CC: In your own words, how did Heartless Romantic become an entity?
Mike: Well, this whole thing started as a personal studio project. The name of the band comes from the title of an EP I put out a few years ago I was playing in another band at the time and I was writing the material for Historical Fiction. When I left that band, I had my friend (Juergie) track drums for the record. Aside from a few other parts, I recorded the rest of it myself. I put it out and thought that would be it, however, I realized the thing I missed most about the music scene was being in a band and playing shows. I recruited some people with whom I had played with previously, and the rest kind of worked itself out. We had a few practices and felt really good about where it was going. It all fell together pretty quickly after that.
CC: If given only one word to describe your band, what word would that be?
CC: What’s the most demanding factor of being in Heartless Romantic?
Mike: Trying to keep up with everyone else! When I put together this lineup, I had no idea how talented these guys were. It’s been cool trying to one-up each other in search of the perfect parts. Other than that, it’s probably all the driving. We make it a point to see each other multiple times a week, but we’re spread out all over, so the traffic our weird work schedules, and driving sometimes takes a toll. It’s always been worth it though, because sometimes you come up with the coolest stuff when you’re sleep deprived.
CC: What’s the best part about being in your band?
Mike: Everyone’s uniquely talented and we pull from a lot of different influences. We all get along really well and drive each other to get better individually and as a group. We’re all great friends and we’re very supportive of each other.
CC: If Heartless Romantic could tour with any band(s) in the world, which band would you like to hit the road with?
Mike: Well ideally, we’d go back in time and tour with My Chemical Romance or Avenged Sevenfold. We enjoy Chon, I the Mighty, Hail the Sun, and Circa Survive. We’re also all fans of Protest the Hero. I know Nick’s a big fan of Falling in Reverse. There are also up-and-coming bands from Georgia that we’ve known for a while like Microwave, The Funeral Portrait, and Like Mike. Any of those guys would be super fun to tour with.
CC: What do you feel separates Heartless Romantic from the rest of bands out there in the scene?
Mike: We fall somewhere in the middle of punk and metal. We feel like that gives us a really unique perspective and voice. The majority of our songs can stand alone as their own stories. We have also all been in bands before so now we’ve, more or less, worked out all the kinks of what it means to be in a band. I know every band says they have determination, but I’ve never worked with a more dedicated group of guys.
CC: You pull into a gas station to fill up the vehicle you are using to get to the next gig. You go inside to pay for your gas, when suddenly, you look at the TV inside the gas station to find out from the news that the zombie apocalypse. What items do you grab from the gas station to help the band on your guys’ road to survival?
We’d probably just board up the windows and doors and wait it out to be honest. There’s a huge variety of snacks, booze, water, fuel, etc. inside to keep us alive. Come to think of it, a gas station is the ideal location to fortify, and since we’d have all of our gear with us, we could spend our time in isolation writing (what would presumably be) the first post-outbreak album. No matter what the situation, people are going to want to be entertained and we’d have a pretty strong corner on the market. The Walking Dead is filmed in our “backyard.” These things do cross one’s mind.
CC: What’s the ultimate goal for Heartless Romantic?
Mike: It’s really as simple as playing music we love to lots of people. We just want to become the best musicians we can and play our songs for anyone who will listen.
CC: What are your guys’ short-term goals?
Mike: Playing in as many new places and to as many new people as possible across the Southeast. We’re just trying to build local momentum for a while. The focus is lots and lots of shows for now.
CC: If you could speak directly to your fans right now, what would you say?
Mike: Eat lots of vegetables, drink lots of water, and thank you for listening. Tell your friends about us, because some very cool things are happening this year and we’d hate for you to miss ’em!
All answers by vocalist Mike Motter.
Interview and post by Matthew Saunders
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