New York City has started to wind down after another successful CMJ Music Marathon, but the buzz around certain bands continues to linger.
One band in particular caught the attention of us here at BTR, an alternative foursome originally from West Palm who have found their way into the Brooklyn scene.
Hypoluxo consists of lead singer and guitarist Samuel Cogen, guitarist Matthew Hershoff, bassist John Archuleta, and drummer Marco Ocampo. Together, they manage to combine catchy, surf-rock guitars with Matt Berninger-influenced vocals, creating a sound that leaves us longing for more.
Currently, the band only has a handful of songs available to stream, but luckily for fans like us, they intend to get to work on their first full-length in the near future.
BTR chatted with Ocampo even before CMJ, while he and the band waited for an Uber to take them to their first show since having all of the members back together in New York.
BreakThru Radio (BTR): How did the band form?
Marco Ocampo (MO): I play drums and Samuel fronts the band. We played in a band together in high school in Florida. There is this street named Hypoluxo down there, which is where our name came from. One day in 2013 I said, “Hey, I’m gonna move to New York.” I got Sam to move eight months later. We also got our bass player, John, to move up and then we started the band when we were all here in 2014. We’ve been doing things ever since then. Some of us have left and come back, but overall we’ve been here for over a year. We’re doing it.
BTR: And for a while, not everyone was in the same location. How were you managing that?
MO: When me and Sam were in Florida and John was up here, we had a friend do bass for a couple of shows. We were playing as a three piece for a little while which was definitely a bummer. We did a tour of the east coast, which was pretty cool, but at the end of it we left John back in New York and we went to Florida. We did a lot of traveling and there were a couple of months when we weren’t playing shows. If we were playing, it was like, once a month and our friend would fill in. It’s funny, I actually just got back to New York six days ago and we have our first show already. So, now we’re doing the thing.
BTR: How does the scene in Florida compare to New York?
MO: Florida kind of sucks. [Laughs]. We were from West Palm, an hour north of Miami. We were traveling to Miami a lot to play shows, and we played with a bunch of touring bands. We had a manager down there and she did a really good job of getting us on some of the bigger shows, which was fun, but the scene is almost nonexistent. When you come up here, there are like, 18 shows a night and that’s pretty cool.
BTR: Speaking of shows, you’re playing CMJ this year.
MO: Yeah! We have a showcase and we are really hyped that we got accepted. We tried last year and our application was pending for a few days and eventually we didn’t make it. We only had one song on our Bandcamp at the time, and we were like, “Oh, that’s the reason why.” But we automatically got accepted this year. Going to plop that on our resume as a band. We’re really excited for it.
BTR: So, I’m sure you get this from most people, but you sound very similar to The National.
MO: A bunch of people always say that. When it comes to Sam’s voice, it’s pretty similar and I would be lying if I said that he wasn’t a big fan of them, so it’s pretty funny.
BTR: What other bands inspired you to start making music?
MO: Sam, John, and I all have different tastes but kind of in the same scene. The first band that ever wanted to make me play music was Real Estate, as lame as that sounds, and that was in like 2011. Sam was obsessed with bands like Caribou. We really like a bunch of bands in the DIY scene and we all listen to a bunch of ’90s alternative and shoegaze and stuff like that. We found bands on weird and different playlists when we were like 17 and that made us be [think], “Oh, it would be cool to be in a band.”
BTR: How do the songs come together for Hypoluxo?
MO: Sam likes to sit around at 3 am with his acoustic guitar and play stuff. He’ll write a lick or two and bring it to me and John. He’ll bring it to practice and he’ll play around with it for a little bit and when we are in a full group setting something will develop with it. If not, we kind of just throw the idea out.
BTR: What’s next for the band?
MO: Our friend lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and he recorded two of our EPs. He’s been trying to convince us to get over there to record our full length. So, really our main focus is getting our name around New York and playing as many shows as possible. After we have a good eight to 10 songs, we want to fly out there and record this album with him. Then we would travel and tour with him for a bit. We are trying to get that to happen within the next six months. As a band, that’s what we are trying for and we are really excited and hope everything works out.