Updated: May 31
By: Craig Claro
HOAX released "goldeneyes" this past Friday, and we had it on repeat all weekend.
Michael P. Raj and Frantz N. Cesar are the creators behind the pop rock band HOAX. The two bonded and began creating music together in Raj's basement apartment in Long Island, New York.
HOAX released their debut single "Beach House" in July 2016. Their second single "Indian Summer" was released in September 2016 and peaked at #41 on Spotify UK Viral Top 50 Chart. In June of 2017 HOAX released their first EP, "The Truth and Other Lies". And shortly following they released the band released their second EP "Words That End with Wh(y)" in September 2017.
We got to talk to them about their music and how they started, and what the future holds.
Hi Michael and Frantz,
We are fans of HOAX, and we would love to get to know you better and to learn about what led you to a music career.
Let’s talk about your journey. I know you met in college, but what pulled you together to create?
Making art is something that is so personal it's really hard to share the act of creating with someone else, especially if you are really stubborn like I am. I think Frantz and I were drawn together because we have very similar upbringings, strong personal identities, and outlooks on life. We started the same way any band that forms on Long Island would with immature jam sessions, and bad cover songs, but I think we stayed together cause Music was the one thing that we felt like could exist outside of us and still represent us that makes sense.
Your musical style is different than most today. Where does the influence come from, and what led you to creating music that focuses on humanity?
I think one of the coolest aspects of our creative inspiration and our band itself is that we don’t really care to stick to a certain sound or style. We probably lose brownie points for that in the eyes of the algorithm and gatekeepers, but music has always been an outlet first medium for us. We don’t feel pressure to make music or release it, and we try our best to not release half baked ideas. Part of staying inspired is being present and keeping a close ear to new sounds and the pulse and direction of modern music, while also looking back and seeing how great musicians before us also did it. I think right now one of our favorite things to do is just filter all of our influence into our music even if it is a minute detail. As with lyrics and songwriting I’ve always only been able to write about things that are interesting to me - never been good with the relatable stuff more so the abstract concepts and the reasons people continually find to create their versions of life. I guess the fun part is packing those concepts in a way that isn’t esoteric or pretentious, and more so digestible in many forms.
When I listen to your music it takes me to a place I can’t necessarily find on my own. It gives me a sense of a retro chill night, fluid dancing and that overall sense of calmness. Your latest release, “goldeneyes”, surpasses that and I actually feel like I am in a dream state. Can you describe the method of your creative process to achieve this? And, what experiences have you had in your lives to pen this song?
I wrote both parts of goldeneyes separately, but I knew they were supposed to be put together somehow. If I could summarize the first part of the song, the persona is in a questioning phase where she feels like she has all these clues as to why she feels empty and unhappy, and the second half of the song is more so her awakening where everything is kind of clicking and making sense. The hardest part of the process was making sure that everything fit and didn’t sound like two completely half assed ideas but rather one complete thought.
And I have to ask this question because of my love for them. How does it feel to be compared to the Bee Gees?
Haha I don’t think we get compared to the Bee Gees that Much But I will say that they were a huge inspiration for a lot of the songs we’ve created recently.
We all learn things through the different stages of our lives, and a music career can be challenging at times. Is there anything either of you would have done differently through this musical journey?
I think that question is kind of hard to answer because everything that happens is obviously for a reason, and you are just a culmination of 1000 different versions of who you were. So I wouldn’t say I would do anything differently, but maybe just be more conscientious of time, that's one thing I always feel like I’m wasting.
Now for a super important question. What’s next for HOAX? (hint...tour)
We are just mostly looking to finish the album off strong, which comes with so much other content attached to it so it's a lot of planning. But other than that yes tour…eventually.
We really appreciate you taking the time to give us insight into your lives as music creators. We look forward to following your journey.