Heads Hearts are an electro-soul three-piece band from London consisting of Amber Taylor-Groves (Vocals & Synths), Lynne Porterfield (Bass) and Abby Tythe (Drums). When we first checked out Heads Hearts a few months ago we were really keen to interview them for Song Revelation so that we could share their music and experiences with you. Although they’re currently working diligently putting the final touches to their album release, we were delighted when they agreed. Read the full in-depth interview below where Heads Hearts discuss their musical inspirations, their current career highlights and what they’re hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
An electro-soul three-piece likened to the wildhaired lovechild of Crystal Castles and Florence & the Machine.
Q: What is your musical background?
AT-G: I started off in school musicals. And went from band to band, with a healthy mix of playing covers and writing and performing originals. The original stuff has included everything from Drum and Bass to Latin blues to what we’re doing right now.
AJT: I learnt to play drums at school then taught very briefly when I left. I didn’t play for years then joined a covers band where we played local pubs. Then I caught the Heads Hearts express.
LKP: I took piano lessons when I was 8… and failed. Ages later I taught myself bass & electric 12 string & played & wrote songs in my own band. I also jumped around like a crazy person, playing drums whilst bouncing on a trampoline, half naked and covered in day-glo paint. This was with mental art band called Caroliner Rainbow Hernia Milk Queen. We toured around the US, opening for bands like GWAR.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
AT-G: So so busy and brilliant. We went through a big line-up change at the start of 2011 & we had already been booked to play some big venues and festivals, so when Lynne and Abby came aboard in February they had a lot of work to do to be match fit. Thankfully they are both super talented and very quick at learning stuff so we didn’t miss a thing. Plus we laugh so hard when we’re together, it’s been so much fun.
AJT: A lot has changed for me in the last year. A lot of hard work goes into all of this and I feel privileged to be a part of it. These ladies and everyone involved are awesome!
LKP: Busy as all get out, a helluvva lot of laughs and a bit scary… we occasionally rehearse at what we refer to as “Murder Studios”. A spider infested, Disney-decorated day care out in the middle of nowhere converted into studio space. I’m sure the ghost of Syd Barrett watches over us out there…
Q: Who inspires you musically?
AT-G: Basement Jaxx, Blondie, Tina Turner, Giorgio Meroda, Beyonce, Florence and the Machine, Robyn, Friendly Fires, Goldfrapp – And roughly 4000 other people.
LKP: A heavy dose of Peaches, Sabbath, Pixies, Crystal Castles and Justice with a sprinkling of Weekend Players and “Music” era Madonna (did I just admit to that?).
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
AT-G: Florence and the Machine blows my mind. Not only does Florence have an extraordinary voice and beautiful stage presence the music and lyrics are outstanding. Everything they do makes me want to be better. Adele – this needs no explanation. Goldfrapp. Faithless.
LKP: Kieran Hebden / Four Tet. Pure aural heaven.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
AT-G: Oh Christ, everyone who we’ve previously listed – And I genuinely think we would work well together.
AJT: Chas & Dave. I think an electro take on “Rabbit” would be beautiful.
LKP: Miike Snow for beauty and depth and CSS for a pocketful of fun.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
AT-G: The other day someone very kindly managed to wiped off all the music I had on my iPhone, I now have left 5 Heads Hearts songs & “I Could Be A King” by The Dunwell Brothers.
AJT: I’m loving The Kills a lot at the moment. Also Arctic Monkeys, Feist, The Last Shadow Puppets & The Libertines.
LKP: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix gets a lot of airplay. Also, Yelle, Miike Snow, Santogold, Robyn, Plej, Nightmares on Wax, Heads Hearts, Hurts, Gold Panda, Four Tet, Daft Punk (Tron), Destiny’s Child, Avett Brothers, Sharon Van Etten…………
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
AT-G: I’ve worked in many different ways when creating tracks. Most of our songs were written by myself and the other founder member of Heads Hearts. He would mostly produce a rough idea of a track and then we would both go away and listen to it and write what we though suited the music, then mix our ideas together. I would also go to him with vocal lines and he would produce a song around that. Obviously since the line-up change the creative process has changed and this year we will be doing things differently, we will be creating new material together. I’m excited about this.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
AT-G: Melody. Good lyrics are a beautiful thing, but if they are to a shit tune they will seldom get heard.
LKP: Melody. Sigur Ros and Plej have some beautiful songs and I have absolutely no idea what they are saying…
Q: Where are you based?
AT-G: Two of us live in Surrey and the other is from Essex, although she calls it Hertfordshire.
AJT: Maybe we could call it Essex-shire?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
AT-G: I’m from a little village in Kent originally & I love it. It was in the middle of nowhere surrounded by beautiful country side, it was the perfect giant playground as a kid.
AJT: I like it. I have lived there all my life and wouldn’t mind staying put.
LKP: I’m a California girl and lived in San Francisco a good chunk of my life. It’s not without it’s faults (seismic mainly) but I miss the bejeesus out of the beautiful landscapes, mild weather and the plethora of cheap and amazing Mexican food. Also, if anyone tells you SF is full of crazies, it’s absolutely true.
Q: What are you currently working on?
AT-G: This interview. Working on the video for our next single ‘Dance Girls Dance’, due out in March. Album launch very soon after. And new material, always working on new material.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
AT-G: Playing a gig down in Brighton to a 300+ strong crowed, we had horrific sound problems and couldn’t hear a thing on stage, the only way we could keep on it was because ¾ of the crowed were singing every word back at us. It was the most stressful gig we have ever done but it was a beautiful moment knowing that we were starting to sink into people’s consciousness and they were loving what we were doing.
AJT: Playing to a sunset at a festival last year. It had been typical festival weather all weekend, pretty shitty, but it started to brighten up just before we went on stage. About half way through the sun burst out and the whole place erupted, it was a real tear jerker moment.
LKP: I think the highlight has to be the gig where Amber stuck her spikey heel into an input of a huge power adapter and was singing, trying to shake it off her shoe and also trying not to get electrocuted. Harrowing for her. Hilarious for me.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
AT-G: Get a new manager. Release our album and a few more singles. Write lots of new material. Get a good support slot with someone like Rhianna or something. And hopefully play some big festivals. It’s all do-able, apart from the Rhianna thing maybe?
LKP: I’d like to emerge from the next video shoot without any serious physical injuries.
Whoops, I think I’ve just jinxed it.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
AT-G: We are next playing the ‘Hot Vox Heroes’ at Hoxton Underbelly on 3rd March, Plus an album launch party in April in a very special venue in London. Stay tuned for news of that.
Q: What do you do to relax?
AT-G: Hangout with people I love. We could be bungee jumping but as long as I’m with them I’m relaxed.
AJT: Eat cheese and have a wine.
LKP: Well you can’t go wrong with a pint at the village pub with lovelies such as those mentioned here. I also like to feed the ducks and chase small children. I’m joking about feeding the ducks.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
A: Cornwall in the summer. Simply because I love Surfing, the sun and driving, and it’s a bloody long drive.
AJT: Anywhere hot but preferably not somewhere that involves me having to have a jab.
LKP: Cyprus. Perfect swimming, amazing food and lots of kittens.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
A: Create something original don’t copy anyone, and make sure you have a strong product. It’s all about being a product.
LKP: Use the devil horns hand sign as often as possible, don’t forget to bring the appropriate cables to your gig and buy a toolbelt if you want to build your city on rock and roll.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
A: We’re serious about the new manager thing, know anyone?
We’ve got some songs on iTunes feel free to buy them. Make sure you watch the videos that we’ve already made as well. We’re very fortunate to work with an amazing team called Crafty Clown Productions on our videos and they are REALLY good at what they do.
AJT: Go and “Like” us on a popular social network…please.
LKP: I second those emotions.
Special Thanks: Photography by Katie Lamb http://www.katesphotography.com. Make up by Heidi Gammon.
Editor’s Note: Heads Hearts dynamic electro sound has both an incredible amount of energy and a commercial edge. If you’re in London make sure you see them live. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s “Ones to Watch”.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Heads Hearts just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/headshearts
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/HeadsHearts
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/HeadsHearts
web page link: www.headshearts.com
soundcloud link: www.soundcloud.com/headshearts
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/HeadsHearts