band crush: heyrocco

disney grunge

Heyrocco describes their sound as "Disney Grunge," which is another way of saying they don't take themselves too seriously. The Charleston, South Carolina trio just released their debut LP, Teenage Movie Soundtrack, on June 2, a lively, youthful record that features untainted rock songs with names like "Mom Jeans" and "Jake Miller's House Party."

Barely removed from high school, Heyrocco writes songs spanning topics that just about every teenager can releate to: Feeling like an outcast ("Loser Denial"), making out ("Melt"), and the self-explanatory "Virgin." The band has spent most of their time recently in vans and hotel rooms, toughing out life on the road during on UK and U.S. tours. We caught up with vocalist and guitarist Nathan Merli while he was in Hamburg to ask him a few questions. His answers were wonderful.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Sloppy.

How did your career get started?
We played onstage all together for the first time in a blues bar formerly known as "A Dough Re Mi" sometime in 2009. They made the greatest pizza. The bar set a perfect example of what our business might eventually become...closed. And then it's right back to the blues, full circle. This time with more authenticity. 

Where do you hope to be professionally in five years?
Either in a Winnebago recording podcasts somewhere in Utah, or back in The Cool's garage slowly writing our history, one bowl at a time. 

What’s your next project?
We started recording new songs on the road here and there. Several in London, Venice Beach, and a few in Charleston, which we're dying to get home and finish up. Lots of new sounds, samples, raps, reggae, all kinds of vibes. 

What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career?
Well, we are currently in a hotel in Jamburg rolling Js, drinking wine, and playing shows with all expenses paid through our guitars. Is there a better way to live? 

What is your favorite driving music?
Anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to A. A. Bondy. We spend most of our time in the van listening to sounds of the land, be it Outkast in Atlanta or 3eb in San Francisco.

Whose career would you most like to emulate?
Macauley Culkin.

If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
As far from iPhones as possible because they ruined the ozone as well as the souls of our youth. 

What activities do most enjoy doing alone?
Learning to speak Spanish, but if I wasn't alone it would be a lot easier. I just don't have anyone to speak Spanish with. 

How do you wind down before bed?
Ferociously masturbate.

When are you most relaxed?
Four minutes after.

What kind of person were you in high school?
The kind of kid that ate gum off the walls for a dollar. 

Can you tell me a quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
Being stoned. 

Do you have any phobias?
Living in my parents' house forever. 

What’s a serious side of you that people are unlikely to know about? Either in terms of interests, hobbies, or personality?
I actually don't take anything seriously. I seriously don't enjoy being in a crowded room of people, but luckily, Heyrocco shows are usually quite empty. 

What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I wish I had a garden. One filled with luscious fruits, vegetables, and anything else I wanted to grow in there.

How do you hope to grow as a creative person?
I hope pessimism pays off and failure comes as no surprise. But really, failure is not an option. Spending time on the road has opened our eyes to a thing or two and we don't plan to be stopped. 

If there was a phrase that you think best sums up your approach to life what might it be?
We'll see what happens.