INTERVIEW: HEIRSOUND Talk New Music and Diving Deep on "Layers"
Alternative pop duo HEIRSOUND are reshaping the way we listen to EPs with their ongoing three-volume EP collection, Layers. Together, these three separate releases (Vol. 1, Skin, Vol. 2, Muscle and Vol. 3, Bone) progress through deeper levels of emotions as the layers unravel into a story, something that would normally be impossible with a single EP. So far, the duo have released Vol.1 and 2, with the third and final installment coming soon.
Alexa San Román and Dane Petersen first released their debut EP as HEIRSOUND in August of 2016, and with more new music and shows coming soon, the rest of 2017 promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Interview by Dom Vigil
The Prelude Press: Can you tell us a little bit about HEIRSOUND for any readers who might not be familiar?
Dane Petersen: HEIRSOUND is a duo made up of myself (Dane Petersen) & Alexa San Roman. I'm from California & she's from New York where we formed in late 2014. Our first collection of songs: a 6-track, color-coded EP called "Merge" was released with coinciding visuals throughout 2016. We're currently in the middle of releasing our new three-volume EP collection entitled "Layers" - where an anatomical visual theme relays the three different musical & lyrical moods the volumes are separated into.
Before forming HEIRSOUND, the two of you were previously involved in other musical projects. What initially drew you together to begin creating as a duo?
We'd had the opportunity to collaborate previously here & there but never had nearly enough time to focus on building something from the ground up considering the couple years leading up to HEIRSOUND forming, the majority of focus was with our previous band. A band Alexa had been in from a young age which I moved to New York to be a part of after a long standing project of my own went into hiatus. Our musical connection has always been a big part of our friendship & over time grown into a partnership we love. So when the time came, moving forward as a duo was natural.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned from those other projects that you’ve carried into this one?
Whether it be a lesson learned from previous projects or just a part of growing up, I think communication is important no matter how strong a bond may be. We definitely believe it's important to be on the same page & talk a lot about our ideas to make whatever we do the best collaborative piece it can be.
You guys are in the midst of releasing your three part EP series, Layers. What is the theme behind these releases and what first inspired you to create a series of EPs based around it?
Layers is separated into three musical/lyrical moods which in retrospect was sort of a cool & unintentional surprise when it came to it's first inspiration. We were just continuing to write a lot of music. We thought we'd work toward an album. When we had enough demos, the songs so clearly separated themselves into three moods to us. One after the other digging deeper into our lives like peeling back layers of skin until all that's left is bone which was a visual image that fueled the anatomy theme. We also knew the sonic treatment of each collection had to fit the mood it's subject gave off. It all kind of hit us at once when we took a listen back to what we had.
Why was it important to release three EPs as opposed to one full-length album for Layers?
We thought it best to let each one be consumed in doses to give our listeners a chance to go on the emotional journey. Letting each volume drop & sit for a minute to sink in.
So far, you’re released Vol. 1 (skin) and Vol.2 (muscle), with Vol. 3 (bone) coming soon. Can you walk us through the three different volumes of these EPs and the importance of each one?
Being that Vol 1 is skin, the songs on it deal with more surface level emotion like anger & attraction. So the sonic treatment was loud & synthetic with a lot of midi percussion. Vol 2 digs a little deeper into more of a middle ground energy with a blend of sounds. This one deals with existential experiences & others of meeting someone you feel you've known in a past life. Vol 3 is where the most sentimental, soft songs live. Songs about love/acceptance. We did our best to relay the feeling through the music.
You recently released a music video for “Lacuna.” Can you tell us a little bit about the track?
"Lacuna" refers to experiences of meeting someone you feel like you've known in a past life, as I mentioned before. Alexa & I are big fans of the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" which deals with having someone you loved erased from your memory & meeting them again. We pulled visual inspiration from dream sequences in the movie for the music video.
What can fans expect to hear sonically and emotionally on the next installment of the EP series?
The sonic treatment for Vol 3 is the most ambient, soft & peaceful of the Layers collection.
Do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2017? Could we expect to catch you out on the road soon?
Playing live is a big focus for us the rest of 2017, so anyone interested can be sure to get updates on that soon.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for having us, thank you for the interest. Thank you to anyone who read! If you have any love for what we do, know the love goes both ways.