Local three-piece Generation Hopeless may look and sound like a normal punk band—fast, energetic tunes, depressing lyrics, catchy hooks—but they have a magic trick up their sleeves.
A few songs in, guitarist and lead singer Jesse Lopez will switch with drummer Anthony Campbell—who suddenly becomes, without warning, guitarist and lead singer, with Lopez taking over the drums. This switch happens at least a couple times during their set, and it’s a smooth, seamless transition.
“We’re both good enough at both instruments. It’s also a way to keep the crowd entertained,” says Campbell. “I’ll get up from the drums and I’ll pick up my guitar. We’ll start the next song. I’ve seen people with their jaws open, like, ‘Whoa.’”
It also adds to the variety of the band’s sound; though Lopez and Anthony Campbell have similar pop-punk influences, you can still hear the differences in how they write, sing and play drums.
When Campbell and Lopez started jamming together, both had left broken up bands. Campbell, normally a drummer, had written a few songs on guitar and asked Lopez, normally a guitarist, to back him up on the drums. Pretty soon they were switching off so much that they forgot who played what the best.
The name Generation Hopeless fits the group’s music, which has an upbeat sound with downer words.
“We write about a lot of sad things,” says Campbell. “It’s a way of processing our feelings. The music is upbeat, but it’s still aggressive. Trying to face that hopelessness I guess.”