H.e.a.t

The Swedish band re­turn with a fifth al­bum and a new sound that has so far pro­voked some fiery re­ac­tions...

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

early on h.e.a.t were fêted as melodic rock’s great white hopes. Serv­ing to en­hance the ex­tremes of the band’s sound, the ad­di­tion of Swedish Idol win­ner Erik Grön­wall changed all that. As the Stock­holm-based quin­tet re­lease their fifth al­bum, Into The Great Un­known, Grön­wall re­veals why they are un­fazed by the in­ter­net shit­storm caused by its pop­pier sound.

H.e.a.t dis­ap­peared for two years to make this al­bum, which was a big risk con­sid­er­ing the way the band’s ca­reer was tak­ing off – even in the UK. It was a scary de­ci­sion but we needed some per­spec­tive. Had we just made the record in be­tween tour­ing, [the mu­sic] wouldn’t have ma­tured any­where near the way it did.

Its first sin­gle, Time On Our Side, has re­ally set the cat among the pi­geons. One fan dis­missed it as “disco-synth”. Is that a fair de­scrip­tion?

[Laugh­ing] Yeah, ab­so­lutely. And we to­tally ex­pected those strong re­ac­tions but we’ve al­ways writ­ten the songs that we feel are right for H.e.a.t. We also write ac­cord­ing to our inf lu­ences and those have changed a bit. It took me ten spins to un­der­stand this al­bum, so for fans it will take even longer.

Can you swear that mak­ing this record was about pure artis­tic growth, or were man­agers and la­bel staff say­ing the band should break into a new, younger mar­ket?

It was noth­ing like that. It turned out the way it did be­cause we spent some time apart and got into other types of mu­sic. For in­stance, Jimmy [Jay, bassist] has got into bands like Muse and Imag­ine Drag­ons.

It would have been more sen­si­ble to re­turn with a tra­di­tion­ally H.e.a.t-sound­ing song like Bas­tard Of So­ci­ety or Eye Of The Storm.

Yeah it would, but the way we look at things, no­body re­mem­bers a coward.

On the Face­book page you’ve al­most stoked those fires. It’s like you’re en­joy­ing the con­tro­versy.

Well, in a way we do. One of the things that I like most about so­cial me­dia is that the fans can speak their mind, and we get to an­swer them di­rectly.

What about the fan who said: “It’s a shit song, but

I still love H.e.at. Hope­fully this will be your Kiss Dy­nasty mo­ment”?

I saw that [laughs]. But we’re re­ally not of­fended. I be­lieve that when peo­ple hear the whole al­bum they’ll un­der­stand.

Circa the pre­vi­ous al­bum, you said to Clas­sic Rock that next time around: “We want to make the sound even broader; the pop bits pop­pier and the heavy bits even more colos­sal.”

That’s ex­actly what we’ve done. We knew the band had to change; that’s in­evitable.

H.e.a.t have been hailed as the fig­ure­heads of a genre that some felt was on its last legs. Is that why you had to get out?

If you were to psy­cho­anal­yse me, that might have some­thing to do with it but I have noth­ing against AOR, I’d rather peo­ple think that we play rock’n’roll.

How did the down-time af­fect your dreams of rock star­dom?

We are hun­grier than ever and can­not wait to be­gin tour­ing again. This band is even more ded­i­cated than ever. DL

“I’ve noth­ing against AOR, I’d rather peo­ple think we play rock’n’roll.”

Into The Great Un­known is out now via earMUSIC.

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