Hello Hawk
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Hello Hawk

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"Almost Famous"

The band featured at the 797 Lounge this weekend was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in June 2008 -- well, in the audience.

Hello Hawk achieved renowned fame when the camera showed the band in the background during a fight skit between two of Conan's cronies.

"We were on Conan's show for about a total of five or six seconds," drummer Christopher Thomas said. "We were kind of in the background, but we were there."

Based out of Harrisburg, Hello Hawk actually formed after the founding members graduated from Purdue University and nested in Pennsylvania.

The band derives its name from a song by the band Superchunk, Thomas said. Other bands like Say Anything, Saves the Day, and The Get Up Kids have also helped shape Hello Hawk's music.

The main component that differentiates Hello Hawk from other pop-punk bands is its use of the synthesizer, played by Thomas' wife, Emi.

Thomas and bassist Eric Salcynski left another band when they decided to start Hello Hawk with the synthesizer as the featured instrument.

"When that band broke up, I had the idea of having a band that was drums, bass and synthesizer," Thomas said.

"As I started to write the songs, I don't really know how to play synthesizer. I said, 'Hey, maybe we should add a guitar and have the synthesizer to fill it out a bit.' "

Thomas contacted Meredith Rebar of Cherry Darling Productions through MySpace to arrange a show in State College.

Eddie Fisher, bassist for local mainstays The Whatleys, picked out the band when he was helping an overworked Rebar book groups for this semester. The band's music was hard to describe, but he thought they would bring a good act to the stage.

"They definitely have some punk influence," Fisher said. "Anything associated with hardcore punk, I like."

Hello Hawk is a co-gendered band with two girls and three guys. Thomas has to keep this in mind when writing lyrics for singer Jill Ambrose.

"Sometimes they would just sound weird coming from a girl," Thomas said.

"I have to think about how Jill would think or feel about this, or have her sing some kind of awkward lyrics that would make her feel or look kind of weird."

Thomas said the guys also have to watch their hygiene more when the band is on the road.

"We haven't toured for a couple weeks together, so that's how the real differences would start," Thomas said.

Problems with keeping a definite line-up have sidelined Hello Hawk from touring outside of the East Coast. Steve Sonricker recently replaced Phil "Philbot 5000" Reynolds on guitar. Regardless, the band has set up shows in New York, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

If Hello Hawk returns for more shows, they may try to change things up a bit.

After performing at the Dillsburg Fire Hall three times over four months, the band decided to dim the lights, set up tents and dress as if they were camping, Thomas said.

"We told ghost stories in between the songs and we had s'mores for everybody," he said.

"We made a big deal out of this little show." - The Daily Collegian (State College, PA)


Discography

Mixtape 2009, Song Marathon, Hello Hawk Teaser Demo

Photos

Bio

Facts:
- Hello Hawk is a 5-piece band from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- Hello Hawk is catchy, synth-driven pop-punk.
- Hello Hawk has a lot of fun.
- Hello Hawk makes sure the audience has a good time and high-fives as much as possible.
- Hello Hawk has a full house of band members: 2 girls and 3 guys.
- Drummer Bryan Crow owns nearly 800 CDs.
- Hello Hawk draws influences from pop and pop-punk bands like Saves the Day and Say Anything as well as indie bands like Superchunk.
- Hello Hawk is perhaps the most polite band you will ever meet. Especially bassist Eric Salczynski.
- Synth Op Emi Thomas was born in Japan.
- Vocalist Jill Ambrose can and will beatbox on command (and does it very well).
- Guitarist Steve Sonricker is from Buffalo, NY, and is afraid to try local chicken wings.
- Hello Hawk's social time usually involves visiting a local burrito restaurant.