Heartsick drummer talks about the band’s connection with its fans
Michigan’s Heartsick tempers hardcore with melodic metal, and it’s a sound and approach that works. The band has been together for more than a decade and a half – first as Know Lyfe, and now as Heartsick – and keeps getting stronger.
It’s been a significant year for Heartsick. The guys played a collection of festival shows, including Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing, Michigan, and have a big gig Saturday (Aug. 13) at Dirt Fest in Pontiac, Michigan. They also charted on the Billboard Heatseekers’ West North Central chat last spring. Drummer Nico Killips — who along with vocalist Alfonso Civile, bass player Waylon Fox and guitarist Jerred Pruneau make up Heartsick — checked in with Audio Ink Radio to talk about the band’s secret to longevity, love for physical albums and what it’s like on the road with a rock band.
Heartsick has been rocking it for more than a decade and a half, first as Know Lyfe and now with the new name. That’s really impressive. Why do you think you guys have stayed together so long?
Staying connected to our fans is huge. We’re all deeply grateful for their support and it’s what helps us keep going. Some of us have also established an identity as a performer, so that also contributes to the drive to keep going. When you feel you have purpose, it really drives you.
Heartsick is really active on socials, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. How has social media helped get Heartsick’s music out there?
One word: Video! It’s been the key to engagement with our current fans and has been the entryway for a ton of new fans. Matteo Donini of M3 Digital Photography & Video has done some great work for us, including our latest video for “Rose Casket Diary.”
Heartsick charted in April on the Billboard Heatseekers’ West North Central chart. It’s rare for an unsigned band to chart on Billboard. What do you think boasted you guys into that special place?
While we embrace new ways fans consume music via Spotify, Apple Music, etc., we very much still value the experience getting a physical CD in peoples’ hands. Staying diligent about keeping track of units and reporting was important to charting on Billboard. We’re also very fortunate to have a great publisher in our corner to help us navigate those waters. And, of course, the fans for buying our record. They are the reason we are where we are.
You guys are playing Dirt Fest coming up. What bands are you pumped to see at Dirt Fest?
The bill has some many incredible bands on it. I think, collectively, we’re particularly excited for Atilla, Hatebreed, Bury Your Dead and Walls of Jericho.
Heartsick tours a lot. What’s a typical day like on the road?
Goofing off the entire way to the show. Typically listening to Adam Sandler’s CDs. Lots of rest stops. Sleep, occasionally, in the van.
Courtesy photo by Anthony Norkus