We got in touch with London lot Heavy Heart to talk about last year’s release ‘Keepsake’, their faith in love and music and the icon they’d travel back to 1975 to hang with.
You released your debut record last year, the excellent ‘Keepsake’, what sonic message did you want to put across and how do you now reflect on that?
“‘Keepsake’ was written as twelve individual singles, so the sonic message definitely shifted over the course of the creation of that record. We spent 2016 writing, recording and releasing a new song each month, so it reflects the sound of a band developing and experimenting in real time. But we really see ‘Keepsake’ as more of a compilation of the songs from that project, and not an album as such.
I’m quite excited to be working on a new body of music which is designed to fit together and tell a story. Our music has been very much based around the standard guitar band formation, and although we’re still in love with that sound, we don’t want to dwell in nostalgia. We’re trying different production approaches and instrumentation to make something which sounds new and not like another revival. But the song is always at the core of what we do, and I don’t think that will change.”
What has excited you in terms of new music released this year?
“There’s a whole bunch of bands in London right now who are making pretty exciting and unique music. Some of the people who spring to mind don’t necessarily even have records out yet, but seeing them live, I’m quite excited by what’s to come.”
What restores your faith in love and music in the turbulent times we live in?
“Not a lot! I spend most of my time feeling pretty gloomy about the state of things. But seeing interesting new bands makes me hopeful and proves that there’s still more to be said in music, even if it is an uphill struggle for everyone. I feel like there are a lot of great bands whose music should be being heard more widely, but then again, I also feel proud that this stuff continues in spite of everything. In a way, it purifies the whole thing; people start making the music they love, rather than the music they think they should make for commercial success. Maybe that’s why there’s so much great stuff coming out again.”
Given the ability to turn back time for one day, what would you do and why?
“If science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that altering the past has catastrophic consequences for the present, so although it’d be tempting to go back and edit one or two transgressions from my timeline, I figure you’ve got to own your mistakes and move on. However, if Patti Smith was up for hanging out with me in New York in about 1975 then that would be good. I recently read her book ‘M Train’ and it made me even more in awe of her than I was before.”
How is 2018 shaping up for Heavy Heart as a band? What’s in store?
“We’ve spent most of this year working on some new songs which are nearly ready to see the light of day, but nothing we can announce just yet. On the live front, we’re really looking forward to playing this special stripped-down set for Hard of Hearing on 10th August at Hackney Coffee Co., and we’re also bringing the full band out for a free-entry headline show at the Old Blue Last on 21st August.”
By Karl Johnson