Hebdo’s “Go Back Home” somehow both cynical and fun

Writer: Breanna Mona.

Hebdo’s “Go Back Home” is a bossy new track that frontman Joey Hebdo himself insists is about nothing in particular.

Photo: Kris Misevski.

Photo: Kris Misevski.

Or is it?

Artists are usually eager to explain their process and intentions when they present their work to the world, but Joey prefers to keep tight-lipped on what his songs are about. “Why does it matter?” he asks curiously.

Well, it matters to a writer who needs to put it in words, but in terms of art, it is easy to see where he’s coming from. He very much prefers that you decide for yourself.

What he will say of the track is that it is cynical, and when he says, “Go back home,” he means it as a command. That’s where the bossy comes in.

“It’s really just me bossing this person or people around,” Joey said. “I’m really just like, ‘Go back home. Leave me alone. I don’t have time for that and this or whatever.’ That’s kind of where it’s coming from.”

Maybe it is about family, maybe it is a breakup song, maybe it is all about a cute little blackbird singing in the streets to his fellow bird pals. The music video impressively remains anonymous as well. It is also impossible to ignore how fun and beachy it is, which seems to match the vibe of the track.

Both kind of feel like summer, although it has been suggested this track has intentions of being ready to go back home after all the holiday family activities this time of year.

Kerry Henderson, a friend of the band's, made the amusing video. His company, Stage Left Creative, is based in L.A., and although Henderson is from Cleveland, he has lived in Columbus as well. When Henderson makes a video for Hebdo, it is a collaboration of images and ideas that results in something cool and funky.

Joey is seen performing the song in a couple quick shots in the video, and he tells me it is actual footage of him and his band performing that song live.

Speaking of the band, Hebdo is known as both a one-man band and a band member. But he usually plays solo.

“I play drums with my feet—kick and snare, and a guitar and singing and playing harmonica, you know, sitting down,” Hebdo said. “It’s very earthy, very intimate.”

But he has a five-piece band that he says he has a blast playing with.

“I have the full band and we play pretty often. The new recording is a live recording of the full band,” Joey said. “A lot of times in the past, because I’ve always been sort of a loner in the creative process, I kind of would start these ideas in the studio and then have guys lace up on top of them afterwards.

“This recording is the first single of quite a few that are coming out after this and the majority of the ones that are coming out are all gonna be live takes from the studio with the full band which is pretty different.”

What is next? Hebdo will be releasing three more tracks over the next few months, also performing live in Columbus. His favorite spot to perform at?

“Natalie’s. [It’s like a] quiet listening room,” Joey said. “It feels like community. Feels like home.”

You can catch the full Hebdo band live on Dec. 30 at Rumba Cafe. Tickets are $8 before charges for the 18-and-up show.