Heavy Q’s with Heavy Hearts
Niagara, Ontario quartet, Heavy Hearts, comprised of Justin Glatt, Jamie Gorman, Riley Jensen and Davis Maxwell, made their mark in the ever-growing music community in 2013 with their debut EP, Jacoba – an exceptional first glimpse into their “heavy vs. quiet” dynamic. Now, the band is getting ready to release their follow up EP, Somewhere, A While Ago, on February 3 that just may be the jump from “aspiring musicians” to a household name. Describing their sound as “sadcore,” the band doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable and aims to allow the listener to feel things most avoided. Stagnancy and glimpses of small town life come into play within the four tracks. If you’ve ever known everlasting gloom, you just might relate.
I got to chat with Heavy Hearts’ Justin Glatt on everything you need to know to get you psyched about their upcoming release.
Give us a brief glimpse into how Heavy Hearts formed and how you decided upon the band name.
– The band started with Jamie and I, we both worked together in downtown Niagara on the Lake until he moved to Nashville for three months. I’d been sending him demos of songs I had written and when he moved back home we started jamming together. After going through a couple line up changes we convinced Riley to be in our band, and Davis joined at the end of last summer before we went out on our first tour. The name came about because a past member wanted to incorporate the word “hearts” in some way. We landed on Heavy Hearts and it was just something everyone could agree on at the time.
You mentioned that your new EP, Somewhere, A While Ago, was influenced by watching your peers grow up while feeling a sense of stagnancy. What else influenced you during the writing and recording process?
– For the process of both Jacoba and our new EP we made sure to find a studio that was somewhere relatively far from home. We like going to record in places that are out of the way so we won’t have to think about anything but the music we’re working on. During our time recording this EP we listened to bands we wouldn’t normally listen to, like Yeasayer, Kenny Dennis and a couple Matt Good records which sort of opened us up to different ways we could layer these songs that we might not have thought of in the past.
Was there anything you aimed to do differently this time around since your first EP, Jacoba?
– With Jacoba, we wanted the recordings to be as close to our live performance as possible. Where as with Somewhere, A While Ago we added a lot more experimentation with different instruments and guitar pedals. I feel like Jacoba wasn’t nearly as cohesive as the new EP is, and was more so us trying to find our sound. Somewhere, A While Ago flows much better and is us finding the sound we wanted.
You describe your sound as “sadcore,” which is pretty accurate. What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
– None of our songs really give off a positive message, which is something I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get away from. I can’t imagine us ever writing a happy song. If listeners can find a way to relate to the the things we’re writing about then that’s sweet, if not and it’s just a song they enjoy listening to then that’s cool as well.
What other acts, if any, have inspired you growing up?
– When we were young and first started going out to shows, the bands in our local scene like Alexisonfire, Sleeper Set Sail, Minute Till Midnight and Rosesdead were all the bands that kind of kept the scene moving. Seeing them play so frequently in St. Catharines motivated us to try and be a part of that scene as well, even though it’s years later. Being able to see those bands play in basically our back yard gave us an extra push to get out and start writing music.
Any advice for aspiring musicians out there?
– We’re still aspiring musicians ourselves, but I guess just try and practice as much as possible, play a ton of shows and make sure you have a good time doing all of it.
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