New Year, New Ep Release For The Hydrolites

The Hydrolites (from left): Ryan Trujillo, Bryce Lau, Ronson Shiigi and Chris Llarenas THE HYDROLITES PHOTO

The Hydrolites (from left): Ryan Trujillo, Bryce Lau, Ronson Shiigi and Chris Llarenas THE HYDROLITES PHOTO

The new year is here, and what better way for a band to celebrate than with a release party for their debut EP? Local roots rock reggae band The Hydrolites are kicking off 2016 — and the first First Friday of the year — with a celebration at Downbeat Lounge starting at 9 p.m.

The Hydrolites formed in 2013 as the brainchild of musicians Bryce Lau and Ryan Trujillo. Both were born on Oahu and started playing music at a young age, exploring a diverse set of genres including Hawaiian, jazz, punk, hip hop and rock. It wasn’t until attending college on the Mainland that they finally met, performing together as the band Truflo — which opened for big-name acts like The Green and Ooklah the Moc — from 2009 to 2013.

After Truflo disbanded, Lau and Trujillo continued performing as an acoustic duo, which quickly evolved to include two other core members, Chris Llarenas and Ronson Shiigi. Together, their musical style is influenced by the element of water — how it can be flexible and flowing, but also powerful and unexpected.

As 2015 wrapped up, I had a chance to ask guitarist and vocalist Lau a few questions about their self-titled EP and the release party. Here’s what he had to say:

What’s your favorite song off the new EP and why?

My favorite song on the EP is Warrior Style. It was created organically during practice one day. Because the song came so naturally, it captured the band’s style and essence so fluidly.

What do you hope fans will find in your new EP?

I hope that our fans will see the growth that we have made with this EP. We wrote some of these songs years ago when we were still teenagers. We’ve been messing with them and tightening them up since then, and we hope that they will like it.

How do local bands like The Green and Ooklah The Moc inspire you?

These bands have laid the foundation of our musical background. The message and musicality of their songs have sculpted how we view and write our songs. They are also very humble, laid-back people who treat their fans and other bands with respect and love.

How are you guys prepping for the release party, and what can fans expect from the show?

We are gonna rage on Jan. 1! We are so excited to finally have original music to give to our friends, family and fans. We also have some merchandise to buy along with our EP. We want everyone to have fun and celebrate the new year with some good people and good music!

What’s next for The Hydrolites in 2016?

We’re gonna keep the ball rolling with new music and new merchandise for our fans. We are planning to take our music to the Mainland, hopefully touring the West Coast. Just constantly getting our music out to the world. You’re going to be sick of us by the time were done.

Check out The Hydrolites’ EP release party at 9 p.m. Jan. 1 at Downbeat Lounge. No cover, ages 21-plus. Listen and download their new EP at