Portsmouth-based band The Hippaes are having an album launch party with a difference – it’s going to be a masked ball.
The masquerade will mark the release of the four-piece’s debut album, Hip! Hip!! Hippaes!!!
The ‘nerdy indie-punk’ act released an EP, I Just Want to Float in the Void, back in 2016, but after a break and a line-up shuffle, they’re back.
Frontwoman Kelly Kemp explains: ‘That was very different. Me and Roo (Pescod, guitars) were involved, but it was maybe going to be a one-off thing, and we weren’t sure if we were going to play any gigs or anything.
‘But now we’ve got a band and everything, so I guess it’s not a just a “project” any more – we’re an actual band!’
So are they taking it more seriously now?
‘I don’t think we ever consciously made that decision, it’s one of those things where if someone asks you: “Do you want to play this?” or “Do you want to do this?” And you think, that sounds fun... From there, it became, actually, we’re doing quite a lot of this.
‘As long as it sounds fun, basically, we’re in.’
The album was recorded last August at the Southsea Sound studio, co-owned by Kelly’s sometime collaborator in the band Dear Everyone (along with Helen Chambers).
‘It’s a really great studio and Tim (Greaves, producer and co-owner) is so chilled and knows what he’s doing.
‘Ben (bassist, brother of Roo) who’s in the band also works there part-time, so it all makes sense. It’s a major resource to have in the city and so central in Southsea. It’s such a nice set-up, they’re both musicians, so they know what they’re talking about as well.’
And the release party? ‘I thought it would be really funny to have a room full of people wearing masks, but I didn’t want to make it formal, so you don’t have to dress up. You can just have the fun bit of the masks without all the other hoo-ha.’
Anyone in the audience might be filmed for a future video: ‘We wanted to grab some footage as well and we thought that might look cool.’
But before then, they’ve got a new video out for the track, You Let Me Be, featuring the vintage fantasy boardgame HeroQuest.
‘I loved HeroQuest, I should have progressed to (fantasy roleplaying game) Dungeons & Dragons – the next stage, but I never met anyone who would indulge me in that.
‘Roo, who made the video, he plays a lot of D&D.’
Kelly has been involved in several projects. What’s going on with them now?
‘I think with Dear Everyone, we’re all kind of doing different stuff at the moment, so that’s definitely on hold.
‘I never really make firm decisions about anything, I kind of go with the flow.
‘I’m sure at some point I will do some more solo stuff when I’ve got some songs written, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself. If something comes along I want to do, I will.’
• The Hippaes play the Wave Maiden, Southsea, on Friday, June 28, 2019. facebook.com