Orange County, CA trio Super Whatevr was anxious to land a label deal, particularly with highly regarded L.A. indie outfit Hopeless Records. But the members also recognized the importance of downplaying their enthusiasm. None of them wanted to appear overeager or, worse, uncool. Super Whatevr’s manager Olivia Key––a connection conjured by band drummer Luke Mensink––got Good Luck, the band’s self-released EP, into the hands of some friends at Hopeless. It wasn’t long until label dreams blossomed into label realities.
“We really wanted to work with Hopeless,” guitarist Skyler McKee recalls. “Within the first few days of signing with her, Olivia got in contact with someone she knew there. I believe Eric [Tobin, VP of A&R] was the first to hear our EP. He liked it, which was astonishing because we’d recorded it in a garage across the street from my work. It was very low budget.
“We set up a meeting, went in and pretended it wasn’t a big deal,”
“At the end of the weekend we had paperwork with a label I respect.”
McKee continues. “I’d heard great things about Eric in general. The energy was really positive. They laid out everything [and were] pretty vulnerable with how they spoke. I like being open and vulnerable in my day-to-day and in my music, so it was refreshing. I’ve heard that the suits- and-ties at labels hate the artists, [but] love the music.”
Soon after their meeting, Hopeless organized a showcase with a nearby venue. Things went well and the guys were invited to an after- party at Tobin’s house. Days later, they received a deal memo. “It all happened fast,” McKee recollects. “At the end of the weekend we had paperwork with a label I respect.”
Super Whatevr traveled to Nashville to record the band’s forthcoming full-length record. The primary reason for the cross-country trek was that McKee wanted to work with childhood friend Seiji Inouye, who’s based there and has a long list of production credits.
Hopeless released Good Luck in early February. The full-length record is slated to drop later this year. Meanwhile, the band is on the road, hitting cities including Seattle, Austin and Portland.