Gentlemen Hall, formerly known by their peers at Berklee as “those gentlemen down the hall”, jolt us awake with their catchy new single, “Every Morning” and its bizarre, yet beautiful claymation music video.  The self-proclaimed indie-pop band gained popularity after having won the VMA’s in 2009 for “Best Breakout Boston Artist”,  and have been on the rise ever since. They recently released their single “Every Morning”, and their latest track “In the Rearview (Lowlight)” on Soundcloud as a part of a weekly series of singles, which will form their first official studio album under Island Records. Below, you’ll find an exclusive interview with guitarist and vocalist Jacob (aka Cobi Mike) about the video, the new singles, and the Boston music scene.

Nitesh: Tell me about yourself and your band, and your latest video, “Every Morning,” which I love by the way.

Jacob from Gentlemen Hall: Thanks. Well, the band’s been together for about five years. We have been just kind of grinding it out, man. Touring a lot, the last couple years. All over the mid-west, sort of the whole west coast, down South.

For this video, we were in the studio all year last year, working on our next release, and one of the songs that we were doing was totally conceptual, it was “Every Morning.” And we knew it needed a really great video. The verses are supposed to be like this dream world. You’re sleeping, you’re dreaming sweet thoughts, you don’t want to get out of bed, and then the chorus comes in, it’s this hard-rock, heavy wake up thing, and that’s reality coming to hit you. The moment your alarm goes off early and you’re just like, oh my god, I don’t want to go to my shitty job I don’t like. Almost everybody has experienced that in their life.

Nitesh: The video follows a strange sequence. A claymation guy wakes up, throws everything at the wall while eating breakfast, feels bad, picks it up, shapes it into a girl, eats the girl, and then I don’t even know what else. Who came up with the idea for it?

Jacob: [laughs] So when we were getting our song done, our producer had a friend named Tom Migalis. And Tom, his art studio was right above the studio we were recording in. And he used to do claymation for MTV way back in the 90s. And the song is so 90s, kind of what we were going for with it. Well anyways, [our producer] connected us with him and [Tom] was like sure, I’d love to do the video. And a few months later, he came back to us with that and it was done. It was perfect. [laughs] Which is so rare! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve asked somebody try to do a video or a treatment, and they come back we are just like “man, this isn’t good” or “this needs work here.” And [Tom] came onto the treatment, and he had the video done and we were like “This is amazing.”

Nitesh: How do you feel about your new track, “In the Rearview (Lowlight)”? Everybody on Soundcloud seems to already love it.

Jacob: Man, I’m actually excited about all the tracks we’re putting out. Every week we’re doing a new song. We’re doing like a sneak-stream thing where we put it up on Soundcloud for a limited amount of time and have people go check it out. So I’m really excited about all the new songs. This is actually the third week we’ve done that. Last week we did, “Every Morning” and then had the video out the next day. The next few weeks, we’re just going to keep doing it.

Nitesh: Any idea when the new album is going to come out?

Jacob: Everybody will be able to see something by the end of the year.

Nitesh: That’s awesome. Switching gears, how do you feel about Boston? 

Jacob: Man, I’ve lived in Boston for like seven years now, and it’s amazing. It’s a great city. It’s been really supportive of everything we’ve been doing. It’s kind of a dream come true. You know, we’ve been on several different radio stations here. First one to pick us up was WFNX. Then 92.9 really helped us out, played one of our songs all summer long. And it’s really special to be in a city that loves your kind.

Nitesh: What are your favorite Boston venues to play at?

Jacob: Recently, I have to say The Sinclair. That’s probably one of my favorite places to play, although I have to say, Paradise is really cool and I mean, I really want to play House of Blues.

Nitesh: Why do you love them so much?

Jacob: Sinclair, it’s like a mini House of Blues. It’s just set up that way. They have an amazing stage, amazing lights, great sound, really great staff. The whole room is just really top-notch. It’s just a top-notch club. So I like that about the Sinclair. The Paradise, I’ve seen so many great shows at the Paradise. And it sounds so good at the Paradise. If you have a great band and their sound guy is really good, being at Paradise and seeing the band is so intimate but it’s also kind of, you see a lot of national acts in there. And I just have so many memories of seeing great bands at Paradise so playing there is just like kind of like one of those dreams, like I want to be on stage and sound like all those bands I remember.

But it’s hard to pick the greatest Boston venue because there are so many good ones. Brighton Music Hall is great, Great Scott’s a cool club. Middlesex is a cool club to go play at. There are so many good spots.

Nitesh: What are some of your favorite artists?

Jacob: It’s always kind of a revolving door with that. Lately, the band’s really been digging on Kendrick Lamar lately. We’ve been listening to his new record since January and it’s just been growing on us, it’s so good. As far as other people go, I really love Kanye, Young the Giant. They have a new record coming out, which I’m really stoked to hear. Sufjan Stevens, he put a record out a few years ago that I really love. My Morning Jacket, or Jim James. He just put out a solo record this year and it’s one of my favorite records of all time. Been listening to Caveman, Elbow, Crystal Fires, Portugal. The Man. We’re actually playing with them [Crystal Fires and Portugal. The Man] in Albany this Saturday at Pearl Palooza. I could just keep going, there are so many great artists now.

Nitesh: Last question: What are three things most people don’t know about you right now?

Jacob: Some people don’t know that the four of us lived together in the band. For me, people probably don’t know that I love to play drums. Um, we’re all kind of into astrology. And, once in a blue moon, I like to go talk to psychics and see what they have to say about the happenings in my life. I’m interested in psychics.

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