The Sound Of Confusion: Hi guys! The new single is sounding awesome. A few years ago, songs like that and those contained on your debut would have been all over the radio and in the charts. Do you feel slightly hard done by that because guitar music has slipped out of fashion a little in recent years, you haven't had the top 10 hits you may have had in another time?
TSOC: The good news is (and we've been suggesting that is is the case for a while) that last year "rock" albums outsold "pop" albums for the first time in years. Does this give you hope of perhaps building an even bigger fanbase and gaining the recognition you deserve?
TH: I dunno... It's not like we even consider ourselves to be "rock", you know? We want to be pop! It does feel like something's happening though. For the first time in a long while, we really feel like we're connecting with people. And we like it.
TSOC: The new single is as gloriously melodramatic as ever and feels like a continuation of the sound you've established for yourselves. The video shows a slight change of image though. Will this be reflected in the music at all? Can fans expect some surprises from the new album?
TH: Thank you. I hadn't thought about the change of image thing... Do you really think so? You know, nothing about this band has ever been contrived. Everything happens very naturally. The album will surprise many, yes, but to us it was just a case of committing to ideas more. Ideas that were always inside of us but that, perhaps, weren’t fully formed on the first record.
TSOC: The album's title, 'We May Yet Stand A Chance' seems self-depreciating in a way. Is that the case or do you really mean that, as mentioned, you had every right to expect bigger sales from past releases?
TH: I think it's equal parts self-deprecating and hopeful. You know, a lot of the lyrics on this record deal with finding hope where there appears to be none; be it in a releationship, in a political sense or in regards to the band itself... We liked the ambiguity, I guess.
TSOC: One thing The Heartbreaks have always had is the respect of other musicians (you worked with Edwin Collins for example) and a solid fanbase. Without this, would you ever be tempted to disband and look to other projects? (Please don't by the way!)
TH: Never. I don't think any of us could imagine doing other projects. For better or worse, we're Heartbreaks till we die.
TSOC: When 'I Didn't Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You' made our top songs of the year list in 2010, a few people suggested that it sounded like it should be in a movie. Do films influence your style at all, and if you were approached by a director to write a score for a film, would you go for it?
TH: There's a real widescreen, spaghetti western feel to a few of the songs on the new album, actually... It's very triumphant and majestic and rousing and what have you. We went to see Ennio Morriconne and his orchestra in Verona last summer and he completely blew our minds. That ability to make you feel every human emotion over the course of a two hour show... Oh boy.
TSOC: It's not often we hear about bands from Morecambe, although I assume it must have a music scene. Is this because many bands head into Manchester or Liverpool to try and further their careers? Are there any undiscovered local bands we should know about?
TH: There are a few young acoustic troubadours knocking around, which is symptomatic of the fact that the only places to play are pubs. Phil Turner, Joe McCorriston, Damon Kilcawley... Unfortunately they don't get a lot of support from the local radio station, which instead seems happy to play exclusively Hot Chocolate from morning to night.
TSOC: With a few years of touring and so on under your belt, do you have any rock n' roll stories to tell? What's the most rock n' roll thing you've ever done? Or is it straight to bed after shows? (Pretend your Mums won't be reading!)
TH: I’m afraid there's nothing more un-rock n' roll than telling your most rock n' roll stories... There is one involving Joe, Morrissey and an aubergine... No, I can't.
TSOC: I guess it'll be all systems go promoting the new record for several months now, but what are the long-tern plans for the band? Where do you see yourselves in 10 years time?
TH: I think it should be quite apparent by now that we don't actually have a plan... Gosh, I can’t even see 10 months in advance, let alone 10 years. Hopefully somewhere in Scandinavia.
TSOC: Finally, it's fantasy festival time! You're curating your own festival. The Heartbreaks are headlining and you get to pick five acts, past or present, to also be on the bill. Who do you go for?
We wouldn't want to headline! We’d go on first then we can have a drink. I suppose it would have to be pre-1967 Supremes, original line-up Oasis, mid-'80s pomp Springsteen, 'Combat Rock' era Clash and, to headline, imperial stage Robbie Williams.
The Heartbreaks' website
Catch them live:
Wed 19th Bristol, Academy (supporting We Are Scientists)
Thurs 20th London, Shepherds Bush Empire (supporting We Are Scientists)
Fri 21st London , Koko (Club NME)
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