If you haven’t heard of Half The Animal, now’s the time to get acquainted. Back in July, we took a liking to their first single “Babylon” and – with the release of their debut EP recently – we haven’t looked back. The band – an alt rock collective that calls Los Angeles home and is comprised of Chase Johnson, Nick Gross, Evan Smith, and Dan Graham – released a vivid and unique lyric video for “Babylon” last summer, and we’ve got the exclusive premiere for the behind the scenes footage to their official music video for the track, which just dropped this month.
With all of the hullabaloo around the success of the EP and everything that’s down the pipe for them, we’re surprised we got a few minutes to speak with drummer Nick Gross about everything that’s happening right now. Check out our quick interview below!
What was the first album or song you remember listening to, and who introduced it to you?
First album I listened to was a Sublime album. My older sister used to roll around in her whip blasting Santeria and I always loved screaming the curse words as a 7-yr old out the window. Everclear’s So Much for the Afterglow made me want to play drums.
Do you find that that music selection influences your sound today?
Sublime probably doesn’t influence our sound today, but the southern California youth pop culture of it all certainly does. We’re a So. Cal pop rock band so inevitably you’re going to pull some of those roots into your music.
What is the official origin story of Half The Animal, by the way?
Chase and I have been playing music since we were 13 years old together. We played in a band called Open Air Stereo all throughout high school and into our early twenties and decided it was time to re-brand something fresh and put out a new sound that we had been wanting to explore for a long time. Half the Animal is a more mature us, we spent a lot of time with the project making sure it was totally right before we released it.
“Babylon” is your first real single, and it gave us goosebumps the first time we heard it. We know the influence behind it, but what was the writing process like for that one?
“Babylon” was the first song we wrote as Half the Animal, believe it or not. It’s three chords the whole song, and we played those three chords the first day we sat down to craft this new vision of a band. It was crazy. We really love the tune and hope it brings positive vibes to the world.
Being SoCal kids, what made you guys decide to shoot the “Babylon” music video around NYC?
We wanted to get out of LA and not do something so typical of what you might think we would do. The NYC version is actually our second stab at the video. We created a video for Babylon middle of 2016 and weren’t vibing it, so we decided to re-shoot somewhere totally new.
Any fun anecdotes from the production of the video?
BTS video all day!
What is your favorite thing about the east coast? Similarly, what’s your favorite thing about the west coast?
I personally like the crazy energy of the East Coast a lot, but for a certain period of time. West Coast is more my style and the band’s energy, laid back, sunny and feel-good.
What are your dreams for Half The Animal?
Inspire people to pursue their purpose and their passions. Play shows in places that freak us out.
What’s coming up next? Tell us all the things!
We’re set to lock in a lot of summer dates and a Fall tour! Excited to get out there and share our debut EP with the world. Check out our socials as well. Everything is @halftheanimal and our content is hilarious.
SHAPES is out now. Keep up with the band here.