Hollywood Ending: Tyler Wilson (vocals, guitar); Cameron Byrd (vocals, guitar); Dan Geraghty (leadguitar, vocals); Chris Bourne (bass, guitar, vocals)
“We’re the punk ass kids your mother warned you about” (Punk A$$ Kids)
Pop music is about to get dangerous. You may already have seen Hollywood Ending support McBusted on their spring arena tour and British Summer Time extravaganza at Hyde Park. In which case, you’ll be wondering when these hard-rocking guys with mischief in their eyes and a ton of catchy choruses in their hearts will be back in town. The band even blew away the promoter of the Hyde Park concerts that they asked the band to return the following week to open up for Little Mix and Tom Jones.
Wait no longer, as it’s time for Hollywood Ending to conquer the UK, starting with their current headline tour. Brilliant partying ‘n’ parent-baiting anthem Punk A$$ Kids is just the first taste of a forthcoming album that’ll see Americans Tyler, Cameron and Dan and Brit lad Chris as a major force in pop song-writing and production, while leaving a trail of mayhem in their wake.
Bassist Chris Bourne has already written kooky vampire lovescorcher Daylight for 5 Seconds Of Summer and is penning songs for McBusted’s new album. Singer, guitarist, pianist and all-round musical whiz kid Cameron Byrd, meanwhile, produces the band from his home studio. Let’s be clear: Hollywood Ending are not a band who need to be told what to do.
“Hollywood Ending could definitely be a Hollywood film,” reckons Cameron, the self-confessed “band mom” on the road. “If someone could document our career, it’d be the most insane movie ever.” “And not a film I’d let my mom watch,”adds joint-lead singer Tyler Wilson, awesome vocalist and major flirt of the band.
Before that, they need to prove themselves, which they’re doing with an album that’ll tear up the rule book. “We want to be a whole new genre,” says Cameron. “The biggest bands, like Coldplay, are known for their own sound. We can be like that.” Chris adds: “We’re our own in-house writing and production team. Why pay anyone else to do it? We can get the songs right ourselves, and this album is going to be totally crazy.”
It’ll include live favourite Girls Girls – about “stuck-up California chicks and how dumb they are”, according to Chris – as well as Ghost, probably the most heartbreaking song about a dead dude watching over his girlfriend music has yet witnessed. “We all believe in ghosts, me especially,” says Dan Geraghty, an insane shredder on his guitar and the band’s quiet man. (And yes, with Dan it is always the quiet ones you need to watch out for.) “I thought I was a ghost for a week,” insists Chris to the hilarity of his band mates, as Cameron recalls how the bassist wouldn’t speak because he thought he was dead.
Chris is the younger brother of McBusted legend James Bourne, and supporting his bro’s band made Hollywood Ending determined to headline arenas too. “Even sound checking before the show was awesome at arenas,” grins Chris. “We were all thinking ‘Let’s come back and headline here one day’.” Tyler adds: “But when we headline arenas, we want to do it right.” That leads to the gang ticking off their essentials for an arena spectacular: explosions, lasers, crazy lights, “as much as fire as possible and a flaming guitar” (Dan) and, for Tyler, “A hard-ass rap section… We’d rock so hard.”
They’ve certainly earned the right to play arenas. Hailing from New York (Tyler), Washington DC (Cameron) and Maryland (Dan), the Americans in the band met via mutual friends three years ago. Meanwhile, Chris had just finished college and was advised by James to speak to this crazy pop band his manager had tipped him off about. “I wasn’t doing much else other than surfing and I really wanted to be in a band,” Chris laughs. “I spoke to Tyler for 10 minutes on Skype, then Cam and a week later I flew out to the States. I hadn’t even spoken to Dan before I was in the US! There aren’t any British bands like Hollywood Ending out there… Or any other American ones, come to think of it. We’re a one-off.”
Chris soon got his band mates speaking Essex slang and craving Nandos. “And British fans,” grins Tyler. “British girls are insane. We can’t afford to stay in fancy hotels, but they camp out at our two-star hotels in the UK and stay there til6am, causing havoc. We tour in the States so much that American fans are a little spoiled as they see so much of us, so they don’t freak out on the same level.”
“So, yeah, we’ve an affinity with Britain,” smiles Cameron. “I can’t tell you how many times people ask ‘Are you all English?’” Chris recalls how he and Dan were walking near a venue in Scotland, “And this rumbling noise starts. I look up and there’s 30 girls running like crazy towards us… We didn’t start the band to have that effect on girls and, although we know it happens after three years as a band, it never loses the wow factor.”
At first, Hollywood Ending were a slicker, poppier group who came third on a Disney Radio talent contest. But handing out flyers and demos around the US following the trail of popsters Big Time Rush saw them think about making everything to do with Hollywood Ending a more DIY affair, including the music.
“We’ve had our slumps,” admits Cameron. “But after three years, we know how to stick together. We’ve never had a tour bus, it’s always been touring in the back of a van, and we’ve had a million fights in those vans. 99% of bands break up because of the stupid fights, and we know by now what’s a stupid fight and what’s a real problem that needs sorting.”
Still all aged 19-21, their Hollywood Ending Band YouTube channel has notched up six million views, including for covers of Justin Bieber’s Beauty And The Beat, The Wanted’s Glad You Came and 1D’s Kiss You. Not that any of those covers will feature on their album, which won’t even include smashUS singles Always 18 or Freak Like Me. “We’ve written about 40 songs which we’ve demoed at Cam’s house,” says Chris. “All the songs came really fast.” “Like when Cam has sex,” says Dan. (Told you, it’s always the quiet ones.) “We don’t need our old singles, as these new songs are so much rowdier,” glowers Cameron at Dan, dragging things back to normal. “A lot of the songs are story-driven. It’s whatever we’re feeling in terms of concepts, but there’s more depth than people will expect.”
While they don’t need covers, the lads are up for writing for other artists, with Tyler saying: “We’d love to write for anyone, whether it’s Little Mix or rappers. We can write for a broad range.”
They sure can but, while they’re serious about getting to the next level, Hollywood Ending are going to have a whole bunch of chaos along the way. One listen to Punk A$$ Kids will confirm that. “On the McBusted tour, their best advice was not to take ourselves too seriously,” recalls Chris. “Harry said there was a time McFly thought they were being too silly and weren’t taken seriously enough as musicians. He said that was the biggest mistake they ever made. You can see on stage how carefree McBusted are now.” Adds Tyler: “They also advised us ‘Don’t suck!’”
You can safely say that sucking is the one thing an unpredictable band like Hollywood Ending won’t do. As Cameron says: “By this point, we’re super-ready for success.” Parents be warned: these punk ass kids are on the loose.”
Watch Hollywood Ending Live
“I got made fun of in school constantly for dressing differently and having different interests. Even though the things they said were hurtful and mean, I never once changed myself for them. I’m so happy i didn’t change because i wouldn’t be where i am now if I had tried to be anyone else but myself. Take the power out of the bullies words and you take the power out of them.”