Interview: HIRIE Talks About New Album ‘Mood Swings’ & Dealing With Highs & Lows Of Being Openly Bipolar

Interview: HIRIE Talks About New Album ‘Mood Swings’ & Dealing With Highs & Lows Of Being Openly Bipolar

Hawaii’s own HIRIE has officially released their genre-bending fourth studio album ‘Mood Swing’ through independent juggernaut Ineffable Records.

‘Mood Swing’ takes listeners a front row seat inside the heart and mind of HIRIE frontwoman Trish Jetton, from her trials growing up multicultural to her breakout success. The album packs a potent emotional wallop with soaring melodies and infectious hooks that are stuck inside your head long after the music stops.

The sat down with Trish Jetton to peel back the layers of HIRIE’s new album ‘Mood Swing’ and reveal the deeper meanings hidden behind the sultry sounds.

Tell us about the creative process for “Mood Swing” and how is this record different from the rest of the HIRIE albums in your catalog?

Trish Jetton: ‘Mood Swing’ was unique in the process compared to my earlier albums because due to covid, I had a lot of time to focus on songwriting. In all, I had 60 songs ready for consideration before choosing the final 12 that made the album what it is. Carefully choosing each song, we wanted there to be a vibe for every kind of listener. Our fans enjoy our older sound, others somewhere in the middle, and the rest are really into our new-age poppy sound. We personally love jumping around from roots baselines and dub to electronic and experimental. Mood Swing was a joy to create because we had so many options for all of that.

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the title “Mood Swing’?

Trish Jetton: I’m openly bipolar and deal with mood swings on a daily basis. My hope is that people listen to this album in any mood, and it leaves them swinging into another. The highs, lows and mids of music are just like us. We need them all to truly feel the human experience. I know that when I’m feeling depressed or anxious, music is usually the only thing that can swing me back into a more relaxed and content mood. Music is so powerful on the brain!

“Mood Swings” is pretty guest-heavy with Matisyahu, Kabaka Pyramid, Naomi Cowan, Spragga Benz, ANORA, and Chelley making appearances. Tell us a bit about the collaborations on the record and how they came about…

Trish Jetton: I was truly blessed with producers like LMR and Ricky Blaze who were always open and willing to share their network of musicians with me. I was actually surprised to hear Spragga Benz on “I Miss You” because my producers surprised me with it!! I was blown away by Spragga’s verses and couldn’t have wished for a better collaboration for that song. Naomi was another amazing artist that I not only looked up to, but was in touch with my team. They did a lot of leg work to get these artists featured on Mood Swing — it’s not easy being in different states or even countries! Same for Kabaka Pyramid – we’ve been following his journey for years loving his music and never thought he’d jump on a song! So when LMR presented “Blast Soon” to him, he was eager to bless the track with his words! And that song particularly was an evolution of us both. Once I heard his verse, I went back in and added layers to mine to compliment his message. I’m so happy with how every collaboration turned out! Anora, Naomi and Chelley absolutely brought that feminine energy to HELLO, and last but definitely not least Matisyahu!! He blew me away with his verse. I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his music after years of studying his lyrics like a bible. I just love him as an artist and a friend.

How does your upbringing and Italian/Hawaiian culture play a factor in the songwriting process for a HIRE record?

Trish Jetton: Having roots all over the world has helped me embrace music and the cultures in which they originate. Although certain styles were born in one place, they travel much like spices or humans from one plain to the next ever-growing and shifting. Much like that, Hirie was exposed to many people, languages, stories, cultures, etc. which makes Mood Swing as eclectic as any other album we’ve put out.

There are a lot of musical influences among all the different band members with some with roots in Opera, reggae, ska, and others are metal-heads head-banging on stage. I’m interested to know how do all the different musical influences come together and forge one cohesive sound?

Trish Jetton: The band and I all share one common interest; a love for all music. Our interests in music merge together because we’re all open to trying new flavors. I’m so grateful to share this bond with my band and the magic that happens when we put our minds together.

This record is coming out on Ineffable Records; why are they the perfect label for HIRIE?

Trish Jetton: Ineffable Records has been doing some really amazing things for our scene. From Stick Figure releases making waves across the world; bringing their other artists out and into unbeknownst ears. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We knew we’d make a great match; hitting it off with Adam Gross and J Namkung who have been my points of contact on a daily basis. I truly enjoy working with the whole time and feel like I’m a part of a really big picture. It’s nice to feel like your artistry and approaches are appreciated!

There seems to be a resurgence of ska with bands like the Interrupters breaking through to the mainstream. Do you pay attention to what’s happening with musical trends? 

Trish Jetton: Totally, I’m always happy to see bands that emerge from within our scene but also externally like the Interrupters who have brought ska back to the masses! Very exciting times!

Where does HIRIE fit into the musical landscape?

Trish Jetton: Hirie is always going to be what it is: honest, fun, hype, and weird. Musically we don’t “color within the lines” and that’s okay. We love to be different. I think people come to see us play because they never know what to expect. We’re constantly changing set lists, arrangements, etc. As for our records, they’ll be unpredictable. Mood Swing is what it sounds like.

What’s next for HIRIE?

Trish Jetton: We’re looking forward to our upcoming Mood Swing Tour which begins this Fall and continues in the Winter. Check our website for full details and we’ll see you on the road! MAHALO THE PIER!

Interview/Story by James Wright
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