The Power of East Coast Surf


Feature for 

November 2007

The Heavies


Name: The Heavies

Genre: Aggro-surf / Industrial strength surf

Geographical Area: Chicagoland / NWI

Interview with: John by email on 10/30/07

1. What is the current line-up of your band?

Jason - guitar/bass

Jim - drums

John - bass/guitar

2. How and when did you get started with your band?

Christmas 1999: Jason and I were talking about music and got on the subject of surf-instro and both expressed interest in playing it. Three months later we started getting together at his place and learned about 15-20 songs with me playing rhythm and him on lead. We looked for about 18 months for a drummer and bass player with no luck. Jay knew Jim from some job sites they had worked at and asked him to play drums with us. The 3 of us started practicing regularly in the spring of '02 in Jim's parents' garage while we kept looking for a bass player. Jim's Dad thought the stuff we were playing sounded great and started learning the bass lines. We played our first "show" labor day weekend 2002 at a 3-band birthday party as a 4-piece. Two months later, his dad passed the bass duties on to Jim's brother, who moved to California and soon the revolving door started. After 4 years and 7 different bass players we decided to become a 3 piece and I picked up the bass. They still let me play guitar on about 3-6 songs every set and Jay switches to bass.       


3. What bands or music have influenced you most?

Jay - The Beatles / Iron Maiden / classical music

Jim - The Beatles / Sublime / Nirvana

John - The Beach Boys / Pixies / Black Flag

4. What is the breakdown of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?

25% originals / 75% covers



5. What recording have you done?

We recorded a 7 song promo CD in 2003 with 6 covers and an early version of an original song called Bitemark. In winter of 2006 we recorded 10 original songs for our CD "Rise  Above".

6. What kind of gear do you use?

Danelectro and Fender guitars and basses, Fender guitar amps, Peavy bass rig and Jim plays a 1980 6-piece Rogers drum kit. 


7. What is your bandís favorite food/beverage?


Pizza & beer



8. How do you get gigs?

We beg, borrow and steal. Oh, and a lot of networking.

9. What are the difficulties you find playing your kind of music in your area?

In Indiana it's finding like-minded musicians to play with and venues that will take a chance on the instro thing. In Chicago it's a lot easier to find people and clubs that are more open-minded to what we do.


10. What positive attributes does your band have that sets you apart from other bands (of any genre)?

High energy, stage presence, and our matinee' idol good looks (really!)


11. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool youíve used to further your bandís musical path?

The internet (MySpace, NESMA group etc...)


12. Whatís the most interesting performance experience youíve had?

We've played about 115 shows in the past 5 years, so picking one is kinda hard. Maybe the time we played at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park 4th of July '04. Some kid set a stink bomb off behind the stage during a song and Jim vomited from the smell but never quit playing and didn't skip a beat! A few songs later our bass player got tangled in my guitar cord and flipped my amp out of it's stand, knocking my back-up guitar over and sending it off the stage and out onto the main floor. They never asked us back.


13. What do you hope to get out of being a NESMA member?

e've already gotten so much from it: hooking up with The Octomen and having them come out to Chicago to play with us, doing a show with all NESMA bands in Toledo, Ohio that Unsteady Freddie put together, and in the spring of '08 we are coming to New York for a shindig at Otto's.   


14. Anything else?

We appreciate being allowed to be a part of this scene and we only see it getting BIGGER and BETTER!!! Our thanks go out to everyone for their support. 



          Back to NESMA website