Posted On 19 Jul 2017
Hitting Subset is that Texan post-rock, pop punk, hardcore sound. The band is made up of Caleb Behm (vocals), Abram Ulve (drumers & vocals), Emilio Rendon (guitar) and Zane Leblanc (bass & vocals).
Their music is about momentum, four people united under the idea that anything is attainable if you keep moving forward. It’s not youthful naivety though, Hitting Subset’s drive comes through in their sound. The vocals are edgy, yet controlled; the lyrics are deep and meaningful; the guitar work tells stories in odd harmony; the bass is RIGHT THERE, giving you that steady rhythm, and some face-melting licks; and the drums, are the loud and proud driving force.
Hitting Subset recently announced their arrival on the national stage today with the release of their debut single ‘Hikari’ – it’s just the kind of ragged but restrained post-rock that you might expect from kids who grew up on At The Drive-In, The Used, and Say Anything. The single premiered on June 29th via idobi Radio, who raved about “The Texan post rock band who throw back to the emo jams you grew up on, while trekking forward into sonic territory that’ll have you proclaiming your love from the rooftops (in heavy eyeliner, of course).”
Vocalist, Caleb Behm on ‘Hikari’:
“Japanese for ‘light’. I wrote this song about my dog, Zorro, who is epileptic since age two. This was after he had a particularly horrible cluster of seizures which nearly took his life. I would watch him get up every time with so much determination as he would re-learn how to walk and how to eat and drink and be a dog again. It really tore me up, but Zorro was always so resilient and happy in spite of it all. He acted almost as if there wasn’t this impending disease hanging over his life that he had to deal with every three or so months. As silly as it might sound, it inspired me through my personal depression to constantly search for the light, or the silver lining in everything that happens to me. There is always something to be happy about.”
Hikari was recorded in Abram’s home studio and mixed by Josh Flores of Tragus Productions (and beloved Austin indie-poppers Shadow Of Whales).
Hitting Subset Online:
Thanks for your time! Where does this interview find the band today? Is there music playing in the background? What music do you all like to listen to when you are relaxing or answering interview questions?
This interview was conducted in our drummer’s canopy outside of his house. No music playing in the background besides the birds chirping. But we find all types of music relaxing from Death Metal to Interpol.
How does 2017 so far compare to last year? Did you all approach this year differently then you did 2016?
2016 was mostly spent playing as many regional shows as we could while maintaining one local show of month usually opening for our favorite National artists. This year we’re focusing on putting out our first full length titled “Hikari/Yami” which will combine both Ep’s including the two title tracks. Once that’s put out, we are going to finish recording our 2nd Full-length for 2018.
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall the moment you realized that you could really make music together and be a band? Why do you think your name truly represents this group and the music that you create?
I think everyone realized we wanted to make music after first hearing artist’s like Blink-182. Our name literally means” reaching your goal , or reaching your quota”.
Because our name represents what we’re trying to accomplish with our music. Hitting Subset means to reach your goal, but not only that alone. We are all pretty harsh on ourselves as musicians, being in a world with very talented people. In the end we’re just trying to be the best versions of ourselves we can be.
I always like to ask artists how their hometown has been an influence on the kind of music they make and really what kind of a band they are today. So how has being from Austin influenced you all?
We all kind of grew up a little bit away from the city. Far enough where there wasn’t many shows around us and it was special to drive to the city to go see our favorite bands. SXSW 10 years ago with pretty influential time for the bands we mostly listen to.
Let’s talk about your debut single, “Hikari.” I understand that it’s about a dog named Zorro. Can you elaborate on that inspiration? What was it like recording this song in a home studio? Do you hope to continue recording all of your music there?
Zorro is a 5 yr old Siberian Husky who has epilepsy. He used to have terrible seizures. He would tend to have them in clusters until you basically had to sedate him. He was forced on some pretty potent and addicting drugs that he has to take every 12 hours to keep him from having them but they only seemed to work temporarily so he would start having these episodes every three months or so. The last time he had them the vet said that if he had another seizure he would have probably gotten severe brain damage. I wrote this song after having to decide whether to keep him alive or end his suffering. I think we chose to fight it together. I witnessed him repeatedly pull himself back together after having the attacks and his demeanor never changed. He’s the most loving pupper I have ever met. Recording in our drummers home studio was a lot of fun and provided freedom to bring our vision to life. In the future we are not opposed to recording anywhere else. We’re going to keep an open mind and our options available.
When do you hope to release more new music and a full-length album?
In early 2018.
What are your plans for this summer? Any tour dates scheduled so far? What do you think makes a perfect show for Hitting Subset? Can you recall a favorite show in the past?
No tour, but music video coming. Strategically choosing a handful of hometown shows while continuing to release “Hikari/Yami” full length. Hearing people chant our song lyrics and positive vibes makes a perfect Hitting Subset show. Opening for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was by far our favorite show up to date so far.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who would you all to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for this band?
Favorite artists: The Beatles, Say Anything, The Dear Hunter and Cage The Elephant. “Rick Ruben “or “William Yip” would would be very fun to record with. A dream collaborator would be “Tilian Pearson” from Dance Gavin Dance.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
The main message is we have a light and a dark side and our lives are the result of the choices we make daily.
What advice would you give to a band just getting started? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
Be honest with yourself if this is what you want to do. And it’s not going to be easy but it is worth it. Also understanding songwriting and knowing where you want to go with your instrument.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves or your music?
Last, “we are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”- Quoted by Gene Wilder.