Half Past Two is back with a new album and a massive party to celebrate!
They just shared the first single with us, “Scratched CD,” and the video directed by Chris Graue (so you know it’s good!). The full self-titled album will be available on October 29th, and the record release party is November 5th at House of Blues Anaheim.
The party is going to be so epic that they decided to bring some friends along: OC favorites The Goodwin Club, Hooray for Our Side, Trash Monsters, and from Minneapolis, The Von Tramps.
We spoke with Tara Hahn, Half Past Two front-woman, about the new album, returning to live shows, and the release party.
While many bands used 2020 to write and record new material, this album was actually in progress before the world shut down. “The new record, ‘Half Past Two,’ has been a long time coming,” Hahn explained. “We haven’t released a full length since ‘It’s About Time’ in 2009; full length albums didn’t seem like something that people cared about. Then just before COVID and live music stopped, we had talked about making a full length because we were really proud of how the band sounded. Like, REALLY PROUD. We wanted to preserve that, we wanted to show that off! “
Hahn continued, “When Pay Attention Records approached us about making a record, it really seemed like everything was lining up for us; someone else wanted to hear new music from us. Doing most things remotely and piecemeal was so different and slow, but we had time and the drive, literally nothing was going on otherwise,” she laughed, then continued, “This is the best stuff we’ve ever written and performed together, and we are getting better all of the time, it’s crazy. This is a really happy time for us.”
Half Past Two has already been performing live this year, so we were curious of Hahn’s thoughts on the return of shows.
“We’ve played three shows recently. One was a very small acoustic show for the author of ‘In Defense of Ska,’ then we were honored to play at OC Brew Ska Ska for the second time, and just had our very first East Coast set at Supernova International Ska Festival in Hampton, VA.”
TARA HAHN | HALF PAST TWO
Hahn continued, “It’s obvious that people are ready to listen to live music again, and it was so amazing to get out there and see friends and family we haven’t seen in sometimes two years or more, and then there are the new fans, too. Our band is big advocates of safety precautions and doing things as safely as possible, and from what we’ve seen; fans of live music are on the same page. I like seeing the vaccination only shows and masks.” (OC Music News concurs!)
In keeping with those safety protocols, the record release party will require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test (which is becoming standard, so get that shot peeps!).Like most of us, the members of Half Past Two spent a lot of time at home last year, and gearing up a full band to hit the road again can be challenging. “We’ve been home bodies!” Hahn laughed (Same, girl.). “There are nine of us, so touring seems so monumental, but I think we’ve got the itch. And for the first time, people are asking us to come to them. Bands from other places are reaching out asking how they can help. I think that if the right opportunity came up, we’d make it work. Touring sounds fun, doesn’t it?” YES, IT DOES!
While touring gets worked out, we are lucky in that we get to see Half Past Two live on November 5th. We asked Hahn what prompted the shindig and she told us, “You can’t release your first album in 12 years and not celebrate!” Once again, we agree! “Half Past Two is all about the fun, that’s our style, she explained. “I think most people around here know to expect surprises at our shows. We never miss the chance to find crazy things to throw out into the crowd, or a good costume change, or a special appearance. It’s been a couple of years now since we got to throw a show; we’re going to have a blast.”
Now, Half Past Two alone would be a great party, but as we mentioned, they are bringing friends. We reached out to a band coming to the OC from the Midwest. From Minneapolis to be exact, the band is ska-punk favorites The Von Tramps.
We were able to catch The Von Tramps front-woman Jenna Enemy for an update. First and foremost, how incredible it is to prep for this gig! “We have been wanting to play a show with our friends in Half Past Two for such a long time!” she exclaimed. “It finally came together because we will be working on something in Southern California during the same time as their album release. We are just beyond stoked to play House of Blues Anaheim with them and make some new friends in the other bands on the bill as well.”
Working on something, huh? What’s that ma’am?! “The Von Tramps are always up to something. We are one of those bands that never takes any time off and I see my bandmates at least once a week every week,” she explained slyly. “We are rounding the year out with a couple of bigger shows; our hometown Halloween show at The Turf Club in Saint Paul, MN. This show is called ‘Skalloween’ and we will be playing with our friends in Space Monkey Mafia and Runaway Ricochet. And our show in Anaheim with Half Past Two will probably be our last show of this year.”
What do you mean last show of the year? You can’t tease us like that! “What I can tell you is we are in production for another video that will be released shortly; but there’s quite a bit that I can’t tell you just yet,” Enemy said. “There are big announcements coming this winter so stay tuned to our band pages! I’m really not good at keeping secrets and can’t tell a lie to save my life; so I’m just going to turn around and walk away from this question for a minute. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic: Dr. Pepper was neither a doctor, nor a pepper. Discuss.” (I honestly thought I could nudge it out of her, but then didn’t want to get her in trouble with her bandmates.)
Sticking with this show, The Von Tramps are looking forward to playing with the other bands that night. Enemy told us, “Although we play in California quite a bit, we haven’t shared the bill with these bands yet! I’m familiar with their music and we have met through the screens, but we are so excited to meet everyone in person and share the stage with them!”
The Von Tramps are a core of “three people who care way too much and an umbrella of family that hops in and helps us out” Enemy says. The band includes Jenna Enemy on vocals and guitar, Chelsea Oxborough also guitar, and Krissandra Anfinson on bass. (Side note: Enemy and Anfinson will be celebrating birthdays the week of the show. *nudge nudge*)
Now getting back to the party reason, Half Past Two has released SEVEN new music videos for the album on their YouTube channel along with live performances, acoustic covers, and more. Get yourself up to speed on all things Half Past Two on the usual social media platforms. Don’t forget to check in on The Goodwin Club, Hooray For Our Side and Trash Monsters.
Get your tickets ASAP for the show. It is all-ages, a collection of awesome bands, and tickets are only $12!