Have You Heard
Nashville based pop rockers Have You Heard are currently working on new material in follow up to their EP “We Do This By Ourselves”. Heading in more of a pop rock direction the band is taking their time to write the album they want to make but managed to take some time out of their schedules to answer some questions for TWRY.
Interviewed by: Debie Patton
Jeff Moore – vocals
Matt Jaikaran – guitar
Jim Chiodo – Drums
Andrew Kessler – guitar
Jaime Shafer – Bass
Have You Heard just formed in 2008, so we haven’t heard much–yet! What would you like to tell us about the bands conception and direction?
Matt and Jeff started the band in the summer of 2008 started writing music while searching for members to make it a full band. The direction we are heading in is a lot different than the “We Do This By Ourselves EP.” We realized a more pop rock sound while keeping our pop punk roots. We are a lot happier with the music we are writing now, especially since we are putting a lot more time into them trying to make them as good as possible. We are really shooting for stuff that we love and that people would love.
Is it hard to make it as a pop-punk band in the historically-country Nashville scene?
Haha well, it’s not as country as you may think. There is a really big metal scene here and sometimes it’s hard to get kids that are primarily into metal to get into our music. But daily we are hearing about kids around the area who are really into our music. That’s really uplifting, especially in the Nashville music scene.
Most musicians are able to pin it down to one artist or group and say, “they’re the reason I decided to play music.” Who is your biggest inspiration or influence?
It varies from member to member. Jeff first picked up guitar after listening to Dashboard Confessional and started learning his songs and writing his own. Matt started playing drums in high school and was heavily influenced by Blink 182 and New Found Glory and also started learning guitar shortly after. Andrew was inspired to play music from DC Talk, Newsboys, and Relient K. Jaime’s inspiration came from Bach, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, old AFI and Blink 182. Jim started playing music after hearing Story of the Year’s Page Avenue album.
What do you think sets your band apart from others in your genre?
Our image along with our music. When you see a lot of bands who play pop rock, they are super skinny and have really “scene” haircuts. We play that type of music but we don’t consider ourselves to be one of those pop bands who looks just like every other pop band out there. Jeff was a football player in high school, and Jim played hockey when we was growing up. We are more real guys who enjoy that music. We aren’t fat or anything haha, but we wont be as skinny as Boys Like Girls or something, and we are fine with that.
What is the overall message you’d like to relay through your music?
Everyone goes through the same stuff, whether it be relationships or problems with friends, etc. Everyone has to deal with that at some point or the other and we write from our experiences so that people can say, “hey I know exactly what he is talking about” and find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone in it. Also, we want to keep a positive message with our music. Life is too short to be pissed off and treat people like crap. No one is better than anyone else and we want to make that known.
Tell us about your work with theonelove.org project. Explain the website in general for people, and also your particular charity.
Well our friend Jade, who started the site, approached us and told us about the site and what it does. The One Love is a blogging site where each user choos
es a charitable organization to support. The site works on traffic and the ad revenue the site receives is given to the organization. The organization we chose was the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Our bassist, Jaime, actually suffers from Crohn’s Disease so it was an easy choice.
Your debut EP is titled “We Do This By Ourselves.” What is your favorite song off the EP? Walk us through it. Does it have a special meaning or is it just the best to get the crowd going?
Our favorite song off of the EP is definitely “You’ve Got Me Singing” but the song with the most meaning to me is Take This City. The song is pretty much about the people I went to high school with never really moving on with their lives. I saw photos of a lot of them in college hanging out with exactly the same people they did in high school. I was just like man I went to college 8 hours away from home knowing no one and it made me grow as a person meeting all new people and making all new friends and I sort of felt bad for them doing the same stuff as 3 years ago. But You Got Me Singing is definitely the crowd’s favorite.
You said in one of your myspace blogs that you are “all about audience participation!” What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen from the stage at one of your shows?
We have seen a lot of cool things from stage but the most memorable was the first time we noticed people singing along and going nuts during our set. It was in Clarksville, TN at this venue called The Coup, and everyone was singing along. The crazy thing was it was the first time we played there.
How can fans get a hold of your EP?
On iTunes. Itunes.com/haveyouheard
How do you feel technology has impacted the music industry today? Do you feel that reaching more fans through sites like myspace and facebook balances or outweighs the money bands & labels lose because of file sharing sites/programs?
Well as a band that’s trying to make it, getting money from our music is definitely something that we need to pay of debts that we owe. Myspace and Facebook are definitely amazing tools to reach fans and without them we would be nothing. It is great because you literally reach people from all over the world. We got adds from the U.S. and the U.K. to Brazil, Russia, Greece and even Iran. Those are just ones we recently accepted. Answering the question if it balances or outweighs the money everyone loses is really hard. We love having people have our music on their ipods and in their cars but it gets crazy realizing how much money you lose. We have gotten 2000+ illegal downloads just from the sites we can track and it sucks to think ahhh we could have paid off all of our debt! But as long as people are listening to us and liking it…we have a hard time complaining. We definitely think labels lose a ton of money. Jeff saw it when he was interning at a major label here in Nashville. They definitely weren’t happy.
Everyone always asks what bands you’d want to tour with if you could. I’m not going to ask that! Let’s change it up and get to know you on another artistic level! If you could have one of your songs on the soundtrack to any movie in history, which song would you choose for which movie and why?
Jeff – “Don’t You Say” in The Sandlot during the scene where Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez is getting chased by the dog. The chorus for the song talks about not giving up and there was no way in hell Benny was giving up against that dog!
Matt – Our song “Answers” in the movie 500 Days of Summer, right after Zooey Deschanel leaves Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Andrew – Our new song “Answers” in the movie Titanic. What music is better to make love..or sink ships to than Have You Heard??
Jim – Our song we are recording right now, “Turn Out The Lights” in the movie She’s All That.
Jaime – You’ve Got Me Singing in the first Ninja Turtles movie during the part where they are trying to get the Ooze container in the basement, but the Asian dude with the mustache says “OH! FOOT RETREAT!” Only in the fighting scene, of course.
Famous last words?
Have You Heard…You will!
For more on Have You Heard visit them on MySpace