Hubble ascends into orbit debuting their second single in the past month with thick fuzzed out guitars and dreamy lo-fi soundscapes. This newly formed Atlanta act tries to not wear their influences on their sleeve and approaches music at a pace they are comfortable with by slowly releasing songs along the way. As bands disband, new ones form in the area and what Hubble brings to the expansive Atlanta music scene is maybe the missing piece of a diverse city. From locking themselves in a room with a single recording mic to filming a music video with no preparation, we spoke with members of Hubble to get an idea of what they are about.
Interview conducted on the phone with Jalen Jenkins and Trevor McCurry.
In my opinion this band started from the ashes of Resister, a local Atlanta 4-piece that put out a demo and did a weekend of shows. How did you guys decide to get together to make music?
Trevor: I don’t really remember how it started.
Jalen: Well I think originally I was supposed to play with you in the Discord sounding band, but we just ended up jamming something else.
Trevor: While we were jamming I think I said “I also have this riff,” you put some of your own chords to it and it sounded really fat because we were both playing fuzz pedals at the time. We decided to just work off that because we thought it sounded cooler than the Discord band.
Is that usually how the writing process goes then? Trevor will come in with a riff and Jalen will kind of expand on the idea until the song fully develops.
Trevor: Kind of. The song ‘S2’ Jalen pretty much wrote entirely. We sat in the band room for like 5 hours to write it. He came in with a riff and for some reason I didn’t like it until I wrote this little lead on the neck pickup. My neurotic brain after that decided I liked the song after being in the band room for so long.
So that track is just you guys trapping yourself in the room. In the beginning someone goes “you guys like rock music?” then recorded a perfect take of a song that sounds like Duster even though you were all at your limit.
Jalen: We literally weren’t even talking to each other. At a certain point we were just sitting in silence for like 20 minutes and then we just played it again. We were satisfied then we dipped.
Trevor: Once we did a couple takes we wrote a verse part where everything stops. That last take worked really well and somehow Jalen and Matt were just locked in and ended it really sick. The last part was just improv and I don’t think we could recreate that.
Bands that make music with fuzzed out guitars generally sound the same or try to emulate certain bands from the 90s. What do you think makes Hubble different from those bands?
Jalen: It’s really just the mix of influences. Trevor and I like the same things but when we write riffs or parts I am usually coming at it from a different angle. Having 2 different perspectives helps a lot to not be a worship band. There are parts that maybe sound like certain bands but I don’t particularly think it sounds like anything.
Trevor: I can’t play other bands’ music. Like I don’t come into writing thinking “I want to write a riff that sounds like this song from this band.” I have my own box for playing guitar and just use certain patterns or pedals to change the context.
Do you think having a lot of free time due to Covid has aided the band in creating music or hindered it? Memory Screen and Hubble had a show booked at the end of March I remember and if that happened do you think the band would have had a different trajectory?
Jalen: Ultimately it helps but we still don’t get together as often still. We have all this free time to really think about the songs because we can just call each other or pass along ideas so when we do get together it’s more efficient. That show in March we were like “we need to have 4 songs and a cover” and we still have those ideas but since we’ve had all this time we were able to make better songs we are proud of.
So you were able to slow down the writing process and not just make songs to play a show.
Trevor: There are no shows so there’s no pressure to really do anything. We were able to chill on these songs to figure out whether or not we liked them. A friend of mine asked to use a new song in a video and that kind of reinvigorated the band. So this is kind of like our first show, we are going to be put in front of an audience that we don’t know and hopefully they dig it.
How did you land on this name?
Trevor: We couldn’t think of a name and Mason suggested it.
Mason named the band and you made him quit?
Jalen: We didn’t make him quit. He can come back to the band if he wants to. There’s no shows so who cares.
Trevor: It was a placeholder name at first but we had to name it something for the show so the placeholder name became the actual name.
How was filming the music video? I know it ended up being very last minute. Trevor hit me up a few days before I came back to Atlanta. I wrote down some notes and we all kind of just collaborated on the video itself.
Trevor: I originally saw a video you edited of Jalen doing a slappy crook on a curb and it looked sick. After, I remember asking you to shoot a music video before you moved up to New York but we never got around to it. Melodi is going to put the new song in the description of the new video so I had the idea of creating a visual after you said you were down. I had the idea of making the band room look like an 80s prom so I went to my grandmother’s house who has a crazy basement full of shit. We went in this corner and I just grabbed a bag full of Christmas streamers and lights then spent like 3 hours with Matt decorating the room.
I think it worked out better that we did not do some kind of plot for the video. Jalen filmed a lot of it. There was no room in the jeep for me to get in so I just handed you guys the camera to film whatever and just waited for you guys to come back. How’d you feel about shooting those shots?
Jalen: It was fun. I’ve never really done anything like that besides like filming little skate clips that I make videos out of. I do enjoy recording stuff so it was cool.
The shots you got of the truck were probably the best and the 10 seconds of tree you got I somehow found a way to use for the majority of it.
Jalen: We had this shitty fisheye that we used year old duck tape to put on the camera. When you zoomed into the fisheye it made this crazy hazy effect. No After Effects, just natural camera.
Natural lens that doesn’t fit haze.
Trevor: When I drove up that hill, which is way gnarlier than it looks in that video, the first time I almost flipped back. The second time I went up the hill Jalen was like in the way and I had to swerve but I really thought I was about to hit my friend with the Jeep.
Jalen: I had to get the shot bro.
Any last words?
Trevor: I fuck hard.
Jalen: I want to shout out Melodi for using our song, all the people that fuck with S2, and Jug for filming and editing the video. Shout out to Matt and Mason. There’s no hate in this interview.
Trevor: Shout out to the people that listened to S2. Big thanks to all the executives at Melodi for using our song in the new video. That’s the first time I’ve ever had a band where I don’t know any of the people that follow it.
Jalen: My actual friends don’t even like it.
Stratosphere by Duster, any words on that record before we end this call?
Trevor: Is it a buster move to talk about ‘Echo, Bravo’…That’s just a perfect song. It’s not even on the LP, I bought the record and I was so fuckin’ pissed.
Jalen: It’s just crazy that ‘Inside Out’ is a B-side song.