Hello Ocho Learns Portuguese

Hello Ocho’s second record “In Portuguese” is due out March 25th. “We kind of casually dated as a band”, said Chris Yonkers on the topic of trying out new members and line-ups. Parting ways with their original keyboardist in the two-year process of writing and recording this album they’ve been dating around with a number of local musicians. As the line up sits right now there are the three original members Chris Yonkers, Clinton Callahan, and John Gregg. Chris Childs and Christian Ballew are now apart of the group to flesh out their expansive psychedelic party sound. Julian Henshaw and Eric Fontain appear on the record adding horns allowing Hello Ocho to explore new territory and musical landscapes.

“When we first started we were very much so a band just trying to get people to dance and have a good time,” Chris said. In the six years they’ve been around Atlanta they have cultivated a following that crosses musical barriers. As they have grown as a band they constantly work to further their musicianship without loosing their party groove. “We are trying to ride that fine line of having musicianship to where musicians can listen to it and think it’s interesting and has depth to it…[while] also on a surface level being palatable enough for someone who doesn’t know shit about music to be able to just get down with it.” Whether you listen for the multilayered musicianship or just the groove one thing is true: there shows are fun on a primal level.

Hello Ocho produces a hypnotic groove that pulls you out of your comfort zone and into the middle of the pit: where shit can get weird. “If you get chucked straight into the deep end of some weird you might not be okay with it, where as if there is this friendly stranger that leads you to the weird it’s a little bit more of a palatable thing”, Yonkers commented on the bands approach to their flotation between dance grooves and experimental weird that is best experienced live. Hello Ocho will be having their album release party at Mammal Gallery on April 1st. The show will include some local artists that will be painting during there set. Artists TBA.

Chris Yonkers on top of being in Hello Ocho is also apart of the resurgence going on in downtown as a founding member of The Mammal Gallery. The DIY art and venue space resides at 91 Broad Street just south of the Five Points Marta Station. Since starting the gallery two years ago Dan Dewberry, Brian Egan and Chris have been doing major renovations and up keep to bring a vibrant safe place for people to produce and show their art.

“The basement was entirely underwater whenever we moved in because there was a busted pipe up under the sidewalk that was just water falling into the basement perpetually.” Along with roof problems and rusted pipes they’ve had their work cut out for them but it has been paying off. They now have fully functional studio space for artists, gallery space, not to mention the huge venue space on the ground floor.

Right before the Mammal crew moved in Dashboard threw the No Vacancy Party, which delayed the move, but ended up being a blessing in disguise. “They basically locked Henry Detweiler and Ben Coleman in our building for a month for an art show. They gutted the whole main level and did the pink and neon zig-zags” , Yonkers said, which has become a signature of the gallery. 

Written by Stephen Wilkins