Only Love or Hate, But Mostly Love: An Interview with Hannah Hines

Since I started writing for idobi radio, I've had the chance to meet (online) a bunch of music-y people whose words I admire. Hannah Hines is one such writer and she was sweet enough to answer a few questions about her music industry dreams and the websites she's founded. 

Welcome to Mind the Gap, Hannah! Thanks so much for doing this interview!

Let’s start off with a mini introduction: if you had to tweet a description of yourself in 140 characters or less, what would you say?

Just a nerdy music lover trying to pet dogs, travel, and create. I don’t like, only love or hate but mostly love. French fry fanatic.

Tell us about Brighter Beats! What is it/where did the idea come from?

In 2014 I switched majors despite some disapproval and added time to my college career. One of the first classes I took in Mass Comm. was Writing For The Media which I had a brutal professor for but quickly fell in love with the idea of telling stories, not just reading them. No writing opportunities were opening for me so I created my own and bought the domain with borrowed money. I’m proud to say we (mainly me) have covered everything from sexism to mental illness, The 1975 to Warped Tour. I went with Brighter Beats as a name because I didn’t want to ever give anyone or anything negative press unless it was a constructive call for change, also I love alliteration. I am always open to new writers and contributors, I want to give aspiring writers an easy way to get started if they’re willing. 

What about The Punk Pit Stop? How successful has that been so far? What has the reception been like?

TPPS has been incredible! We have only really worked with one band, but several supporters provided over $110 to help a touring band have some basic needs met and that’s all we can ask for. We already have bands locked in for the fall tour season; we mostly took the summer off to focus on website upkeep and trying to get registered as a non-profit.

Have you always wanted to be involved in the music industry? What is your dream job/what do you hope to accomplish in the industry?

Not necessarily, but I have always loved music whether it was performing to the Cats soundtrack or saving up chore money to buy a copy of a Green Day CD in 2nd grade (sorry mom). I’m not really good at being a one trick pony, I want to play around with so many areas of music. Right now I’m doing writing and public relations, but my goal is to do marketing/creative strategy and touring. My dream is to make a deserving artists successful simply by having them be heard and experienced by the right people. I really admire the team that The Maine (8123) and The 1975 have because it’s so authentic and close-knit without any major outsourcing, a music family. 

Get rid of all the shame and blame so that there is only room for love and acceptance of yourself.

You’re a very busy person, running two websites, not to mention writing for idobi and holding a job. How do you keep yourself organized?

Lists. Lists. Lists. I get such a high from crossing something off a to-do list so it’s a very simple way to stay organized. My biggest advice is not to be afraid to say “no” to an opportunity. I recently stopped writing for The Odyssey so I could focus my time on other sources and as hard as that was, quantity is more important than quality. I also surround myself with incredibly motivated people that I have a healthy competition with and we always push each other to not get discouraged even when it gets hectic. At the end of the day I know taking an exam or doing mundane website updates are always small steps towards my future goals. 

You’re quite open on twitter when it comes to talking about mental health, which is fantastic! What made you decide to do that? What advice would you give someone struggling with mental health issues? What was the best advice you’ve received?

Thank you, it was a hard place to get to. So much of what I learned was unfortunately not taught in the classroom but from musicians or people I looked up to and I can only hope I can do the same for others. Anyone with a mental illness deserves to talk about it like any other health issue because it is something that often needs to be accommodated and understood in order to handle properly. My biggest advice is to seek help if you want it, don’t wait for an excuse or the right timing just go! Even just having a diagnosis will help you better understand what’s going on with you mentally AND physically so you can properly treat it. Therapy has helped me personally cope and progress so that I can better manage my anxiety/depression. Get rid of all the shame and blame so that there is only room for love and acceptance of yourself. The best advice I ever got was that sometime my reality isn’t reality and that’s okay but I have to learn the difference so I can take care of myself. 

I also know you’re a big reader...What are some of your favourite books/favourite authors?

YES! Everything by Sara Dessen and John Green for YA; for classics I adore Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, and Sylvia Plath. Some great mental health related books are If You Feel Too Much by Jamie (TWLOHA founder), All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and of course The Perks of Being A Wallflower. My favorite trilogy (not yet a movie) is the Delirium series. Just going to throw in some poetry / prose: Dirty Pretty Things, Milk and Honey, Eighteen Years, and I Don’t Want To Be Crazy

And, of course, I have to ask: what are some of your favorite bands/musicians/artists? Who (or what) else inspires you?

I have a broad spectrum of music loves. Genesis/Phil Colins, Underoath, The Wonder Years, Twenty One Pilots, Brand New, Microwave, Pierce The Veil, Sum 41, Pinegrove, LANY. I love dedicated artists who you can tell care about their music as an art form. I draw a lot of inspiration from art museums and well done cinematography, anything visual and up for interpretation. 

Now here are the fun ones! If you could live in any fictional/fandom world, which would it be?

HOGWARTS!!! Wait that’s real though? Moving on. 

QUICK TAKES: No need for long answers here, just hit us with the first thing that pops into your head.

Current obsession?

Stranger Things

Current thing that makes you RAGE?

Politics

Pop culture-y item that’s coming out soon that you’re too excited about?

Anything Drake does 

Girl crush of the moment?

Hailee Steinfeld

What’s one thing that you love that you wish got more attention?

My dog and the band Microwave

Guilty pleasure (though we believe no geeky love should ever cause you shame):

NASA’s social media, honestly I stalk them 

One recommendation that a fangirl just HAS to read/watch/play/ingest:

The movie Empire Records!! Classic 90's film with angst 

Time for plugs! Where can people find/chat with you?

Hannah70x7 basically anywhere! I love love to talk...if you can’t tell. 

Thanks so much for the interview, Hannah!

Thank you! Love what your site does/is doing. #GirlBoss