I interviewed Larry, the singer of My American Heart outside the muse in Nashville. They are currently playing with Just Surrender and October Fall.
Paul: Where did you get the name My American Heart?
-Larry: I owned a web design firm called My American Heart, and during the time we were going through legal issues with No Way Out. No Way Out was just a really pop punk high school band name. We all agreed we wanted to change our name. So we took My American Heart. We thought it fit us well.
Paul: How did you all come together as a band?
-Larry: Jeremy the guitarist and I were best friends since 5th grade. This was way before we knew anything about music. I met Jesse and Steven in Junior High. Dustin is new to our band. He is from a band called The Transition out of Pittsburgh. We have lost 3 members before Dustin. Jesse played bass before the last two guys.
Paul: As everyone already knows, your band was one of the most popular unsigned bands around. What made you decide to sign to Warcon Records?
-Larry: We held out for a really long time, and got offers from other labels. Warcon just had everything to offer us in a label, relationship wise. They werenÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t already huge so they had enough time to develop our band and give us the attention that you canÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t get from other labels with a full roster of other bands. So we felt like it was the right choice for us.
Paul: Tell us some about Warcon.
-Larry: It works like a major but to me it is an indie. I feel like itÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s going to be the new Vagrant Records or the next biggest Indie label. We have the same qualities, as majors do, like the distribution and the marketing. ItÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s a great label.
Paul: How was the song writing process for the new album compared to the previous EP?
-Larry: That was our self-debut and now we have progressed as musicians and writers and we have structure in our songs now. Not to many bands can pull songs with verse, verse, verse, then a breakdown and that is the end of the song. To me I feel like we just found our niche and we are still progressing and becoming better musicians as a whole.
When we write our songs, Jesse is usually the one who will have the main riff and the rest of us will just get creative and put our own parts into the song.
Paul: What happened to the song Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½White LinesÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ and what is it about?
-Larry: Dude everyone has been asking me about that. Our new bass player doesnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t know the song, and we are trying to refrain from playing old songs. ItÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s not about doing coke like a lot people think it is. We had this whole joke about doing coke off our maps, but the song is really about touring. Obviously, the while lines are the lines on the highway. People always tried to interpret the song meaning itÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s about coke but itÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s not. Whenever they ask me usually IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ll just kid around and be like yeah it is. Yeah but no nose grinds, there are no nose grinds involved here in My American Heart. There is no hope with motha fucking dope.
Paul: What songs on the album would you say have the most significant meaning?
-Larry: The Process. The whole song is about people who have no respect for themselves and they are controlled by everything around them and their peers. The new cool thing is to be a scene kid. We want people to feel like they can be anything they want. They donÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t have to live a certain lifestyle to listen to certain music. I mean I listen to hip-hop and I look like the most flamboyant gayest kid youÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ll ever meet. YouÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½re not limited. I just want people to feel like they can keep it real and people can accept them. The song Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½The ProcessÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ pretty much sums all that up. We picked that song as our single to debut the album, because that song is pretty much the message we want to get out there.
Paul: What is the meaning behind Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½The Meaning in MakeupÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½?
-Larry: Well itÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s pretty much the same thing. ItÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s the same concept. Whatever you feel is beautiful to you, that is what you should be.
Paul: How was it shooting the video for Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½The ProcessÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½?
-Larry: Man it was awesome. The producer was Shane Drake he did Armor For Sleep and Hawthorne Heights, The Audition and now is doing ParamoreÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s next video for Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½PressureÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½. It was really interesting working with a real director and a lot fun. The only bad part about it was we had to play to a CD without actually playing, and doing over and over again. I would get sweaty and want to pass out and then he was like ok youÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ve got to do it again. It was an all day thing 7 in the morning to 1 at night. It was pretty interesting shooting and get all the different camera angles. Shane was on a truck and just driving around getting those moving shots. It this was all done in a huge warehouse. It was a great time.
Paul: So does the whole videoÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s concept go along with the songs overall meaning?
-Larry: Yeah the same thing. If you donÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t notice in the beginning it looks like the girl is putting makeup on but itÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s actually coming off.
Paul: Sorry this is a random question, but did you guys hook up with any of the girls in the video?
-Larry: haha One of them is JeremyÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s ex- girlfriend. These are all my friends from home. So I picked a lot of the most beautiful people to be in the video. Then Shane Drake had the final saying. He cut a lot of girls. He was like Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½I want nothing but fucking hot girls in my video.Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½
Paul: What is the craziest tour experience you have ever had?
-Larry: WeÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ve had a lot of them. There was one were we were in northern California at a Jack in the Box. There was this joke we had on tour and we had some tape and we made stick figure eating a dog. We wrote above it Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½I eat dog.Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ It was a total practical joke. It was just figures made out of tape. So we go into Jack in the Box. This girl and her boyfriend walk in and they are just dogging us and yelling at us. There is like 8 of us. Only three of us are Asian. They walk up to us and say Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½Only Asians eat dogÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ because there were white people around us. They said things like Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½You fucking gooksÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ and it got all racist and stuff. We were like Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½There is only a few Asian people here the rest of us are white itÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s just a joke.Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ They were like trying to fight us. It was really hickish and really weird. It was pretty intense.
Another one was with Just Surrender. We had piss wars. We will be driving down the highway and we will piss in cups, just any kind of cups we got from McDonalds or some place like that. Then we just throw it on their windshield and it will just explode. One time their tour manager had the window open, and we made it inside. It was nuts. Then we were at war for like two hours. Haha We were so tired because we pissed as much as we could in those couple of hours.
Speaking of touring, what other tour plans are in store for the band?
We are set to do Taste of Chaos Japan with The Used Killswitch Engage, and Funeral for a Friend. There are other bands playing but I canÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t think of them off the top of my head. We are going to Japan for a week or so and we come back we are doing a Myspace tour with Greeley Estates and A Change of Pace.
Paul: Whenever you arenÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t playing music what do you do in your free time?
-Larry: I play counterstrike. Um.. really we just hang out and get drunk. We enjoy hanging out. We donÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t really have much free time though. Even when we are at home we donÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t even disband, we still hang out just as if we were on tour. We all still spend the night at each others housing, party it up.
Paul: What would you say are your biggest musical influences?
-Larry: Personally my biggest musical influence is Sigurros. IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ve always listened to a lot of Refused. Also other bands like Radiohead, Bjork, and Minus the Bear have influenced me.
As a band, we have really looked up to a lot of San Diego band. We looked to bands called Counterfit and Noise Ratchet. Also Coldplay was a big influence.
(interview is slightly interrupted by a crackhead)
Larry: Dude a crackhead is washing your windshields.
Paul: Yeah I know I want to give something for the hardwork, but I donÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t have any change. Do you have any change?
Larry: Nah, I donÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t have anything.
(crackhead walks off and the interview continues)
Paul: If you could go out on any tour with any 3 bands who would it be?
-Larry: The Refused, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age
Paul: Name 3 things you couldnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t live without on tour.
-Larry: My cellphone and my CDÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s, I also have this diary that I write everything I do in. ItÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s more like a history book for me. Later IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ll look back on it all the things IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ve done and laugh.
Paul>Do you all have any more promotions plans or endorsements in the future?
-Larry: Um.. I have dreams of getting endorsements. We are endorsed by Ernie Balls. They do a lot of things for us. I would love to be sponsored by Nike and American Apparel, but as of now we are only sponsored by Ernie Ball. Ernie Ball is awesome.
Paul: Well IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ll give you this time to promote and mention anything you would like to say to your fans.
-Larry: Our new CD Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½The Meaning In MakeupÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ just came out in stores everywhere on September 13. If you havenÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t picked up yet then check it out. Thanks to everyone for listening to us.