Liverpool five-piece The Heavy North have unveiled their latest single Darkness In Your Eyes. The band have also announced their new release which is the first track to be taken from their debut album expected later this year. Following the release of the band’s debut 12” vinyl EP Dive Bar Blues back in December, The Heavy North’s new single marks the first original release from the band since Bring Me Love in September 2020. Darkness In Your Eyes was recorded and mixed by the band’s guitarist/producer Jose Ibanez at 3rd Planet Recording Studio in Liverpool during the most recent national lockdown and mastered by Martin Kuchta at Rough Grain Mastering. The band talk about their new single Darkness In Your Eyes.
Congratulations on knocking over this EP, did it feel like a labour of love or was it easier than you thought?
Thanks! Our Dive Bar Blues EP was essentially a vinyl-only collection of tracks we had already released, so considering it’s our first vinyl release it came together really easily as we had the songs lined up. The tricky bit was thinking which songs to include!
Was it hard letting it go after putting so much of yourselves in to it?
We were quite excited to get it out there to be honest, because it’s one thing to release a couple of singles on Spotify, Apple Music etc. – but holding a physical 12” vinyl of four original tracks was certainly a special moment for us!
Did you have a clear vision of how you wanted the EP to pan out?
Yes. We essentially wanted to offer a limited edition collectable item to those fans, friends and followers who have stuck with us since we started out in late 2018, whilst also offering a ‘story so far’ for The Heavy North and a way of capturing the first two years of the band.
Did you have many songs that didn’t make the final cut? Will those ones, if any, make it on to something else?
We did have the opportunity to include new or unreleased material on our Dive Bar Blues EP, but at the time of the EP being released we were already starting to work on our debut album (expected late 2021) – and due to unavoidable delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as additional shipping problems due to Brexit we didn’t want to wait any longer to put our first vinyl release out there!
Were the songs mostly finished or did you improvise a little in the studio?
The four tracks from our Dive Bar Blues EP – Bring Me Love (Sept 2020) Lying To Yourself (May 2020), As Long As You’re Here With Me (Dec 2019) and Some Good Lovin’ (June 2019) – were all finished and mastered and has actually been released digitally as singles, so it was simply a case of agreeing the track listing and the order, and we’re now focusing our energy on our debut album which will be almost entirely new songs which is where we can improvise and experiment a bit!
How much of a challenge was it trying to get an EP recorded during a pandemic?
Well we did experience some logistical issues due to the pandemic – mainly because our vinyl EP was manufactured in Poland! We were also competing with delays due to Brexit as well as the usual Christmas post madness. Although half the EP was recorded before the pandemic, we’re really fortunate that Jose (guitarist) is also a successful producer and has his own recording studio so we were able to chip away gradually between the UK lockdowns as well as work write and record ourselves remotely – so luckily we were able to keep active during the pandemic!
How would you describe The Heavy North to Australian music fans?
Our EP title Dive Bar Blues was actually used in an early review to describe our sound, and we think that sums it up pretty well! We would also describe our music as garage-blues rock from Liverpool, with a bit of soul (especially Kenny’s vocals)
Biggest influence on your career?
We’ve each got our own personal influences as musicians, but The Heavy North’s sound draws influence from blues and soul singers such as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding to rock bands like Rolling Stones and The Black Keys. It’s a bit of mixed bag really, but we think we’ve found our sound with our Dive Bar Blues EP and can’t wait to share our album with everyone later this year.
Are you confident of being able to tour your EP this year?
It’s great to see restrictions starting to be lifted in the UK and around the world , and we do have a handful of UK shows booked for later this year including a sold out hometown show in Liverpool in November. We’re hoping to play some European shows next year but it’s still a bit too early to plan due to the situations in other countries – but we’re really excited to be playing live again, and although we can’t travel too far at the moment hopefully our music can and we can reach new audiences
Where to from here, what’s next?
Following the release of our latest single Darkness In Your Eyes, we are looking to release a second single in July followed by our debut album towards the end of the year. Our Dive Bar Blues EP is the perfect story so far for us, and we’re excited to take this next step towards our debut album and getting our name and our music out there. We’re really grateful for the support from fans and followers around the world, especially in Australia!
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch The Heavy North on Sounds On The Couch which is a FREE online music event, aimed to keep their music alive and to keep you entertained on your Saturday night. The event will run at 7pm (Melbourne/Sydney time), via the Sounds On the Couch Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.