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INTERVIEW: Relic Hearts

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey guys! We’re doing great, thanks! Busy as fuck, but we’ll take it!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Halfway to Paradise”?

“Halfway to Paradise” is a song about striving to live up to your potential but finding yourself falling short time and time again; about life turning out differently than you had planned. Life never really goes entirely according to plan so we feel it’s something everyone experiences from time to time.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

For us this record is very much about relationships we’ve had personally and professionally throughout our lives. We’ve been fighting to achieve so many goals for quite some time now so for all of us it’s more of the summing of several years worth of fighting for our lives, per say. We really believe music that’s written out of life experience is the most relatable to our audience and we believe that is what we are offering with not only this single, but the entire album.

How was the film experience?

Cold. All of our shoots somehow end up being freezing, or giving us sunburn. “Royals” we filmed at Camp Woodward in the dead of winter, and “Out of the Woods” we filmed literally in the middle of the Rothrock State Park forest. We do most of our filming in house and the experiences are always different. With this video we rented our own warehouse where we could freely film. We did take after take but it was a great experience. We love making music videos and plan on making a lot of them for this record plus many more.

The single comes off your new album Volatile – what’s the story behind the title?

We feel the overall theme of the album is about the volatile nature of human interaction and toxic relationships. Sometimes people hang onto negative people, places and things in their lives because they don’t know how to let go or they’re so complacent in sometimes explosive situations. People are volatile in many ways. Relationships are volatile in many ways.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording and writing process basically were hand in hand. There were a few ideas that were written before heading to studio that made it to the record but the album was mostly written in the studio. We’d wake up in the morning and get our coffee and talk about what kind of song we wanted for the day and Boss would go start riffing around. We’d settle on a theme or idea and just build it from there. Once we’d have a nearly finished instrumental track either Jonnie or Boss would go off and work out lyrics and present the ideas to the team. It’s very much a process of coming up with several different ideas for the same song and trying to cherry pick and decide what ideas are best for the song.

What was it like to work with Jesse Lawson and Stetson Whitworth? How did those relationshipsdevelop?

Jesse and Bucket (Stetson) are both great guys. Jonnie had previous relationships with both of them through tour managing and merch managing with Our Last Night and we just knew that they’d be good for the writing/producing aspect of the team. Workflow with the two of them was great. Getting a whole record like this pretty much finished up from start to finish in five weeks can be a feat. It was great though. A point in our lives that we’ll never forget.

Why entering the studio with two producers?

We entered the studio with two producers mainly for the combined experience of both Jesse and Stetson. Jesse is a seasoned writer, as is Aaron (Boss), and Stetson (commonly known as Bucket) is an incredible engineer that has a ton of experience — he interned for John Feldman, so if you’ve ever loved a record he’s done, our record was cut from the same Mac tower, haha. They’re both very good at very different things and they’ve both made records in radically different ways. Jesse loves making records like the old school greats and has an ear for telling you if what you’re doing makes the cut or not. He lives for this stuff. Bucket has a skill set that is just unparalleled in the engineering and producing world as well as a great ear for basically anything and everything.

How much did he get to influence the album?

We’d say he had influence on this one, absolutely. Producers are there to provide their ears and they’re not always as attached to everything as the band might be. They’ll tell you when they think you should do something a little differently or encourage you to revisit something to makeit better. Having him there was all about making the best record we could. Jesse’s got great experience making good records, and Stetson has a polished understanding of production, so it was an awesome team that we’ll likely revisit in the future. If our livers can handle it.

Do you take a different approach when you re-write someone else song than when you are writingfor the band?

Absolutely a different ballgame. When you’re doing cover songs the guts are already laid out for you. All you have to do is put a twist on it and try to make it your own. Every one of the songs we write is done a little differently. The process changes depending on what we’re going for. For the most part Boss will do a lot of the music and Jonnie and Boss sharing the load on lyrics depending on the song.

How much did your personal experiences in this band get to inspire the songs and lyrics on thisrecord?

Everything on this album is about personal experience for us. That’s why we think people will like what we’ve done here. When you do something because it means something to you first it tends to translate to the audience much better.

Any plans to hit the road?

We are definitely planning to hit the road in support of this record. We currently have an IndieGoGo campaign with pre sales of Volatile as well as other incentives and merchandise to help us hit the road and help with the launch. And of course the “Halfway to Paradise” video is on the PLAY Warped Tour page so hopefully people will share and listen to help us earn a spot on the main stage the day of the album launch.

What else is happening next in Relic Hearts’ world?

Well, we are releasing the album on July 11th so that means that over the course of the next 7 weeks or so we’ll be putting out promotional material for “Volatile” as well as a cover video or two and a few acoustic tunes. All to help spread awareness of the release and hopefully gain more fans in the process. We’re really grateful to those who have supported us along the way so far and we’re looking forward to bringing much more in the future.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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