Heartbreak is a horrible thing: Emotional turmoil, despair and a feeling of loneliness. The Heartbreaks, then, is surely an ironic name. The Morecambe foursome bring a joy to their music which is as quixotic as the seaside life that has influenced them. It’s All Happening were lucky enough to chat with Matt (lead vocalist) and Joe (drummer) ahead of their sizzling set supporting Carl Barat at the London Scala.
Matt and Joe are a chirpy pair, bouncing off each other with expressions and quips throughout the early evening interview. It’s clear from the off that these are two guys who are confident in their own ability but with their feet still firmly on the ground. Early on Joe states that ‘there’s been a lot of interest [from labels] in us recently, but I don’t tend to get too hung up on it really until something actually materialises. I’ve met that many A&R men!’ With coverage and hype surrounding The Heatbreaks increasing on a daily basis it surely won’t be long until a label snaps them up. When questioned about the recent trend for bands to take a DIY approach to touring and releasing records, and whether this is something they would consider, Matt responds ‘I love playing and I want to release music, if we need to sign to a major record label to facilitate that then we’d do it. We’d still need to have some artistic freedom though.’
During the interview, Matt reels off a number of musical influences ‘We listen to a lot of Motown. But we also love Phil Spector, Orange Juice and Jesus and the Mary Chain.’ Joe, however, states that ‘Morecambe has had by far the biggest influence on us’ with Matt rather helpfully adding ‘and Blondie!’. Despite their hometown’s influence, three of The Heartbreaks have now moved to Manchester, with only Ryan remaining in Morecambe. Matt, though, doesn’t feel part of the Manchester scene and doesn’t think that it will influence their music as Morecambe has. ‘We feel a togetherness that comes from not being from Manchester. We are outsiders but with a lot to prove.’ It may be due to the Manchester connection but The Heartbreaks have received endless comparisons to The Smiths in recent months. Matt is quick to comment on this ‘that’s really funny actually as I’ve never heard of the Smiths.’ After a moment’s pause he adds ‘I’m lying, of course!’ Phew.
The Heartbreaks, formerly named Seaside Riot, have a quintessentially British feel to them: their northern tones, seaside influence and cheeky smiles are a reminder of the mid-90s Cool Britannia era. However, Matt states that ‘we were too young for that really. We just missed out on Oasis… and The Libertines. I think we’re more influenced by American music and the ‘small town frustrations’ feeling.’
It is clear to see that The Heartbreaks love playing music. When questioned when they’ll next be on the road Joe is quick to state that ‘It won’t be long. And then when we finish that one we’ll be back out again, and again!’ Matt adds ‘Definitely. Our ultimate goal is a seaside tour…we’d play Morecambe. And Cleethorpes!’
Tonight’s performance at the Scala is the culmination of a 10 date tour supporting Carl Barat. But have The Heartbreaks had a chance to chill out with him backstage? ‘Yeah, we’ve had a few beers’ Matt responds, whilst Joe simply says ‘Yeah, he’s a lovely guy, a true gentleman.’ After the gig it turns out the feeling was mutual with Carl ‘tweeting’ ‘The finest support band I think I’ve ever had, in spirit, haircuts and northerness’. Who are we to argue?