One late night at Facebook HQ…

south_hero-1The seeds of South Hero were planted one late night at Facebook HQ, and they’ll take root on the DNA stage December 12th. Pete Hunt, Eric Zamore, Eric Giovanola and Jeffrey Wieland are “two parts Jimmy Eat World, one part Weezer, and a dollop of The Smashing Pumpkins.”


Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?

We’re a four-piece rock band: two guitars, bass, and drums. We all sing, and we love creating vocal harmonies and secondary melodies.

We’re all Facebook employees, and we first got together in 2009 in a music room at work. We jammed on Weezer, Green Day, and Smashing Pumpkins songs. We soon began writing original tunes, and played our first show in the summer of 2010 in a friend’s garage. We’ve played several venues in SF since then (Great American Music Hall, Retox, Kimo’s, RockIt Room (now Neck of the Woods). We play mostly originals, but we do have some covers we love to play as well. We released a six-song EP this (we recorded it at Popsmear Studios in San Rafael) year, and we’re thrilled with how it turned out. You can find it on Spotify/iTunes (it’s called “Retransmit”), or listen for free here:

Who are your major influences?
We’re huge fans of 90’s rock, and in particular bands like Weezer, Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, and Soundgarden. Our sound is most similar to Jimmy Eat World.

What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?

We just love playing and making music. For us it’s more about being creative and enjoying the musical process, whether that’s as individual musicians, for ourselves as a band when we rehearse and write songs, or for others by recording and releasing our music and playing live shows. We’ve never set out to be famous through music, just to make music that we like and that we hope others enjoy as well.

What are your day jobs?

All of us work at Facebook, Pete and both Erics are software engineers, and Jeff is a project manager.

How does your music influence your work or vice versa?

Music doesn’t necessarily directly influence our work, but we often listen to music while we work, which helps create a focused environment for us to be productive. We bring a similar approach to both our work and our music: we’re very focused on creating a high-quality product, so we can be very critical of ourselves and each other, especially in the early stages when we’re working through ideas. We try to pay attention to all the little details that add up to the best end result possible. Most importantly, though, we truly enjoy both work and music, and try to bring and informal, fun attitude to what we do.

Why is music education important?

Music is a universal language. No matter who people are or where they come from, they can understand and appreciate music on some level. It’s a component of culture and one of the things that defines us as humans. Because of that, it’s a way for people to connect on a level that they might not otherwise be able to, due to language or cultural barriers. It’s a common ground that people can find, to appreciate, respect and admire about each other.

This has been the case on a personal level for us as a band: playing together and immersing ourselves in music has helped us become close friends. Despite the fact that we may have certain disagreements or ideological differences, at the end of the day we respect each other as musicians and people

What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?

All of us got a lot of musical encouragement early on from our parents. In part, this meant a simple exposure to music because our parents were listening to a lot of different genres. When we began showing interest in playing music, we also received encouragement in the form of lessons or musical instruments to actually begin making music ourselves. Along the way, that love for music has been reinforced by friends who either appreciated music or played with us, as well as music teachers who mentored us and helped us become the musicians we are today.

See South Hero play live on Thursday, December 12 at DNA Lounge. Buy tickets here