English indie-soul band The Heavy plays the Teragram on Wednesday, so we chatted with frontman Kelvin Swaby about the gig, new album Sons, and more…
L.A. WEEKLY: Sons came out just a couple of weeks ago — how has the band grown between that album and the previous one?
KELVIN SWABY: Hurt & the Merciless was very much about poison and medicines. It was a hard record to make because we were all, or three of us, were all going through tough times in our personal relationships. So it was a tough record to make, but you kind of come together. The thing with Sons is its understanding that the beast that is The Heavy — we are sons too, and we are family, so regardless of whatever we’re going through, we always have each other. Understanding that made that process a lot easier, to make the record.
Are you pleased with the reaction to it?
I’ve seen some. I’ve not been following too much. I’m cracking on and making other stuff, and concentrating on the tour as well. But the initial reaction to tracks that we released leading up to Sons was phenomenal. It was great to see that a lot of our fans said that we’d come back to form. That’s kind of funny, because I thought we were always on form.
Is the band still based in Bath, England? What is the music scene in that region like right now?
I’m based in Florida, but I’m back in the southwest of England every four to six weeks. There are a ton of bands coming up, from what I can see. It’s gone back to being very organic. A few bands are mixing the organic with electronic. The vibe in the Southwest is very relaxed. The best way to get anything done is take your time. Like a good cider.
Do you enjoy coming to L.A.?
I love coming to L.A. We got signed in 2007, and were in the States from 2008. Since then, we haven’t stopped going to Los Angeles. Every time I go, I discover a new district or area. The only thing I don’t like is the traffic.
What can we expect from the set?
An integration of brand new material into what people call our classic material. We just played five gigs in Europe, and it was amazing to see how everyone responded to the new material in between all of the classic tracks. They just seemed to fit. It’s almost like we’re elevating those older tracks. We’re just playing them harder. This record made us think about space and melody.
What’s next, after these shows?
We have a European tour between mid October to early November. There’s a U.S. tour being penciled in for September. And I’m going to keep working. Keep that momentum, so that we have a huge bank of tracks by the end of the year.
The Heavy plays with Jesse Jo Stark at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19 at the Teragram.