstrokes, because it's all computer. The current record is 80 percent computer; the rest is Forrest.
"So, my recording process was talking to him a few times during and after he recorded, and me asking him, "So, dude, how did it come out?' and him going, "Dude, it was fucking sweet!' and me being like, "All right!'"
Cole says he and the other band members used to have a beef with their lack of involvement, but now don't really mind not being in the songwriting or recording process. Consider them the opposite of session musicians: They only play in live concert settings, a fact (maybe) that suits Cole just fine.
"Well, we all know how to shred," he says. "We're capable of writing amazing songs, we just don't. Someday we're gonna form another band called, like, American Supergroup, and we're just gonna shred."
hellogoodbye with Reggie & The Full Effect, Cute is What We Aim For and David Melillo
Cervantes, 2637 Welton St., Denver
Friday, Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15, all ages; visit ticketweb.com.