Stereo Stickman

Proud Shame is an intriguing title, the juxtaposition of the concepts of pride and shame offers an appealing contrast, and the opening few moments of music don’t fail to feed this intrigue further and affectionately keep hold of your attention.

Heavy AmericA put forth heartfelt and reflective songwriting, as opposed to the sheer intensity and distortion you might initially expect from the name. Their music does soon erupt into a much heavier, classic rock sort of ambiance, but’s it’s never outside of the arena of creativity and feeling. This particular song has passion, it’s been crafted with thought and real emotion. This is something you can tell from paying close attention to the lyrics, each and every line, and also the entire way in which the song unfolds and evolves.

There’s a notable amount of space within the instrumentation, something not all that common in rock music. The effect of this is that you can really notice and appreciate each element that makes up the song – the leading vocal, the passion, the poetry, the imagery, the riffs, the drum line, the structure. The track is comprised of numerous different sections, not necessarily conforming to the standard, expected, radio-worthy building blocks of mainstream music, and not needing to. Each part leads well into its follower, and all in all the arrangement makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and meaningful few minutes of music.

The opening instrumentation is beautiful, the shaker sound, the guitar riff, the vocal melody and message. As the intensity builds it’s always with care and consideration, and it always adheres to the idea behind each particular moment in the song. The lyrics are undeniably fresh and it’s a pleasure to listen to these lines and thoughts expressed among a powerful soundscape.

 

SleepingBagStudios

If you’re a fan of hard-rock done right, I feel like you’re on solid ground in selecting this new track from Heavy AmericA called “Pray For Me” – this should be something you dig.  I am…hmm…I suppose these days less and less of a fan of the genre itself, or at the very least tougher on it than when I first started exploring rock of all kinds.  It’s cut & dry for me these days…black & white…I want either something that completely reinvents the wheel or music that is played tightly enough to impress through the core of its ideas and ambitions.  I’m also old enough & wise enough to know we’re not all out to change the entire musical landscape…and a complete renovation or reinvention of a genre is rarer-than-rare when it comes right down to it…I don’t always expect that to happen in hard-rock but you’ll have to forgive me on that second point – because when I’m listening to rock, I do expect it to be focused, ready and able.  Thankfully – I felt like that’s what we’ve got our ears around today with Heavy AmericA – rock done right.

Right from the opening crunch of guitars that crash into the mix of “Pray For Me” – you can hear the meatiness in a solid riff that works…and in my opinion, the guitar-work just continues to build & get more exciting from there.  Seriously solid ideas in the music as they exit the verse into brief instrumental sections before they rock the chorus…I suppose if I had anything critical at all to say about this track it would simply be that I wanted a bit more of those moments – but the reality is there’s only so much you can fit into a short tune and I’ll certainly take what I can get from this crew.  “Pray For Me” is wildly vibrant in performance and execution for its short length…we get just enough of everything to seriously make us want to come back and listen – highly repeatable experience in rock here.  You gotta appreciate that grind in the guitar work and low-end rumble of the bass combining with the crisp snap of the drums – you add in vocals that fit the design perfectly and you’ve got yourself a solid cut like “Pray For Me.”

I will say this…from the snapshot that you get inside of three-minutes – I really did feel like there’s a lot this band could potentially go on to offer.  The breakdown just prior to the 2.5 minute-mark is absolutely freakin’ fantastic…like SO GOOD I found myself seeking out this moment in the song several times as it played on repeat because it’s such a defined highlight in the music before Heavy AmericA roars back into their final chorus run-through.  The energy & intensity is undoubtedly present in the writing throughout this entire song for the record however…doesn’t matter if we’re talking about verse, chorus or in-between – this band is clearly focused and clearly bringing it to “Pray For Me.”  It’s a performance I can appreciate for sure…I like the definition in each part…I LOVED the instrumentation and musicianship and the precision pace & steady stop/start of the beat fueling the energy of this track.  I think you can hear from the musical-hints they drop on this new-single that in a five-minute long track or more – Heavy AmericA would go on to kick ALL the ass with intense solos and wicked ideas.  “Pray For Me” as it stands like this on the recording is a wild-ride for its three-minutes – but I’d be willing to bet that this song finds an extra-gear in a live setting where they really let their musicianship and talent shine even further…but I can’t deny also that I really like the focus that this track has in its short-form now.  Everything seems mapped-out and carefully planned writing-wise, but Heavy AmericA plays it all like it’s completely fresh and they’re all caught right up in the moment of the mayhem & madness of rock…and the result is that “Pray For Me” sounds triumphantly energetic from the vocals to the music and truly on the attack.

And just like a good single SHOULD – “Pray For Me” gets me just as excited about what else might come out from Heavy AmericA in the future as I am to hear what they’ve released here today.  Kind of reminds me of I Mother Earth from their album Dig…and that’s plenty cool with me to have strong sonic elements rampaging through the song like that, yes indeed.  Solid music, tight band, well-written and rock that pounds with confidence – I think they’ve got a strong cut with “Pray For Me” that the hard-rock/alternative crowd out there will definitely dig on.

 

Tuned Loud Magazine

The last time I heard a track by this band was in 2015.However this new single, “Pray For Me”, might rank as my favorite Heavy AmericA song. Their sound continues to evolve, but they still have the same hard hitting riffs and catchy lyrics as they have always had.  This band has matured and progressed along the way to develop itself into a strong presence. One of the things that makes Heavy AmericA so great, is their diversity in rhythm, melody and style. Really impressive vocals, outstanding guitar and bass work, with incredible rhythm and percussion, all of which takes it cue from seventies and nineties rock.

This is a hard hitting rock band with a twist of philosophy. The lyrics are new and vibrant, you will be delighted. From the unrestrained passion and angst that singer Mike Sequin wraps around every syllable on “Pray For Me”, it’s clear the band’s time recording, since their last release, was put to good use.

Heavy AmericA is living proof that today’s musicians need not plague their songs with profanity in order to make powerful, emotive hard rock. Mike Sequin, Dan Fried  and Budd Lapham achieve something most bands wished they could…they just play rock music, without all the frills and fuss.

The song is laden with fullness in its sound, with memorable guitars, noteworthy vocals which put forth a good deal of emotion, and a catchy groove. All round, the song is quite captivating and takes care not to go overboard. Heavy AmericA’s music is dark and a tad melancholic in its own way, laden with regular song structures, crunchy guitars and memorable vocal melodies.

As of late I’ve been a little disappointed with the alternative and hard rock scene since nearly every new band has started to copy old ones either in similar styles or even vocals. Half the time you can’t tell the difference between the bands and sometimes when old favorites release new albums it’s almost like they are playing the same song on repeat.

To be honest, I was not afraid that this would be the case with Heavy AmericA’s since their songs have always been steeped in the classic sound. And they’re more of an original than a copy. Musically, the band’s sound takes listeners back to the early days of rock.  They blend together the best of those works, while creating new dynamics that are fresh, interesting and familiar at the same time.

Their songs have a dark and heavy vibe with a lot of soaring melodies and a wide variety of textures. And as a trio they manage to craft rich haunting sonic atmospheres that draw you instantly. Heavy AmericA has their new Album due out in Spring 2017.

Middle Tennessee Music

Today these hard rockers return with another jam titled Proud Shame, you can listen below.

A more mellow song compared to the previous single, Heavy AmericA put their versatility on display with a slower tempo, cleaner guitar tones, and hypnotic background vocals which pull you into a comforting yet eerie soundscape.

Proud Shame dives more into the bands alternative, stoner rock side but still jams just as hard as their previous wall of sound (Pray For Me).

The Patcave

1.) What made you want to get into the music business in the first place? Did anyone influence you to do music? If so, who? Influences? Role Models?

I was fortunate to have parents who were very supportive of music growing up. When I was thirteen, my Dad landed a job as a photographer for a music production company in Boston, photographing outdoor rock festivals,. I had just started playing guitar and was in my first band. He would get VIP passes for a lot of the shows and take me with him. I got to meet and see so many great artists and bands. It was a world I fell in love with instantly. I knew that was the life I wanted and I knew I was one of them.

Lately I’ve really been inspired by Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age. That dude goes non stop. I don’t think he’s taken a break since 2012. I really admire and mimic that work ethic. The first time I saw them live was on the ‘Like Clockwork’ tour. When they walked out on stage, they owned it and they knew it. That level of professionalism is awesome and very inspiring. That moment changed my idea of success. It isn’t primarily about money, it is a level of professionalism, owning it… always. This realization has pushed me to be better, gave me a clearer image of our direction as a band, and ,in turn, inspired the recording of the new album.

 

2.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don’t get any recognition for their talent and/or work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed?

I heard a great quote once, “All music eventually finds its audience. Unfortunately, the ones with the most money will usually find it faster.” There’s a lot of truth in that statement. It’s not enough just to be a great writer or band, you really have to educate yourself on the business side of music. The more you know about how the industry turns great songs into hits, the easier it is to decide where to spend what limited funds you have to work with.

I think if you’re honest with yourselves about where you are as a band in your growth process and know when and how to connect with the right professional, the chances of having your music fall on the right set of ears is much greater.

 

3.) Would you rather be on a major label or would you rather stay independent? Why or why not?

If I had a chance to sign with a major I would. There’s a lot of pride that comes with being a DIY band but the more success you achieve the more help you need. It’s a ton of work managing, writing, booking, playing and promoting. You can only take it so far on your own before you eventually burn out. The writing starts to suffer as a result of all the business that needs to be done. If you want to be able to focus on being great artists you’re going to need some help.

 

4.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?

I don’t think the industry even has a solid model anymore. It’s such an evolving landscape. With the collapse of cd sales and declining mp3 sales, the industry has now turned it’s attention to streaming services for a payout. As long as technology keeps changing the way people consume their music, the industry will be forced to change the way it does business.

 

5.) How do you think the internet and social media affected the music industry and how musicians are able to market themselves?

I believe it affected both sides of the industry in a positive way. The artist gets to build their following and get good local recognition on their own without having to pay back a record company for artist development. That saves the artist from starving and making costly mistakes. It also allows a industry professional to monitor a band, watch their growth and progress and know when to approach them. Both sides win.

 

6.) What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your path to becoming a musician?

There’s nothing more depressing than devoting all your time, money and soul to a project only to have it fall apart for reasons out of your control. And to have it happen over and over again. It can be crushing on your moral and lead to some pretty deep depression. I decided when Heavy AmericA formed that I was going to involve myself into every aspect of running the band. I’ve learned from all my past mistakes and waiting for someone else to fix a problem isn’t an option. It can be difficult sometimes to meet everyone’s needs but if you’re able to create constant forward movement you’ll also create positive attitudes. This is what keeps the band together, being a great role model is key.

 

7.) Artists who try to make music for the general public and make more $$$ are usually seen as “sell-outs.” Do you see it that way and if so, what do plan to do to make sure you make music that is true to your brand and make a good living at the same time without having to “sell out”?

Selling out to me is involving yourself in a genre you have no business being in. We all evolve as players and most of our influences span decades and different genres. But if you’re a metal head who’s in a pop rock band just to make a few bucks, then you’re a sell out. We all would like to make a good living at being a musician, we all have bills to pay. But you need to be true to yourself and your craft. People notice if you’re not and they will call you out on it. There are so many ways for an artist or band to monetize their music today without having to sacrifice their dignity.

 

8.) When you do music, what would you like your listeners to get out of your music?

I want them to be able to find their story in our music. To relate and be moved emotionally, regardless of the emotion.

 

Jamsphere Magazine

It is an indisputable fact that real rock has gone by the wayside. Often we hear of a band that has brought it back, only to find out they missed the mark by a long shot. Three piece band Heavy AmericA, has hit that mark and obliterated it. The crunchy chords; the distortion; the slamming drums; the vocals out front: it has the ingredients that made their predecessors huge. If you’re into that 60’s and 70’s hard rock sound that was coined by bands like Spooky Tooth and Black Sabbath (with Ozzy), a then you will love this new track, entitled “Pray For Me”.

However weird it may sound, it’s refreshing to hear new music that rekindles the spirit of the classic rock era. There are thick, thundering guitar riffs and massive bass lines courtesy of Budd Lapham (bass, vox), plus the high, Ozzy-esque wail of singer Mike Sequin (lead vox, guitars, keys) and the thumping drums by Dan Fried (drums, percussion, vox).

That said, Heavy AmericA proves that they are more than the sum of their influences. Their hard rock is raw, and energetic, the sort of thing you can dance or mosh to, it’s sharp and wild around the edges.

This is the way rock was and is meant to be. The trio has power and a presence that is rarely seen these days. Anyone from the old-school rocker to the ones trying to find authentic and solid rock these days should give Heavy AmericA a chance to blow their minds.

Plenty of bands exhibit a burning devotion to the styles of a bygone era, but the ones worth listening to have always been the ones who bring something of their own to the mix. On “Pray For Me”, Heavy AmericA bring plenty of their own. The band arrives through our speakers with little pretension or instrumental self-indulgence – it’s straight down to business, like any self-respecting rock band should be.

“Pray For Me” is a riff crazy rock and roll track, full of the energy and references to a time in music history that this band understands well. If you like straight forward hard rock with great guitar riffs and super vocals and a tight rhythm section, then you are in for a treat here.

BandCampDiaries

Heavy America is a rock band based in Boston, Massachusetts. Their music bridges the gaps between hard rock, punk, grunge and alternative, with the help of great energy and catchy melodies that truly brings it all together.

The band’s latest track, Pray For Me, strikes for its powerful arrangements and personal approach to songwriting. The song portrays the influences of the band in a very subtle way, while highlighting the massive doses of personality of each band member, and what every musician can bring to the table. From the massive walls of sound of Queens Of The Stone Age to the dark, intense groove of Black Sabbath, Heavy America channels various rock influences into their sound, letting it all collide into something new and refreshing.

The song is quite aggressive and direct, yet it is melodic and thought-provoking, with some poignant and witty lyricism to add more flavor and momentum to the song, achieving a great balance of musical proficiency and insightful lyrical content.

Middle Tennessee Music

Hard rockers Heavy AmericA have unleashed their neck breaking, in-your-face, wall of sound Pray For Me. You can watch the video on YouTube.

Blending a fine tasting, potent mix of alternative, progressive and stoner rock elements, Pray For Me hits you right in the chest, rumbles through your gut, and stimulates your ear canals just enough to force you into an uncontrollable headbang while jamming your socks off on air guitar.

Strap on your seat belts, roll down the windows, turn the stereo up to 15 and prepare for a hard rockin’ ride!