Heart Attack Kids: Dynamic Duo Delivers High Voltage Rock
It’s been a long time since punk music arrived to save the rebel soul of rock and roll. Given the current state of rock music, an injection of punk rock fury every now and again is a great reminder of what can happen when disenfranchised youth pick up instruments to channel their rage. Saturday, July 27th, music fans jonsing for a fix of audio aggression need look no further than PUNK A DOODLE DOO, a day long punk and hard rock event slated for Taps Brewhouse in Niagara Falls that features The Forgotten Rebels, along with The Mahones, The Lucky Ones, The Creepshow and many more.
Also on the bill are the HEART ATTACK KIDS, a London-based duo that delivers blunt, blistering high-voltage rock and roll. Featuring Jared Ellul (vocals/guitars) and Nathan Stock (drums), Heart Attack Kids are touring in support of their electrifying sophomore LP, Bad Luck Like Gold, featuring the explosive first single, “Do What You Do.” Combing influences from AC/DC to The Dead Kennedys, Heart Attack Kids are living proof that as long as drums and guitars exist, rock and roll will never die. Jared took time to chat with GoBeWeekly.com about their upcoming gig in the Falls.
GoBe: You’re a couple young guys in a band playing aggressive punk-inspired rock and roll. Why aren’t you rappers performing hip hop like everyone else your age?
Jared: It’s probably our dad’s fault. Our dads got us into music. Nathan’s dad plays folk music and he likes rock, AC/DC type stuff. My dad was always playing The Misfits and Dead Kennedys when we were driving around. We started young I guess.
GoBe: You should thank your dad for that.
Jared: (Laughing) Ya, I guess so.
GoBe: I was reading your bio and saw you guys have had some bad luck with your van. Vans and bands are never a good thing. Travel being what it is, are you surprised there’s not more tragedy involved in when it comes to bands and touring?
Jared: Probably. Our first van broke down every month or two. We’d just get stranded on the side of the road. That kind of stuff gets pretty dangerous. When your van shuts off as you’re driving down the highway it’s not super fun. I think being in a band you’re just cursed with having the worst vehicle luck ever for break-ins or break-downs.
GoBe: What are you travelling in these days?
Jared: Well we just took it to the wreckers, it was a Dodge Ram Caravan. It broke down last week. We’re just raising some money now to buy something new.
GoBe: It’s funny, when you’re a bad-ass young man you would never think that driving around in a Dodge Caravan would be cool, but here you are.
Jared: (laughing) It’s perfect camouflage I guess. You think it’s just some soccer parent but it’s me and Nathan.
GoBe: Let’s talk about the band. Heart Attack Kids is a great name. Was that the first choice and if not, what other considerations were there before you settled?
Jared: I think we went through two or three. There was Last One Standing, because we were in a band in high school and we were the last one’s standing from that band. And then we had the Petty Organs, probably because we thought it sounded cool. There was another one that was pretty funny, Tiger Rifle. That stuck for maybe two days, and we had this cool logo of like a sabre-toothed tiger biting a rifle in half. We still want to make that shirt at some point.
GoBe: You guys must be good friends. When did you realize that drums and guitars were all you needed to rock out?
Jared: We had people come play with us before, where we had a couple bass players we were playing with. We lived a couple blocks from each other, and everyone else was just hard to get a hold of and nail down times to jam. The two of us would wind up jamming out. And then we wanted to start playing shows, and no one was around. It’s kind of worked out for us. It’s given us a way to stand out a little bit amongst the three and four and five piece bands. Our goal is to sound just as big as those bands.
GoBe: You’ve managed to do that. You’ve got a great sound. You started with a little EP in 2016, No Future. At that time, what did you picture when you thought of the future of the band.
Jared: At that point it’s always been the same dream. Just touring and trying to get our music out there. We both get antsy. We don’t like to sit still for very long. We were touring a lot when that album came out. Now we’re trying to target our audiences a little better instead of doing 300 dates a year like we were doing. We still work other jobs to support this dream. Our goal is to just solely do music, to write songs and to tour, just see the whole world doing music.
GoBe: You’ve had a chance to tour, to record, to make some fans. What’s been the biggest challenge for you in this industry now you’ve had time to experience what it’s all about.
Jared: I think the biggest challenge is just trying to make yourself stand out, and reach people via the internet or your live show. There’s so much out there right now, you can get lost pretty quickly. I think our biggest challenge is trying to stay in the forefront of people’s lives. We write a lot now. We worked with a producer, Liam Cormier of The Cancer Bats for the first time. He’s taught us a lot about songwriting. We basically wrote this album and he showed us how we could change things and make the songs better. Now when we’re writing music now we’re so critical about it.
GoBe: It’s interesting to learn there is an art and a craft to songwriting isn’t it?
Jared: It really is. When you’re first starting in a band and you’re writing songs there’s not a lot of guidance. You have to try to figure it out yourself unless you have people around you writing songs too. I’m really happy we learned all these tricks, and everything Liam showed us. It really made sense.
GoBe: In going through and listening to your album, I really thought that “Do What You Do” might have been a good album title. But “Bad Luck Like Gold” is the name of the new album. That’s a track that reminds me a little of early Danko Jones.
Jared: We do like Danko. We’re hoping to do some shows with him at some point. We played with him in 2017 I think here in London. We’re fans of his for sure, I’m sure that comes out a little bit.
GoBe: You’ve spent a lot of time on the road, playing aggressive music to crowds no doubt fueled by alcohol. You must have had some interesting shows. Have you ever been involved in a stage brawl where you’ve had to use your guitar for defense?
Jared: No, haven’t had to do that yet. Hopefully I won’t have to. The crowds we play with are usually respectful of us. We just want them to come out and dance and have fun. Sometimes it gets a little wild. We’ve not had any fights at our shows. I’d like it to stay that way.
GoBe: When you roll into Niagara you’re opening up for a Canadian legend, the Forgotten Rebels. Were you familiar with their music?
Jared: My dad showed them to me when I was younger. We had a live CD of the Forgotten Rebels at one point. That kind of just lived in the car. I don’t remember specifically the songs, but he would play that record once a week. I’m really excited to see The Creepshow. I’ve really liked them for a long time. I love the stand-up bass and the whole rockabilly-punk horror kind of thing.
GoBe: For people locally who’ve never seen you before, describe a Heart Attack Kids show.
Jared: We try to be the loudest band for sure, and usually we are. Expect a lot of energy, a lot of dancing. We try to go for straight power. It will look like we had a shower on stage when we’re done. We’ll try to make them remember us for sure.
GoBe: If you had to pick a definitive song you would use as your calling card for the band, what would it be? Something off Bad Luck Like Gold or something off your debut?
Jared: For No Future the calling card is definitely “Plutonic Love Bomb.” And for Bad Luck Like Gold it would probably be “Do What You Do” or “The Driver.”
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