26 novembre 2021 5 26 /11 /novembre /2021 13:38
Interview with Stephanie from Hearts & Hand Grenades.
NoPo for Concert Monkey
What is your name and what do you do in the band?
Stephanie Wlosinski, I am the lead vocalist and bassist for the band.
What do they mean by 'Hearts and Hand Grenades?
We wanted a name that represents our sound, so we were looking for something with some contrast to it. We have moments on our tracks where we can sound serene or gentle, then completely switch gears and be loud and “in your face”. We settled on H&HG after a lot of thought and deliberation.
Who came with the idea for the band’s name?
I think I suggested that name but we discussed it as a band and tossed around quite a few ideas before we settled on that one in particular.
Who is the woman we see on the artwork (she doesn’t look like Stephanie… nor like the boys!)?
The artwork was created by Jeff Ballance, who has created a unique character for us. She was not created after anyone’s likeness in particular, but we did name her Lilith and have plans to keep her around for future artwork as the band’s mascot of sorts.
Why did the band release 2 records the same year, is it due to the lockdown?
We didn’t necessarily plan to release two albums in one year, but the lockdown definitely gave us the extra time we needed to continue creating new music. We never really stopped working on new material after the first album, so we had to make a choice to either sit on anything new we had created, or to release a second album. At that point, we wanted to just go for it since we have no plans to stop.
Or did they need more stuff to tour?
That does absolutely make it easier for touring purposes. To only have one album worth of material forces us to play shorter time slots. BUT with the additional material we can fill headlining spots so that was certainly a positive aspect to releasing two albums in one year.
Were all the songs composed at the same period, are some of them older?
A couple of the songs are, in fact, some of the very first tracks we wrote. We had previously released them as part of an earlier EP that came out even before the first album. We later decided to reel back on that and include them in this album and it was the right move to do. We knew the songs were good but weren’t getting the attention they deserved as part of that EP.
Are the songs a kind of outlet or may we consider them as only rock’n’roll Your music sounds rough but clear, the songs are more in a rock register than in a metal one, is this Justin Rose’s choice or did the band want it like that?
The music is definitely an outlet, and I think all musicians can agree when writing material. It is a part of you as an extension of what you are thinking and feeling at the time. We all have different musical influences and that is part of our sounds. We don’t work to be a Rock only band or a Metal sounding band. Its just us. We write and create the sounds that feel right to us.
How do you write your songs, does the music come before the lyrics ?
Most of the time the music comes before the lyrics. The typical process is usually that Mike comes up with a guitar riff and we build the song around that. There are a few tracks that have stemmed from the lyrics but that’s not often.
Do you compose on guitar?
The composing is done on a guitar while Mike is creating the rhythms and riffs. If I come up with a melody before the music is worked out, I will play around with it a little on my bass or just hum the tune until we work something out on the guitar first.
Who writes the songs, is there only one composer or all together?
Most of the songs are created by Mike and I working through our typical process. Once that is complete, we will bring in Kenny to create his lead lines and solos and add in his expertise. Once the format is solid, we bring in the drums and vocals to complete the track. It is a more mechanical approach than an organic one and it is a formula that has worked great for us.
Do you work with the help of files or were all of you in the studio?
When we record we are all in the studio together. We will work through our parts individually but tend to all be there as much as possible to contribute ideas as we move through the different tracks.
Was it a difficult and long job to give birth to two records in one year?
It did not feel difficult at all. It actually felt very natural to just keep working on new material. If we are inspired to keep writing we certainly will and as the albums take shape we will continue to release them. We don’t necessarily enjoy creating music because we have a deadline. We instead like to let it happen and put the albums together based on cohesiveness.
Can we expect two new records in 2022?
Anything is possible. If we have a lot of new material when the time comes to make the next album happen it could be in the form of a longer, extended track listing or possibly two separate ones. We will have to wait and see what 2022 holds for us.
Line-up: Mike Bress/ Stephanie Wlosinski/Kenny Blesy/ Tom Lafferty
Link to the reviews.
- (9/10) "Between the Lines is a real in-your-face rock album, with Stephanie Wlosinski coming across like Lzzy Hale's little sister" - Powerplay Magazine
- (9/10) "really excellent, full of personality with an amazing crude energy" - Metal Temple
- (9.8/10) "Once again Stephanie and Co have smashed it out of the park and this is definitely a album that's going places" - Therapy Through A Lens
- (8.5/10) "Between the Lines rivals what you’ll hear from the best in alternative hard rock and melodic metal today" - Dead Rhetoric
- (8.4/10) "Hearts & Hand Grenades did a lot right on between the lines!" - Keep On Rocking
- (80/100) "energetic and exciting hard rock updated to the present day with heavy tones and metallic shades" True Metal-IT
- (4/5) "a strong, varied and enjoyable rock album with shades of heavy and melodic wrapped in a neat parcel" - Ramzine
- (4/5) "mastery of huge hooks, ferocious guitar work, and outstanding vocals of Stephanie Wlosinski… every track is a winner!" - ERB Magazine
- (8/10) "massive choruses, groovy rhythms and powerful sing-along moments" - G B H B L
- (7.5/10) "a rocking record for all fans of rock music!" - Hellfire Magazine
- "a really strong album which coalesces around Stephanie Wlosinski who brings a voice to the rock scene that is unlike any other" - Rock Poser
- "Stephanie Wlosinski defends her art with the strength of a rebel, and the album remains interesting enough revisit several times without getting bored!" - Concert Monkey
- "well put-together, fiery hard rock like it used to be made" - Sentinel Daily "every aspect of edgy rock n’ roll" - Distorted Sound