Heavy Sweater - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Lukas and Mitch of Heavy Sweater. We discussed forming the band, musical influences, collaborating with Far From Home Records on a cassette release, lyrical inspiration, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Thanks for taking the time to ask us these questions!  

Can you tell me how you formed the band for those who may be unfamiliar with it? How did you initially become interested in music?

I (Lukas) moved to Canada in 2020 without knowing a single person here. I pretty quickly found a post online by Michael, our guitarist. He said he was starting a new band and they were missing a drummer. How lucky! Unfortunately I realized, right after I messaged him, that the post was already over a year old. I felt kind of stupid and apologized, not really expecting a reply. To my surprise, Michael got back to me right away. He said that he had just met up with Mitch, our singer, for the first time to start another project and would have begun looking for a drummer next. So I like to think that it was fate (i.e. coincidence) that brought us together. The three of us then had a practice that went really well. We continued working on demos that Mitch had written by himself and combined them with ideas that Michael and I had collected. That's how we put together our first EP.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

This is always a tough question. I think each of us would answer it differently. There's definitely some Joyce Manor, Pavement, or early Jimmy Eat World in there. Michael would even say Avril Lavigne is an influence. I'm still not sure if he's fully serious about that. I think most of all, we take inspiration from other Ontario bands like Guest Room Status, John’s Cottage, Fern Sully or madfolk. They're all amazing and I'd recommend you check them out!  

You just released your EP ‘Crosstrail’ on cassette. It was released by Far From Home Records. How did it work out for you to work with them on the release?

Far From Home Records reached out to us on Instagram. We really like what they've been doing with bands like Kule and Honey, Be Well so we thought it was a good fit. We're currently hoping they won't regret getting us on board. 

You had a standard cover, but also released an alternate cover for a limited amount of cassettes. Can you tell us about the alternate artwork and the idea to feature it?

That was something Far From Home Records surprised us with. They sent us a few pink ones and kept a couple themselves. We're not sure yet if we'll sell them or keep them for ourselves. They might be too pretty to give away. 

How important is physical media releases like vinyl, CDs, and cassettes to your band? Why?

Right now, a physical release is nice to have but not the most important thing to us. We're mainly interested in playing shows and writing songs. In an ideal world, we'd love to put everything we do out on vinyl, but that's just way too expensive. Tapes are a good compromise for bands on our level. They give you something haptic to share with the people who enjoy your music, without being too pricey. It helps that we found a great partner in Far From Home Records who really know what they're doing and produce quality cassettes. 

The EP was officially released last October. Have you been pleased with the response it’s received so far? What are your thoughts looking back at it now? 

It's been a lot of fun taking the songs out to Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton and playing them here in Toronto. Those shows were great and it's been cool to see people respond positively. As a band we tend to look forward, so mentally we already moved on to writing new songs. We love all the songs on the EP and will continue playing them but beyond that, we don't spend too much time thinking about past releases. That's probably mostly because of the terrible imposter syndrome and low self-esteem.

I read that all the songs were actually written in a Nissan Crosstrail. Is that true? If so, what was that writing process like for you?

Our singer Mitch can answer this one: It's partially true, we lost our practice space and I moved back in with my parents so I didn’t really have anywhere to sing loud and experiment like I could before. I think I saw someone singing in a car on TikTok and that made me give it a try. I never technically lived in the car but it definitely felt like home. I would spend entire afternoons workshopping songs at various locations. Often frequenting Wendy’s restaurants to eat and use their amenities. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit the entire band in the car for practice so we had to rent studio time at our local rehearsal factory. It was there that the songs all fully came together and became what you hear now.

I really like the song “Ektachrome”. Can you tell me about writing that song specifically? 

Also one for Mitch: Sure! I had dropped out of college for 2 years and upon returning I was met with a lot of new and overwhelming feelings that are expressed in that song. While writing it I remember I had been feeling uneasy for weeks. There was an absence of familiarity that made me feel so disconnected from everything around me. Seeing how everyone else had moved on when I was just getting back on my feet was pretty crushing. I was definitely dealing with fomo and another feeling I can only describe as post-fomo? Like a fear that I had missed out, will continue to miss out and be forgotten. While wrestling with these feelings I came to recognize how the long term effects of my own negative self talk had manifested. I realized how not living in the present moment only makes the future shittier. Ultimately, I think I wrote this song to remind myself of that.

Putting this song together as a band was one of the more challenging ones. On top of the hectic dynamics and tempo changes it also has this weird country thing going on. It was a bit outside of our comfort zone, but we all decided to lean into it pretty hard. I think because of that it took more experimenting than usual to get it sounding how we wanted.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Nothing to add except another thank you for reaching out. We really appreciate it!

Follow Heavy Sweater:



Follow Sound In The Signals:



No comments: