The Hi Fives
Roma, Forte Prenestino, 2 apr 1999
The Hi Fives, a band from the fertile californian Bay Area, played in a wonderful night in Roma: the plenty white moon was up in the bright blue roman sky (the only bright blue sky in all the world, and if you don't trust us you have to come here and check it). Their music fit very well with this scenario and all the people enjoyed a lot the gig and their garage-surf music...also their suites!!! Before start to play Chris and John, the Hi Fives frontmen and founders, kindly accepted to have an interview with us in their van.

Pogopop: How is going on the tour in Europe?
John: It's everything we could expect and more : it's wonderful!
Pogopop: It's wonderful because of the people, because what else?
John: For the chicks! It's wonderful for me...
Chris: It's wonderful for the food, the people, there is more people than we expected and they dance!! And the food is, Oh! Good! The italian food!
Pogopop: You're on tour to present your last album "Get Down", what about it?
John: Well! Get Down is more like "Welcome to my mind", we have another record "A whole lotta you", and it is (Get Down) more sixties and beat punk rock stuff, while the second record is more just punk rock. It's my opinion, I'm very proud of it, I like it! My friend Chris makes poetry with his guitar!
Pogopop: You said that this is your 3rd album but you're on the musical scene since 1988 and your name was "Brent TV".... at the beginning you were a combo, your story is very long, would you like talk about it?
John: Sure! Chris and I met in college, and we became very friends and we started playing music in 1988....,
Chris: ....but we didn't know how playing music... we met and we became friends and we decided that we will played music before know how!!!!
John: ....we were in a band before know how to play guitar, and we still don't know the same!! But we lived in a college and in the colleges everyone plays music, so it's almost embarassing to say "You're in a band?", so Chris said to me " Hey Johnny! May we should be in a band?" "Ehi Chris! That's all embarassing!" So we said: "What have we pretended" - it was a movie - what have we pretended that we're filming this film where we really were musicians but we ....
Chris: ... so if anyone asked us why we were walking with the guitar it was 'cause we were going to make a movie, not a band!
Pogopop: Who decided the name of the band?
Chris: Ah!, We asked a person in the Lookout Records, mail order, his name is Rob.... before we were named The Ne'er Do Wells, and it was the same band: suites, same songs,  but we got a different drummer, and so we decided to change the name because it was... we thought, y' know, to change name, so we asked a person who does mail order at Lookout Records: "which are the rename of our band?" And he said "You should rename the band Hi Fives" and we said "OK"
John: "The record was done and the artwork needed to be sent in the next day and we hadn't got a name! And so Chris calls me and said "John look, we need a name right now, 'cause the record been made tomorrow" and so...
Chris: That sounds good!
John: ... Great name, I love it!
Pogopop: This summer you played with several bands, The Smugglers, Green Day, which one is your favourite?
Chris & John: Just one?!?!?! The Smugglers!
Pogopop: In "Welcome to my mind" lyrics are about love. One of these is "Seven years": who wrote this song? And which is the problem? Is she your girlfriend or....
John: Oh no, no girlfriend! Is a girl who... we liked each other very much but....  she had a boyfriend for seven years and I wrote this song many years ago when I was very young and... she has just broken up with her boyfriend from seven years and so it's about feeling like... oh God...
Pogopop: You were afraid a little bit?
John: Yeah, I mean it's... you know, it felt insignificant, you know what... I  liked her but she's upset about this.. you know, so I didn't want to have fear.... confusing a lot...!
Pogopop: Have you seen something else in Roma beside Forte Prenestino?
John: No, not really.... something driving, that's all. We have to leave tomorrow at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m.
Chris: I've seen the bar on the street!
Pogopop: You're used to play with beautiful dresses, why?
John: I think when we started to our suites it was.... we were playing in the punk circle, you know the punks, and so at that time no one wear suites, nobody, but all our favourite bands The Beatles and Kinks that who was a part of rock 'n' roll history they wear suites, and nobody did it at the time.
Places that we played they looked at our suites us saying "Oh you're in suit... What the hell...." . So it was kinda nice, it looked more punk actually at the time but now the grass scene is... you know, we like it! We're playing in band, y' know.... it's silly!
Pogopop: Which are your next gigs in Italy?
John: Palermo, Catania, Salerno, Genova and Milano.
Pogopop: Oh, in Sicily too! They will be very happy to meet you, as they have not many concerts there! OK the interview is over, would you like to say hello to Pogopop?
The Hi Fives: Meet Chris! Hello! Meet John! Hi! We're the Hi Fives and you're listening to... Pogopop! Grazie!

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