Hearts Bleed Radio: Can you start us off by telling us a little about the band?
Zach: Leslie and I met at a show of a band I played in called Bad and the Ugly, and then a while later I asked her to join a band with my ex girlfriend called Peter Pan, which became Peter Pan and the Lost Boys once Leslie joined. I also played in a band called Steer at the time and we played a show with Sam's other band called Spaces.
HBR: Did this all take place in NYC?
Leslie: We started as Haybaby when Zach and his ex broke up with our friend Caleb. He was on bass at first then wanted to switch to lead guitar so we had Sam join on bass, then Caleb moved back to Boston so we were just three again. Yeah, all in Brooklyn.
Zach: That pretty much sums it up, although my ex did not break up with Caleb, but my ex and I broke up.
Leslie: I play guitar, Zach drums, and Sam's on bass. We all sing, but Zach and I share lead.
HBR: Do you think that bass players need to have a good sense of humor because they are kinda the "losers" of the band?
Zach: Definitely think so which is why Sam is perfect.
Leslie: Sam definitely is the biggest loser in the whole world but he is also the best at bass in the universe.
Zach: True and it's awesome that he's not here to defend himself 'bout his loserdom.
Leslie: I think he would agree.
Zach: True, but he is the baddest ass at bass that I know.
|A rare pic of a NYC band in a non-taxi automobile.|
Zach: Not when you play like Sam. He thanks the powers that be with every note. I just think that they are in fact losers.
HBR: I'm going to pay special attention to that on the 15th. So, how do you guys go about songwriting? Is it a group process?
Leslie: I think in a lot of bands the role of the bassist is pretty boring, holding down root notes or whatever but that definitely is not the case in Haybaby. Sam pretty much defines the groove of the whole song and I just noodle around it.
Zach: Usually Sam plays a really simple ridiculously awesome bassline then I start playing the drums then Leslie noodles out some genius riff and one of us will start singing.
Leslie: Yeah most of our songs are born from jams.
Zach: We usually just go for a while on an idea record it and then listen back and determine part lengths and other melodies and all that.
HBR: Are you guys like, of one mind musically? Or are you coming from different backgrounds?
Zach: I would say different backgrounds with an underlying theme.
HBR: Did you grow up with drum-nerd shit?
Zach: Haha no. I don't even own a drum. I played guitar all my life until Haybaby
HBR: I know how that is, I just became a drummer in like, 2012.
Leslie: Totally different, I'd say. I had a classical background that I hated and never practiced and was really horrible at many instruments until I discovered drums and I wanted nothing more than to play rock. I switched to guitar a little after that but I've always loved drumming. I started off playing with Zach as his drummer.
Zach: I was always in bands with rad drummers though and when I started I feel like it came pretty naturally from all the radness I had surrounded myself with. Yeah so you know how that goes with the drums. Just hit 'em.
HBR: People are like, "Who are your biggest influences as a drummer?" and I'm like, "Uh, the 5 random dudes who have played drums in my bands over the years..."
Zach: Yeah that's exactly how I feel.
HBR: Leslie, you mentioned a classical background, what was your first instrument?
Leslie: Piano, then violin, then flute, then viola, but I really hated it.
Zach: Flute?! You should totally shred a flute solo at our next show!
HBR: It's hard, like, I never really cared for music until I realized how to write a song and find my own voice. It's sad that music education is so focused on repetition and recital, isn't it? Yeah, I back that flute solo idea.
Zach: Yeah I agree with that I've always been pretty resistant to the theory or science of music cause it can take away from the magic.
HBR: Don't sweat it if Sam takes forever or doesn't make it, this isn't Rolling Stone.
Leslie: I think he's here now.
HBR: Do you feel his presence?
Leslie: I'm reeeally bad at flute... No we are roommates.
Leslie: Also we are psychically bonded.
HBR: As you should be. I'm actually a big fan of music theory, but it's just like, usually presented in a very colorless and academic way. But we won't get into that right now...
Zach: Yeah sometimes I wish I knew more but then I fear I wouldn't be as creative in other ways
Got to find the balance... But yeah back to the interview.
HBR: Yeah, but you learn other ways to be creative... You got to be creative with your creativity yo.
Leslie: I think I'm better at my instrument because I'm bad at it.
HBR: Are you guys taking a little while to adjust to it being 2014? Like, I filled out a check 2013 today.
Zach: I still fill out checks for 2012.
Leslie: No, I always get excited for the new year and pointedly write 2014 each time.
Zach:I was just starting to get used to 2013 then BAM...
HBR: I made a reference to Mayor Bloomberg yesterday and my co-worker was like "DUDE, he's not our mayor anymore." It's been 12 years, it's going to take some time to get used to a new mayor.
Zach: Haha, nice. Yeah I'm super out of it when it comes to anything time oriented. That's why I play drums.
|The natural glow of radioactive hay is so f'ing beautiful.|
HBR: Do you find them to be more stressful than guitar or bass?
Leslie: Sam is really drunk.
HBR: Haha. Put him on!
Zach: Only because there is more pieces to keep track of.
HBR: There's a lot of stuff. And like, there's a lot of shit to fall apart... And a lot of wrong things to hit.
Zach: Yea, other then that though I think they're kind of less stressful. But also my drums usually sound like shit cause I don't stress about them. I used to stress more about guitar. Yeah but the wrong things to hit are pretty far away from each other and as long as you hit something in time it's usually not the worst. On guitar if you hit the wrong note which often times is right next to the right note it can just fuck everything up.
HBR: The worst is when you go to hit a cymbal and you just totally whiff.
Zach: Or make it way better... that's true missing is the worst on the drums.
Leslie: Most of my parts are born from hitting the wrong note.
HBR: There are no wrong notes though... But you can always tell when the beat gets screwed up. That's why I find drums stressful. But a good bass player can cover your ass.
Zach: Yeah totally dropping a beat is the worst, but you just can't give up. Gotta hop right back on and keep going.
HBR: Do you guys keep up with like, modern rock and roll?
Zach: Definitely not enough, although I guess that's subjective.
HBR: Can anyone really keep up enough though? It's crazy now, there's too much music.
Leslie: Not really. I should, but I'm so lazy and there's so much new stuff coming out every day. I mostly just listen to my peers' stuff and then random stuff from older times.
Zach: Exactly I just get tired of trying and stick to stuff I like usually.
Leslie: My boyfriend has been introducing me to a lot of sweet 90s bands. I'm super into Butterglory lately. Also doo wop. I've been listening to a lot of the Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs station on Pandora.
Zach: Although when someone shows me something new that I like, I get sooooooo excited.
Sam: Oh hey!
Leslie: Oh there you are!!
Sam: This reminds me of being in high school, when AIM was a thing.
Zach: Hey Sam.
Sam: I stopped listening to music when I was 20whatever, when I was in college my favorite thing to do was to find new music... but the more I got into making music the less I was willing to spend myself finding things that other people had done.
Zach: Yeah I was just telling my roommate how I haven't had a good chat since Instant messenger.
Leslie: It is so weird to be sitting next to Sam and just chatting.
Sam: You're too DruuUUuUUnKK!
HBR: I'm frantically trying to think up the Gchat version of a field sobriety test...
Sam: You know what I got back into lately? When I was first starting to get super stoked on music as a thing that made life better... I listened to a lot of Chopin, then I started to think that maybe Chopin was a little cheesy, like it's in so many movie soundtracks, but a while ago I heard a melody and I realized it was quoting from Chopin... and then I realized I'd written this guitar part that was quoting from Chopin.
HBR: So you've gone back to your roots?
Sam: So I went back and listened to a lot of it and holy shit, Chopin is sooo so beautiful, it's the greatest, it's really the best there is.
HBR: Do you guys think it's good that there's so much music? Or do you think that as an art, it's kinda lost direction?
Leslie: I dunno, I think there are a lot of people lately doing music because it's like a cool thing to do but they aren't actually doing it because they love doing it and as a result there's a lot of the same stuff happening and it's just uninteresting.
Zach: I think it's cool that there's so much music but it's really hard to pay attention to it especially when trying to make so much of it (like you said before).
Sam: Yeah, true.
Leslie: But there's always someone doing something cool and different/.
HBR: Yeah, Leslie, I hear you, cause rock is really so easy. To sit down and try and be like Chopin, that's impossible almost.
Sam: It's not impossible the thing that's great about Chopin is that it's so modern - hooks, rad melodies, etc.
HBR: But you know what I mean. Maybe it's living in Brooklyn, but everyone plays the guitar, right?
Zach: I also feel there is a lot of pretty poop music out there these days cause anyone can just make an album, but who am I to say what's poop. I feel like the music world is at a place where nobody's really making it to make money (the people that are kind of suck) which I think makes for really awesome music. Music made for no reward other then to make it.
HBR: No, you're absolutely right about it being poop.
HBR: It's not even debatable as to the (lack of) artistic integrity of so much copycat music that pushes no envelope whatsoever, and has little cultural or political value.
Zach: I think Brooklyn has a little bit of a reverb addiction... Yeah half the time I have no idea what anyone is saying or even feeling like the only thing I know is that they really like reverb
HBR: But it begs the question, like, what it's about really? Do you think that music can really evolve if we're still playing guitars?
Sam: There's a lot of poooo but we're in a weird place where we worked really hard to prove that virtuosic chops doesn't mean anything, I mean punk and garage have been these really important movements showing that chops aren't what it's all about, and at the same time I think we miss craft to a certain extent, we miss the devotion to music that craft represents. One person's copycatism is another person's scene.
Leslie: Oh tooootally. I find that I can make a different crazy sound with an electric guitar almost every time I pick one up.
Zach: I think people need to start valuing words again and not being afraid, (and covering) everything up with layers and layers ear candy.
HBR: What do you think the future holds for rock and roll?
Sam: Rock and roll has been dead for years dude. Didn't anyone tell ya?
HBR: Haha, I mean, in a sense, it's still the primary folk music of the Western world. But artistically, you might be right.
Zach: I think rock and roll will never die, but will probably never flourish again. There will always be true rock and roll somewhere.
Leslie: The computer Sam's on just crashed. I don't know about the future. I think the internet is going to do something.
HBR: That computer doesn't want to believe that Rock will live forever!
Zach: I think the internet might have already done something...
Leslie: Have you heard of Hatsune Miku?
HBR: I have not.
Leslie: She's a hologram. A Japanese hologram that makes music and sells out concerts. Robots and internet music ehhhhhhhh...
HBR: What about the future of Haybaby? You guys have the show on 1/15, what else is going on?
Leslie: Okay, Sam is going to bed.
Zach: Goodnight Sam.
Leslie: He just put his fist in the remnants of my Chinese food.
Zach: Yeah Sam show that shit who's boss!
HBR: Are you guys thinking of recording another EP, or a full length?
Leslie: It'd be cool to do a full length. It'd be cool to do an EP. We have kinda been cranking out the jams lately but we just blew all our money on the last EP so it'll be a while before we can afford to record again.
Zach: Eventually. We definitely have enough material. Just a matter of when and how..
Leslie: Unless someone magically gifts us loads of money for being awesome, which I think will probably happen tomorrow or something.
Perhaps this interview finds the eyes of a foreign billionaire with nothing better to invest in than local Brooklyn bands. I'm hoping that once they buy up all our property, they move on to buying our art. Makes sense, right?
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