We were fortunate enough to catch up with the superb London-based band Heavyman, for an interview. They have released their infectious debut indie-rock single ‘Baby Jean’ on 16th May 2020. Check out our interview below!
Tell us about yourself?
We (Heavyman) are a four-piece rock band from London, comprised of Charlie Yang on lead vocals and guitar, Tom Papaloizou on drums, Igor Fonseca on bass and backing vocals, and Nick Burns on lead guitar and backing vocals. We love making music, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got.
What is your songwriting process?
It’s different every time. Songs sometimes feel like entities that already exist; you just have to pluck the right pieces from the ether for them to make sense. Sometimes it starts with a melody and some chords; sometimes it just starts with a groove, something catchy that sticks; a lot of the time, it starts with a single guitar line, and then everything else falls into place around it. That’s what happened with Baby Jean. Once you have that first piece, it’s sort of like a tether, that leads you on to all the other pieces. Sometimes it takes a while to find them, sometimes you’re right in the zone, and the whole path is laid out for you. We can argue loads about the creative choices, but at the end of the day, you just know if something is right or wrong.
Tell us about your latest release?
‘Baby Jean’ is the tale of a man tortured by the advances of a much younger love interest. It started with that main guitar riff- it felt so desperate, and yet empowered. We knew we wanted to tell a story that explored that line between lust and despair. We hope that comes across.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
There is no overarching message we plan to convey in our music. Each song tells a different story – another chapter in the narrative of Heavyman. And those chapters are up for interpretation. But we give our all in our performances and in our writing, and we hope that allows the audience to feel something, to understand the gravity and the emotion that underlies each story.
Who are your musical influences?
That’s an impossible list. But to name a few, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Jeff Buckley, the list goes on!
Who are your non-musical influences?
Like politically or philosophically? Now that’s a big question. Probably our mothers.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
We’ve done three, so we reckon we haven’t done it yet.
What is your funniest gig moment?
The band collectively has a lot of hair, and there are four of us, so if we’re playing a small stage, it’s easy to get in each other’s way. There was one gig we played early on at a really small venue in Central London where, while bopping along to one tune, Igor’s mane got tangled up in Charlie’s guitar pegs. It was amazing. Charlie had to somehow untangle Igor’s hair while both of them kept playing – luckily the rhythm guitar was not absolutely integral to the song at that moment, and Charlie managed to keep singing, and the song went on! It was hilarious, mortifying, and exhilarating all at once.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
Probably the industry itself. How do struggling artists make an income in an industry that is designed to take advantage of struggling artists?
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Make sure you are doing this because you love the music. There will be days when you’re putting so much work into getting people to listen to your music that you’ll forget if you even like what you’re writing. Make sure your love for what you’re doing always comes first, then you’ll never be unhappy doing it.
FVMusicBlog May 2020
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