Photo: Portia Hunt

We caught up with the charismatic five-piece to talk collaborate-art, the confusing nature of being a ‘DIY pop’ band, future plans, and everything in between

Something that a lot of bands seem to struggle with is creating a unique sense of identity. What sets this band apart from everything else that is available to stream and find online? What makes them more worth investing in than the countless other artists vying for your attention? Fortunately Heir have the correct answers to all of these questions. As well their steady releasing of indelible DIY pop tunes, the five-piece also run a collaborative-arts night entitled ‘Blueprint’. Their unique flair and DNA is drenched in everything that they do, be it related to their sound, their events, and everything in between. This is more than just music, it is an all-encompassing artistic movement.

The Leeds upstarts were good enough to allow us a catch up and a chance to get inside the heads and find out a little more about them.

Hey guys! For any of our readers wondering, who exactly are Heir?

Heir are five musical human beings who tell stories of insecurity and inspiration via groovy pop songs.

How would you describe your 2018?

Arty. Lots of songwriting and recording. We had the pleasure of working with Ken Scott – a legend of a man who has produced stuff with Bowie and The Beatles. Having recorded most of our stuff in our own house it was a very liberating experience to have our performance pushed to places that we hadn’t previously taken it to.

We also launched our collaborative arts night, Blueprint. Leeds is filled with such a variety of excellent artists and musicians – we wanted to celebrate this by hosting an evening that is neither strictly gig nor exhibition and displays both music and visual art all under one roof.

You recently released your latest single ‘Better In Silence’ could you tell us a bit more about it?

Words are beautiful, powerful things that do an excellent job existing as the front line of our emotions. However, in their absence we are sometimes exposed to a more accurate representation of what we really feel. It is often these moments when it feels like you are truly connecting with someone, or maybe even with yourself.

Are you pleased with the reaction that it has received?

Very much so. #1 in the ‘Songs with amusingly, self-damning titles’ chart I believe . . .

How would you describe your sound to anybody unfamiliar with you guys?

The same old story really. High energy, 80s poptimism meets thoughtful 70s songwriter. They fall in love . . . you know the rest.

A lot of emphasis is put onto the DIY nature of the band, is this something you welcome? What do you think it is about this DIY style that suits you so much?

It is definitely something we welcome. It feels good to be able to promote the fact that nowadays there is so much opportunity to explore your passions in a professional field. It’s hard work but the reward of being able to present a true reflection of us as five people is worth it. I think between us we’ve been quite keen to stretch our muscles in other areas of creation alongside the music. We get to be visual designers, journalists, event organisers, booking agents, choreographers (yes, some serious Britney moves on the way).

There’s also something we quite like about being a pop band existing within a DIY context; the two don’t typically go together. When creating it sometimes helps to plonk yourself somewhere between two opposites that you enjoy. The juxtaposition helps to give an invigorated perspective on the art that you’re trying to make.

What would you say are your biggest influences?

Musically we owe a lot to HAIM. Their debut album is pretty much the reason why we exist! Their delicious blend of acoustic and electronic sounds was something that we all related to and all of a sudden it was very clear what kind of music we wanted to make. We’ve all grown up with music having played a huge role in our lives. I suppose one of the biggest factors in shaping the band is the influence that we have had on each other.

We’ve put in a lot of hours ensuring that Heir is a reflection of all five of us. It’s certainly intense at points but when you hit those high moments the feeling is so rich because you’re sharing it with four other people who care just as much as you.

How would you describe your progression from when you began making music together to now?

Enriching. Fun. All consuming. Inspiring. Eye-opening. Fucking hard. Fucking great. I suppose like with anything it takes time to find your relationship with it all. We’re all probably still finding it now. We’re still making music that we absolutely love playing in a room and on stage together so in that way nothing has changed at all. I suppose we’ve lived a bit more and that feeds and alters our process in different ways. The songs definitely have a more direct connection to our everyday lives.
What should people expect from a Heir live show?

Lots of dancing, maybe some crying and at least one moment where you’ll look over to your mate and raise your eyebrows as if to say ‘holy shit these guys are good’.

What plans do you guys have for 2019?

Fun plans. In April we head out on tour across the UK and Europe. Last year was a bit quieter on the gigging front so it will be great to get out for a boogie. We’ll be releasing more music. Lots more in fact. Blueprint will also be making a return in late spring so for those of you who are looking for a place to exhibit your particularly proficient penguin painting skills then please do give us a shout.