Hollywood Principle Fuse Technology With Song on ‘Colors’ EP: PopCrush Presents
While many artists reach audiences by fusing technology with music, most tend to fall into the EDM world. However, Hollywood Principle want to do more than make beats — instead, the San Diego group want to bring thoughtful lyrics, layered instrumentals and an orchestral rock sound to music. We had the chance to chat with Elliott Sencan, Kayla Hope, and Mike Ault and talk about the band's beginning as well as their new Colors EP.
How did the band get started?
Elliott Sencan: Mike [Ault] and I met through a mutual friend back in 2014 and immediately creative sparks were flying. We had very complementary skill sets and styles, and started writing songs very quickly.
Originally, we had set out to write EDM instrumentals, club tracks. But I think by the second or third song idea we collaborated on, that was out the window and we were just trying things, experimenting, being creative.
We started looking for a singer and soon after that same friend that introduced Mike to me introduced us to Kayla [Hope]! Mike and I to asked her to cut a vocal demo on what later would become "Seeing What's Next," and we've been working on tunes the three of us ever since!
Story behind the band name?
Sencan: I'm a software geek! Our project initially didn't have a real name, we used the code name, "Unreal," but it didn't feel right. At the time, I has been reading an book on software design about "The Inversion of Control," also known as..... the "Hollywood Principle." It just hit the ear right.
I also really liked the layman's explanation of it: "Don't call us, we'll call you". It's got its own meaning in the software world, but in the real world I take the words to heart as don't be afraid to do your own thing, and to try new things your own unique way.
Why did you want to take your fans into the studio with the video for "Trippin on You?"
Mike Ault: We didn't have any video content of us working up until this point, and we wanted to show the musicality involved in creating this record and connect with fans on a new level.
The new record is a bit of a lane change for us, with much more acoustic elements, and we thought this song and video is a good bridge towards what's coming next.
Plus, we get to showcase some of the incredible talent we were fortunate enough to work with on this record.
What's that song about?
Kayla Hope: Like many songs, it's about love. On a deeper level, it refers to being in the dark, being lost but having someone beside you who makes you feel strong, no matter the circumstances.
It isn’t even necessarily a romantic love. We drew inspiration from the love we share with friends and family in addition to our romantic relationships.
How's Colors EP different your other work? What are you bringing to the table this time?
Ault: This album is a bit of an exploratory album. We're trying many different genres like rock, R&B and a more minimalist EDM sound. We're trying to discover a new path. Yeah, this album evokes a spectrum of emotions and gathers from many genres of music.
Hope: The title track, “Colors,” contains swelling orchestration and hauntingly honest lyrics that combined, add up to an intensely emotional song. “If Only” is dark and sexy. It features our friend Alejandro, who has been working with us as our vocal producer since the very beginning.
“Want It” has aspects of pop, metal and electronica. Mike played, or slayed rather, metal guitar back in the day. And as the saying goes, "You can take the man out of the metal (band), but you can’t take the metal out of the man." “Blind” is a song about consumerism and complacency. It is a call to actio, to “wake up and smell the roses,” so to speak. It features Dr. Awkward, who we collaborated with before on "Solar Eclipses."
There are so many layers in your music. What inspires the Hollywood Principle sound?
Sencan: That's a tough question. Id have to say its the push and pull between the band on the production side. A lot of the vocal treatments are stacks and layers and harmonies to create textures from a vocal and not necessarily just a delivery mechanism for words and emotion.
Ault: As a team, we have become very good at catching lightning in a bottle and polishing it just enough, particularly on this record. We write a lot of songs, and we end up throwing most of them away. But the ones that we decide have the right stuff we spend a good amount of time crafting. As we work on them, they become a deep collaboration between the three of us, and that's really what gives the music such depth. It's just the right amount of cooks in the kitchen.
How does it feel to be done with Colors EP?
Hope: It is such a satisfying feeling! It can be difficult to step away from a project and say it is actually “done.” But listening through the EP, in its entirety, we are so pleased.
So what's next for Hollywood Principle?
Sencan: Spoiler alert! Our next album is actually already written and probably 60% done!
Hope: Yup! I'm currently working on vocals. In the past, we had long, long gaps in between releases, but we've fixed our process. So it is more fluid and consistent. No more year long gaps between releases.
Ault: Really that's up to the fans! We have requests to do some touring, so we're going to take a close look at the logistics there, probably after the next EP. We've also got a bunch of remixes coming out from some talented friends!