“I started singing basically when I was born,” Mollie Kruger tells me from my computer screen. “I would just stand outside and scream sing to my neighbors. I’m sure they loved it!”, she laughs.
I am in my house in Catlin, IL, hometown of The Hangovers guitar player Zach Dable, and The Hangovers are huddled together in a cafe in Ohio. Their third tour is about to start, and thanks to Zoom they had time to sit down with me for a quick chat.
“The Hangovers” is made up of six members: Mollie Krueger on vocals, Sammy Darty on bass, Kyle Beeman on drums, and Josh Eggers and Zach Dable on guitar. Their debut album, Planet Hangover, was released in 2020 shortly before everything shut down, but that didn’t stop “Kayak” from being a solid summer vibe.
While most of them hail from Illinois, Kyle was living in Indiana and would drive three hours to Decatur for rehearsals. Any working musician knows a good drummer is hard to find, but one that will drive three hours? “That’s dedication,” said Dable.
Although there isn’t a member of the band over the age of 24, they share that most of their influences come from the 60s and 70s, arguably one of the greatest eras of rock-n-roll. They listed bands like Led Zeppelin and performers like Ann Wilson, but they also have an ear for modern music listing musicians like Andy Wood and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard as inspiration as well.
Smile Politely: I notice the difference in sound from “Kayak” to your most recent release “Stuck”, can you tell me how you feel like your sound is progressing?
Dable: We are still trying to iron it out and find it exactly. A little more harder rock will be fleshed into those aspects of more indie and funky songs
Darty: We just sort of write whatever vibe we are feeling that day, and I’d say that the energy does end up getting toward the higher aspect. It always ends up getting a little heavy.
SP: Lyrically you seem to have more of a message with “Stuck” than previous songs.
Krueger: I was nineteen when we recorded (Planet Hangover) so my brain was different than it is now. I think I went through some shit and lyrically that shows when I write.
Darty: As we grow, our music grows.
The past few months have been filled with new opportunities and new experiences for this young band, including the filming of their first music video.
SP: So you guys got to film an awesome music video for “Stuck”, tell us about that.
Kreuger: So I had this vision of being stuck in a box, and I told it to them [the band] and they were like, ‘I don’t know what the (expletive) you are talking about’. So I reached out to a friend of mine [Andrew Jablonski] who does music videos in the St. Louis area, and we happened to be down there for shows. So I was like, let’s just meet for coffee and I’ll explain my vision and let’s see if you can make it better. So that’s what we did, and he definitely made it better. It was really cool, it was a whole green screen thing. The only issue with the music video was the day we recorded it, it was so COLD we couldn’t feel our toes, fingers; anything!
“My fingers were NUMB,” laughed Dable.
“Like 30 degrees,” Eggers chimed in.
SP: You’ve released an album and a couple of singles, and you’ve got a music video. What is on the horizon for The Hangovers?
Dable: This year we’ve been in the talks of moving to Nashville [in the] late summer, early fall. We’ve already got a few connections down there, I’ve met a few through some friends. I actually went down there on vacation and met a guy who was giving me the lay of the land for Broadway and how playing down there works. So definitely looking forward to that and all the opportunities that can come with that.
Darty: Well we haven’t released “Insanity” yet but we have recorded it and I’m really excited about that one, I just love everything about it.
Krueger: We hope to have another single out soon, we really want to get another full album out but we’re kind of trying to decide what songs we want to put together in that.
Dable: Probably another month and it will be available [on all streaming services].
SP: Before we wrap up, what is something you wish someone would have told you before you started this journey?
Dable: Too much to do and not enough time to do it. You either have the money or the drive to make the stuff you don’t have time for getting done. And it’s just managing so many different aspects for one product. Work hard, and you have to love it.
Darty: You’re going to feel like nothing’s coming from all the work you’re doing, but keep on going and you’ll start to see the results. Get more friends and start helping each other out and shit will come together. Get your monitor mix good.
Krueger: Trust in yourself and your ability to do things. I truly believe if you want something go get it, don’t sit on your ass and wait for someone to tell you you can do it. Don’t wait on someone to “discover” you. Set up your own tour!
Eggers: It matters a lot how people perceive you and how you network with other people. They (will) kind of just hand you shows or hand you opportunities and that’s kind of the majority of how our tours have gone. Work with local talent, and local bands because you gotta help each other out.
Beeman: Practice being comfortable on stage.