The Hideouts blend punk idealism with country, classic rock

Huddled around a wooden table on the first floor of Wormy Dog Saloon, Garrett Haines describe the sound of his band, The Hideouts.

“It’s kind of Southern rock with a little country flair in there,” he said with uncertainty in his voice.

“And a splash of pop,” said Mikey Hevr, 22, lead guitarist and backing vocalist.

Approving head nods were shared by Haines, 23, rhythm guitarist and vocalist, and bass player Shane McKinzie, 22. “I think what’s really cool is that we all listen to different artists and we come together and create this,” Hevr said.

Haines’ style, rooted in classic rock, McKinzie’s country rhythm and Hevr’s pop punk idealism, create a sound best described as pop-sensible rock with a twist of country or, as Haines characterized it, “a love child of Keith Urban and some classic rock band.”

The group released the five-song EP Home last year. The band, then a quartet, wrote guitar riff-driven songs flanked with a stronger percussive presence. The smaller lineup creates a more open sound, allowing each instrument to better compliment the others.

“It’s definitely a more raw sound,” Haines said. “Our melodies come from country and pop, and our guitarlines are rock-oriented. The drums aren’t quite as loud. They are more controlled. Everything is more controlled.”

The band’s latest single, “Here to Stay,” is a prime example of this evolution. The bass and drums keep a moderately paced beat while a lightly overdriven guitar lead blends with the five chords of a similarly toned rhythm guitar. Haines’ vocals flow along with the music, creating a balanced sound.

It’s clear that songwriting is a shared exercise between the three.

The importance of working together is amplified because members are separated by distance. Haines and Hevr reside in Oklahoma City and McKinzie lives in Stillwater. The resulting ideas allow them to make the most of their limited practice time.

The band’s beginnings stretch back to 2012. McKinzie, an applied sociology senior at Oklahoma State University, formed the core of The Hideouts with two friends. One bandmate was a student at Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

While visiting the ACM@UCO campus in downtown OKC, McKinzie befriended fellow student Hevr. Though her roots are in pop punk acts like The Starting Line and All Time Low, McKinzie convinced Hevr to try her hand at a country rock sound.

“She started out just filling in at practice. She wasn’t looking to be in a band at the time, but she liked doing it,” McKinzie said.

But Hevr eventually joined.

Searching for the final piece, the singer, was more of a struggle.

“Mikey walks up to us and has this flyer about looking for a lead singer and asks, ‘Hey do you know anyone?’ And I just chimed in and said, ‘No, I don’t know anybody,’” Haines said.

“He said he would tweet about it, and he never did,” Hevr said. “We were like, ‘That bastard!’”

“In the meantime, a mutual friend told them I could sing,” said Haines.

“We were like, ‘Why didn’t you say anything?’” Hevr said. The band spent 2013 writing and recording Home. And they made their live debut at a Baron’s game at the Cox Convention Center, said Haines.

There is a lot coming up for The Hideouts. They hope to return to the studio around March to begin work on a new EP or album.

The Hideouts will play the 23rd Annual Tumbleweed Calf Fry music festival in Stillwater in May and are planning more local shows.

Print headline: Traveling tunes,The Hideouts blend punk idealism with country rhythm and classic rock sensibilities.

  • or