And photographer Matt Benton caught up with the band to shoot some pics and ask guitarist Rowan Peter some questions.
Being from San Francisco, what does performing at Outside Lands mean to the band?
“It’s just an amazing opportunity really. And a ton of fun. We’ve all be attending Outside Lands for years and for many of those years any chance of playing OSL has seemed like a pipe dream. Mostly, I think Outside Lands came as a wake-up call that let us know we’re really doing this. That people dig our music. It’s a great feeling.”
What do you always want your audience to take away from your set?
“We hope that our music is inspirational. We all grew up enamored by so many great bands who inspired us to be the musicians we are today. We hope that people walk away from our shows feeling inspired to live out their dreams too –be that creatively or in whatever other way is meaningful to them.”
You recently changed your band name from The Tropics to HEARTWATCH. What prompted that?
“We basically ran into another band with a similar name who asked us to change our name. We thought it would be a good idea to oblige and out popped HEARTWATCH. In all seriousness though, it has been a fairly emotional process leaving The Tropics behind. A lot of passion, time, and effort went into that name.”
Does the new name also mean a new direction sonically?
“The new name does hint at a bit of a change in sonic direction. The ‘new’ sound, however, has been in the works since the release of our first record, Wind House, after which we started writing new material immediately.”
What’s the biggest difference between the SoCal and NorCal music scenes?
“The SoCal musicians surf and work in tank-tops and the NorCal musicians surf and work in tech.”
When can we expect your debut LP?
“You can expect to hear a lot more of the tracks we just recorded at Portland, Oregon’s Jackpot! Studios in the coming few months with a full record release later this year or early next year. Some big plans for future tours and some very exciting events are in the works. We can’t wait til’ we can share what’s been on our minds.”