“This album covers a lot of emotionally heavy stuff like mental health, addiction, existence, and relationships”
Jay Allen Sanford 2 p.m., Nov. 21
RIYL: Crash Encore, Hello Sunshine
Influences: Crash Encore, Transfer
Formed in 2009, indie-electro band Hyena features former Crash Encore members Bryan Stratman (keyboards) and drummer Mike Cooper (Transfer).
In 2010, the band wrote, recorded (at Stratman’s Capricorn Studios on Tenth and E Street in East Village) their debut album, We See You, with a soft-release party at El Dorado in April. Later in the year came an iTunes release, a tour of England, and a string of L.A. summer shows. Cooper left the band Transfer, with whom he drummed five years, in order to focus on Hyena.
Having cut their teeth on indie rock, the pair is approaching electro as traditional songwriters emulating the DJ experience. “We were never too into the electro world before,” says Cooper. “We kinda just went for it in our own way and then got introduced to the whole indie-electro world and all the DJs.”
They’ve distributed their tracks to remixers and DJs worldwide, which they spin at their “DJ sets.” Hyena even plays the occasional acoustic show, which Cooper says demonstrates their roots as weathered musicians who transcend the laptop.
“Underneath all that dance music, there’s still two songwriters.”
We See You finally saw an official release in October 2010, with a 500-copy pink vinyl edition put out by the local Hi-Speed Soul label (operated by Eric Howarth at the M-Theory Records retail store), along with two bonus remixes on the free MP3 digital download card.
In August 2012, the band won Best Electronic at the San Diego Music Awards.