Interviews Emile Hirsch (Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

Published on June 5th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Emile Hirsch On The New Hysterical Kindness Album “Simple Things” & More

A studio collaboration between Emile Hirsch, Chris Sayre and Brian Cohen, Hysterical Kindness released its debut album on June 1st. A full-length studio effort featuring 13 songs, promotion of Simple Things kicked off with the early May release of the first single “You.” While the three members of Hysterical Kindness had met on the set of the film All Nighter, Sayre and Cohen had prior musical success as producers, with credits that include multi-platinum artists like Ciara and Flo Rida.

On behalf of The Hype Magazine, I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Emile Hirsch, who you also ought to recognize from his work in the acclaimed films Into The Wild, Lords Of Dogtown and Lone Survivor. Hirsch can be followed on Twitter and Instagram via the handle @EmileHirsch.

When did you start playing music?

Emile Hirsch: I don’t actually play any music at all. It’s kind of a strange thing. But ever since I was a kid I would always be freestyling these rhymes and lyrics, and then writing them down and spend lots of times coming up with different melodies for them. I used to call them “beats” or “flows.” Now I call them “melodies.” I would continuously write raps and poetry my whole life though. As I got older I began to write amateur screenplays and novels, but my fixation on the words was always there.

Was there a particular musician or artist that inspired you to start creating?

Emile Hirsch: I think my biggest overall musical influence is without doubt Kurt Cobain. I listened to his records so much as a kid and teen, then he just captured it all for me. Melodies, lyrics, energy — he had it all and more.

What was your first concert?

Emile Hirsch: I was 12 and I saw the Foo Fighters while shooting on location in Australia for the TV movie Gargantua. I had seats way way in the back. It was surreal because it was a “Gargantuan” reminder that humans actually made and could play live the music that I’d been listening to my whole life.

Do you have a favorite song on Simple Things?

Emile Hirsch: For me, the song “At Bay” I find myself gravitating towards the most. There’s just a well-meaning honest vibe to it. I’m talking about some difficult stuff in my life, but get through it with a smile on my face.

How long did it take to make the album?

Emile Hirsch: The album was made in relatively quick bursts over a period of two and a half years. Chris Sayre and Brian Cohen would meticulously pore over every song, never moving on until it met their standards of what they love.

Are there plans to tour in support of Simple Things?

Emile Hirsch: It’s definitely something I’m open and would love to do. Hopefully we can wrangle our schedules and set up a band to travel with is. I’m still acting full-time so theres always that “x factor” with scheduling stuff. But I feel like if people are digging it and want to hear it, we will come through for them. I was never a huge live music guy. That was never part of the aspiration or dream. I’m just as content to put the record out and go record the next one. But maybe I’m a big baby. So we’ll see.

Simple Things aside, what is coming up for you work-wise?

Emile Hirsch: I have a few films due to be released soon — a western called Never Grow Old with John Cusack, a dramedy called Peel, and a really wacky cult comedy type film called An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn. They are all really different characters I enjoyed getting into the headspace of and going off to different corners of the world to make.

Do you hope to take on more projects like All Nighter that allow you to tap into both acting and music simultaneously?

Emile Hirsch: That’s not really something that I’ve thought too much about. All Nighter was such a freak occurrence in that way. It was just the right vibe and the right guys at the right moment. Without Chris and Brian and myself clicking the way we did as individuals, we would never have made the record the way we did. It’s completely ridiculous that we came out with the record that we did if you actually sit down and watch All Nighter. It’s insanely bonkers.

When not busy with creative pursuits, how do you like to spend your free time?

Emile Hirsch: I like to workout and stay healthy, I love watching movies, going out and get together with friends, travel. Be a good dad. Learn. Have a good time. Enjoy living.

What was the last concert you attended for fun?

Emile Hirsch: I went to an Arctic Monkeys show at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It was awesome. They were really amazing. Alex Turner was a fearless animal up there. I will never be that guy in a billion years. But they blew my socks off.

Finally, Emile, any last words for the kids?

Emile Hirsch: I hope reading this has given you a couple minutes of semi-entertainment. Listen to the record. And I first heard “Yanny,” but now I hear “Laurel.”


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly PureGrainAudio.com). He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.


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