The music of The Heavy is all about making connections with the past. When the band tours the world (as they've often done since the releasing debut "Great Vengeance and Furious Fire" in 2007), they're constantly on the look out for vintage instruments -- anything that could add a bit of ol' fashioned authenticity to their brand of present day neo soul. For guitarist Dan Taylor, that came in the form of a 1978 Fender Precision Bass he happened upon while writing for the band's third LP, 'The Glorious Dead' (due Aug. 21 via Counter Records).
"The first baseline I played was 'What Makes a Good Man.' The song basically came from that guitar. It was almost as if we were destined to be together."
It just so happens that "Good Man" is slated to be the lead single on the Bath, England band's highly anticipated new studio record ( hear an exclusive stream of the album below). When the quintet comes stateside, it's the selection they'll be playing on a couple of late night talk shows, which have been a focal point for The Heavy since their rip-roaring performance on 'The Late Show,' which Dave Letterman himself probably remembers fondly.
"It was one of the more surreal days of your life, to find out the reaction afterwards," says Taylor. "Also it had been unprecedented- the fact he'd never asked a band to encore before was kind of amazing. He's seen it all. We must have done alright!"
Looking to add a new dimension to their recorded sound, the UK band looked to America's rich soul tradition. Following the suggestion of their tour bus driver, they stopped in Columbus, Georgia to record with a gospel choir, whose backing vocals can be heard on the new album. They also spent session time with Gabriel Roth (of New York City's soul superheroes the Dap-Kings) who laid down strings and horns for about half of 'The Glorious Dead''s songs.
Taylor even used his resourcefulness to contribute to the merchandising effort. Aside from typical album preorders, the Heavy are offering a "pizza box" deluxe bundle, which includes a gatefold LP, CD, t-shirt, sticker, and 7" vinyl packed inside a cardboard pizza box bearing the album artwork." That's the Italian in me," said Taylor. "Let's do a pizza box and stick everything in there... You have to be a little more clever in getting people to buy physical. You want something that people won't necessarily be able to come across."
Though we can't provide any pizza, enjoy the exclusive stream of The Heavy's latest, including focal track "What Makes a Good Man" and potential second single, "Curse Me Good."
The Heavy Tour Dates:
Aug. 23 - House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
Aug. 24 - The Blue Stone, Columbus, OH
Aug. 25 - Bogart's, Cincinnati, OH
Aug. 30 - The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, New York, NY
Sept. 1 - Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA
Sept. 2 - Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
Sept. 4 - Slim's, San Francisco, CA
Sept. 5 - The Blank Club, San Jose, CA
Sept. 7 - El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 8 - Casbah, San Diego, CA
Sept. 10 - Santa Fe Brewing Co., Santa Fe, NM
Sept. 11 - The Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ
Sept. 13 - Red 7, Austin, TX
Sept. 14 - Fitzgerald's, Houston, TX
Sept. 17 - Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO
Sept. 18 - Majestic Theater, Madison, WI
Sept. 19 - Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
Sept. 20 - Double Door, Chicago, IL
Sept. 21 - Magic Stick- Detroit, MI
Sept. 22 - Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI
Sept. 23 - Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON
Sept. 25 - Le Cabaret du Mile End, Montreal, QC
Sept. 26 - Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA