December 22, 2010
We’re not going to lie, we were first drawn to Nashville-based band Heavy Cream because they have three adorable girls in the band. But then we heard their music—catchy, hook-driven power pop with an emphasis on “power”—and we started dancing around our bedroom in a fit of embarrassing joy. Clearly, they’re more than just a set of pretty faces.
They released their debut LP Danny earlier this year on Nashville indie label Infinity Cat and since then they’ve been touring the country like a pack of train-hopping hobos, gracing cities all over the east coast, Midwest, and south with their presence and garnering rave reviews for their energetic live shows. If you check out their music and don’t start nodding your head and tapping your feet, there’s either something wrong with your central nervous system or you take yourself way too seriously. We recently caught up with singer Jessica and guitarist Mimi to chat about the Nashville scene, country music, and doing the Watusi.
Who did you listen to growing up?
Jessica: I started out listening to whatever my dad listened to. He used to blast heavy rock on his stereo as an alarm clock for me. I was exposed to punk music in the 8th grade when an older friend made me a mix CD. All of the music I remember hearing growing up encouraged me to be kind of fearless when I’m onstage.
When I think of Nashville, I think of country music. Do you guys listen to that stuff?
Jessica: Country music is very sterile and overly produced at this period in its long, long life. Heavy Cream is the opposite of that. However, classic country musicians such as Hank, Loretta, and all the honky tonk angels wrote simple, no frills songs that are powerful and real. That’s exactly what Heavy Cream wants to do.
Is there a big garage punk scene in Nashville? I’ve never been there.
Mimi: Oh yeah! There is a great scene here in Nashville and it’s not just the Infinity Cat bands and garage music. Everyone hangs out and goes to each others’ shows, whether it’s metal, noise, punk whatever. We are all linked by friendship and we support one another, it’s really cool! We just hang out and party and play shows all the time, and it’s exactly what we all want to be doing. Nashville is amazing! Everyone that is from Nashville is proud and everyone that moves here quickly discovers why people love it and rarely leave.
You guys have a pretty big female-power thing going on with you, and obviously three of you are girls, but your LP is called Danny. Is that after your bass player Daniel?
Jessica: There are three girls and one guy in our band solely because those were the people who wanted to play and tour. It was never meant to be a “girl band”. We called the record Danny because that is a classic sounding name, and we like that. It’s not named after anyone. Daniel is not the mastermind behind Heavy Cream.
Is there like a bond between you and the other girl-dominated rock bands? I know you played a shows with other girl groups, do you guys hang out too?
Jessica: We don’t paint each others’ fingernails and talk about delay over cups of hot cocoa or anything. The thing about being a girl in a band is that other people talk about gender a lot more than the actual musicians do.
Some have said that your music channels a bygone era and aesthetic, and your song “Watusi” references that old dance. Do you see yourselves as traditionalists? Also, do you get people doing that dance at shows? That would be hilarious.
Jessica: Our music definitely harks back to the 70′s punk era that we all love. I don’t expect anyone to dance the Watusi, I just thought it was solid imagery. Sometimes I just wanna buy a loosie and wait for the party to start.
What are you guys planning on doing next? Are you writing new stuff while you’re on tour or are you waiting until you get home?
Mimi: We are currently writing new songs with plans of putting out some releases next year. We will also be touring as much as possible until… We die.