Feature for November / December 2016
Band Name: The Electric Heaters (Matt Heaton and the Electric Heaters)
Genre: Surf Noir (formerly Modern Surf)
Geographical Area: Boston
Interview with: Matt Heaton on Oct. 29, 2016 via email
Last Interview date: Jan. 2011
Band Formed in 2010
NESMA member since 2010
1. What is the current line-up of your band?
2. Has your line-up changed since your last interview?
Oh yes! Apart from playing with three different drummers and eight bass players, we've added keys!
Jared, the drummer has been solid for quite a while. We had a trio with Andy from Surf's Up Spicoli on bass, which was going well, but he started having some pretty severe hand problems and couldn't play anymore. For a while we were playing as a duo, but I wanted more people to make life easier on myself! Jared suggested Dave, and I brought in Neil.
3. Since your last interview, has your music taken on new or different directions? If so, how?
We've dropped most of the covers we were doing. I've been writing more spy and spaghetti western type tunes as well.
4. What NESMA bands have you had an opportunity to perform with, or share a show with?
5. What bands of any genre have you played with or networked with?
The Living Deads (Psychobilly)
The Hi-Ends (garage rock)
The Weisstronauts (instro)
6. What is the breakdown of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?
We're only doing two or three covers with any regularity. We always do a Link Wray tune (either "Jack the Ripper", "Run Chicken Run" or "I'm Branded") and often "Banzaii Pipeline". Oh, and we've worked up a nice version of "Starman" by Bowie, which I made for a tribute show when he died.
6a. Has this changed since your last interview? Is so, how?
We used to be doing a lot more shows where we had to play for three hours. Lately, we've been concentrating on shows where we do one set. There's a nice brewery which has music in the tap room, called Aeronaut and they are very open to surf & instro music.
7. What recording have you done since your last interview?
<shuffles feet, looks at floor> Well, we actually did some recording at the end of the summer, but it isn't mixed yet. BUT WHEN IT IS, we'll release it as an EP.
8. Where does your band typically practice?
We don't. Sad but true. We'll have a rehearsal once in a while for a big show or if we haven't played in a long time, but usually we just go for it. The bass player and keyboardist use charts for a lot of the tunes, and sometimes I'll write out a new tune and just try it. It obviously isn't ideal, but none of us have the time or availability for a regular rehearsal.
9. What does your band typically wear for a performance?
Our trademarked Electric Heaters shirts and hats.
10. Do you ever have additional performers on stage with you (such as an occasional additional guitarist, saxophone, dancers, etc.)?
Are you offering? :) No, but I've thought about it. There are a couple singers I'd like to work with.
11. How do you continue to get gigs?
Trying…I'm bad at getting gigs, so it's a tough question!
12. Approximately how often do you perform out?
I shoot for 1x a month; it tends to be more 3x in one month then nothing for two months!
13. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool you've used to further your band's musical path?
No idea. Again, I feel like I'm really bad at getting the word out about this band! I think we sound good, and if we play a show for a room full of people who don't know us, they like it. But I've yet to crack the code about getting people to fill a place specifically for us, you know?
14. What's the most interesting performance experience you've had since your last interview?
We did a big show at TT the Bears, which turned out to be about a month before they closed! I was really glad to have gotten that one on the books.
15. What have you gotten out of being a NESMA member so far?
I use the database of bands when I'm looking for folks to share a bill with. And just knowing that there are more of us out there!
16. Have you had opportunities to promote NESMA? If so, what have you done?
I keep a link on the website, and this interview will be my main news item for the rest of the year!
17. Do you have any suggestion on how NESMA can grow?
Can we have a festival? As you may recall, I was lucky enough to be in NC during the instro summit, and man, it'd be great to have one of those I could drive to!
18. Anything else?
Pig Roast! Tiki drinks!
Thanks for all your work. I really appreciate it.