The Heavy North Reflect On Their Debut Album “Electric Soul Machine”

2022 has been a massive year for Liverpool five-piece The Heavy North who have released their debut album Electric Soul Machine which features the singles Satisfy You, Darkness In Your Eyes, No Good and Awake. The Heavy North were recently championed by Scottish actor and new music fan Robert Carlyle OBE who described the garage blues six-piece as a “top, top band”. The band reflect and answer some questions about their debut.

Congratulations on your debut album Electric Soul Machine, have you been stoked with the reaction so far?
We’ve been blown away with the response! Since Electric Soul Machine was released earlier this year we’ve continued to get lots of amazing reviews and positive comments, so we’re made up that our fans and followers think the album was worth the wait.

Was the album as challenging as you thought to make?
The Heavy North’s writing and recording process has always been enjoyable. Electric Soul Machine was recorded at our guitarist and producer Jose Ibanez’s studio (3rd Planet Recording Studio in Liverpool) during Spring 2021 and we started to release a handful of singles last year including Darkness In Your Eyes and No Good.

The most challenging part was waiting for the 12″ vinyl to be manufactured! We finished recording the album in August 2021, but due to a number of manufacturing delays following the Covid-19 pandemic we weren’t sure when we would receive the album on vinyl. Luckily the vinyl copies of Electric Soul Machine arrived in April this year just in time for our re-scheduled release on Record Store Day UK (23rd April).

What was the biggest lesson learnt that you wouldn’t repeat when making the next album?
Not to compete with a global pandemic, Brexit and manufacturing delays when releasing our next album!

Sonically, how would you describe the album?
We would describe Electric Soul Machine as all-round organic mix of rock, soul, garage and blues. No samples, no auto tune – just the band playing real instruments captured by microphones and professionally produced. Production-wise, Electric Soul Machine pulls together tight, heavy drums, thick basslines, fuzzy guitars, psychedelic keyboard vibes and a powerful soul/blues vocal.

What was your reaction hearing the album start to end for the first time?
When we finally received the fully-mastered Electric Soul Machine album, each band member took the time to listen to the album from start to finish which was a great experience but also a bit of a relief! We tried not to get too hung up on our own performances, and instead take a step back and listen to the album as a listener and not as a musician.

As a band, we’re incredibly proud of what we had achieved with Electric Soul Machine, and based on the reaction we’ve had over recent months we’re pleased our fans and followers hold our debut album in such high regard.

Collectively, what are some of the influences that inspired this album?
Although we each have our own individual influences, some common influences include rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Black Keys, Jack White, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival , as well as soul artists such as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke (especially with Kenny’s vocals).

What’s the story behind the single Satisfy You?
Satisfy You was our ‘surprise’ single that we released on New Year’s Day. We describe it as a surprise single because we didn’t announce the release or publish any teasers or press coverage. We simply put it out there and felt it would be a good way to ring in the new year in which Electric Soul Machine would finally be released.

Satisfy You is a song about the negative side of social media and the internet, like online trolls and keyboard warriors. It’s about those people who intentionally put others down or pass judgement from behind a screen!

What’s your favourite track off the album to play live?
We each have our favourite tracks from Electric Soul Machine, but there are a few tracks that are definitely fan favourites when we play live – like Darkness In Your Eyes and To The Wind I Go. Next month (September 2022) we’ll be performing Electric Soul Machine from start to finish at our big hometown show in Liverpool (Saturday 24th September), and we’ve invited some guests to join us including a string quartet and a horn section which we hope will bring the album to life.

Any plans to tour internationally?
We’ll be playing our first overseas show later this year (October 2022) and hopefully we’ll be over in Europe next year for some live shows. Unfortunately for artists like us there’s a lot of barriers to overcome when touring internationally (not to mention Brexit!), but we’re looking forward to playing more overseas shows in 2023.

What’s next for The Heavy North?
We’re heading out on our Electric Soul Machine UK tour this September (2022) and playing our own headline shows in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Hull, Birmingham, Newport, London and Liverpool before we head overseas in October. After our tour dates we’ll be returning to the studio to work on our second album which we hope will be released Summer 2023.

Interview By Rob Lyon

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