Hey there, Champ!

(corniness ensues)

You may not have heard of Chicago-based new wave/power pop band Hey Champ yet, but that's about to change. The band of friends from Princeton University are hot on the rise and by September, when people are like "OH I LOVE DIS BAND I READ ABOUT ON DE INTERWEBS" you can be like "oh hey! I read about them on the Useless Critic some odd time ago."  MTV just declared them a buzzworthy band and MTV is still kind of relevant to some degree. 

Their EP "Anything At All" was released in May and is worth a few good 100 listens. It was produced by heavyweight producer Eliot James, who has previously worked with the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Bloc Party, who you may have heard of. 

Also, it's worth to say this:  they were discovered by Lupe Fiasco. 

Saam Hagshenas and I recently corresponded via email about playing LOLLAPALOOZA
(!!!) and amazing beer (BUDWEISER), and what this eclectic group of boys are up to next.

You've been getting a lot of exposure lately! MTV recently featured you as a buzz band. How do you feel about all this?

Saam:  Any exposure is great. Most people really don't know who Hey Champ is, and we still can't get into most cool clubs in our own hometown. But we'll occasionally get recognized randomly in some city. We were recently driving in New Hampshire and when we got out of the car someone yelled "Hey Champ!" That's pretty fun. 

What was it like working with Eliot James (producer of Bloc Party, Two Door Cinema Club, etc)?

Saam:  Eliot was a talented, debonair Englishman with a penchant for synthesizers and vegan food. Working together was really easy. He "got" our sound and we spoke the same language when it came to music. He's also just fun to hang out with, we'd run around the corner to a bar most nights after we finished recording. We made him try all these "craft" beers and he hated them. He just wanted Budweiser. 

What's been the most exciting moment for you guys thus far?

Saam:  Playing Lollapalooza. We were in the audience the year before, and we told our manager and our friends we wanted to play next year. Everyone said we were crazy, but it happened. A festival like that in your own backyard can't be beat.

What are your upcoming plans for the summer and rest of 2011?

Saam:  Making music, remixes, playing shows, DJing. We've always done those things and we hopefully always will. 

What band (or singer) would you most like to collab with and why?

Saam:  If we had a choice probably Daft Punk, just because they wrote the book on electronic music in the modern era and were super influential for us as a band.

Any parting words? I know this is random but I love your album cover. *

Saam:  Thanks! We just released the video for "Silver City" and our Winner's Circle 3 mixtape will be coming out next week. 

*I am a dork, but it's hot.