A local music project is making headway both within and beyond Bellingham. Hello, I’m Sorry, an indie rock group comprised of four musicians, enters their third year of recording, performing and releasing material.
Seth Little is the founder of Hello, I’m Sorry. “I play guitar and sing,” Little explains in an interview. “I was in a band in high school, but after I came up to Western I wanted to continue playing music. It’s my favorite thing in the world. I started recording demos on my own in my bedroom, compiled them and released them on Bandcamp. Finally, the band got together and we started playing live a lot more. We play mostly house shows, but we’ve played a lot of venues in Seattle and toured as well.”
Alex Henness (guitar) says music has been with him for most of his life. “I have a lot of family that plays music, so it has always been around,” he explains. “When I was little, my dad made these mix CDs for long car rides that had these random 70s/80s ‘new wave’ songs on them like Elvis Costello and Timbuck3. The CDs had the kind of songs that you hear three quarters of the way into an album. I really loved that search for music that you enjoy, that makes your eyes perk up. That’s how I feel listening to Hello, I’m Sorry. I genuinely enjoy what Seth is making.”
Little explains that he was already friends with Henness and Cam Richardson (bass guitar) before Hello, I’m Sorry came together. Finding a drummer was a bit more of a challenge, “I would tell people how hard it is to find a drummer, and so many people recommended Paul Rhoads,” says Little. “I finally met him by coincidence in front of Make.Shift in Bellingham and we hit it off before I put two and two together.”
Coincidentally enough, Little and Rhoads had met each other in another way prior. “It’s a bit of a funny story,” Rhoads begins, “my sophomore year of college I was a peer mentor at Western for incoming freshman and Seth was assigned to me. I reached out to him so many times and he just completely ignored me, he was my worst client. That same fall, I was playing in the Halloween cover show at Make.Shift and I happened to start a conversation with this guy outside who said he was searching for a drummer. We exchanged numbers and it turned out I already had his. It was the guy who perpetually ignored me. Later, he just texted me ‘Hello, I’m Sorry’ and I thought he was apologizing for ignoring me for months, but it was just the name of his music project.”
Three years and four records later, the musicians in Hello, I’m Sorry feel that their sound is a lot tighter and their styles blend together well. “We’ve played together for a while, so I think we all notice when someone does something different, something new,” Richardson explains. “The increased awareness of each other has been my favorite change.”
In regards to recorded material, Little feels that each album progresses and has a different sound than the last. “I don’t want to make a record that sounds the same, twice,” Little says. “Each is their own piece. The first was more pop oriented, the second is more like a rock album.”
Little does most of the writing for the project, finding a lot of his music inspiration from other smaller groups in the genre, some of them local. “Carseat Headrest is definitely my biggest inspiration,” Little explains. “It’s just one dude from Virginia but he moved to Seattle. He home records a lot of his stuff. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s so dense, like poetry. I’m also inspired by Elvis Depressedly and Step Dads, they’re a local Bellingham band. We try to play a lot of shows together.”
Over the years, the relationships among the band members has evolved. Little claims they have gotten a lot closer and more comfortable with each other – sharing ideas, giving feedback, playing shows, etc. They always hang out or get food before a show.
Though, sometimes, it’s the misadventures that bring a group closer together. Little begins telling one of his favorite memories with the group. “One memory that always stands out was when we were on tour a couple summers ago. We were coming back up from Southern California and our car started to break down. We didn’t want to have to spend the money on another hotel, so we did straight across trade at an old used car lot. We got a 1999 Volvo cross country wagon. We named it Miley. Only shortly after taking off, we realized it had a coolant leak. So we had to pull over every 45 minutes the whole way back and wait for car to cool down, then top it off with coolant. At the time it was the worst, but looking back it’s hilarious.”
Richardson adds, “The car had other issues, too. Notably, a persistent and ghostly whistle, an un-working radio and a headlight cover that flew off in the middle of the freeway. There was also a horrible car accident that backed up traffic for at least an hour. It was so ridiculous. Nothing to do but laugh.”
The members of Hello, I’m Sorry have hopes that the project will continue to gain momentum. Henness would like to see another tour and some sort of vinyl release. Rhoads would love to perform in a festival and go on another tour. Richardson says they recently put out a new video, Goth Party, and will create another in January. Little says the band is putting out a line of 200 cassettes through BIG BLDG RCDS, set to release January 6, 2018.