Sacramento-based pop punk trio Hi, Mom! (not to be mistaken for the Indonesian indie rock band of the same name) waste no time creating striking content. Before performing their first show, the band filmed a music video for their song “Leave The Light On” with production company Locust Garden, signed to Defiled Management, and received praise for their work from the California Film Foundation.
Today, Hi, Mom! premiere their second music video, “Coping Lessons,” through BVTV. Prior to the premiere, I spoke with Bailey Zindel (guitar/vocals), about the “Coping Lessons” video shoot, mental health, and Hi, Mom!’s future on the road.
KM: From A Lot Like Birds to Death Grips, Rituals Of Mine to Trash Talk, the diversity of quality music seems endless in Sacramento. Finding your sound in such an inspired city must’ve been an experience. Have you made any bonds with current Sacramento bands that changed the way you write music? Have any local bands dissimilar to Hi, Mom! made you reinvent your writing style?
BZ: Honestly, we’re so new that we haven’t had much of a chance to make connections with other bands, similar or otherwise. There are a lot of Sacramento bands that I love; this is a really great city for music. I don’t have a sense that we have to play with similar artists, which is great since there aren’t a ton of pop-punk bands in Sacramento, right now. I just want to get out there as much as we can and play with all kinds of bands and artists.
KM: In the “Coping Lessons” music video, the birthday party frozen in time is such a powerful visual. What was it like working with the production company Locust Garden to shoot that scene?
BZ: Working with Andy is always really easy for me. He offers the perfect amount of direction and creative control for the way that I think, and we comfortably bounce ideas off of each other. I came into the “Coping Lessons” shoot with just an idea of two contrasting party scenes. I initially wanted one scene that was me—alone, wishing my friends would show up—and one that’s a party I’m imagining my friends celebrating how much they hate me… a sort of representation of how anxiety makes you overthink. It ended up making more sense to shoot the party I’m really having and the one I wish I was having. In the end, even the fantasy party ends up being ruined by my anxiety. We just ended up really doing as much as we could with the video.
KM: Only a week after Mental Health Awareness Day, “Coping Lessons” is a very timely release. In the song’s lyrics, you mention your anxiety. Have mental health struggles affected your creative process, at all?
BZ: I feel that my writing is really heavily defined by my mental health struggles, especially recently. I’ve been doing a lot of self-exploration lately and realizing how much of my behavior is driven by my efforts to avoid anxiety-inducing situations. I had some substance issues for a few years, and a lot of that was rooted in my drive to quell my anxiety, though I didn’t really realize it until much later. Obviously, not all of my songs are so literally about coping with anxiety, but anxiety does shape my worldview on a really basic level to the point that it impacts everything I create.
KM: If someone became a new fan of Hi, Mom! after seeing the “Coping Lessons” video, what’s the core message you’d want them to take from the video?
BZ: Mainly, it’s that we have to learn to live with our issues, somehow. It’s not really a song that impresses a message upon people, but I think the ridiculousness of the video shows that anxiety is just that: ridiculous. A lot of people, myself included, cause themselves a lot of distress unnecessarily. I think a lot of the beauty of creating ambiguous art is that people can take what they need to hear or see from it, and everyone gets something different.
KM: After this release, people are undoubtedly going to be crossing their fingers for a Hi, Mom! tour. Does the band have any plans to travel in the near future?
BZ: We have a west coast run in the works, and a big debut show in December, which we’ll hopefully announce soon. I want to get out, tour, and play shows as much as we possibly can. My love for performing is a lot of why I do this, so it’s definitely a huge priority for us.