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article imageL.A. duo 222 release their second album Special

By Adrian Peel     Feb 25, 2017 in Music
Los Angeles - With their blend of alternative '80s and '90s-influenced rock with modern electronica, vocalist Jade Howard and vocalist/guitarist Dennis Hamlin return with a new 11-track album entitled 'I'm Not Trying to be You... Just Kidding I'm Trying to be You'.
I'm Not Trying to be You... (released on Howlin Hamard Records) is the follow-up to 222's debut album, 2015's Libretto. That record's lead-off single, "One Night Stand," earned them airplay on Los Angeles radio station KROQ.
222's high-energy live shows have seen the pair build a strong following right across America. The band has performed a string of well-attended club dates, including a successful gig at the Red Gorilla Music Festival in Austin and select shows in the city they now call home.
222 wrote, recorded and arranged all the tracks on the new album, just as they did on Libretto, and recorded it in their home studio. "I've been editing our video for 'I’m Not Trying to be You' [the title track] while flying around the States working on a food show for Netflix," replied Dennis Hamlin, when asked about what he's been up to of late.
"We have a sound business for TV and film so we sort of double team music and shows and movies at the same time. In between that we've been rehearsing and booking our tour for this year that will be kicking off this spring."
Expanding on the title track, Hamlin noted: "It started out as a joke about sounding like another band one of our friends was in, but it became about Jade and I moving out to L.A. from our smaller towns and becoming each other from being around each other so much. That theme runs deep with us."
How does this second LP differ from the first, musically and in terms of content? "I think the first one we were a little self-conscious about us being a guy/girl band so we killed each other a little more in the songs," mused Hamlin. "I think the last thing we wanted was to be a couple singing love songs about each other.
"I can't really think of anything more vile than that. This album is moving on. We don’t like to repeat ourselves so I don't think this album is like the first, but we definitely have a style. We went into this band to put out music we like. That's about it when it comes to guidelines for us."
On the subject of themes, Hamlin, who met his singing partner when they both worked at Hustler Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard (a job they both hated), observed:
"This time around we have songs about a great day off work, the world coming to an end, a long-distance relationship between Earth and Mars, a reality show and past relationships - to name some of them. We like to write about anything that interests us. We have a dark sense of humour and that creeps into our songs sometimes."
Which of the tracks on the album particularly stand out? "I think 'Has the Whole World Gone Mad?' kicks ass," said Hamlin. "'Across the Great Divide' and 'Everywhere We Go' Jade and I both agree are heading in a new direction for us. This album is definitely album rock in the way that every song belongs together as one piece of art."
For anyone wondering where the name '222' came from, wonder no more. "222 is a number we have noticed when things are going right in our lives," explained Hamlin. "It's also my birthday, the room I was born in and the apartment Jade was staying in when I met her. It seemed like an obvious pick when we were choosing a name."
Asked about their plans for the rest of 2017 and beyond, Hamlin concluded: "Honestly, it's very hard to plan anything these days. We'll make plans and then just ride the wave of chaos and somehow everything works out.
"Initially we just always try to get our music out to all the people that we know will love it, whatever we have to do to achieve that. We will definitely tour as much as possible for this record and we've already started working on the next one. We just want to find our fans and keep growing with them."
I'm Not Trying to be You...Only Kidding I'm Trying to be You is out now and can be purchased from iTunes.
For more information on 222, visit their official website.
More about 222, American music, jade howard, dennis hamlin, I'm not trying to be youJust kidding I'm trying to
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