Who: Emma Sutherland Talks To The Heartbreaks
When: 24th August 2012
Where: 60 Million Postcards, Bournemouth
Morecambe might not be famous for a lot of things but it does have a twinkling light of something special - indie rockers The Heartbreaks. Fatea caught up with the Lancashire lads at Bournemouth's 60 Million Postcards for a chat about arena tours, the highs and lows of life as a Heartbreak and being big in Japan.
Emma: Hi guys, tell me a bit about the band.
Joe: "Me and Ryan met at school so we've known each other for about 10 or 11 years now. We met Deaks about 5 years ago."
Matt: "Coming from such a small town like Morecambe where not many people enjoy the kind of music we do it's only natural that you'd come together. There's not a lot going on in Morecambe culturally so it's great to have a band where we have a common love of things."
Emma: What does it take to be a Heartbreak?
Ryan: "An iron constitution for alcohol for one...oh, and a love of Sharpe (the TV series set during the Napoleonic war). Sharpe? Really? "Yeah, we're watching the box set at the moment. They're two hours long each but we're getting there!"
Joe: "Like we say, the common bond we all share. You could go to Manchester and actively seek something out that's different but it would end up just being the same. We're like a family, it in 'til the end...there's a camaraderie...we'll be stuck together forever."
Emma: What did you learn about being on tour with Hurts and Morrissey?
Deaks: "Hurts were great. They have these ballerina dancers and that as part of their show and there's just us; four blokes from Morecambe on guitars and drums. Morrissey...he was amazing. 'Cos we're just who we are you know? But we learnt not to be afraid. We're on tour with these guys and they're playing these big arenas and stuff so we just had to really embrace our songs and just get on with it."
Emma: How many of your songs are about personal experience?
Joe: (all lyrics are written by Joe) "Loads if not all of them really. There's something in each of them where the lyrics are sparked by something that's happened to me somewhere in my life. I love writing the words you know? It's just something that I have to do."
Emma: What inspired you to make music together?
Matt: "Frustration and suffocation of coming from a small place. There was a thing I heard where someone said that people from Morecambe are scared to latch onto something...'cos they've been let down in the past...I guess that's the fear. Saying that though we played a home gig a few days back and it was really nice. People there seem to genuinely like what we are doing."
Emma: What has been your biggest challenge as a band to date?
Deaks: "Surviving! This is gonna sound wrong but...well...having no investment for like, what, a year or so? It's all well and good doing what you love and we're all so blessed to be able to get up everyday and do this, but you know, you still have to feed and clothe yourself. It can be crazy. One day we're playing in Japan to massive numbers of people (the band recently scored the No. 1 spot in Japan for three weeks with 'Delay, Delay) and the next I can't afford the bus fare to a rehearsal down the road from home."
Joe: "Yeah, I mean we're not in this for the money, we love being The Heartbreaks. We were just bumming around really doing 'jobs' - (Ryan worked as a roofer and Matt as an ice cream seller before they properly came together as the band)-so being able to tour and just be what we are is brilliant."
Emma: What made you choose your band name?
Matt: (Laughs) "All the other ones were taken!"
Joe: "We liked it when we heard it straight away. We thought we sounded naff and that was really funny to us, like some sort of 60s girl band."
Deaks: "We didn't want to adhere to any trend either did we?"
Ryan: "No. I think you know you're gonna get a guitar band when you hear our name though."
Emma: What are your plans for after this tour?
Deaks: "Writing and sorting the next album. We're half way there at the moment."
Joe: "We want to follow up on 'Funtimes' while we're ahead to be honest. I think we'd like to get something out in January (2013). I really loved the fact that bands like The Jam and The Smiths used to bring something out quick on the heels of their last release."
Deaks: "Yeah, loads of bands just disappear for like, 3 or 4 years before they release something. That's just daft."
Emma: How do you feel about illegal music downloads?
Ryan: "It's the reason we don't have any f***ing money at the moment!"
Deaks: "We do this in the hope of expressing ourselves but illegal downloads is what threatens the existence of bands everywhere, not just us."
Joe: "It just devalues the music doesn't it? Loads of independent labels have been driven out of business by all this illegality."
Emma: So do you think that digital music will replace CDs and vinyl?
Joe: "Probably. Sad really though isn't it? I like a proper vinyl record, scratches and all...like an old book. I love the smell of an old book. You can't get that from a Kindle or an MP3."
So there you have it. The life of a musician isn't all glitz and glamour - its bloody hard work. These guys are living a dream but aren't fazed by the reality of it all. Bus fares might be hard to find but a common love of their music? It's right there in front of them.