Half Hearted is a post-hardcore band from Hartford, Connecticut who released their debut EP Finding Light in 2015 to a positive reception. Their unique sound has led to the band becoming a strong force in their local scene, including playing shows with scene heavyweights Falling In Reverse and Attila. I had the chance to talk to guitarist Jay Grandell about the recording and writing process for the EP, what the band hope to achieve next, and much more!
“I don’t think we have a specific “message” in our music, but I just want people to have fun while they listen to it”- Jay Grandell
For Fans Of: A Skylit Drive, Slaves, Myka Relocate
By James Boss
Babetalk: What is your name and what do you do in Half Hearted?
Jay: I’m Jay and I play guitar!
BT: Let’s start off with an icebreaker. Who is your favorite artist you listen to that people wouldn’t expect you to?
Jay: Our guitarist Marty and I jam Shakira religiously. I like Maroon 5 a lot too. And lately I’ve just been going out of my way to find really bad rap haha.
BT: You guys released your EP Finding Light earlier in the year. How has the reaction towards it been so far?
Jay: It has honestly been awesome! We put out 3 songs in 2014/really early 2015 and we weren’t too happy with them, so we definitely took the time to find the sound that we wanted for the EP. The reaction to the EP single “Flying & Falling” was great and I also see people singing along to the other EP songs at our shows, so I can’t complain at all! I love every song on Finding Light to death and it makes my day when ANYONE says that they enjoy it too!
BT: What was the recording process like for this EP?
Jay: It was a very fun experience! We recorded it with our friend Bryce Kariger back when he lived in Groton, MA. We tracked all the instrumental stuff in the first 2-3 days, and then went back up for 5 or 6 days to track vocals and mess around with the song structures. Looking back, it was pretty rushed. We spend 3 days per song whenever we go record now, and we recorded all of Finding Light in about 8 days total. But I’m really happy with how everything came out!
BT: What were some of your lyrical inspirations on the EP?
Jay: Sean and Mike are super creative when it comes to writing lyrics, especially in our unreleased songs. The lyrics on the EP talk about life experiences, religion, relationships, and more.
BT: What inspired the album artwork for the EP? It’s a very eye catching design.
Jay: We all agreed on the title Finding Light and wanted to make sure that the art reflected that. I think it does a pretty good job.
BT: What are some milestones you have achieved with Half Hearted?
Jay: We’ve only been a band for around a year and a half, so aside the release of our debut EP and starting to gain some local recognition, we haven’t achieved that much yet. We recently got the chance to play the Connecticut date of that Attila/Falling In Reverse tour, which was awesome. A couple guys in the opening band of the tour, Assuming We Survive, checked out our set and enjoyed it so much that they gave us a shout-out while they played to thousands of kids! I just find it awesome that a band on a massive tour like that took the time to check us out and make sure every person at that show knew who we were. I’m also happy we were able to leave such a good first impression on people that had never heard of us before!
BT: What are some milestones you hope to achieve in the future?
Jay: I want to win a Grammy. Go big or go home *laughs*. But seriously, after we put out another EP, I really just can’t wait to start touring/playing more shows out of the northeast. I’ve personally never toured before, so I’m anxious to experience that. Eventually, I’d really love the opportunity to play Warped Tour, or another huge tour. I want to go to Australia, maybe get signed to a good label? Who knows, I’m just excited for Half Hearted’s future no matter what happens.
BT: How does your band stand out from other bands in the post-hardcore/metalcore scene?
Jay: We just do what we do. We don’t try to sound like any other band. Are we the least-generic band making music in this scene? Probably not, but I think our songs instrumentally and vocally stand out in their own way among other post-hardcore/metal bands. We also try to be an energetic live band. I see bands that just look like they’re bored out of their minds when they play, and we really try to NOT look like that. If anyone pays to come see us, we want to move around and put on a show!
BT: What is the message you want people to take away from your music?
Jay: I don’t think we have a specific “message” in our music, but I just want people to have fun while they listen to it. As long as people get some kind of enjoyment out of it, I’m happy.
BT: Have Half Hearted begun writing/recording new music?
Jay: Yes we have! We’re about 90% done writing our sophomore EP and we already have 2 songs fully recorded for it!
BT: What is next for Half Hearted?
Jay: For the early part of 2016, we’ll be continuing to play shows in support of Finding Light, while also working on recording this new EP. As much as we love our debut EP, we’re making sure all of these new songs are way better!
BT: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Is there anything else you want to say before I go?
Jay: No problem! I just want to thank anyone who took the time to read this, and if you haven’t heard of us, check out our stuff! I think we have something for everyone in our music no matter what “genre” you like to listen to.
Last modified: January 8, 2016