Playing in a touring band is an experience that can change your life. It can be exhilarating and exhausting. Making connections with other musicians, venues, fans new and old.
I had been longing for some new music or tour dates from Young and Heartless for some time. Their album “Stay Away” released on Hopeless Records was one of the best albums from any Harrisburg based band I had ever heard. I wrote about them last year in my “You Should Be Listening to These 5 Local Bands” post regarding their music writing as profound and heartfelt.
Imagine my excitement when their mini-tour with Blue Heaven was announced.
I got in touch with Jeremy Henninger of Young and Heartless to catch up about touring, new music and just where in the hell they have been the past 6 months.
MJ: I noticed you didn’t play out a lot the past 6 months, recording? Taking a break? Writing? All the Above?
JH: A little of all of the above. Over the last year, we’ve had two key members leave to pursue other projects. This definitely slowed things down for us considering how tight-knit of a group we had. To find replacements with the same vision and chemistry is tough. However, we have been working on new material with the help of Matt Full and Connor Bowen who play in Blue Heaven on No Sleep Records, who we are currently on tour with. We’re hoping to have new songs out this year.
How has this small tour with Blue Heaven been going and, are you playing out/trying out any new music at these shows?
You have toured all over the country, what has been your favorite city to play so far and why?
- Chicago (because Chicago style pizza)
- Denver (because Illegal Pete’s)
- Albuquerque (Because it is the exact opposite of home)
What bands are you listening to right now?
This question always stresses me out because I could start naming some friends bands that have new material out but then I feel like I would miss a few and sever relationships forever. So there is no good answer, but in all honesty, right now that new Father John Misty album is playing and it’s good. I’ve fallen in love with Phoebe Bridgers stuff, and Cloud Nothings latest. And then The Mountain Goats new album is great.
In an age where anyone’s music is accessible to anyone across the world, how do you stand out?
Good question, but a trick question at that. Universal accessibility is amazing, it is convenient, and it a flood of amazing artists, as well as an equal if not greater ratio of uninspiring, cookie-cutter nonsense. I’m turning 28, I’ve been touring for 10 years, and things have changed significantly in that time as to means of distribution and “getting noticed”. If you want your band to stand out to me, be original, creative, and honest. If you want to stand out in the industry, make friends with people more popular than you, make your online life and band seem more important than it is and just play the game.
Artists that spend a lot of time on the road have a much different outlook on music, culture and the industry compared to artists I speak to that have only ever played local. It’s like talking to someone that has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail vs someone that has only done day hikes. Or, someone that traveled through Europe for a year hopping from sofa to hostel vs someone who went on a guided tour of London for a week.
Young and Heartless has something new in store for us, and I cannot wait to hear it. Hopefully, along with it comes a much larger tour. I cannot recommend checking out their album “Stay Away” enough. It is the perfect soundtrack for a cold beverage during a heat wave.