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H.E.A.T interview 

Submitted by Juha Harjula on 2008-05-20
In a time not long ago great musicians crafted great music out of nothing. Today the guys in H.E.A.T follow their footsteps, having one foot in the past and the other one in the future. H.e.a.t was born in January of 2007 when two different bands with the same singer merged.

The vision was to create something unique that would move people and help them understand what it’s all about. About havin fun and live your dreams and to always make the present a past that you can be proud of in the future to come.

H.e.a.t always do their very best as a live act to entertain the audience, taking them on a journey through time and space that will leave no one untouched. Share our vision, Feel the Heat.
Hello guys, how are you doing?
Eric & Jona: Hey man, everything’s good! A lot of things happening right now! How are you?

First of all I just wanna congratulate you for the absolutely brilliant debut album and could you tell us about H.E.A.T?
Eric & Jona: Thank you very much, the response of the album has been awesome so far! H.E.A.T consists of six purposeful souls with a common goal to create and perform music that speaks right to your heart and beyond.

Your debut album is available now, could you tell us about it?
Eric & Jona: The recording of the debut album has been a tremendous journey with both ups and downs. We had some arguments and disputes in the studio, but we had even more laughs and happy moments. We’ve put everything into it and we believe it came out great!

You’re very young in the band when AOR was on the charts, you must been just kids, so I wonder how AOR found your hearts?
Eric & Jona: Well. We’ve always listened to heavy metal of all kinds. And as you may know hard rockers tend to listen to A LOT of music, always reaching for new horizons to pursue. So listening to like Maiden and Sabbath, for instance, combined with a love for the likes of Toto and a bag of blues on your back will lead you on a track to bands like Whitesnake, Europe and Giant etc.

What bands have influenced you?
Eric & Jona: Most bands of the 80’s and late 70s. Like we said in the previous answer, Toto, Giant, Journey, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Deep Purple to name a few!

Tell us the story how you got in contact and contract with the famous Swedish actor Peter Stormare´s label StormVox?
Eric & Jona: Here’s the story: Peter had heard of us via his manager who played Never Let Go for him over his cell phone. He obviously felt the vibe. So, when he was here in Sweden last year doing some of his own business he came by one night when we played at the local rock bar in Upplands Väsby. It became one hell of a night, the crowd went berserk and he eventually came up on stage with us and did a blues jam. We had a blast. Later that night we had a chat backstage and more or less sealed the deal.

I must say that the vocals on the album is nothing but outstanding. So Kenny Leckermo what singers has influenced you and how in gods name can you sing this good?
Eric & Jona: I love music in all shapes and different styles. I could name so many artists and performers but I’ll leave it to one and that’s Michael Jackson.

The sound of the album is just amazing, who produced the album and how long did it take to record it?
Eric & Jona: We produced the album along with Michael Vail Blum, who also mixed the album. Let’s see, we went in to the studio in November 2007 and came out at around Christmas. So about 1½ month of pure studio time, and then 2 weeks of mixing the album in sunny Los Angeles.

The harmonies and background vocals sounds awesome and I wonder if you have had any help or have you done everythin by yourself?
Eric & Jona: Believe it or not, it’s the wonder child Kenny Leckremo who sings every single harmony of the album. And yeah, we’ve arranged and recorded everything ourselves. We have thing for massive backing vocals!

The whole album is filled with strong songs and it´s hard to pick a favourite but if I had to choose one then I go for Keep on Dreaming. What’s yours and why?
Eric & Jona: Good choice man! Wow, this is a really tough question… It’s like asking a parent who his favorite child is!
You really have to ask each and every one in the band about their favourite. One thing we can tell though is that we love all of the songs. Everyone song has its own feeling and that’s probably why it’s hard to choose one.

Could you give us short comments on couple of songs?
Eric & Jona: - There For You
Powerful opening song. Probably our most “grown up” song, musically. The lyrics are about the strains you experience when being in a band and at the same time having a relationship you need to devote yourself to.

- Keep On Dreaming
Always follow your dreams, no matter what.

- Straight For Your Heart
This one is a real rocket, it surely gets you pumpin’! A true crowd pleaser!

- Cry
Our grandiose power ballad that actually makes people cry. It’s about lost love.

- You´re Lying
Yes, the “confrontation-song”. If this groovie little bastard can’t make your hips start rolling, I don’t know what can! It’s about confronting your loved one, putting her back against the wall.

How was it to open up for TOTO and Hanoi Rocks?
Eric & Jona: Opening for Toto was an insane experience. Just playing in front of 4000 screaming Swedes is a mind-boggling experience of its own, but to be given the honor to open up for Toto makes that just a bit more sick! After the show the guys from Toto came up to us and praised us! Wanna know about the after party? Well, that will need a whole new interview of its own, mate
Opening for Hanoi Rocks was nice too, Andy McCoy is our new role model when it comes to being cool!

How would you describe you as a live band?
Eric & Jona: We’re an extremely energetic live band and live is where you get the full power of H.E.A.T! If you get a chance to see us live, don’t miss it for the world – we always deliver a fantastic show for whoever is in the audience.

Back in 2004 you won the same competion that Europe did in 1982, how was that?
Eric & Jona: Talk about following their footsteps huh? Nah, it surely was a great experience winning the biggest music competition in Sweden, but the things that are happening now are way cooler, so let’s concentrate on that

Is the album gonna be released outside Sweden?
Eric & Jona: It sure is! We’re starting off with Scandinavia and the Baltic States. The plan is to release it in U.S.A and the rest of Europe, and who knows… Maybe become big in Japan?

Do you think the image and look of the band is important?
Eric & Jona: We believe that the image should evolve naturally and reflect what’s going on musically. It’s basically a tool to enhance the music.

What are your hopes for the gig at the Sweden Rock Festival?
Eric & Jona: Playing at Sweden Rock Festival is gonna be an orgasmic feeling man. Performing on a hot summer night in front of thousands of crazy fans while the sun sets behind you is an unbeatable feeling!

Ok, good luck with the stunning album and many thanks for taking your time for this interview. Is there anything you would like to add or say to readers?
Eric & Jona: A big thank you to all who supports H.E.A.T! Check out the website at and as always – Keep on Dreaming