Get to Know the Artist: The Heavy Heavy

Photo: Holly Whitaker

Though they hail from across the pond, up-and-comers The Heavy Heavy have quickly made a name for themselves in the world of Americana music. Their debut EP, Life and Life Only, was released less than two months ago, but it evidences the fact that the English duo, comprised of Georgie Fuller and Will Turner, have already mastered the ability to infuse the edge of British rock with the hazy nostalgia of mid-century California psychedelia. 

Interviewer: Can you both talk about how you respectively got into music and then how you came together as the band?

Turner: I’m primarily a producer and have been making music for a while, doing various different things. Started off doing sort of TV music, played on some TV theme tunes [in the U.K.]. And then I’ve been making retro music myself for a number of years, probably ten years, with a couple of bands. [The Heavy Heavy] sort of came off the back of the old one I was in. I added Georgie’s vocals into a retro set-up and the male-female harmonies sort of started what we’re doing now, which is still really fresh. 

Fuller: I trained as an actor and singer, so I came from it from a more theatrical side, but my heart—I was classically trained—but my heart was always in rock and soul. And so I’ve been doing acting work and comedy writing and stuff for years in London and singing on the side in different spheres and genres. As Will says, when we put our sounds together, that’s when we went, “Ah, okay, great, we’ve found it.” 

Interviewer: And how did that kind of sixties-seventies, psychedelic rock sound emerge?

Turner: I think for us, it’s kind of the only option because that’s the music that we love. We both have grown up with that sort of music, which we sort of inherited from our parents. My dad would just play Jimi Hendrix and Creem and Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, & Nash all day, every day. That’s what I grew up with and I think it’s the same for [Fuller]. We love modern music as well but it’s never been… We prefer the older stuff. We think it sort of apexed in 1969. And I personally always thought, well it’d be great if there were bands still doing that sound, cause I don’t think it sounds antique or irrelevant. There’s always a place for guitar music, which is obviously still the case, so we just wanted to carry it on. Rather than bring it back, we’re like, right, we’ll pick up where they left off in 1969, 1970, and just keep going with it.

Fuller: When Will started digging out demos for us to play around with, it just fitted. We just realized that our voices blended and it just opened up so many more options, having male-female in there. 

Turner: Yeah, people like Fleet Foxes with the stacked harmonies, we were like, “Oh, we can do that again.” Tame Impala—right, you can be basically like the Beatles again. Yeah, let’s f*cking go for it. This is it, it’s our time. So we’re gonna grow our hair and do it. 

Interviewer: Your debut EP officially came out in July, so it’s just been out for two months now. So how have the past couple months looked for you? You’re coming all the way from the U.K. to Central Missouri to play a festival, so I’m wondering, are things suddenly picking up or have things been moving along steadily for a while?

Fuller: No, no, it was crazy. It’s f*cking mad, what’s happened. We played two acoustic shows in February 2020 and then Covid hit, and two-and-a-half years went by and in the summer of 2020 we were like, “Well, sh*t, we should really release these tracks [because] we can’t go out and play them.” So we did that and then in 2021, we thought, “Right, let’s get a band together and when things start picking up and when people are allowed to actually see each other again, we can play in front of people.” So we played five shows in October and November and December of last year and then February came around and we were found online and sent to a bunch of people and ATO Records and Tenatoms Management said, “We want you!” We were like, “What?!” We weren’t expecting that. 

Turner: It was, like, overnight. We literally went, “Right, we’re booking an American tour, we’re going everywhere.” Since then, we’ve been on tour with the Black Pumas all around Europe, then we flew to New York to play on CBS, the flew back the next day. Then we’ve just been doing festivals. We were in Holland on Thursday and Friday. Then just did a festival yesterday. 

Fuller: We’re in Rolling Stone next month. We were in NME last month. It’s just—it’s mad. It’s not a steady climb [laughs]. 

Interviewer: From what I’ve read, you’re already working on a full-length album. Can you tell me anything about that?

Turner: Yeah, we’re working on it when we get time. It will be more of the same—not the same—but an extension. It’s the next progression. There’s more of it, obviously, and there are more songs. I mean, we feel like we’re only scraping the surface of that whole world. We feel we could go down [many roads]. We could go Jefferson Airplane, we can go Creem, we can go Mamas and Papas, we can go Led Zeppelin. And we find ourselves nearer The Rolling Stones cause they’re kind of in the middle of all that, but yeah, we’re just extending the sound and adding more to it and pushing what we can do, really. Cause there are so many options to what we can do. We’re literally only getting started and there’s just not enough hours in the day to make enough music. It’s pouring out, so we just need to grab it. 

Fuller: We want it to feel bombastic. That’s kind of the place that we’re heading for with that album. 

Turner: Bigger, bold. We want it to blow brains. 

Interviewer: So what can people expect from your [Roots N Blues] set? If people have never heard of your band and they’re coming, how would you describe a fest set for you guys?

Fuller: It’s lively. Hopefully, you’ll be dancing by the end. You’ll be moving and grooving. 

Turner: Yeah, sixties jangly guitar music. 

Fuller: Yeah, there are some solos, lots of harmonies. We just want you to feel good, basically. 

Catch them open the Equipment Share Stage on Sunday, October 9th, at Roots N Blues in Columbia, Missouri. Get your passes here: https://www.frontgatetickets.com/festivals/roots-n-blues-festival




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