Heat Interview: “We captured some chaos and energy”

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heat interview

Overnight is out on January 20th via Topshelf Records.

The lead single from Canadian post punk quartet Heat’s upcoming second album Overnight, is aptly titled ‘Lush’. The fuzzed and frayed guitar tones envelope the listener as a four to the floor drum beat draws out a beat worthy of the dance floor, and all the while singer Susil Sharma allows his husky drawl to drip all over the track. It’s an aesthetic the group have adopted for the album, creating a sound that is warmer and infinitely more inviting than the colder sound of their first album Rooms.

We had a chat with Susil about the inspiration behind ‘Lush’, the denser sound on Overnight, and Catholic saints.

Overblown: It seems to me that you are pursuing a denser more shoegaze-like sound on your new album Overnight. Is that a fair summation? Was there a conscience effort to mine a slightly different sound from your debut or was it a more natural development?

Susil Sharma: I would say that is a totally fair summation. I think we grew into this new sound pretty organically. we’ve been a band for four years now, and it’s taken a bit of time to figure out how to take the songs to new sonic territory or access new types of emotions to convey. There are probably certain influences and ideas evident on the new album that we’ve always had, but weren’t able to execute on prior releases.

O: One of your new songs, ‘Lush’, has a very danceable beat. What influenced this song musically and thematically?

S: Musically, Lush began with some chords Matt (Fiorentino, our guitarist) showed me. They had a real Kurt Vile vibe to them and I fucked around with them a lot before trying them over a dance beat preset on an old 80s Yamaha keyboard that my older sister had given me. everything kind of clicked from there and the synths and Peter Hook-esque bassline followed shortly thereafter.

Lyrically, it’s a bit of a pastiche of my romantic life. I keep a diary and did some cut-up writing using phrases I’d journaled in various relationships over the years. it probably all sounds like nonsense to everyone but me, haha.

O: I’ve read that the recording process for Overnight was somewhat ‘rocky’. What happened? Do you think the difficulties strengthened the album in the end?

S: We’ve changed line-ups a lot over our time as a band and we again switched drummers a week before recording the album. I think it added some energy, but it also meant throwing out some ideas we had meticulously worked on, rehearsed, and toured. That was pretty hard for me. as the songwriter and arranger, I had to find a balance between executing my vision and embracing new ideas and energy.

On top of that, I think we were all feeling the pressures of making our debut record. We had a lot of hype from our first EP and we wanted to deliver the something that could take us to the next level, artistically and career-wise. It led to a lot of tension and arguments but i’m actually super happy with the way it turned out. I think we captured some of that chaos and energy quite well.

O: A song on the album is called ‘Rose de Lima’ who is a Catholic saint, and was the first person born in the Americas to be canonised. Is the song named after her? Are any of you religious?

S: Rose-De-Lima was the name of a street Jeff (our old drummer) and I lived on a few years ago. It was a house of decadence, to say the least. I quite like the contrast between the beauty of what that name represents and the debauchery we lived in those days. I’m spiritual but not religious.

O: The new record is coming out on Topshelf Records. How did you come to work with them on this release?

S: Our manager had worked with them previously and had a wonderful experience with them. Aside from that, they seemed like the perfect fit for us in terms of our current level, how much energy they could devote to us, their roster, etc. we love working with Topshelf!

O: Hope you enjoyed the festive period! What did you do for Christmas and New Years?

S: I sat in silence, meditating on my life and function as a human being.

O: You have a pretty extensive tour of Canada and the U.S. planned including a stop at SXSW. Is this your first time playing the event? Excited?

S: It’s our second time doing SXSW. We’re thrilled to go back; to re-visit some places in the US/Canada that we’ve played before and to play some new cities. We love touring and meeting our audience. There’s lots of new arrangements and live ideas that we can’t wait to show everyone.

O: What do Heat want from 2017?

Answer: Better clothes!

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