The Heartless are a five-piece post-hardcore act based in Coffs Harbour. The lucky quintet have been selected as a local support for the Nambucca Heads leg of our Indent Tour, happening next Friday, November 21st! The Heartless have previously played a number of shows across the North Coast – from Byron Bay to Port Macquarie, and share a variety of musical influences from a diverse range of bands and genres, often combining catchy pop-like choruses with heavy breakdowns and other rock/metal styled riffs. They have supported acts like Hands Like Houses, Far Away Stables and Felony. We decided to catch up with the band ahead of their live performance at the Indent Tour, to learn more about their creative processes, and to discover what advice they have for other emerging post-hardcore acts in NSW.
Tell us about yourself – what first drew you to the post-hardcore genre?
Well I guess it all started for me (Dylan; vocals) with hearing bands like Escape the Fate and From First to Last. As the first big post-hardcore bands they really left an impression, Big powerful choruses, with metal like riffs during the verse and breakdowns, the mix of clean vocals and screaming was appealing because it was something new. From there onwards I sought out other members that had the same thoughts in mind, The Heartless.
How did you all meet?
We were all a part of different groups within Coffs Harbour, age playing a huge role in that, but having the same music taste in a small town, and with a small scene, everyone just knows everyone, especially if you attend gigs. So, just from knowing people around the place we started to make something new and different, while keeping it fun at the same time.
What makes The Heartless’ sound unique?
We like to do what we want when it comes to music, for example we could be sitting at practice and suddenly a little funk jam happens, and then anything we find a bit different that sounds cool, we try and incorporate it some way or another into one of our songs. We have the tendency to never make two songs that sound alike, and with a lot of the music being released these days on the radio, you can see why we try and do this, I mean, you see bands that release a whole album and every song has the same elements, same chords, same structure and tone, which isn’t what we’re about.
Have you released any official releases yet? How we can find out more about The Heartless?
When we all first got together we recorded a demo of 3 songs at a local studio here in Coffs, at this point in time we had 2 songs, plus a song our vocalist was using for his HSC multimedia project. Fast forward 6 months and we were ready to record our EP. We made a trip to Melbourne to record at SAE facilities, and in the end it just wasn’t the sound we were looking for and with time strict time limits it also effected the quality of the music. We decided that the best idea would be to record it all ourselves and take our time, so now we have been together for a year, members have come and gone… but our EP is almost done and dusted! Relieved to say the least. You can check out the progress on our Facebook page.
Do you feel like there are many opportunities for young people to perform in Nambucca Heads?
This is being our first actual show in Nambucca, we haven’t really seen much of gigs happening down that way, but we believe it’s because there was no push for it. Hopefully kids come out and say, “This is awesome, I wish this could happen all the time.”, because I’ve seen that if people want things bad enough and support what they want to see happen, then anything is possible.
What are some obstacles under-age performers face in your region?
Not being able to get their name out there. Usually most musicians these days have a Facebook profile, but that’s completely limiting as to the way promotion works, if you can’t pay to promote, people won’t see your posts, making it rather difficult to self promote, a lot of up and coming artists are suffering from this. People download music instead of buying a CD in this day and age, it’s just more convenient.
What is the hardcore scene like in Nambucca? Is there a big scene?
More of a rap scene and guessing a hip-hop scene. Being a rural town, not many bands of this genre would pass through, that’s why I am really excited and nervous to see what the turnout will be like.
How do you find out about gigs happening around town?
It most always seems to be on Facebook, people invite you to an event with just a click of a button, and usually see people posting pictures of the lineup.
Where do you rehearse?
We rehearse in a shed on a property our drummers family owns. The roof is covered with spiders, the back corner is cluttered with all sorts of crap, AND a water pump has flooded the shed before, but it’s our home.
How do you feel about supporting In Hearts Wake for the Nambucca leg of the Indent Tour?
Absolutely stoked. When we all found out I guess we were pretty shocked, Last month we were supporting ‘Hands Like Houses’ and then ‘In Hearts Wake’… that’s a pretty amazing feeling.
How will supporting In Hearts Wake open doors for The Heartless?
Well In Hearts Wake being a huge band signed on RISE records and UNFD….we as a band like both of those companies…let’s make something happen guys! Well, that would be excellent, but I think we would all just be happy to just keep playing music and see how far it can go.
What can we expect from your live set at the Indent Tour?
We are giving it a mix of covers and originals, but rather than just follow plain old tabs for the covers, we have made our own rendition of two songs. One used to be the theme song for a show about a lighthouse, and the other is an Aussie pop-rock song. And of course, we want to make you dance so we shall try to be as energetic as possible.
What advice do you have for other young hardcore/post-hardcore acts trying to make it Nambucca and surrounds?
Our biggest piece of advice would be to definitely practice, practice, practice and when you think you are ready try and record it, show it to people and get opinion but still stay true to what you want your own music to sound like. It’s an art form, that you can do whatever you please with. Just please don’t be lazy with it!
What has been your biggest challenge as an emerging post-hardcore band thus far and how did you overcome it?
Probably just having different members depart from the band, it has happened maybe 3-4 times, mostly around the same positions in the band, Bit of chaos at the time because you have to teach the new person and that could hold you up for awhile depending on the skill ability of the person and difficulty of the songs, but it has worked in our favour for the better.
After the Indent Tour, what else is on the horizon for The Heartless in the new year?
We are hopefully going to be supporting ‘The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ And ‘Hawthorne Heights’ on their local stop at the Coffs hotel on the 7th of December for their Australian tour. For us, that would be absolutely massive, so fingers crossed. Two bands we grew up listening to, such a dream. Plus also the release of hopefully a lot more music, as well as an active Youtube channel, and just still having fun and enjoying ourselves I think is the main point.
Catch The Heartless play on Friday November 21 at Nambucca Heads Entertainment Centre. Show kicks off at 6pm. Only $10+BF available from www.indent.oztix.com.au or $15 on the door. Facebook event can be found here.