Hello Sapien is a four-piece alt-folk band out of Cincinnati, OH formed in 2021. The brainchild (soulchild?) of singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Adam Stone, clever lyricism with an earnest delivery are central to each song. While the band's sound tends to fluctuate between genres, it's safe to expect heavy piano, big bridges, and tight rhythms.
This Friday at Northside Tavern, Hello Sapien will be celebrating their debut show as well as album release with special guest Kate Wakefield! We got to know the band prior to the show!
Tell us how Hello Sapien came to be…
While Hello Sapien is technically playing our first show this Friday, I wouldn't call it a typical debut. For one, I've been writing songs for about 12 years now, always with the intent of starting this band. If you would've told me back then it'd be 2022 when I played my first show with said band, I may have thrown in the towel then and there, but I'm glad I persisted and there's no doubt in my mind that every bit of the music is better for it. Secondly, the band started forming in 2020 toward the beginning of this thing called Covid-19 (maybe you've heard of it), so we've had a lot of time to get the songs arranged and tight. One of my best and longest friends, Paul Schroder, moved back from Chicago then, and after asking him to write a bassline for a song of mine we just kept working on tunes. A few months later the multi-talented Doug McDiarmid joined in on keys. The three of us practiced for about 6 months before finding a drummer, which incidentally turned out to be a really great way of getting the songs in order. Then one night I ran into my buddy Alessandro Corona at Northside Tavern (maybe you've heard of it). I told him about the project, and after he sat in on drums for one session I think we all agreed "yep, this is the band!" These fellas are top-notch musicians AND excellent human beings, and I'm real proud of how these songs have coalesced as a result of both.
Musically speaking, one can expect deep vocals, heavy piano, big bridges, and tight rhythms. The lyrics are the real crux of Hello Sapien though. It's safe to assume you'll do some laughing, some contemplating, and maybe even some crying, sorry 'bout it! Several of these songs take aim at heavy issues; addiction, old age, loneliness, the condition of our planet... but there's a positive message in each, and I think the storied nature of the songs is uplifting/inspiring even if it involves some not-so-fun topics. That said, we are generally a silly and fun-loving bunch, so there's sure to be some antics within all of that. I've always said that if the folks on stage are having a good time, the audience is having a good time too. And hey, there's a hundred percent chance I'll be having a blast, so if my metrics are correct you can expect to have a helluva fun night!
How did the recording process for Queen of Hearts go?
In a word, great! We recorded two tracks with Eric Cronstein at Tone Shoppe, just north of Spring Grove Village. They built the space out during the pandemic - did just an incredible job. The rooms all sound great for their different purposes, and Eric has some fantastic gear, not to mention a golden ear and a not-giant ego (often hard to come by in a studio setting!). The vibe is cool too, with old turkish hanging lamps, a beautifully-crafted live wall in the main room, and cool patterns and colors throughout. An added bonus at Tone Shoppe is there's an art studio downstairs, so while you're recording you can be getting your shirts and tote bags screen printed by the wonderful Aaron Madrigal. One stop Shoppe!
What's next for Hello Sapien?
Since we've only recorded the two tracks thus far, we'll be back in the studio soon enough to record our first full-length album. Most of the songs that will appear on that album will be played this Friday, and we'll continue to play them at shows this year, some in town, some out. We all like to be on the road, so touring is definitely in the cards. For the time being though, we're going to focus on this show, and just enjoy ourselves. Too many bands are stiff and take themselves so seriously. You know it's called "playing" music for a reason!