Finding Your Road in Today's Music Industry - article by Michael T. Seguin of Heavy AmericA - “I often wondered why our band would show up on a curated playlist with bands that sound nothing like us, or be featured in the press next to an Americana band when we’re a rock band. Is it because we have America in our name? Didn’t you see the first word? Or better yet, get booked with a techno DJ, an emo band and a metal band all on the same night! But when I looked closer, I started to realize why. We were all using the same compass. Seems easy right? Write an awesome song, point your compass at success and follow it. But what is success? What does it mean to you? This needs to be defined early in your trip or you can find yourself broke & depressed. Truth is, success means something different to each of us. Therefore our compasses should all point in different directions but we often share the same roads to get to our destinations. Never before has it been so easy for an artist or band to promote themselves and get their music in front of an audience. The internet is alive with PR companies and playlist curators who will, for a fee of course, give you a boost on any platform you wish. The tools many record companies had a monopoly on are now available to any DIY artist or band who is willing to educate themselves on how to use them. But what used to act as a filter has become an open flood gate, creating bottleneck traffic jams making it extremely difficult to be seen or heard. Without a clear goal, a trusty compass and an uncluttered toolbox the road to “success” will undoubtfully be a painful one. I’ll share with you from my own experience and how my definition of success changed once I determined what my end game was. Like most young artists, in the beginning it was all about fame, fortune & all that comes with it. I pointed my compass at Hollywood and followed it. Only to find out that thousands of others had the same idea. After a few years of knocking around the L.A. music scene I became aware that this was not what I had in mind and not at all what I was looking for. Being in close proximity to the already famous gave me a chance to peek behind the curtain and see the grand facade and it’s ugly truth. This game was more about how much can I make off of you instead of how can I help you succeed. It was time to reset my GPS. I took some time and dug deep into finding what fuels the fire that keeps pushing me forward. It wasn’t fame (I don’t play well with plastic people), fortune would be nice but it wasn’t that either. The simpler the equation became the more apparent the answer was. I’m in it for the songwriting. Creating something tangible out of nothing, sharing it with the world and knowing that someone out there can totally relate and made my song part of their life’s soundtrack. Success! Did I make a pile of money? No. Does the planet know who I am now? No. But a song I wrote moved someone emotionally and now has become part of my legacy. That is my definition of success and it never gets old because it happens with every new release. The industry got easier to understand because I found my goal in it and was happy with my place in it. I now knew where and how to spend my time and money. I could educate myself on the aspects of the industry that applied to my goals. Helping myself to become a great songwriter and not relying on someone else to do it in return for half of everything I’ve achieved or my dignity. I wasn’t being distracted anymore by what every online PR firm is telling me I need to do because everyone else is doing it too. If the GPS is telling everybody on the highway to get off at the same exit because of an accident ahead, sometimes it’s better to wait the half hour for it to be cleaned up and move ahead on an open highway than to sit in another traffic jam in a different place. Being such a monstrous industry with so many facets, without direction and sometimes blinders, it’s easy to get talked off the trail by someone looking to make a buck off your hard work. Feeding on the desperation of the artist. Don’t let them! Education is your key to not being taken advantage of and creating a clear path. That PR company that promised you six playlist placements for $30.00? Look into them a bit more and you may find those are collaborative playlists. You can add your songs to them yourself for free. Just type “collaborative playlists” in Spotify’s search bar & Bam! You just saved thirty bucks that can be used for something to actually move your career forward and remove that useless tool from your toolbox. Electricians don’t carry plungers because they don’t need one. I have spent months and thousands of dollars writing, recording, releasing and promoting an album before and I’m glad I did. Not because it was a huge success but because it taught me some valuable lessons on how things work in the industry, what to avoid and how to use it to my advantage. I realized soon after the release of our first album that the music industry would only consider that album as "new" for about six months. This left me thinking, “you had one shot, released all your recorded music and now you're done until you can write new music and afford to record and release again. That could take months!” Now, I would take those nine songs that would make an album and release them three months apart as singles with a video and a budgeted campaign for each track. Why? Because I will be getting way more exposure for my money and remaining fresh in the industry by consistently releasing new music. That’s twenty seven months worth of material I can release while I’m writing more! This also gives me time to tweak our campaigns with each release making it easier to find and reach our audience with every following release. This has been our band's model for the past few years and it's worked great for always remaining "fresh and new'' in the industry. A valuable lesson indeed. Once you’ve determined your own definition of success, draw your map and set your compass. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and stay true to your compass. Make small calculated moves that bring results and be hungry for knowledge. Your checkbook will thank you and you’ll find it easier to accomplish your goals when tackled in bits. Remember, this isn’t a race. Being a musician is a lifelong journey and all music eventually finds it’s audience. I’ll say it again because it’s true, all music eventually finds it’s audience. And when it does, everything will begin to fall in place, have patience. So the next time your indie pop band gets paired up with a stoner rock band, remember we are all just travelers with different destinations who’s roads are crossing. Enjoy the moment and don’t question why, you already know why. You’re educated with a clear goal and a trustworthy compass. It’s ok to share the highway with others for a while because we all get off different exits. Just stay clear of the crazy drivers with no direction and worry about getting to your exit safely.” - Michael T. Seguin

American Pride Magazine

IMD Interview with Boston's Heavy AmericA - 1) Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.) A. “We are Heavy AmericA, a three piece group based in Boston, Massachusetts. Our primary genre is rock but we work within all the rock sub genres. Our catalog contains everything from mellow psychedelic to hard rock. I wouldn’t go as far to call us a metal band though we do get into some pretty heavy stoner riffs sometimes. Our band’s philosophy has always been to give the song what it wants & needs to be great. Not what you want it to be. The song will tell you it’s genre when the writing process is over. Our influences are so vast & cover decades, giving us lots of tools to work with. It would be a shame to stifle any of them.” 2) What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going? A. “I have my father to thank for getting me involved in music. He was a guitar player as well & had a killer record collection. The first songs I was learning were classic rock greats taught to me by him. He was always very supportive in my music endevors. By the time I was 14 I had my own band & started playing gigs. In the beginning I think it was the live performances that kept me pushing forward. You can’t wait to get out on the stage & feel the energy of the crowd again. But as I’ve matured as a musician I find myself really enjoying the writing & recording process more now. Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats the rush of a crowd but in the end the music you create & record becomes your legacy.” 3) How is this new release different from previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything Specific? A. “Crushed” definitely appeals to a wider audience than the last two singles we’ve released this year. It’s more upbeat with a sexy vibe making it a bit more friendly. “Generation Lame” & “Tails” are both amazing songs in their own regard but have a much darker vibe & heavier feel. “Crushed” is a great example of not staying in the box & taking chances. Not just with your music but with your audience as well. You hope the fans that liked your heavier material will transition to your lighter songs & vice versa. Those are your true fans. They are into the evolution of the band, not just the songs.” 4) Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)? A. “Right now the biggest challenge all indie musicians face is getting secured gigs. With performance restrictions & mandates constantly changing from city to city nothing is guaranteed. Unfortunately it’s scaring away a lot of the patreons as well. That leads into the second challenge. If you're not making money playing shows, then it needs to come from streaming & as we all know, that payscale is abysmal. We need some real reform from ALL the major streaming services so artists can pay their bills. A penny a stream isn’t too much to ask, is it? It’s awesome having the tools at your disposal to gather fans from all across the globe but extremely unfair that the platforms you’re sending them to to hear your music won’t pay a fair rate for your work in bringing them there.” 3) What was the last song you listened to? A. “Royal Blood’s ‘Oblivion’, such a bad ass tune. They always have such killer grooves.” 4) Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s? A. “I prefer vinyl for the enjoyment of listening to albums but still use all three. I listen to a lot of cd’s in my jeep & use them in recording our material & for merch. Some radio stations still prefer receiving music via cd as well. You can’t beat the convenience of mp3’s though, especially for file sharing but it doesn't share the same feel as vinyl or even a cd. It tends to be a bit more sterile.” 5) How about this one.... Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why? A. “I actually prefer youtube if I’m discovering new music. I think we’re at a point where having a visual aspect to your music is a must for most fans & artists. They may hear you first on Spotify or another streaming service but they will ultimately seek you out on youtube to get to know you better. 8) Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music? A. “Our website is probably the best place, www.heavyamerica.us It has all of our available social links, music, videos, upcoming events & so much more! Please follow us at @heavyamerica.us on instagram as well to keep up with us throughout the year. We’ve got a lot more music still to release over the next year & we would love for you to join us in our journey. 9) Anything else before we sign off? A. “Yes! If you a listener to your local college radio stations, please drop them a text or call & request us. Our single “Crushed is making it’s way across the country on college radio & we could use a hand getting up the charts. It’s a very competitive scene & even tougher when you’re an unsigned band so every request counts. Thank you so much for the interview & I hope we can do it again in the future. Now go & smash that play button!” - Joshua Smotherman

Indie Music Discovery

Indie Music Fresh Picks - "Crushed" by Heavy AmericA” - Indie Music Spin

Indie Music Spin

Curators Best - 6ix weekly top picks - "Crushed" by Heavy AmericA” - The 6ix Magazine

The 6ix Magazine

Boston rock band Heavy AmericA - "Crushed" steps outside the box with a sexy vibe.” - Jacqueline Jax

AVA Live Radio

Heavy AmericA’s New Alt-Rock Noir ‘Crushed’ - Boston’s Heavy AmericA are back with a new dose of genre-bending guitar-based Rock & Roll. We first heard from the group back in 2019 upon the release of their single “Motor Honey (Peace).” They followed last year with the psychedelic vibes of “If You Care.” Those songs introduced us to a Rock & Roll power trio with the ability to slide between Classic and Alternative Rock genres to create a great modern groove that sounds simultaneously fresh and familiar. “Crushed” is the latest single from Heavy AmericA, released worldwide to all major streaming services on July 9, 2021. The band continues their exploration of musical genres on the new track. This time they’ve left the power chords and shredding solos behind in favor of a classic, rhythmic Alternative Rock groove in the vein of legends like Talking Heads and Television. Over a cool, laid-back riff guitarist and vocalist Michael T. Seguin sings a cryptic tale of romantic insecurity and jealousy. Meanwhile, bassist Budd Lapham and drummer Dan Fried hold down an airtight groove. The song has a great, subdued feel. Little flourishes like the subtle background vocals in the verse and Seguin’s melodic, chordal soloing add to the song’s noir vibe. Check out the very cool and very trippy “Crushed” video below. You can also hear the track on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links below the video to connect with the group. At their heart, Heavy AmericA is a live band. As the world slowly gets back to normal, expect to see them on stages across the Northeast. Get on their socials and get in the loop on all music to come from this talented and versatile Boston band.” - Bob Smith

The Static Dive

A band who well and truly live up to their name, Heavy AmericA have taken to Boston’s music scene with fire and force, and its led them to become one of the scene’s most titanic and exciting trios of the last decade. Established in 2015, the band of Michael T. Seguin, Budd Lapham and Dan Fried have continued to impress fans and critics alike with singles like ‘Motor Honey (Peace)‘ and ‘Tails’, but now, they’ve taken things to a whole new level, lashing out with the fierce new cut, ‘Crushed’. While the band have always been open about their inspirations, taking lead from a number of bands who have dominated the rock world over the years, ‘Crushed’ sees Heavy AmericA stepping out and sounding more like themselves than ever before. With almost 45,000 streams already, it's impossible to deny that ‘Crushed’ has made an impact, but until now, we had no idea just how good it was going to be. Opening onto a focussed line of stuttering guitar chords and constant, steady percussion, ‘Crushed’ steps away from more explosive sounds to deliver a true, blues-infused anthem. While it takes a little time to find its feet, there’s no denying ‘Crushed’, and when the vocals hit and the instrumentals open up, the track burns its way through three minutes of defiant rock ’n’ roll brilliance. Hitting with timeless blues charm and plenty of grit, ‘Crushed’ hits over and over like waves in a dark and dirty storm, dragging you under with an expressive refrain of “sweet Jesus, I’m crushed”, all while artfully shifting tempos and tones with a sharp, controlled flare. Available now on Spotify, along with the sharp new video on YouTube, ‘Crushed’ is an impressive evolution for Heavy AmericA, layering classic rock vibes with a tempered, controlled style that builds anticipation perfectly. While they might be best known for their classically heavy rock anthems, ‘Crushed’ opens up a new age for the band, shifting gears to more complex, slow-burning brilliance that hits with a hefty, evocative weight. It’s bold, it’s undeniable, and it's further proof that Heavy AmericA has what it takes to take over the world.” - Thomas Bedward

Broken 8 Records

Boston based "Heavy America" release a new single titled "Crushed" Beginning with an upbeat modern introduction, the track immediately draws you in with suspenseful, complex percussion and a funky bassline. The track is only 3 minutes long, yet it doesn't fail to intrigue at all, and constantly keeps you involved and engaged in the action packed soundscape. The electric progression of the guitar is truly unique, with melodic riffs and sections adding to the tracks alt rock and punk rock feel. Towards the end of the track, the instrumentation unfolds with new elements and until a dramatic lull in the intensity. The track feels like it was recorded live, it feels so clean and raw, and at the same time it feels fulfilling as a song.” - IndieXmusic

IndieXmusic

Heavy AmericA is back with another excellent single, “Crushed” – Exclusive Review! "Crushed" is a song true Rock music lovers cannot miss. With their latest single, the American triplet Heavy AmericA is back with an excellent release that shows once again how unique their sound is. After the outstanding singles “Generation Lame” and “Tails,” the band is back stronger than before with their song “Crushed,” a track that shows the versatility of Heavy AmericA and the artistic maturity that make them stand out from the crowd. Today, at Planet Singer, we have the great pleasure of sharing with you their latest release and dive into the sound of these talented Rockers. The well-established Rock trio from Boston knows how to captivate the attention of their listeners. Truth to themselves, to the genre and their fans, Heavy AmericA has a truly unique style, a colorful blend of Rock and classic Hard Rock that incorporates those experimental and progressive vibes that make their trademark sound. Known for the genuine approach to their songwriting and performances, the guys of Heavy AmericA focus on what is really important: the music and its message. “Crushed” shows the band’s potential at its best. Starting from the catchy rhythmic section that sees talented Bassist Budd Lapham and the metronomic precision of Dan Fried (drums) creating solid musical pillars to support the intriguing riffs of Michael‘s guitar and his outstanding performance behind the microphone. Convincing from start to finish, “Crushed” catapult us to the golden era of Rock music, thanks to that iconic sound that makes Heavy AmericA so unique. “Crushed” signs a brand new chapter in the band’s career, and we can’t wait for their next release, and hopefully, after the excellent singles of 2021, a full-length album soon!” - PlanetSinger

PlanetSinger Magazine

HEAVY AMERICA – “TAILS” – AN AUTHENTIC AND CAPTIVATING TAPESTRY OF ROCK AND ROLL GRIT: Boston’s three rock warriors – Michael T. Seguin (lead vocals, guitar), Budd Lapham (bass, vocals) and Dan Fried (drums, vocals) – better known as Heavy AmericA have cemented themselves as something to shout about with their lightning arrival onto the rock music scene in 2014. Their self-titled debut EP in 2015, followed by two singles in 2016, “Up For Air” and “Full Load Amps”, and then their full length album “Now” in 2017, paved the way for a string of stellar releases. Their appeal has certainly not been repressed by the pandemic, showing fans that changes to the music industry over the past year have not subdued their ability to craft an authentic and captivating tapestry of rock and roll grit. Certainly, Heavy AmericA’s music has allowed each band member to demonstrate their musical prowess and flamboyance for their own individual instruments, as they deliver rock and roll, in a more modern, updated form of the one we once knew and loved. They keep reminding listeners that there once was a time when people made music for other people, not for platforms or algorithms. Heavy AmericA’s latest reminder in that sense, is the single, “Tails”. From the opening wah-wah guitar and organic drumbeat, the band look to extend the glory of rock music to another generation, by blowing minds and melting faces like great rock bands have always done. The vocals fly high and wide over a landscape of crushing guitar riffs, looping basslines and smashing drums clearly crafted to inspire great emotion. Heavy AmericA sounds bigger and bolder than what their three piece status tends to insinuate. The entire group vibes like the veterans they are on “Tails”, which is destined to become an important part of the band’s body of work. Aside from the music the band make sure the lyrics are smart and impacting too: “Trouble comes in twos & threes. If there’s only one, no one gets the pun. You’re done!” they sing, just before the second chorus come crashing in. “Tails” is a confident, expansive and dynamic record that stomps and struts. The track features some mastery fretwork, especially in the tones and riffing nuances. There is a pulsating dynamism and a willingness to reach for even bigger sounds than before. If rock music is destined to achieve some kind of popularity again, Heavy AmericA will definitely be one of the bands to play a role in this. This song is as original as it is excellent, and the musicianship outstanding, because Heavy AmericA authentically love what they do, and that is good news for fans who want to focus on the music. The band is clearly making the music they have always been inspired to create. Besides delivering a gripping rock tune, Heavy AmericA have also created an impressive supporting video for the music, with some highly effective imagery. But that’s a whole new story… This article also appeared in Soundlooks, Review Indie, Video Music Stars, Independent Music News & Brandooze. ” - Jacob Aiden

Jamsphere Magazine

Heavy AmericA – “Tails” – Single Review - Stellar morning through these speakers so far today and we’re gonna keep that hot-streak blazin’ with the music of Heavy AmericA and their latest scorching single “Tails.” Man…like…talk about a killer cut – this three-piece has found a way to get verifiable hooks laced into every aspect of their music & vocals on “Tails” – they’ve created a seriously gnarly single that’s just as cleverly compelling as it is viciously entertaining. We’ve been ridin’ with Heavy AmericA for nearly five full years at this point in time, tracing all the way back to 2016 in December when I reviewed their single “Pray For Me,” right up to the most recent experience with their music in checking out “Generation Lame” earlier on in 2021 – sounds like these beasts from Boston are revved up, ready to rock, and in a really great space right now. You know what I mean? Sometimes you can truly hear when a band is locked right into what they’re doin’ – I’d readily tell ya that it sounds like Heavy AmericA is putting out some of their best this year. One of the things I think is by far the raddest about this three-piece band is just how unexpected much of what they make would truly be. As in, I think a lot of people out there would see a name like Heavy AmericA and think they’ve got an idea of what they’d find inside of the Hard-Rock realm, and more than likely be massively surprised to find the depth these dudes can pack into a tune. When it comes right down to it, the innovative composition of a cut like “Tails” is downright staggering…the kind of song where you listen to it at first and wonder how in the heck they ever got from point-A to point-B, you dig? You listen to a tune like “Tails” and you know this ain’t the kind of music that’s created overnight. This takes work…this takes effort…this takes real chops and true grit – and clearly, Heavy AmericA is in possession of all these elements required & necessary to make a versatile groove like you’ll find on this single work convincingly. The most you’d find me conceding to ya here is that it’s not exactly the most typical single you’re gonna stumble across in that sing-along sense…but let’s be real – I’ve argued against that being the defining factor in what makes a single a single a million times on these pages of ours. When you hear the radiant appeal of the psychedelically-tinged sound of the hooks that beam outta this track…believe me, you’ll find that interesting = entertaining every bit as much – this is the kind of single that earns your attention through its clever construction and remarkable riffage combined. Think of it this way…a track like “Tails” has every bit as much in common with a band like Queens Of The Stone Age or Kyuss as it does with rad stuff from back in the day like Strawberry Alarm Clock or Donovan at its core – Heavy AmericA incorporates a kickass amount of its implied heaviness, but also some extremely badass psych rhythms & grooves into this tune that make all the difference in its overall appeal. Hybrid vibes are where it’s at these days people, that’s the facts – and Heavy AmericA has plenty of’em – sure it’s based in ruthless Rock, but the way they expand their sound to the fringe on tracks like “Tails” is enormously impressive and genuinely bound to make a major impact on those out there that have plugged into an amplifier themselves, sat behind a drum-kit, or sang into a microphone. Don’t get me wrong…plenty of other people around the world are bound to latch onto this too – I’m simply saying that any musician out there that’s ever written a song would appreciate & respect the amount of effort put into the design of “Tails” and the stunning technique in which they use to play it. If you think the junk-drawer in your house contained some cool shit, check out the video for “Tails” by Heavy AmericA and marvel at the endless wonders to be found in this mysterious treasure chest will ya? The band is locked in a room, counting down the days, but also continually finding rad things being placed in the drawer along the way that might potentially help them outta this jam – we’re never really all that sure! Everything from cold hard cash to a plateful of pills come their way…as to how any of this will help or hurt them while they’re stuck inside their concrete confines, we do not know – but at least it keeps them entertained as they wait out their fate – and keeps us 100% engaged in the process through its visual cleverness. The actual eating of a bullet was a nice touch…there’s no gun around, but dude decides to take a chomp on it anyway. All-in-all, it’s as gritty & badass as the song itself is – the fact that Heavy AmericA has already racked up an enormous count of clicks, plays, and views since dropping onto the internet at the end of April is just about the least surprising thing I could tell ya – they deserve the attention for the efforts they’ve put in here from sight to sound. From the thundering drums of Dan Fried, to the killer rumble of the bass from Budd Lapham, to the extraordinary textures & tones of Michael T. Seguin’s guitars & vocals – all hands on deck here warrant a real shout-out for the badassery they’ve provided our speakers & screens with this time around – “Tails” rocks solid in all the right ways.” - Jer

Sleeping Bag Studios