HI THERE, THANKS FOR ANSWERING SOME QUESTIONS FOR US
Answering this interview is Kaity Heart the vocalist and Mike Schmidt our lead guitarist!
PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF:
Mike: Rock musician from the suburbs of Minneapolis.
Kaity: I threw my life away for rock and roll after I got a degree in music. I’ve been singing my whole life-professionally since I was about 14. Now I’m in multiple groups besides Sunflower in order to fund said band, and spend my days doing admin for these bands, doing session work or vocal coaching.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST ALBUM OR SINGLE:
Our first Self Titled album should be released around the beginning of the year and our upcoming single ‘Shadow Girl’ will be released on October 20th. It’s the perfect song for the spooky season! And it was actually the first song this band ever worked on WAY back in April of 2020.
WHICH SONG WOULD YOU SAY SUMS UP YOUR SOUND THE BEST?
Mike: Probably… Breathe It In and Naughty Little Girl
Kaity: I’d say a combo of those two with a dash of Shadow Girl which is coming out soon!
DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC IN A FEW WORDS.
Mike: Blues based rock with a 70's feel.
Kaity: It’s like Heart, Led Zeppelin and Cheap Trick drank a bunch of Hamms and had an unholy love child in the back of a carpeted van.
WHO HAVE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES BEEN?
Mike: Biggest? Well, my first influences were Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, and Blondie… then later it was Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, The Cars, and Guns N' Roses
Kaity: From the 70s it’s Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Bad Company, Led Zepplin, Head East, The Eagles, Big Star…SOOO many. From recent bands The Pierces are just an amazing group. They have that spooky Fleetwood Mac witchy thing that I adore.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO MUSIC?
Mike: My dad was a musician in bands in the 70's so music was always around me. He showed me my first 2 chords on guitar when I was 10 and I went downstairs and wrote and recorded my first song.
Kaity: I had been singing since I could talk. I think my parents couldn’t take it anymore so they put me in voice lessons! Started out in church choirs, then school choirs, musicals, plays, then started doing session work, professional musicals, then bands. It’s been a part of my life for so long I can’t even
remember when I started.
WHAT IS THE CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE FOR YOU WHEN MAKING MUSIC?
Mike: Usually it starts with a riff or chord progression idea, then a couple of us will get in a room and start coming up with ideas. As we bring some basic song structure to the band everyone will bring something to the song and put their stamp on it.
Kaity: Yup. It starts kind of different every time. It might be lyrics and melody first. It might be a riff or a chord progression…but either way…we all write together. Everyone has their hand in it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE THE COOLEST COLLABORATION PROJECT BETWEEN YOU AND ANOTHER ARTIST?
Mike: Getting Stevie Wonder on the next record.
Kaity: I mean of course I’m gonna go with like…Heart or one of my big influences. To work with someone who has inspired all of this would be completely incredible. Especially since we’re working with Ron Nevison who worked with them too. To see that all come together would be a trip.
PLEASE TELL US A RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOURSELF?
Kaity: I’m completely obsessed with The Simpsons. I quote them constantly and have a tattoo of Homer’s pet lobster Pinchy on my arm.
Here’s some fun stuff I’ll let you know about the rest of the band:
-Al the keyboard player and Kaity have a prank war going for years now involving Eddie Mony and gas station weapons.
-James our other guitar player once sent the band chicken leg squeaker toys without telling them and our bass player Craig thought it was some terrorist scam
-Kyle has a strange obsession with Bigfoot calls whenever we are anywhere in the wilderness or in a Chili’s parking lot.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?
Mike: Do your thing and try not to let other people’s opinions or judgments, good bad or other affect you. Keeping true to yourself is always the way to go and will serve you best in the long run.
Kaity: Not so much advice that was given directly to me-but a book. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie changed my life. I used to be pretty cold and calculating. I just looked at people as things to be conquered or something in my way. (This was like WAAAAY back in high school) I read that my freshman year of college and it changed my whole outlook on life. I now walk into every room with the attitude that everyone in this room can do something for me and I can do something for them-I just gotta figure out what that is. It could be something as simple as friendship or something as big as a tour hookup…but you just never know until you make a genuine personal connection. I now LOVE meeting people and making friends.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT THE INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Kaity: I would get rid of social media cuz it’s a damn nightmarish hellscape. No one needs to be this connected all the damn time. We should not have to be on display all day every day….I mean-the complexes all these young kids are getting because they can’t look like a filter…or have 100k followers…like what!? That’s so sad. I just want to write music and have people hear it. I will die on this hill. If you look at a lot of the bands in the 1970’s…they weren’t necessarily the best looking crew but DAMNIT they were so, so talented it was unreal. It was about talent….not about followers or the perfect body.
We’re currently mixing and mastering for album #2, writing for album #3 and in the infancy stages of planning a tour over in the UK for Fall 2024
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