Samstag, März 14, 2009

glotzt nicht so romantisch (50): heypenny

bei manchen bands ist es mehr als ein jammer, dass man nichts oder lange nichts neues von ihnen hört. wohingegen andere jahr für jahr einen rotz produzieren und gar auswerfen, feiern jene wenigstens alte erfolge. nun sind heypenny nicht gerade mit preisen und kohle überhäuft worden. aber es gibt einen erlauchten kreis der wissenden, die noch heute von "use these spoons" schwärmen. 2005 wars, als heypenny mit diesem melodieseligen und hookbeladenen, eingängigen und jederzeit erregenden pop-tanz-werk daherkamen. seit dem touren sie mächtig und müssen auch und besonders lokal präsent sein. aber es drängen sich kaum neuigkeiten auf, die auch einen freak aus übersee befriedigen könnten. allerdings lässt ben elkins hin und wieder bei den auftritten seiner band verlauten, dass es neues material gäbe. außerdem habe sich das projekt heypenny mehr und mehr zu einer band- denn soloangelegenheit entwickelt. dies kommt natürlich auch dem sound zugute. ein tolles interview habe ich gefunden, dass elkins anfang des jahres timesfreepress gab (nachzulesen komplett hier), ausschnittweise hier:
CP: You're originally from Chattanooga, right?
Yeah, yeah. My wife and I lived out there for three years. We consider that somewhat of a home, for sure. We lived over in Brainerd right over the ridge. We really loved it there. We made a lot of great friends there, and it was really, really important music spot for me. The only album we have was done mostly in Chattanooga in my house.
I changed a lot while living there. I used to be more in the jam band direction like a lot of people were in the late 90s. I was in that full force, and thank goodness I had some kind friends who shunned me pretty aggressively and gave me some music to listen to like The Shins and Arcade Fire and Wilco. Those had a pretty profound impact on what I thought was good, musically, and what I got in to.
CP: How has Heypenny's approach to music changed since “Use These Spoons” came out in 2005?
BE: It's quite a bit different. “Use These Spoons” was kind of a coming-of-age tale. It was sort of like a history book of me changing, musically. It's really a story of the Heypenny sound developing. When that record started, it was under a different band name and a totally different vision. It took nine months to record it off and on at my house. It was mostly a recording project with some live potential, but now I feel like it's the opposite, more of a live band with a recording that backs that up.
The sound is definitely more live and there's more life to it. “Use These Spoons” was very calculated, but the sound now is focused more on capturing the performance. The tunes now feel like they've been written by a little bit older person, which I am. “Use These Spoons” was finding it's legs, but these new tunes we're working on feel like they've found their legs and are running.
We have arrived at being Heypenny, arrived at being a band. Who knows how we'll develop, but we've definitely arrived at a place we're really proud of and where we're proud of our music. It's not just my music anymore; it's definitely our music now. We're all equally in this together. We couldn't do it without the others. We're all best friends and are thrilled about what we all bring to the table. That's the biggest thing that's changed. It's gone from being a one-person, bedroom project to a project that relies on more than one person. If I went out again on my own, I would have to change the band name because it wouldn't be the same without these other guys.
CP: I saw on your Myspace that you don't have The Beatles listed, but I really hear a strong influence from them in your sound. Is that because they're just too obvious to list?
BE: Nah, that's definitely an influence. Everybody else has that on their Myspace, so we felt like that was assumed. It should be like, “Influences (other than The Beatles) … .” There's something so magical about their melodies and chords and the way they sang and presented themselves to the world that's extremely intriguing and inspiring. It's like that's the foundation everyone works off of, and then you have other influences.
Besides them, these days, I think there's weird influences like Kanye West and Beyonce, who are more influential to me in terms of what I think is really amazing in music. It's weird to say. I heard this AC/DC song the other day and was listening to that with a different perspective, listening to how he sang. He sings so rhythmically and really, really neat kind of as counterpoint to whatever music is going on.
It made me realize that people, at least for fun, loud, fast music, are doing pretty similar themes rhythmically, singing in an interesting way. Using your voice almost like a percussion instrument to make it work. It has to fit in the right pocket. I've been seeing that everywhere. All the pop music I like has that going on, and that's something we try to do with our tunes, to focus on what the vocals do rhythmically and making those punch out in the live setting is something we've tried to do lately and making sure there isn't too much noise so that it's clear.

Heypenny - Dooley
Heypenny - Parade
Heypenny - Seems So Small
Heypenny - Let It Rain
Heypenny - Brave

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