Some songs stick in a listener’s head because of their simplicity and charm, but that is not so with The Hue. The band’s complex interlace of dueling guitars and wordless verses sets the hook while its clear melodies keep listeners tuned in.
The progressive four-person band features two guitarists, Jared Rabin and Marcus Rezak, drummer Brian Gilmanov and bassist Kyle Meyers. Three of the band members met at their alma mater, Berklee College of Music. Rabin was a later addition, but grew up in the same Illinois suburbs as the others.
The Chronicle recently sat down with Rabin and Rezak of The Hue to get the story behind the band and how The Hue creates its intricate melodies.
The Chronicle: How did you come up with the name of your band?
Marcus Rezak: Basically, it originated before this version of The Hue was together. It was really early on and Kyle and I did a trio thing for awhile and we called it The Hue Trio. The Hue resembles the way we can shift from one sound to another—kind of a color spectrum of sounds really. A hue, a kind of color saturation and correlation as it relates to our sound, I would say.
The Chronicle: What is the process for writing your songs?
Jared Rabin: I think it varies from person to person. At this point in the game, everybody has been writing stuff individually and bringing it to the group. Everyone has a different way of doing that. Some of us write out charts and bring them in. Some of us make recordings on our own of all the parts and bring them in. Some people are more particular than others, but everyone has kind of brought their own tunes to the table and at rehearsals, taught everyone else how to play. Everyone is then able to lend their own style to it and then it sounds like the band.
The Chronicle: Is it a little bit different because you don’t have lyrics or a spoken chorus in your songs?
JR: Sometimes. Some of our tunes do follow the traditional song form where you can separate it out into like verse, chorus, verse, bridge—stuff like that. There are no lyrics, but there are guitar melodies that would be the theme of the verse or the chorus. Some of it is also way more progressive in that it doesn’t follow the typical song form. Not having lyrics lends itself to more creative song forms.
The Chronicle: When you perform, is there much improv?
MR: Yeah, there is a lot of improv, generally in the middle of all the tunes. Some tunes don’t actually have any solo sections that are improvised. Some are actually composed solo sections, but in terms of song structure, some songs are just broken down into lettered sections as opposed to verses going back and forth. It’s all a big variety really just depending on the type of tune and the purpose of it.
JR: Some tunes, if you came and saw them at a show, would be relatively similar from time to time and there’s other tunes that are more improvised. They never sound the same from one time to another so it keeps the variety—it keeps them fresh.
The Chronicle: Do you remember a solo from any particular performance that you did that you were just like, “Wow, that was awesome!”?
JR: Not particularly, but lately—
MR: —so many solos.
JR: Yeah, there’s a lot.
MR: So many notes.
JR: For sure, we have a couple of tunes that turn into long jams and stuff where we’re never really sure what’s going on, or what’s going to happen next. There’s definitely times when we are like, “Oh yeah, that was awesome,” and times we’re like, “That was horrible.”
MR: Jared definitely had a few really great solos at The Ten Thousand Lakes Festival we played at.
JR: See, I don’t even remember.