I saw the video for “Nothing New” and actually loved the music and the broadside it gave to certain elements of the music business that perhaps we should really have ditched by now. For one reason or another though, those elements still exist. So loving their music and attitude, naturally, when the opportunity came up to do an interview, how could we resist!
Many thanks for agreeing to do the interview!
No worries at all, we love the site J
Enjoyed listening and watching “Nothing New” tremendously. Do you think management takes over far too much when it comes to not only the image but the music too?
I do, but I think the bands have to hold themselves accountable for what they do. Managers and labels know the best way to make money in the industry is not to take too many risks. To attach yourself to a scene and make music that will easily get magazine, radio and TV coverage. If we went to a label or manager and asked them to pay for us to make music, I don’t think it’s unfair for them to want to steer it in whatever direction makes the most financial sense. As artists we have to have the balls to prioritise our artistic goals over whatever measure of success is being dangled in front of us.
Do you think it’s down to over-zealous marketing, a band who perhaps just see the money, or does naivety play a part?
There’s definitely a bit of both in there. The truth is that the only way to do something really different is to do it yourself, work your arse off, make it amazing and let the industry come to you. Maybe they never will. Maybe nobody will like it and nobody will even care enough to hate it, but you at least have to be willing to take that risk.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been given when it comes to the business side of music and did you follow it?
When we did our first EP everyone told us to find UK bands with a girl singer and get on their tours. Court their managers and try to get signed to an indie label. Then see if we can get some traction and find a major to advance us a bunch of money to make an album. We didn’t do any of that, but it’s probably the smart way to make money playing music 😉
You’re playing Camden Rocks on the 4th of June, how’s preparation going for that, and are there songs that are first choice when it comes to sorting out the setlist?
Yeah it’s going great. We practice all the time just cos we love playing music so we never really think of it as preparation. We generally play all the singles but we’re focussing primarily on the new album. We’re really happy with how our song writing and sound has developed so we’re enjoying living with the music we make right now.
Are there any particular songs that are personal favourites when it comes to playing them live?
I’m sure it’s different for all of us, but we definitely all love playing Keep Running Back To Me. People go mental for that one 😉
What drives you to write the perfect song, is it potentially the audience reaction, is to air your views, or perhaps something else or combination of all of those?
For us it’s definitely about being understood. Our songs are very personal and we write each one in one sitting and with one very definite idea or emotion in mind. The best feeling is when someone listens to that song and feels exactly what we felt when we wrote it.
Are there songs that you’ve heard where it’s just struck such a personal chord that you’d almost wished you had written it?
All the time! I think that’s the beauty of music; that you can hear something somebody else has created and have such complete empathy with it. I think I have that with every song I truly love.
You’ve been influenced by singers like Steven Tyler, Avril Lavigne, Bon Jovi and Nirvana etc, but how do you see bands filling the potential void left by those bands as they withdraw / retire from the music scene?
The artists have always and will always be there. I think that eventually the rock and metal industry will figure out how to make money without record sales or big headline acts that have past record sales. All we care about is making music we love that’s true to who we are at that time. All the business stuff comes after that.
After Camden Rocks, what have you got planned for Heel?
We have another video and single in the works. Then it’ll be loads more gigs, a few festivals and plenty of writing. Check out our Website/Facebook/Twitter as we’re announcing new stuff all the time.