-Hello, thanks for taking your time. How are you holding up? Has the pandemic affected the band’s activity in any way?
(Matte) We were lucky because we did finish the last tour for the first album in February 2020, exactly before the pandemic hit Europe. And right away we were working on the last details for this album “Mountain of Sugar”. So I think we got really affected for the first time this summer and fall. But we still hope we can do some touring this year!
-“Heavy Feather” is a name that inspires a certain 60’s feeling. It evokes something natural. Organic. It paints images of deserts… How do you think the name fits with the band?
(Matte) Yes, it has a meaning of both heavy riffs and feather light ballads and of course a kind of homage to Led Zeppelin or Iron Butterfly. It’s hard to find a good band name but we are all proud and comfortable with this one.
-Speaking of “painting images”, what do
you want to evoke in the listener with your music?
(Lisa) I like your images! It fits with our vision. Making heavy, airy music that is easy for the listeners to take in. If it’s too hard played or too “competent” played I believe it can take away the source of the music. Our source is the riffs and the lyrics. With that we want to create something nostalgic yet futuristic.
– What have your former and other bands given you that you are incorporating now to HEAVY FEATHER? Not just in music terms, but experience-wise.
(Matte) We have all toured and recorded albums with other bands many of years before and yes, experience-wise we have learned a lot; which pitfalls to avoid, you have come to know a lot of people around Europe. And of course musically too; it’s easier to write songs when you know how you didn’t want to do it for example with your former bands.
– You’ve recently released your sophomore album, “Mountain of sugar”. What significance does having this second album out hold to you? Is a second full-length a step further into your own personality and learning from the experience of making a debut album?
(Matte) Yes, we’re all very proud of the first one, but it’s still a “first album”. At that point you haven’t toured together and you don’t know your personality exactly either. As a listener I love second albums because of that perfect development you often hear. And as a musician that’s really inspiring to write the second one because of that. That’s why second albums often are really great and have sense. I felt “Mountain of Sugar” is in the perfect direction, a bit harder and tougher but still with the right influences that create our Heavy Feather sound…
-I guess it may also be a challenge to write a second album. Were any of the songs a challenge to write too? Which ones?
(Matte) Of course you get sort of a performance anxiety, but we felt quite early in the process that the song material was strong enough. We wrote and rehearsed the whole record in 4 months so everything went smooth except two songs: “Love Will Come Easy” and “Asking in need”. We were struggling a lot with those. We couldn’t find the right costume. But with the help from our producer Errka Petersson I think we did a great job at last. We recorded even two more songs but for those we didn’t achieve the right feeling, so we cut them.
–The logo, the photo on the cover… Everything takes us back to the 60’s/70’s, not just your sound. Was it important for you that those influences would shine aesthetically too?
(Matte) Yes I think it is but for me that’s some kind of the same thing. I love those old covers. Today it’s very common with those “artsy-hippie” paintings and I really love that too but we wanted to do it more in a “picture of the band” way, if you know what I mean. But I was uncertain at one point, “Is this good enough??” cause the cover is kind of “blurry” but we all liked it a lot and I’m really glad we decided to use it. I’m really happy with the result!
– How easy is to take something classic and give it a twist to make it sound personal without straying from the path?
(Matte) Maybe that is the most difficult thing. If you have too many rules to follow, your personality will get lost. I don’t think we have any rules at all. This is our language and we all come from the Blues, Soul and Hard Rock school so this is how we sound… But it’s a very thin line to stay/not to stay on the road. In the end are the listeners who judge the music. Hopefully they hear it as we do.
-Where is the line that separates tradition from mimic?
(Matte) I think if you master the genre and 100% know it, you can add your own touch to it. If you’re not and just do it by the book it will be a mimic. BUT you can also just free-style something and it can also be brilliant. But even if you master something, you must never become too comfortable with it. I think everyone has to challenge themselves too. When a band writes the same album for 40 years that’s boring in my opinion.
– On this subject, what could you say sets HEAVY FEATHER apart?
(Matte) We keep it simple, with the songs in focus and we like to play it really good without being slick. And we’re still more blues then everyone else, right?
-Musically there’s Blues or Southern Rock
among many others. Your music influences seem to be broad but what are your
non-musical influences? What does inspire you?
(Lisa) For me it’s everything in the organic music area. Real instruments and real vocals. Doesn’t matter if it’s pop or blues. That inspires me. I’m just having a hard time getting inspired by digital music. I can listen to it if I want to dance and party but it doesn’t give me inspiration to write new songs.
-And what do some of the lyrics on the
album deal with? Are they personal experiences or there is something that has
been made up too?
(Lisa) Nothing is totally made up, but some of the “stories” are a bit exaggerated. Others are very honest and close to my heart.
-All this about
“Mountain of Sugar” being said; how would you describe it in just
(Lisa) Airy,heavy and true
– Having a front woman in the band I guess
the “female fronted” tag will be often used to refer to HEAVY FEATHER. How do
you feel about it? Are you OK with it or sense it like a non-accurate
description solely based on gender?
(Lisa) I guess that tag line will take some more years before it disappears and just become “band with band members”. I’m not offended by it. Only when critics, fans or promoters talk more about how I look rather then me as a musician. Overall the “rock industry” is very respectful in my opinion. The music comes first. I believe a lot of things have changed for the better in the last ten years. I’m glad I’m able to be a part of it today and not 20 years ago.
– Talking about such, a few years ago in your
home country the Kill the King was born as a reaction to the #MeToo movement.
With actions and movements like this, would you say the Rock community is more
inclusive or at least being more aware of certain issues that seemed
unaddressed until recently?
(Lisa) Yes, I believe so. Because of this movement, guys are thinking more about their actions. And the ones that didn’t change for the better got scared and stopped because of the risk of getting caught. There will always be jackasses but I believe they are much fewer now.
-And finally, what are your plans to release the album? You’re supposed to be touring Spain again next September; do you think this will actually happen given the current situation?
(Matte) We just got the information that we will postpone the whole tour to March. Not a surprise actually.
– That’s all from our side, thanks again for your time. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.
(Lisa) Thank you for taking your time and sending us interesting questions.