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Everyone's Invited


Архив интервью | Русская версия

Sweden gave the world such a variety of outstanding artists that it’s hard to remember them all, even though ABBA and Europe have basically become household names. In that cold northern country windswept cities are populated by people with burning hearts who create great music no matter what style they choose. And even though rock fans traditionally associate Scandinavia with heavy and very heavy stuff, Sweden’s got a lot of achievements in other fields of music to its credit.
In case you aren’t aware of H.E.A.T., it’s high time you get to know them. Their music will definitely find a way to your heart, even if it’s long and winding. H.E.A.T have been working hard to conquer charts and fans’ respect, and their current status is close to those who were their idols when they were getting started. In the run-up to the band’s first show in Russia, keyboard player Jona Tee told us about the band’s latest album “Into the Great Unknown”, difficulties in the recording process and a great party that the band will headline on July 27 in Moscow’s Glastonberry Pub.

You’re going to visit Russia for the very first time. What are you expecting from this country? Maybe you’ve heard some stereotypical stories about Russia, haven’t you?

We expect nothing but a good time. Very cool to see one of the biggest countries in the world with our own eyes.

You have visited a lot of different countries in the course of your music career. What countries do you like the most? Do you feel any difference between your fans’ reactions to your live shows in different countries? What country are you looking forward to return to the most?

This is no exact science, but I’ve noticed that the further south you get, the wilder the crowd. I love most places, it’s just different flavours. Like food, or booze.

Are you interested in getting to know the culture of a country that you visit? What would you want to find out about the cultural background in Russia?

Unfortunately we’re only staying a short while, but I really hope to absorb as much culture as possible within that short timeframe.

Do you bring back home any souvenirs and gifts from your fans? What items of this kind have been the most interesting and pleasant for you?

The fans in Japan tend to give a lot of gifts. I have a few awesome notes from fans on my refrigerator at home to remind me why I do this.

Let’s talk about your latest release “Into the Great Unknown”. What was your biggest concern when you started to record it? Did any of your concerns come true?

I can’t remember any concerns on my part. Just wanted to make the best possible album with the material we had.

What was the reason why you decided to record the album in Taiwan? Did this change of scenery also bring along any new/unusual techniques or instruments, or was it more like ”business as usual”, just in different surroundings?

Actually in Thailand. I’d say it was more or less business as usual, but with quite a different surrounding than an industrial area in Gothenburg.

 “Into the Great Unknown” is quite a different record if we compare it to “Tearing Down the Walls” (2014). What drove this change – was it a conscious attempt to broaden the horizons, or did you just write new songs and follow where they take you?

I think it was a combination of the songs and the production. And the fact that it was written over 3 years made it quite broad. A lot happens in three years inspiration wise.

What is the most difficult thing for you in the songwriting process? Do you record everything you compose, or do you have any leftovers?

The hard part is finding time to record all ideas and songs you have. I have stuff dating years back that I still wanna do but new ideas pop up all the time and get prioritized.

From the lyrical and emotional point of view, what are your personal standouts on “Into the Great Unknown”?

Love the title track. Deals with the anxiety of a person bound for space, but also the possible glory that awaits.

Are you satisfied with critics’ and fans’ response to the new album? Have you read any reviews or comments that you like the most? If yes, what were they?

People seem to enjoy “Eye of the Storm” and “Redefined” the most. Based on streaming. (smiles)

A few years ago you recorded two acoustic videos in the streets and in a pub. How did they come together? Do you have any plans to do something like this again?

We actually have some footage from a live session with “Redefined”. We just never got around to release it. Thanks for the reminder!

You always try to include different songs from different albums in your setlists. In your opinion, are there any songs that need to be in the setlist every time you play? Do you notice any difference in fans’ reaction to your older and newer stuff?

We usually put the old singles in the set. And then we ask our fans what they wanna hear. Then we try to build a varied set with a good energy balance.

We have heard a lot about an energy exchange between musicians and their fans during live shows. Does it actually happen, and if yes, how would you describe it?

We always keep energy levels at the maximum. Seeing a H.E.A.T show should be like going to a great party. And everyone’s invited!

How would your “Beginner’s guide to H.E.A.T” look like? What song/album should a newcomer start with if he/she wants to get acquainted with your band?

First, dive in to songs like ”Living On The Run” and ”A Shot At Redemption”. Then just check it all out. Lots of good music through the years.

Is there any message that you would like to send your Russian fans in the run-up to your first show here? In general, what should we expect from seeing you live for the first time?

Thank you for having us. Prepare for a night of great fun. We are super ready and excited.

H.E.A.T on the Internet: http://www.heatsweden.com/

Special thanks to Olga Ovsyannikova (Eventation) for arranging this interview

Interview by Elena “Linn” Pavlova
Live photos by Natalia "Snakeheart" Patrashova
July 5, 2018
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