Interview with The Heavy Heavy Hearts from LA
Interview with Beau from The Heavy Heavy Hearts
HHM: Your story is kind of cool, can you explain a little bit about how it is that you guys started playing together?
HHH: Well it was a long road to actually playing together. I (Beau) moved to California in 2010, and had been playing as a solo act the first two years. I met Matt Trivigno at the ASCAP I Create Music EXPO, and he told me about Killingsworth Recording Company and asked me to stop by the studio to talk about doing a project. I was sold when I saw the studio, it is drop dead beautiful. So I knew that a solo EP was what I wanted to do. I met Anthony Mancini one night when I ran sound for a show he was playing with his previous band Night on Fire. I was obsessed with his playing and went to every show I could from then on. Ralph Alexander entered the picture when I was asked to audition for a new band that was just a guitarist and drummer (Ralph) who wanted to start a blues rock/classic rock sounding band. I auditioned and was blown away by Ralph, but I didn’t end up making the cut for the band. I asked Ralph and the guitarist if they would like to record on the Dirty Lies EP with me, which they both agreed. During the first day of preproduction the guitarist didn’t show so we went on without him. That’s when I remembered that I had Anthony’s number from way back when, so I called him and asked if he would come lay down some lead parts which can be heard on “Dirty Lies” and “Your Man.” Clark Singleton played bass on the EP. I had known him back in North Carolina and I knew I wanted him to be the bassist on the EP. He was still attending music school back in NC so I actually flew him in to record for me. Clark then left to go back to school after recording.
I was booked as a solo act at The Whiskey A Go Go the week following the studio sessions and asked Ralph and Anthony if they would play with me, along with my good friend Austin James Williams (Austitron) on bass. The Whisky really liked the way we sounded and asked us back for a second show. It was after that show that Anthony, Ralph and I had realized that we had some serious chemistry and decided to go forward as a band instead of as my solo project. Austin was and still is very active as an artist so we only had him as a fill in player until we could find a permanent bassist. We had gone through a couple of players trying to capture the sound that Clark recorded and never quite found it. I always had a gut feeling that Clark was our guy, but with him being all the way across country there was obviously no way for him to be a part of the band. Luckily for us he recently graduated and agreed to move to LA to join the group, so now the original guys I had on the EP are together as the band.
HHM: So you guys are relatively new as a “band” then huh?
HHH: As a band yes. We officially announced our name and released Dirty Lies EP in October of 2012 at Molly Malone’s.
HHM: What happened to your solo career once you decided to form The Heavy Heavy Hearts?
HHH: It is on hold for sure at the moment. We have adapted many of my solo acoustic songs into rockin’ full band songs, but as for the solo career I still plan to play shows acoustically with songs that don’t fit into the mold of The Heavy Heavy Hearts.
HHM: Since you’ve been on both sides now…which is tougher, solo or in a full band when it comes to writing music?
HHH: Writing as a solo artist was a lot harder I think, only because it is hard to stay motivated to keep writing constantly. Since the band has formed I have been on a writing rampage. It is easy to keep writing with the band because I am always learning things from Anthony guitar wise.
HHM: Where did you come up with the name for the band?
HHH: We had actually spent almost 3 weeks coming up with names. We had lists of possible names but using Facebook and google searches and other resources found just about every possible name has been taken in some way. So coming up with the name was an adventure. I think it was Anthony who one day blurted out “The Heavy Heavy Hearts” and it kind of captured what are songs are mostly about and we all dug the sound of it. We looked it up and sure enough it wasn’t taken so we went with it!
HHM: The music style is a throwback yet still pretty timeless, was that the stuff you listened to growing up?
HHH: I was raised on a steady diet of Lynyrd Skynyrd during road trips growing up. I didn’t really grow to appreciate my Dad’s musical taste until I reached my 20’s, but when I went back and listened to bands like ZZ Top, Eric Clapton (Cream), Aerosmith, BB King, Big Head Todd, Little Feet, Stevie Ray Vaughan, I just saw and heard the magic in the simplicity and honesty of their music. Anthony learned guitar by sitting in his basement watching VHS tapes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, starting and stopping the tape to see what his fingers were doing. That blows me away. I also have been completely obsessed with the story of Robert Johnson and his style of delta blues is a huge part of how I approach writing.
HHM: There aren’t a whole hell of a lot of bands playing that style of music. Do you find that the meld of genres brings in unsuspecting fans?
HHH: Well I think at least in Los Angeles we have a refreshing sound. There are a lot of great rock bands out here but we kinda stick out a bit with our mix of heavy blues and country rock. Lets just say it doesn’t take long at shows to get people’s attention. We kick it off loud and hard and we don’t quit. We pride ourselves on being something a little different in this town.
HHM: You guys seem to a band destined for Nashville, is that what keeps you in L.A., not wanting to sound like everyone else?
HHH: Yea, I mean I have no doubt that we could find success in an incredible music city like Nashville, but being here in LA has its advantages. We have such strong musicianship in the band and it grabs people’s attention right away. With the group of guys we have in this band being so good at what they do individually and in the kind of genre that we play, add the fact that there isn’t a huge presence of Blues/Rock bands in the music scene here in LA, we almost feel like we can be a big fish in a small pond so to speak. It can’t hurt to be a big fish of any kind in the entertainment capital of the world…
HHM: Ya know, It isn’t something I listen to on the regular but, I did grow up on a little bit of Southern Rock so I instantly connected with your ep. It sorta has a way of changing your mood. Do you get that same feeling when you’re playing or even just jamming with the guys?
HHH: There are so many terrible experiences wrapped up in these songs, and playing them with the band is the biggest release ever. It is great to just be able to scream out about love done wrong! Dirty Lies and Pair of Broken Hearts are both about ex girlfriends that decided that they wanted to try new things during our relationships. Being able to just sing out all the terrible feelings is like a shot of adrenalin each time, and feeling the raw power of everyone together puts me on a different planet so to say. I look around the stage every show just blown away by the talent on stage with me.
HHM: You released your EP in October of last year, how are you guys feeling about it now that you’ve been playing it out for a while?
HHH: Ha, well October of last year sounds like it was so long ago but really its only been what, 5 months? We are all still getting comfortable with the songs, especially now that we have the bass position filled and set. Really, with Clark only coming into the picture in early March, we are a whole new band. We will be playing these songs throughout the summer to hone in on the sounds but we actually have a good list of new songs that we are starting to get on. We are looking forward to recording and releasing a couple singles this summer and performing new stuff that the band as a whole has had the opportunity to help create. You have to remember that Dirty Lies was my project; my writing. Even though the other guys were recorded on it, it was my solo stuff. Knowing the insane talent I have to work with now, writing has taken on a whole new thing because these guys can play stuff I’ve never even considered, so the overall sound is evolving. We are just as excited to get new stuff out as we are about playing the songs from Dirty Lies.
HHM: Have you guys started writing anticipating another release this year?
HHH: Its up in the air as of right now. Obviously its mostly financial. As I said we have a good amount of new songs that we are already starting to incorporate into our sets that we could easily go in and make into a new EP. But that takes money. A lot of it. So I think we will want to at least record a single or two, get those out. Keep pushing the EP we already have because it and people really do seem to dig it so we will see how it goes. I think we will still work on getting more songs from Dirty Lies licensed out for TV and Movie stuff too. If we find ourselves signing with a label and/or people start requesting recordings of the new songs we play at shows then maybe we will consider raising the funds and recording another EP. There have been some talks of maybe doing a live DVD/Album combo too, so we will see…
HHM: How do you approach writing, is it an ongoing thing for you or do you set time aside to concentrate on just writing?
HHH: Well we definitely try to make the music writing process a group effort, but the lyrics come from experiences I have had. I use songwriting as a medicine so to say, because truth be told I am a super emotional guy and getting them out in the form of music is the greatest medicine money can buy. I’ve had a lot of random things go down in my life, failed relationships, addiction, close calls with death the list goes on. I have many songs in the vault that I’ve always wanted to do full band and songs that I never intended to be full-band songs that the guys really like and they want to adapt them. We basically start with my lyrics and song ideas and the guys put their spin on them. I have plenty of past experiences to keep us busy for a while and I still get inspired by random things that happen to me now so, it’s all over the place I guess.
HHM: What are some of the plans you have for the immediate and long term for this year? (Shows, Touring, Video, Releases)
HHH: Well, we are booking like crazy right now. We have about 5 shows a month in and around Southern California. We are definitely looking to get out on a tour or two, even if it’s just a week here and there. We have a couple videos in the works that we should have out this summer, and we will be recording a single or two to release this year as well.
HHM: Anything you’d like to add, plug, promote or even bitch about in closing?
HHH: Ha, well I guess we can plug some stuff. Our song “Bottom of the Bottle” will be used during a montage scene in the MTV movie “MADE 2: Ladies Man” so look for that coming up. Other than that, look for us to be playing all around LA. We are going to really pound the pavement out here and try to play out as much as possible. We hope to keep building up a good buzz and book bigger and better shows and just see what happens!
Interview by DaveHHM
About The Heavy Heavy Hearts:
The Heavy Heavy Hearts began as the brainchild of founding member Beau James Wigington as he embarked on the writing and recording of his first solo EP “Whiskey is my Warm-up.” After a long recording process involving multiple session musicians, Beau found undeniable chemistry with session players Ralph Alexander and Anthony Mancini (Night On Fire, Chris Allen Band) and soon decided that a band was the necessary next step.
In October of 2012, The Heavy Heavy Hearts held their debut performance at Molly Malone’s in Hollywood CA and released their first EP entitled “Dirty Lies” to great adulation. This up and coming band is quickly developing a buzz in Los Angeles as a heavy, soulful, highly-talented band, hell bent on fusing Blues/Rock with Country Soul, creating a unique yet worn in sound that calls back to Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf while maintaining the modern blues feel of bands like The Black Keys and Old Crow Medicine Show.
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