We’ve had the pleasure of living in the same city as Heart & Soul Radio since their inception, which has given us an inside track on how storied of a career they’ve built. From touring on multiple Warped Tours, to opening for some of the biggest names in punk music, these cats have done and seen more than most acts can dream of.

Before the internet streaming or blogs were even a thing, these three were hustling back when hustling was much harder. With that in mind, we wanted to ask them a few questions about how they’ve pulled it all together and kept it going through the years.

TMN: Hey Guys! Thank you for taking a minute to answer a few questions for us. Let’s kick things off by talking about Thieves. What can people expect from this album?

Brian: People can expect a real rock album when they listen to “Thieves.” Real guitars, real drumming, real bass and real singing make up this album. There are mistakes in the album, so you know it’s not all gridded out and faked like too many albums today. The main point is, you will hear a rock album made by humans instead of computers.

Schuyler: It is also the story of our lives collectively throughout the last 4 years. Some happy, some sad, but mostly just stories of things we’ve encountered personally and through others. We’ve grown a lot as people and musicians in this release. Some may even say our sound has matured.
Some of us used to be married before this, others got married. We are happy to announce that Brian just got engaged, she is rad.

TMN: “True Romance” was one of our favorites on the album, featuring solid harmonies and an engaging pop structure. How did you approach this song in particular?

’Heart & Soul Radio – True Romance (You Be Rosanna Arquette, I’ll Be That One Guy)’

Brian: Interestingly enough, the hook for this song was written as a joke a few years prior and I randomly came across it on my iPhone and thought, “Man, we should totally turn this into a real song.” We wanted to include some aspects of modern rock, i.e. the loud stomping intro and breakdown, coupled with the lo-fi intro. We also wanted to bring it back to the bass line. The pre-chorus bass line is what makes the song in my opinion. I’m a huge fan of just bass and drums. All in all, I think the song was meant to be a pop-rock tune that still remained driving and rocking.

Schuyler: It’s kind of strange too because we were definitely in a different writing space mentally. At the time we were working on an EP and wanted a pop sounding song with really dark lyrics. We had written a couple other similar themed songs for our Pop Sickle release. At the time I think Brian and I would email tracks back and forth. I was living in Ft. Collins and Brian in Colorado Springs. Poor Jimmy would just show up to the studio on the tracks that showed promise and he would lay down album quality takes. That’s always kind of been his gift.

TMN: “Ain’t No Life Like The Low Life.” has a music video that just came out recently. The video seems like Jason Statham would have fit in perfectly. What was the inspiration behind it?

Brian: I really like movie trailers and think they’re very powerful. A movie trailer is summing up a movie in a few minutes, so all the pertinent exciting parts are smashed into a short time. I’ve also always thought that a song placed in the right part of a movie, i.e. Pixies – “Where Is My Mind” at the end of Fight Club, makes a song that much more powerful. With all of that being said, I wanted to shoot a music video that was similar to an action movie trailer, much like a Jason Statham movie. Schuyler and I have trained together for a while kickboxing so I knew we could pull it off. We had to shoot it with a single camera and a tripod. So we had to shoot every scene multiple times from different angles. It took a lot of time and a lot of thinking, but ultimately was really fun to shoot. Also, I punched Schuyler in the teeth by accident and he punched me right between the eyes. There were injuries.

Schuyler: Brian started kickboxing 3-4 years ago and used me as his training dummy. We were training together 2-3 days a week and then Brian would go to a full-fledge fighting gym 3 days a week. He’s kind of a BA. Although he’s extremely disciplined when it comes to real world combat. I think he knows he could kill someone. As for Jimmy and I, our fighting days are over. The last scuffle I remember with Jimmy involved a drunken buffoon at SXSW. We had just gotten some big news at the festival and Jimmy was celebrating by announcing it to the world. One assface was not impressed. He said some uncouth word to Jimmy and it was like trying to hold back an enraged dog. His body went still like rigor mortis. Jimmy has wanted to kick my ass plenty of times throughout the years, but I realized that night I was lucky he didn’t. The skinny guys are so scrappy. He has always had an affinity for the ass-kicking.

TMN: So, you guys have taken a DIY approach for so many years. Can you talk to us about some of the successes and failures you’ve experienced with this approach?

Brian: Doing everything yourself, and I mean everything: Booking, writing, sound engineering, mixing, producing, graphic design, shirt design, web design, marketing and so on, makes you feel good about controlling 100% of what the band is, but at the same time, every failure and every success is 100% yours as well, which can be exhausting. We have met with managers and such and the first thought is, “Wow, someone who’s powerful wants to work with us,” but then they say something about what the band should do and we may disagree, which gets scary in the arts industry. Our product is so personal that it’s tough to have someone tell you to do something you totally disagree with. So I think it’s a necessity that the people you work with share the same vision. We have had great shows and a ton of success with social media. Now our new challenge is to see how this album does.

Schuyler: Only recently have we become fully DIY. We had the opportunity to meet with a manager recently and realize how lucky we are to have gone our own direction. At one point we had a management team. A lawyer, manager, publicist and a monkey’s uncle. The one thing we took away from working in this arrangement is that you are always on someone else’s time table, usually for the worse. Industry people want to be a part of everything, so they in turn want to schedule your life so they can be a part of it. We used to have lawyers and managers and so on, helping us grow the ‘brand’ of our band, but in doing so passed over business opportunities. I must preface this by stating our team of management passed on these opportunities for the wrong reasons, money. They all thought it wasn’t enough. In hind sight we realize it wasn’t the money that was the issue. It was the hugely flawed businesses that were behind them.

TMN: Most people rely heavily on management, publicity firms, labels, etc to get everything done. How in the hell do you guys get everything done with just three guys – especially given that you all work full-time jobs?

Brian: It’s about time management and priorities. If you work 60 hours a week, that leaves you 108 hours to disperse between, say, family, significant others, school, giving back to the community, exercise, travel, friends, and sleep. So you make the obvious choice and basically stop sleeping. About 40 hours is spent a week on the band. It’s tough math. You work hard for what matters to you.

Schuyler: We used to rely on the ‘working structure’ of the music industry to grow our career. When we started, 2002ish, labels were still in support of the idea of developing acts. Within three years time the entire industry was in turmoil and A&R guys couldn’t hold down jobs at the same label for longer than 6 months. So, it changes your goals. How can you trust a guy or corporation with the future of your livelihood if the person who brought you into the company is disposable. Like them, we too were disposable. What we discovered is that doing things on our own, we really didn’t need a label. In the digital age the only thing a label has that we don’t is money. They have more advertising dough, but have no innovation. Labels expect acts to be self sustaining now anyway. So what do you really need them for besides credibility? I thought that’s what the music was for. We dodged a career ending bullet. This deal would have effectively cut Jimmy, Brian and myself out of any ownership of our own band. We would be retained as songwriters only for pay. There are some funny inner workings on how this came to be, but it’s not important. So had we signed the deal I can only imagine the 3 of our friendship would have been on borrowed time.

TMN: You’ve garnered a tremendous facebook following through the years, racking up over 100k followers. What are some tips you can give up-and-coming artists on how to engage their fans online?

Brian: The main idea that one should really grab on to is that you are not just a band, you have to be somewhat of a media outlet. If you are funny, be funny. If you are insightful, be insightful. If you are motivational, be motivational. You should grab on to whatever you do best besides music, because no one wants to see 4 posts everyday about your songs and nothing else. You have to provide the enduser with a benefit, and shoving songs down their throat all the time isn’t always a benefit.

TMN: Some of your newer fans might not realize that you guys have a long and storied career, playing multiple Warped Tours, opening for giants like 30 Seconds to Mars, etc. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned through your experiences in the music biz?

Brian: Hold on to your hat, because you are on a roller coaster. Whether it be successes based or relationship based, the music industry will take you up and down with both aspects. One minute you think you are going to sign the record deal that will change your life, the next second, the person offering that might as well never existed. One minute you have a best friend, the next minute they are gone. The largest lesson to be learned is you have to love the people in your band, or it is not sustainable. Because the second you have success, people turn into people who you never though they would be. When you have a deep and trusting relationship, that success can be just another day in the band, because no one turns.

Schuyler: Be nice to everyone. You never know where you will run into them.

TMN: Building off that, you have to have a few “Holy shit” moments in your music career. Name a few of your favorites for us.

Brian: Playing with Rome from Sublime and him being a total dick.
Having a hero of ours from the band Ruth Ruth say our new song “Kochheads is “very good.”

Schuyler: We’ve opened for the Bouncing Souls a few times. I remember being in high school and seeing them with Strung Out. I thought, “those guys are amazing especially that fucking singer,” like they were untouchable. Throughout the years Brian has become good friend with Greg, their singer, and I’m starstruck whenever they’ve asked us to play with them. Oddly enough out of all the bands that we’ve ever met that should have egos, they do not.

TMN: You recently had your CD release party at the Oriental Theater in Denver, which we had the pleasure of catching. You guys have continually built on your live performance, adding in some flair and audience performance. How long does it take to prepare for stuff like that?

Brian: We have been playing together for so long that it doesn’t take us very long to get the basics down, but we have really been working hard on our harmonies lately and that takes a ton of time. We spent about 2 months learning our new songs and getting the harmonies down better. One of the hardest parts and the biggest things you can’t prepare for on stage is all the technical mishaps. Such as pedals not working and all kinds of stuff. To me, that is a huge part of being a professional band. Not letting on that the whole world is crashing down around you on stage is an art.

Schuyler: For that show we talked about the ideas for a month. The good ideas stick and we use them or a variation of them in our shows.

TMN: Being long-time professional musicians, what’s the single best thing about being in a band?

Brian: Playing live and feeling the energy from the crowd. That is about 99% of why we do this. There is nothing better.

Schuyler: Surprising ourselves. I think at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. I think musicians have this fear that they will run out of songs to write. Some of them do. Some of them write the same types of songs forever.

I have now what I always wanted. We write songs. People ask me what type of music is it? I respond, “I don’t know. Rock music?”
We are continually writing songs that I am proud of but they have no direction. They have no theme or sub-genre (unless we’re playing around). The three of us are children of the 90’s so there’s a lot influence there but we don’t have a template we are trying to follow. Which, for the first time in our professional careers it is freeing.

You will never be able to cater to a fan base.

TMN: And on the flip side, what’s the single worst thing about being in a band?

Brian: The heart ache is the toughest part. When things don’t go right, we take it very personal and it can hurt pretty bad.

Schuyler: The uncertainty. Even best laid plans seem to go awry.

TMN: If you could sum up H&SR in three words, what would you pick?


Schuyler: Love, Work , Play – it doesn’t always go in that order

TMN: Alright, before we get into some random questions, open up about what’s on the horizon. More Colorado shows? Maybe taking a small tour? Fill our readers in.

Brian: We are going to go where people want to see us. We went out to Omaha to play a show. We have some Colorado Springs shows coming up and some Denver shows. We plan to do “one-offs” where we are needed.

Schuyler: We’re also happy to announce that we’ll be competing in the Best of the West as we were invited by our friend Tim Wenger.

TMN: So, at the end of our interviews, we like to ask a few random questions. Let’s kick it off by asking what your first job was?

Brian: Working for a local venue helping load-in national touring bands.

Schuyler: My first job was washing dishes at Pizza Alley. Coincidentally that was also where I had my first shot at age 14.

TMN: If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

Brian: Cookies & Cream Ice Cream. The frozen yogurt kind, so I don’t take in the extra calories.

Schuyler: Pot roast

TMN: Let’s say it’s #ManCrushMonday. Who would you post about?

Brian: Dave Grohl. The man is a living legend.

Schuyler: Pat Smear, not because of physical attraction, he’s pretty ugly. He gives off that dick vibe like he’s unattainable.

TMN: If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would that be?

Brian: Dave Grohl. He would play everything and we’d sit there and golf clap. That would be our contribution.

Schuyler: Jimi – he always blows my mind that he was a very tight session player and quickly evolved into what he was. Like a meteor.

TMN: If you, Schuyler and Jimmy could open up another business, what would it be?

Brian: Breakdance troop. I hear there’s lots of money in that. We’ve seen Step Up 2: The Streets.

Schuyler: A moving company. We’ve often joked about it many times because of our extensive history of moving gear and other shit. But, seriously, Brian was scouting out practice spaces to purchase and run a new practice space facility in Denver. There are absolutely now good options except where we are at – Black and Bluhm.

If Heart & Soul Radio’s music were an animal, what would it be?

Brian: A Shorpus. It’s a shark-porpoise. Fierce.

Schuyler: A koala, cute but ferocious

TMN: Alright, that wraps it up! Thank you so much for your time!

Brian: Peace be with you.

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