By Deaglan Howlett | Posted Sunday, April 8, 2018
Hysteria is a four-piece ukelele post-punk/hardcore band based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. The group consists of Michelle on Ukulele/Vocals, Lance on Guitar, Matt on Bass/Vocals and Nick on Drums. The group has recently released their first single “New Wave” which is available on Spotify. Having known Lance for a while, he was kind enough to send me Hysteria demos while they were in the studio, and I loved what I heard. Now that “New Wave” is out, I reached out to Hysteria to see how this eclectic group works and what inspires them.
How does your songwriting work?
When it comes to writing songs our process varies, but it usually starts with one of us writing a riff or a full song, and then from there we expand on it as a full band. The lyrics are always the last step of our writing process and are meant to compliment the music.
What's your overall message? Why are you doing this?
The band doesn’t really have a purpose other than making music that we would want to listen to, and if other people can relate to that music as well then that’s all we could hope for. Our songs are our way of expressing how we feel at that moment in time that we are writing it. All of the songs on our first upcoming EP “6 songs" have been inspired by mental health and political current events.
What bands were you basing your sound off of when you started? Do you feel you achieved that?
When we transitioned into Hysteria, we definitely are inspired by a lot of 80’s and 90’s bands. I think we all would agree our biggest inspirations are bands like Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Slint, and The Cure. Overall, you could describe our sound as a mixture of post-punk, post-hardcore and new wave. Our goal has never been to achieve a certain sound or genre. For us, we just write songs that we think go together. We also like to create a emotion-driven auditory journey, whether it be our record or our live performances.
How did Hysteria start?
The band originally started under the name Dad Party back in May of 2016 with the original line up being Lance (guitar), Michelle (ukulele and vocals) and Nick (drums and mouth sounds). At the time, we were playing Ramones-meets-Riot-Grrrl ukulele punk. After about six months of being a four-chord punk band, we decided to change our sound completely.
After trying various styles of music including 90’s screamo, in May of 2017, Matt (bass and vocals) joined the band and we began experimenting, and we landed on our current sound. Eventually, we all decided that the name Dad Party didn’t fit our current style of music, so we became Hysteria.
How did you end up with the name Hysteria?
I (Lance) always like to look at songs that mean a lot to me as inspiration for a band name. The name Hysteria came from when I was listening to the first track off of Ceremony's record Zoo, entitled "Hysteria." I always love the punchiness of the song. And I always thought the term "hysteria" was always interesting and relatable, "uncontrollable emotion amongst a group of people." And every single band that I've been in, that has always been the attitude of the band. Just to be as wild as possible and really let your emotions play out through the music. Then when I brought it to the rest of the band they all agreed that Hysteria would be our new name.
What does success mean for Hysteria? When will you all feel like you have succeeded?
We don't really care about success. We just write songs to help us get out or emotions, our anger, our depression... We just put our all into the songs. And if people dig it along the way that's really awesome, and it's really a special thing. So far, we've had two people that I've told us that our lyrics off of our only single means a lot to them. And that's a really cool feeling that's quite indescribable. However, at the end of the day, our success is based on if and when we get on an episode of Hot Ones by First We Feast with Sean Evans.
Make sure you listen to “New Wave” on Spotify and catch them next time they play near you.