We are Relic Hearts. We live in Pennsylvania and we make music. Everything you see and hear on our page was envisioned by us, and then put to your computer screen (sometimes with a little help from our friends)! When you pick up a song of iTunes, your money goes straight to our next pack of guitar strings, or maybe a nice, fancy little camera lens :) Your support literally means everything to us. We are extremely grateful for every single one of you who watches and shares our videos - and we promise, as long as you keep doing that, we'll keep making them.
- Where did the name “Relic Hearts” come from?
Jonnie is actually the one that suggested this name. We were brainstorming for a few weeks when he actually misquoted the James Bond film, Skyfall. M is quoting Tennyson, and said “heroic hearts” and Jonnie thought it said “Relic Hearts”. The name stuck and resonated with all of us, so we officially became Relic Hearts from that day forward.
- Did you think you would get noticed for your covers of popular artists (ie. Lorde, Taylor Swift, etc.)?
The plan of attack with the covers from the get go was to try to attract people to our YouTube channel and gain a wider audience for our own music. Doing the covers also turned out to be surprisingly fun. Changing the style of an existing song can be a challenge in itself but it’s always great to nail a cover that sounds like you while retaining the original structure of the song.
- What previous bands have you been in?
We’ve all taken stabs at different groups in the past. Aaron personally had an acoustic group for a few years called Recycled America as well as performed all over the northeast and west coast as a solo artist. The rest of the boys were in a pop punk band called The Groundbreaking Ceremony prior and had worked for Tada Catering on the Vans Warped Tour in 2011 and 2012 to earn stage time when there was space that permitted. In 2010, The Groundbreaking Ceremony won the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands for the Scranton, PA Warped date, and just kind of kept their foot stuck in the door so they could return the next two years to volunteer their time in exchange for getting to tour the country, play the tour, and cut their teeth.
- How did you come to acquire a diverse range of influences?
Aaron grew up playing a wide array of rock and metal. He always joke with people that Randy Rhoads taught him how to play the guitar even though he was gone years before any of us were ever born. He spent hours as a kid neglecting school work to meticulously pick apart and learn all the guitar parts from his favorite records. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Elliot Smith, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Metallica, Megadeth, etc.. He’s also been influenced by film composers such as John Williams and have always been a huge fan of most classical music. Honestly, we all listen to a wide variety of music, from pop punk, to classic rock, metal, indie, pop — this is always a difficult question because we all have different, and eclectic tastes.
- When you first started, did you have a solid plan to get to this point?
Jonnie has always had a vision for where he wants this band to be and we have always done our best to make sure we’re all on the same page. We obviously would love nothing more than to take this all the way and I believe we have the kind of material required to get us there. Although certain curve balls have been tossed our way that have caused our plans to change it’s taught us the ability to think on our feet and make necessary adjustments to make sure we’re always moving forward. We are just happy that people seem to be listening and better yet, they’re liking what they hear.
- How was it working with the former guitarist of Sleeping with Sirens?
Jesse is hands down one of our favorite people to have around in the studio. He’s got an amazing ear for the songs that we should shelve for the time being and the songs that we should move into the next phase of production. Plus he keeps the mood in a good place which is monumental when you’re holed up in the studio for weeks on end. No doubt we had an amazing team with Jesse Lawson and Stetson Whitworth producing this record. We couldn’t be happier.
- What is the song “Transjenner” about? How did you come up with that title?
Haha! Well the song is mainly about holding onto toxic relationships for WAY too long. The title has nothing to do with the song. Most of the new songs are nameless as we first start production on them so we come up with code names for them until we come up with an official name. This one just never got it’s official name change and therefore will now always be
Transjenner. The code name just came from all of the Caitlyn Jenner news coverage going on at the time. It was everywhere. With Transgener issues still looming in the news and all over social media this year, we just decided to let it stick.
- What’s the story behind the song “Bridges”?
When you choose to make music your entire life there are always some people out there that look at you like you’re crazy. Jonnie wrote the lyrics to this one and at the time was frustrated about a few people that just seemed to negatively impact him and the rest of us in our pursuit or follow our passions, hearts and dreams. Our friend and business mentor Jeff Hoffman has always told us to surround ourselves with people who believe in what we’re doing and people that want to collaborate with you to achieve your common goals. This song is about terminating the relationships that do the opposite.
- How is the crowdfunding for “Volatile” going?
It’s going alright so far but could be much better. It’s a little slow start and we’ve been a little under the radar while we’ve been making this new record and building our home studios for recording and video work. It has been picking up more and more though through word of mouth and that is key. It’s crucial that our fans and friends tell everyone they know about this to make the campaign as successful as possible so we can get out there more and more. So please — share the IndieGoGo link and keep telling your friends to check it out!
- Are you going to tour for the album soon? Where will your stops be?
The plan is DEFINITELY to tour on this album, and push it out there, but we’re focusing a lot of efforts on marketing and licensing the record to make sure it finds itself in the ears of as many people as possible. We’ll play to as many people as possible, whether they’ve heard of us or not, but the best thing we can do is push this album first, and tour on it during and after. We’ll keep you posted on tour dates and shows as they present themselves. Earning a spot on the main stage at Warped Tour 2016 this year would be a good start to those announcements, so definitely make sure you’re checking out our PLAY Ernie Ball page and commenting, sharing, and listening!
- How would you describe the overall sound of the album?
Going into the making of this record we all wanted to make something that feels energetic and memorable. This is definitely a Rock record and although most of the songs are high energy rock we have a few on there where we decided to step outside of our usual box. Aaron wrote more music this time around on the piano so there are a few songs here that may surprise those who are already familiar with us. We are all very proud of this album.
12. How did you end up contributing to the Pop Goes Punk compilation?
We just titled the video that way to attract people that would be interested in that song in that style. It’s become a well known staple in that particular community of cover-lovers, so we wanted to make sure we weren’t being missed.
- Will you continue making covers?
We will absolutely keep making covers from time to time. We have our own little studio so doing things like that at there and getting them on YouTube is always great for gaining more fans and people who will subscribe to your channel. Our goal is to create as much music as possible so that means covers and even other originals not included on the album that will be released from time to time. Now that the record is coming out it’s go time as far as getting as much material out there to reach as many people as possible.
- Do you think you’ll hit it big with the release“Volatile”?
Haha! Well we definitely believe the music is great and that the people who are exposed to it will like it; most people anyway. We have some bangers on here that would be nice on rock radio and some that slow that pace just a teeny bit to try to keep things fresh stylistically throughout the entire ten song run. We absolutely just need the folks that truly enjoy what they
hear from us to subscribe to and share our content with everyone they know. Word of mouth is everything.
- Any future videos planned?
We have several videos in the works right now. We don’t want to go into great detail about what some of them may be but we can tell you that we’ll be doing several more videos for some songs off of the record as well as a few acoustic versions of those songs planned at the moment. Video content is extremely important to us and we also believe that it’s important to a lot of music fans in our modern contemporary culture. People want to see more visuals and they expect much more out of even the smallest unsigned bands. Plus our online presence and word of mouth being paramount to the success of the music, we want to ensure to provide that content to our fans via our YouTube channel.
- Final Thoughts
This record means the world to us and we’ve literally put our blood, sweat and tears into this music. We are sure those who listen to us will hear that come through in what we made together. It is a very personal record to us but very much about things that so many of us experience in our lives with our relationships, hardship, heartache as well as the light at the end of the tunnel. We are hoping people can truly relate to this music and we absolutely can’t wait to get out on the road to support Volatile.