Following their excellent new song ‘Need You The Most’, we spoke to Heir, the Leeds band making big waves…
Can you tell us the story/inspiration behind your brilliant new track ‘Need You the Most’?
It was one we wrote back in the summer of 2016. It’s an expression of that feeling you get when meeting someone else’s eyes in the room, that unspoken connection.
Who or what inspires you right now?
The primary source for our songwriting material at the moment I think is the fact that we’ve reached a stage in our lives where we’ve been handed the reigns! You are forced to ask yourself questions and these questions often trigger songs. I think our music is currently reflecting this habit to question and to ponder. As our relationship with the world becomes more direct that opens up so many thoughts about how on earth it’s possible to make sense of it all!
You’ve played with Wild Front, Olly Murs, VICTORS and more, as well as playing Reading & Leeds this year, but if you had to curate your own festival who are the artists you would most like to play with and why?
Karima Francis is the first name on the list. She is a fantastic songwriter and was kind enough to have us on her 2015 tour. It was our first tour experience and the band had only just got together so we’ll forever be looking for a way to return the favour! Does this make us even now, Karima? Some nice words and a slot at our hypothetical fantasy festival? It is a bit of a dream of ours to open for HAIM them so they’d have to play after our sunset slot. There aren’t many musical places in the world that would take us any higher than a HAIM set but if Vulfpeck were up for getting funky into the early hours then I don’t think it could get much better than that – unless of course Justin Timberlake was to paraglide in at the last minute for a surprise performance.
How have you developed as a band since you first started the project?
The music has evolved quite a lot actually. The first tunes we put together were more singer-songwriter type songs. Three of us grew up with songwriting as an ever-present companion in our lives so I guess it was a way of touching base before we all found further common ground. We knew we wanted a sound driven by definitive rhythm and melody – a pop sound on a backdrop of thought provoking storytelling. One thing that has been an ever-present feature is the vocal harmonies. Playing music together with some of your closest friends is a pretty amazing feeling. Being able to do so just with your voices is extra special, it has a very unique atmosphere.
What would you say your Mantra or objective is musically?
‘What would Donald Trump do?’ No, I jest. Of course the core energy behind it all is the fact that we love it and couldn’t imagine music not being involved in our lives. I think this enjoyment is rooted in the fact that for us music is synonymous with life and with emotion. Everybody has emotional and creative aspects of their character. Music works as a catalyst for connecting and amplifying these things. Here’s a feeling, why not indulge in it even further and get right to its core by putting on an album? To express ourselves whilst hopefully going some way towards encouraging others to do the same is something we consider an absolute privilege.
So far, what have been your favourite moments of being a band?
Performing at Scarborough Open Air Theatre was a pretty electric experience. The fact that the crowd were happy to dance with a bunch of dudes from Leeds who they’d probably never heard of before was so much fun. Reading and Leeds Festival was also bloody great. Touring in Europe however is the memory that sticks out. We played tiny venues in totally unfamiliar places and to people who were so welcoming. There is an atmosphere surrounding new music out there that is really warming. We want to be playing together for many years to come and hopefully shows like Reading and Leeds will become more common-place however there is a particular character in the smaller gigs and tours and we want to make the most of them while they last!
What can we expect from you next?
We’ve just received a mix back for a tune we’re hoping to release before the end of the year. It’s a song particularly illustrative of the aforementioned ‘where do I fit in on this planet?’ sensation actually. We’ve had the pleasure of working with a couple of really top mixing engineers this year so as you can expect we’re rather excited by how it’s sounding! We’re also heading out on another mini tour in December to test out more new material and probably lose ourselves in Fairytale of New York sing-a-longs.