When a band doesn’t only want your daughter but her father for a fan as well, you know they’re serious. Get ready for some Heartsick-ness.
Alfonso Civile, Nico Killips, Waylon Fox, and Jerred Pruneau are coming back at you re-energized as Heartsick. Gearing up for quite a few big things this year, including Dirt Fest 2015, Alfonso took a few minutes in a secret Lansing, MI bunker to give us some of the best answers we’ve seen yet. Pull up a chair, make sure to have an empty bladder – no CD’s will be given away, and get ready for a great read.
NRR: You guys are from the Lansing, MI area and have been causing fathers to be scared for their daughters since 2000. What’s been going on with the band in the last year?
Alfonso Civile: (laughing), I don’t think we scare fathers. I think the dads rock out with us but the moms fear for both, (laughing). WE SHALL CONVERT THEE! The last year has been a pretty crazy time period for the band. We changed our name at the beginning of the year from Know Lyfe to Heartsick. Before you ask why I will make it as simple as possible. Like you said we have been scaring people since 2000. We wanted to recharge the fear and breath new life into a well oiled, high mileage vehicle that is as trusty as they come. So we slapped some new paint on and retooled the ole pistons so that the world got a new look at a proven thoroughbred. On top of the name change this year has been huge for us as far as shows and opportunities. We played Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest, Common Ground Fest, Dirt Fest, doing dates with Gwar and Nonpoint and some other exciting things. So it has been a year of some serious strides but for as many strides as we have had we have also had mountains to climb to get to those green patches of flat striding land, (laughing).
NRR: Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at Dirt Fest 2015 to keep the hustle going?
Alfonso Civile: Anytime we are on stage it is a great time. Not saying that to sound pompous or over inflated, we just mean that we love being on ANY stage no matter size, show, etc. Isn’t that the point of being in a band? Being an artist? To perform because you love it? There is no doubt in our minds that we will have an excellent time on stage because Dirt Fest is THE best summer festival in the Midwest, second only to Rock on The Range. Honestly, we are all really looking forward to King 810’s set. We have been friends with Dave and the boys for years and years and to see where they have gotten is most excellent. Also Coal Chamber and Fear Factory. We are all fans of the mid to late 90s resurgence nu-metal so those bands are huge influences on us because we saw them come up and to say that we are getting to play something they are a part of is nothing but humbling and a huge honor.
NRR: You guys have played a huge amount of shows so far in your career. What has to be the craziest show you can remember be it because of the other band(s), the crowd, or just the bizarre crap that happened?
Moxie Common Ground 7-9-2015
Alfonso Civile: 15 years is a lot of time out in the world especially as an independent completely DIY band. The craziest I think would probably be 2009 Mayhem Festival. It was the perfect storm for us that day and we got to play in front of like 8,000 people AFTER Whitechapel, (laughing). That was crazy because it just happened and we had such a great crowd that day and the people just were really into the whole atmosphere of the thing. The most bizarre thing would have to probably be the kid who peed himself on command for a CD. It was by far something we will never forget, (laughing). This was not our idea it was his and he was REALLY, REALLY into wanting for us to ask him to do it, (laughing). We would have just given it to him, (laughing).
NRR: Coldcock American Herbal Flavored Whiskey became a sponsor how and do any of you need a liver transplant yet, (laughing)?
Alfonso Civile: Man. Adam Grayer and the whole staff at Coldcock are just awesome. We could write a book about how amazing the people there are. To see a company support live original rock and roll the way they do is just awesome. They have picked up the torch and have single handedly revived the partnerships between live rock and GOOD, HOMEGROWN, products that were born to compliment each other. A company like ColdCock understands bands like us. They started small and still are small in their world. So they get that it takes a village to raise a hideous rock and roll monster, (evilly smiling). Our livers with the exception of our singer’s have come to terms with it. They are on a strict quit your bitching diet, (laughing).
NRR: What are some of your influences musically and have you had a chance to play with any of them on stage?
Alfonso Civile: Man. So many to put down but the top ones would have to be Deftones. Sadly we have not had the ultimate pleasure to play with them but who knows maybe one day we will. Every Time I Die, we have had the pleasure of playing with them a few times and it was amazing. 36 Crazyfists, got to actually tour with them and yeah that basically made our year, (laughing). Glassjaw, never played with them. I think our bass player would die if we did, (laughing). System Of A Down, never played with them and if we ever got the chance we would collectively need new bowels as we would probably have shat our selves. Failure, just had the chance to play with them and afterward their drummer began following us on InstaGram and that basically blew our minds, (laughing). There are so many more bands we have played with the list is pretty big because we have been around for so long. So we have just been very fortunate to have ridden all sorts of waves in the music industry that have allowed us to play with some of the raddest bands. Candiria, dream come true to play with them. Superjoint Ritual, one name Phil Anselmo. We got to play with them, closest some of us in this band will get to seeing some form of Pantera, (laughing).
NRR: What can we expect from the Heartsick camp in the coming days after Dirt Fest is dormant in its suspended animation again until 2016?
Alfonso Civile: We are going to be going out on a two week tour playing a ton of east coast and southern dates as well as doing some dates with GWAR, FUCKING GWAR, can’t even believe it! We are also gearing up to release a music video for our track, “Coffin Chaser,” which is on our new record which we hope to release before the end of the year, (evil smile). Then another tour in September a few of those dates with Nonpoint. Then another tour in November with bands we can’t name just yet, (evil and happy smile). But it will be cool and will be fun!
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s Dirt Fest line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
Alfonso Civile: Hell yes! Fear Factory, Coal Chamber, King 810, DOWN, Taproot, Upon A Burning Body.
NRR: How important is selling merch for you guys at a festival like this? Anything unique planned for the Dirt Fest 2015 faithful?
Alfonso Civile: For bands like us merch is everything. You see people have this misconception that somehow bands have money to just throw away. We don’t, I can assure you that in the 15 years this band has been alive and kicking we have fought for everything we have. We don’t have private investors, we don’t have rich parents that bail us out when we need help. We don’t have a buddies business we can borrow money from. We all work our asses to the bone to have the little things we do have and everything we have gotten we have earned by fighting for it and proving ourselves. Not by ripping off other bands or by being shady people. So merch is how we make those things happen. It is our life line to keeping the gas in the van and new tires on it to keep us rolling to the next stop. We have some new designs to show case and hopefully our music and performance and honesty to our craft transcends and in turn helps us sell some merch so we can keep pushing. Even if we don’t sell any fuck it… this is what we do. Hell or high water we are coming for you and your ears.
NRR: For anyone that might not have heard your music before, what can they expect to get from your sound on stage being self described as a Rock/Metal band?
Alfonso Civile: Basically, we cover a little of everything from death metal, to thrash metal, to the dreaded word NU METAL, to 80s metal, and even to pop metal. We love metal and rock and we showcase everything we love in our tunes. We are not interested in trends and the cool new stage move or trend in the metal world. We are who we are and we don’t fake it. People can expect a high energy, honest unchoreographed performance of intense heavy metal and rock and roll the way we do it. Guitars flying, hair flying, crowd surfing, and moshing are all part of what you will see. No mercy, no surrender. We leave it on the stage and you will leave it with us. You are coming to therapy and we want you to freak the fuck out and break shit at therapy with us.
NRR: You get washed out to sea while on tour. You see beer, toilet paper, and a solar powered mp3 player floating next to you in the water as you come up on an island. You can keep one with you the entire time you’re stranded, one goes away after a day, and one never makes it. How does it go down for you, (laughing)?
Alfonso Civile: Fuck. Beer is going to win, (laughing). Our singer can swim out to sea and get the MP3 player while we wipe our asses with his shirt he probably took off to go after the mp3 player that expires in a day. Besides he’s Puerto Rican, they are good swimmers right? Is that racist? Fuck it, he’s a beach bunny anyway, (laughing). FYI we aren’t racist, sad that we even have to make sure to say that, but you know with the world being as overly sensitive as it is you can never be to safe. But seriously, he is the best swimmer out of all of us, (laughing).