The Wannabe Wannabes are a local East Texas band consisting of four members, including Miles Hill, the group’s bassist. Hill is currently a freshman majoring in radio, TV and broadcast at TJC.
Hill has always been into music, something he got from his grandfather.
“I guess I’ve been listening to music pretty much my whole life. I feel like everybody kind of has in some way or another. But, my grandpa is really into like rock music and he’s definitely big into music,” Hill said.
Hill added once he got a bit older, he learned some of that music from his grandpa. However, he didn’t get everything from his grandpa. Through many years, Hill developed his own taste and lists Kanye West, The Beatles and 100 gecs as some of his favorite artists with the latter two being his two biggest influences. His enjoyment of 100 gecs is rooted in Hill saying he likes loud synthesized music the most.
Hill, of course enjoys music, but he also spends a great deal of time with his friends, which according to him are also a big source for motivation.
“Every time that I’m not locked down in my room or like at my house, I’m pretty much hanging out with friends,” Hill said. “That’s what I try and do. But I’m definitely like, kind of ‘Go, go, go.’ If I stop for too long, I’m just, I don’t really know what to do.”
Hill’s first instrument was not the bass, Hill said.
“I tried to learn how to play guitar, maybe like seventh grade. Tried that for a while. I realized, there’s too many strings and I’m not very good at forming chords,” Hill said. “I kind of just struggled with that for a while. And I’ve realized I like finger picking stuff, so then I switched to ukulele. And I was like, ‘OK, the chords are a lot easier. There’s less strings.’ So I learned quite a few ukulele chords.”
Eventually though, he felt like he was playing the same song, saying a lot of ukulele songs are similar in chord structure so the room for variety was limited. He grew tired of the ukulele and decided to try his luck and pick up the bass instead. He started playing covers of some easier songs, slowly getting the rhythm and basics down. Once he had all the basics down, he began to delve into more complicated material and expand his ability. While his work is years in the making, Hill remains grounded.
“There’s probably better bass players than me in my town. I’m not great by any means. But I can play what’s put in front of me,” Hill said.
He also disregards the notion that bass players are not real guitar players saying the dialogue surrounding it is a “bit silly,” because he sees the guitar and the bass as complementary instruments, one sounds just fine without the other, but they both sound great when combined with each other’s different sound.
The Wannabe Wannabes had its beginning in the walls of Lindale High School where Hill met his bandmates.
Hill said, “so my bandmates originally, it was me, Isaac May, Jeffrey Batac, and John Park and Sam Lee. And we were all in high school band together. I met Jeffrey Batac, who’s our lead singer and guitarist my freshman year.”
He credits their shared interest in both audio-video production and music for bringing them together. Since everyone else was a year ahead of him in grade level, he never quite felt as if he and his bandmates were anything more than acquaintances before they started the band. They had however discussed forming a band at multiple points in time.
“COVID kind of had gone big. I think some people may have been back in school, but I think some of us were online. And we all just met up in my garage. We had been talking about doing a band or something for a while. Eventually, we just kind of pushed for it and came together,” Hill said.
Hill fondly remembers the practice sessions before a show. To him, they felt like the two important things in his life happening at the same time, music and friendship.
According to Hill, “rehearsal is definitely just a lot more hanging out. I mean, it’s nice to just get together. We get together like Friday mornings. And it’s pretty much the only time we talk all week. I mean, it’s just kind of jamming.”
Nothing compares to the real experience for Hill though as he loves seeing the crowd reacting to the band’s music.
“You definitely feel the energy in the room,” Hill said. “When you’re on stage, the lights are shining at your face. So you can kind of barely see, but you see just a bunch of people out in the crowd smiling. And it’s just, it’s cool. It’s definitely cool.”
Hill and his bandmates have one big goal for the band: getting their first album out.
“Yeah, like I said, we don’t really hang out much outside of band practice. And we’ve all been friends since before band practice, so it just kind of works. It’s just a little self-isolated, like, jam session, I guess. Yeah. I don’t really want to lose that. You know, it’d be cool to be able to listen to that in 20 years.”
To keep up with Miles Hill and The Wannabe Wannabes, follow “thewannabewannabes” on Instagram for information on future and past performances.