Where are you currently based?
Cincinnati, OH. Born & bred.
What’s your name and role within band?
Michael – Vox / Rhythm Guitar
AJ – Lead guitar
Jon – Bass / Harmonies
Ian – Drums
How did The Heavy Hours form?
We’ve been friends since high school, but didn’t start playing music together until a couple years ago. The band formed when we came into possession of an abandoned house. We moved some instruments and amps in, threw up some blankets to trap in the heat and started writing songs together.
What’s been happening recently?
We just wrapped up recording our full album in the Catskills, NY with Simone Felice and David Baron. Now we’re trying to figure out how to launch a band in the midst of a global pandemic, ha!
Your debut single ‘Don’t Walk Away’ co-written with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach is out now, how did you come to work with Dan?
It was sort of stars aligning type of moment. We had recently met our agent and he sent some demos we had made around to some friends. They ended up in the hands of Dan and he invited us down to hang and write. That Ohio connection runs deep.
What influenced the sound and songwriting?
Our influences are all over the place to be honest & we kind of like it that way. We try to take inspiration from a bunch of disparate places and mold them into something new and unique. Being in Woodstock had a huge effect on us. We were listening to a lot of the Band and Van Morrison records that were made there in the early 70’s. It definitely found its way into this tune.
How did Dan and the band go about writing Don’t Walk Away and what did you find most challenging and rewarding about the writing process?
We were used to creating songs over the course of several months. To be thrown into the writing room with Dan, where he was used to writing songs over the course of a couple hours was an interesting experience. It helped us stretch some creative muscles we didn’t even know we had. Dan also had such an ear for melody and arrangement. His process really informs the way we are writing now.
Simone Felice (The Lumineers, Jade Bird, Matt Maeson) produced the track, how did you come to work with Simone and how was the experience?
In the same way our demos made it to Dan, they found their way to Simone. He invited us up to the Catskills and drove us around the mountains. We talked for hours about music we loved, shared some song ideas and the vision he had for our sound. We continued that same energy through the recording experience as well.
What programs/instruments did you use to record/produce?
So much credit has to go to our co-producer David Baron here. David is a musical mad-man. Pure genius. He has so much eclectic gear and instruments in his studio, it’s unreal. When we needed strings or sax, David called up one of his buddies to track it live. We wanted to keep the song as live as possible. to keep the feel of those great records that were made in Woodstock back in the day.
What do you like doing away from music?
When we aren’t in the practice space we’re normally eating bbq or getting too competitive in a game of cornhole.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Sitting here in the basement… the consensus is My Morning Jacket – Waterfall II.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020?
We wish we knew! The state of affairs in the US at the moment makes it tough to see past a couple weeks out. So we’re just going to keep doing what we’ve always done, writing songs and making jokes in our little practice space together.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
We consider ourselves to be chicken tender connoisseurs. The cheaper the better.