Artist Interview: “Electric Soul Machine” by The Heavy North

Q: This is such a unique album, what was your creative process in making “Electric Soul Machine”?

THE HEAVY NORTH: We started recording Electric Soul Machine between COVID-19 lockdowns in late 2020/early 2021 at Jose’s studio in Liverpool (3rd Planet Recording Studio). As a band we already had a brief outline about what tracks that would eventually feature on our debut album, so it was a case of revisiting some older ideas, re-recording some tracks we’d worked on before, and fine-tuning other songs to fit the sound and feel of Electric Soul Machine.

The creative process tends to start with a single idea, normally shared with us via WhatsApp or recorded in our own homes – whether it’s a guitar riff, a vocal melody or a lyric. Once we all get together in the studio we each play our part in shaping an idea in to a full track, and that tends to be how our sounds has developed over recent years.

Q: Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired the “Electric Soul Machine”?

THE HEAVY NORTH: Although a lot of Kenny’s lyrics tend to be based on real-life experiences, we also tend to explore stories and fictional experiences on the album. “It’s life in general, with little snippets of stories or feelings towards different people and situations”

Electric Soul Machine touches on themes of togetherness (‘As Long As You’re Here With Me’), loneliness (‘No Good’), anger and frustration (‘Awake’ & ‘Satisfy You’), as well as some fictional characters and stories (‘The Genie’). As a band, we hope the album offers something for everyone – both in styles of music as well as the lyrics!

Q: What has been one of the highlights of your music career so far?

A HEAVY NORTH: A few other highlights for the band include playing at the Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) in Sefton Park back in July 2019 when we first started out, as well as playing a live-streamed set in the 11,000-seater M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool in August 2020 during the pandemic – which was definitely one of the more surreal highlights for The Heavy North!

More recently, we played a sold-out show at the legendary Cavern Club Liverpool for BBC introducing back in January this year which was a big stepping stone for us. Another highlight has been finally posting out the hundreds of copies of Electric Soul Machine on 12” gatefold vinyl and CD. The feeling of holding the record in our hands was amazing, and the feedback to the album from our fans and followers so far has been incredible.

Q: What has been, so far, your favourite song and why?

THE HEAVY NORTH: Between the band members we each have some favourite tracks off Electric Soul Machine. A song which is quite special for the band is the album closing track ‘As Long As You’re Here With Me’ as it was one of the first tracks we played together as a band, and it’s the only track from the album which we had previously recorded.

We took the opportunity to re-record As Long As You’re Here With Me for the album and we invited some friends to our studio to add some strings and horns to the track which we feel has given the track a whole new feel, and we feel it’s certainly a suitable closing track for Electric Soul Machine.

Q: How is the music scene in Liverpool?

THE HEAVY NORTH: Liverpool will always be a major musical city, and although there have been some ups and downs over recent years with venue closures and festival cancellations, there’s still a really good network of promoters, producers, creative spaces and venues who work hard to showcase the city’s artists and musicians.

There’s some great record stores too, including Probe Records, Dig Vinyl, Defend Vinyl, Collect & Survive, 81 Renshaw Street, Jacaranda Records and Rockpoint Records to name a few!

There’s a real buzz around the Liverpool music scene at the moment and there’s a whole host of bands and artists making some great music, and we’re grateful to be considered a part of the current scene.

Q: Any parting words to your fans?

THE HEAVY NORTH: We’d like to thank everyone who’s followed The Heavy North, and everyone who’s streamed, bought or shared our music over recent years – especially our debut album Electric Soul Machine. Writing, recording and self-releasing our own debut album has been an incredible journey so far and we can’t wait to see what’s round the corner.

Interviewed by Jaye Maverick




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