Few bands have as much authentic chemistry as New York-based group The Heydaze. Vocalist Jesse Fink, guitarist Andrew Spelman, drummer Tyler Matte, and bassist Alexander Glantz are true best friends, finishing one another’s sentences while lovingly hurling insults and inside jokes. “We like cheering each other on,” says Jesse, “but we can also be very brutally honest to each other without taking it personally.” Each member identifies this apparent camaraderie as their defining trait as a group; as imperative to their studio experience and live show. But their chemistry also translates into the music itself, allowing The Heydaze to create and hone a unique blend of pop and alt-rock, with messaging that truly resonates.
“We want to write about, sing about, play about things that every person has felt, and then say it in a way they’ve never heard before,” says Alexander. This commitment to lyrical honesty attracted the attention of iconic label Island Records, to which they’re now signed. “Being signed by Island was so exciting,” says Jesse. “It felt like a dream but also legitimated that this was what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Their first single, “Hurt Like Hell,” is emblematic of The Heydaze members’ ethos of authenticity. It’s high-energy and intense, leading up to an emotional, throbbing chorus that punctuates with a group vocal on the title line. “It’s almost an anthem of sorts,” says Andrew. “Everybody’s been through something they don’t want to think about. It was important for all of us to yell on the chorus.” There’s a duality to the track — a sense of fun that doesn’t take away from its emotional timbre — that reaches further than their tunes.
Jesse, Alexander, and Andrew met and began playing together in college (Tyler, a friend-of-a-friend joined the band shortly after graduation). They’re undoubtedly goofy; drawing inspiration from some of the early-2000s pop punk bands that Tyler worshipped growing up. But despite a level of organic and infectious silliness, all four members of The Heydaze take their craft seriously. They’re multi-instrumental, highlighting the importance of learning one another’s instruments for writing purposes. They worship the musical chops of guitar gods like John Mayer and pop rock outfits like Twenty One Pilots. Most importantly, they make sure each band member has equal voice. “We all have different influences which is nice when brought together in a writing or performing atmosphere,” says Alexander. “The fusion of those influences creates a very interesting aesthetic. It’s nice when we can come together and make something that we all think is cool.”
“We try and stay versatile,” adds Tyler, noting the band’s evolving sound, and the way it allows them to reach all kinds of people. Their successful touring past — they’ve sold out seminal venues like The Studio at Webster Hall and The Gramercy Theatre — proves just how much reach they can have.
More than anything, the guys are excited to get back on the road and share what they love to do. Simply put, The Heydaze love playing music, and they love doing it together. “It’s that chemistry that allows us to get to a place that a lot of bands can’t get to onstage or in the studio,” says Andrew. “Seeing my best friends get to do what they love challenges me to go to a better place playing. It allows all of us to reach a different level.”
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