PULSE8 features Hi Crime
A mellow and self-described "shiny, dance-y, poppy, fun" sound is what you can expect from the Seattle-based band Hi Crime, made up of former PULSE Editor-in-Chief Brielle Rutledge (vocals and keys), Mitch Etter (vocals and guitar), Hannah Chase (bass) and Cody McCann (drums). The band originated as a recording project with Rutledge and Etter, according to Rutledge, and has recently grown two members in preparation for their first live performances. Now, they are set to release their first full album in the coming months and have upcoming performances in Seattle and San Francisco.
What words do you live by?
CODY: "You can't change the world, but you can make a dent." -Smoochy the Rhino.
BRIELLE: "Trust the process". It's a mantra I've lived by for quite some time and it's really powerful. I actually have it written on a sticky-note on my bathroom mirror. To me it means that good things take time. You are where you're meant to be.
MITCH: “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation”. My dad said this to me years ago, and it stuck with me. Be ready to receive and utilize those opportunities whenever possible.
HANNAH: “Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending” - Jim Henson
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
CODY: I can drum entire metal songs with my teeth. Terrible habit.
BRIELLE: Songs that have a whistling melody in them drive me crazy. I think it’s the lamest thing ever.
MITCH: I have a very hard time pronouncing the word 'wolf'.
HANNAH: I am a big book worm... Have been since I can remember.
What are you most proud of?
CODY: I've been flossing more, so that's a big win.
BRIELLE: It probably sounds super corny, but I'm most proud of who I've become. I've lived a nonconventional life in a lot of ways, and I hope to keep it that way.
MITCH: When I pronounce the word 'wolf' properly.
HANNAH: I am known for being a little work-obsessed so I am pretty proud of myself that I can now take time for me and not feel bad about it.
What mistake did you learn from?
CODY: I once had my cowbell stolen after a gig at a homecoming parade. Always keep an eye on the cowbell.
BRIELLE: A big mistake I've made in the past was not knowing my worth. Whether that was in a relationship, a job, etc. And I think that's something that just comes with experience and time.
MITCH: When I get an idea I’m excited about, I want it exactly the way it sounds in my head. That thinking doesn’t allow other musicians room for their own creativity. Lately’ I’ve been trying to bring in song ideas much less finished, and let the band jam on it. That way of working has allowed us to go into new territory, and discover what we sound like when we all equally contribute.
HANNAH: When I went to college I was following my family’s dreams of having a doctor in the family. I hated every moment of it and eventually changed my major way late in the game. I learned that it is best to be true to you and not be pressured by others. I was so much happier when I actually followed my own interests.
What is your favorite song you have produced?
CODY: With Hi Crime, "Doin' Alright". Not too often you get a drum solo in an indie band.
BRIELLE: "Fallacies" which is a song off the new record. Not because of what it was about necessarily but because that song showed me how to write from a space that felt truly authentic.
MITCH: Lately, I've been really fond of "Paralyzed" off our new album. Most songs on the record had been written and performed live a bunch before recording, which I thought would make recording them easier, but it actually made it harder. It trapped us into thinking that's how we need to play them. This song however came out of a jam in the studio. We started recording it the day we wrote it, which better captured the energy of the moment. We used the vocals from the demo, which excited me.
HANNAH: “Mania Days.” I think it was the very first song I was 100 percent happy with how the bass line sounded on the first go. It still makes me smile every time we play it!
What’s your favorite song?
CODY: "So Come Back, I Am Waiting" by Okkervil River. "In The Air Tonight" is a close second.
BRIELLE: It's always changing. I will never be able to answer that. I will say though, songs with creative and meaningful lyrical content and heavy bass always get me.
MITCH: I've never given a real answer to this before, but I'm tempted to say "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads. It's a song that anytime I hear it unexpectedly in public I get really excited. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA has the same effect on me.
HANNAH: “Head Over Heels” by The Go-Go’s is my number one go to song. I am a big sap for 80s. I also love the song “Letter from an Occupant” by the New Pornographers.
What’s your favorite movie?
CODY: Four-way tie: There Will Be Blood, Halloween, 2001: A Space Odyssey, That Thing You Do. They collectively include all of my favorite elements of film and music, often combined. That Thing You Do is the reason I play drums.
MITCH: Probably Moonrise Kingdom. I really enjoy coming-of-age stories, and this story in particular feels very familiar to me. Even the events I didn’t personally live are incredibly relatable. The soundtrack and score help make the movie top-tier for me. Honorable mention: Forrest Gump.
HANNAH: Fight Club. The book was phenomenal, and I think the movie did a wonderful job of keeping true to the book while adding its own elements, which are basically necessary for the plot twist.
What goal are you currently working towards?
CODY: Learning piano to the point where I don't sound terrible.
BRIELLE: We're almost done with our debut full-length record, and we're getting stoked to have that finished by June. As for broader goals: working toward creating more quality content, connecting more with artists and people in the community and becoming a better version of myself.
MITCH: I've gotten more serious about writing songs and learning to mix lately, so I haven't been practicing guitar like I want to. Flashy, technical playing doesn’t excite me much, but I’m working on becoming a more impressive guitarist without letting showboating distract from the song itself.
HANNAH: I want to focus on being a more well-rounded musician. I have a guitar and a keyboard that were both gathering dust I have started to pick up more. I also want to be a more well rounded bass player who can play multiple styles of music and throw some effects into my sound!