Sunday, June 29, 2014

EXCLUSIVE! The Heartbreaks INTV!

In 2010, we introduced you to English rock band The Heartbreaks, in the years that have followed since the welcomed introduction, they have stolen our hearts as musicians and as people. After releasing one of 2012's best albums with their debut, Funtimes, the band return this year with a new sound and new attitude, but still bring the same joy to music as they did four years ago. Their latest, We May Yet Stand A Chance, was released last month and the slick guitar work and Britpop sound has evolved into doo-wop meets classical and samba licks that will impress anyone that four guys from Northern England have created this sound and used it so perfectly. It is Phil Spector's glorious Wall of Sound meets the orchestras of Ennio Marricone with a Latin fury. As the band hits the European festival and tour circuit for the summer, we spoke to singer and guitarist Matthew Whitehouse about their new album, new sound, and when we can expect them back in the U.S. Take a look at our interview below:
The new album hears you take on a different sound, but still sticking to the fundamental principles as a band. Was that your intention going into the studio or did it just happen organically and unexpectedly?

I mean, everything we do happens pretty organically… It was a great process making this record as, while the first was recorded over such a long period with so many different people, this was just the four of us, and Producer Dave, in a studio for six weeks making exactly what we wanted to make. It gave a real cohesion to the sound and we were, for the first time in so long, completely on the same wavelength.

What did you learn about yourselves making this album that you didn’t know before?

That we’re right miserable bastards. Although I always had a suspicion.

Who were some of your influences making this album?

We really streamlined what we listened to for this record… I guess the template was roughly ‘melodramatic, widescreen pop’ and I guess that roughly incorporates Scott Walker, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ennio Morricone… We went to see Morricone in Verona when we were over playing a couple of shows last year in fact. Every human emotion over the course of a two hour show! Extraordinary.

The title of the record, “We May Yet Stand A Chance,” is a bold statement. What does it signify to you?

I think there’s a certain self-deprecation to it. Which is our sense of human (or lack of). It ties in with the lyrical theme of the record though really. Things often seem bleak but, you know, we may yet stand a chance.

The cover of the record is also pretty bold, it is the four of you pulling a casket into the sea. Why the morbid reference?

Well the first record, Funtimes, used all this bright iconography when really the album, lyrically at least, wasn’t a particularly happy one. And that went over everyone’s heads... We played it a bit more literal this time.

Is this your sink or swim record?

It’s our kitchen sink record.

The Heartbreaks have been a band that has seen such amazing highlights over the years. What has been the standout moment of your career thus far?

Oh, Sal! It’s gotta be New York… That was a real trip. Do you remember sitting on the 19th floor at the Standard and looking out over the meatpacking district and the high line and all those tug boats singing their deep and sonorous hymns of commerce? I think I was truly happy in that moment.

We know how much you love your hometown of Morecambe and how it still plays a key role in your music. How does the town still influence you?

It’s inescapable, I think. I used to feel like I’d been born a long way from where I was supposed to. But I guess that’s just the arrogance of anyone growing up in a small town. Now I know how important it’s been in shaping me and the band.

Did you ever think that hailing from such a small place that your dreams would come true?

Yes. We had unfailing belief in that.

The last time we all spoke was when you were in New York City in 2011 for Fashion Week. One wild night among us all, when can we, and I, expect you back here?

We’d love to go back. It’s just impossible not to feel coloured by the place. I miss it.