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After dropping out of high school to follow the rock ‘n’ roll dream, South Carolinians Heyrocco are set to bring their unique blend of angst-fuelled grunge and jangly bubblegum pop (think Nirvana meets The Cure) to Edinburgh later this week.
Ahead of their gig at Sneaky Pete’s on Thursday, AAA caught up with frontman Nate Merli to find out why he believes they’ve finally reached a turning point in their career and what his best memories of performing in Edinburgh are…
- You all met in high school and decided to drop out in order to work on your music full-time. How did that decision initially come about and what gave you the confidence to make the jump?
We held each other’s hands like the final scene of Titanic. School drooled, we ruled – easy as pie, baby. Split like an ice cream sundae never looking back.
- Was it a unanimous decision?
Yes, playing music and traveling is a liberating lifestyle. All it takes is a little taste and you want more.
- Can you tell us about the live music scene in Charleston?
It is riveting! Especially over time – there are several good rooms to play like Music Farm, Poho, Royal American and Charleston Music Hall, all run by righteous people. House shows are becoming more popular too thanks to the folks at Pop-Up.
Our friend MC Dan McCurry started a label called Hearts & Plugs with a lot of local artists including Brave Baby, Susto and Hermit’s Victory. Everyone goes to each other’s shows. It’s laid back – no one is pretentious. Charleston is one big smile. I wish we could spend more time there but we’re out here reppin’, burning it down.
- Is it unusual for local bands to end up touring internationally?
I suppose it is but every band begins somewhere – or at least those who are worth supporting do. We happened to smash a few gigs in front of the right people and I don’t think it’s ever anything more unusual than that.
- What has the reaction to your success been like back home?
We’re not as big of losers and sometimes we get free beer, which is all the success one needs really. It is a nice feeling when a local hero gives you their approval or a hug and a kiss. There’s some amazing bands from the Carolina’s I hope we’re able to make everyone proud and bring more attention to them over time.
“It’s the point of
Heyrocco – an
escape for losers!”
- Your lyrics are generally quite light-hearted. Would you say that you take music seriously?
We do take music seriously but discovered early on that all these bands take themselves too seriously. Words can be simultaneously fun and relatable. Our lyrics have a lot of meaning to those who’ve worn the same shoes. I was a loser virgin and wrote a few tunes about it so maybe someone else could know it’ll be alright.
- If you could recommend one of your songs to someone that has never heard of you before, which one would you choose and why?
Good question – my answer changes sometimes but I think Loser Denial is the perfect start to our discography. It’s the opening track. It’s loud and loose. It’s the point of Heyrocco – an escape for losers!
- What has been the highest point of your career so far?
This tour is the turning point. I think up until now we were kind of just goofing around seeing how far it could get us but something clocked recently. A sort of ‘wow what if we could really do this?’ There are kids in other countries singing songs we wrote in the garage years ago and it’s a little bigger than us at this point.
People are working hard for Heyrocco and we’re here to deliver the best performance we can for them. At the end of the day that’s what’s really cool – not being too stoned to spell your name.
- You performed at The Mash House in Edinburgh back in April. Do you have any lasting memories of being in the city?
I remember stage diving into the hardwood ground and then losing a shoe on top of the van shortly afterwards. Edinburgh really is the loveliest, liveliest little town. I can’t wait to return dancing in the streets!
- What can music fans expect from your gig at Sneaky Pete’s later this month?
The return of loud fucking rock ‘n’ roll…it’s going to be mental!
Heyrocco, Sneaky Pete’s, Cowgate, Thursday, October 8, £7.25, 0131-225 1757
Words: Amy Anderson
We’re giving you the chance to win a pair of tickets to see the band perform at Sneaky Pete’s on Thursday. To enter, simply follow us on Twitter – @aaa_edinburgh – and retweet the competition tweet.
The winner will be notified by direct message by 3pm on Thursday, October 8. Usual AAA competition rules apply.