Heart Foundation discuss their love of family on new single ‘Anniversary’

By Dom Smith
By November 11, 2023 November 13th, 2023 Features, Interviews, News
Heart Foundation is the name of a musical project comprising brothers Sam and Luke Pickering. 17th November will see the release of their sophomore single ‘Anniversary’. 

How are you? 

Nursing a mild hangover. Otherwise, I’m doing good. Thanks for asking!

What does ‘Anniversary’ mean to you?

The track has been a real labour of love. From the moment I demoed the main riff I couldn’t stop going back to it. It was reminding me a lot of stuff I’d hear coming from the telly when I was a kid coming out of the 90’s, you would have these opening titles that would go on for like two minutes and just get really melodramatic and over the top. It seemed to really resonate with Luke when I showed him at the studio – we ended up in a YouTube hole watching old news broadcasts, soaps, adverts etc. I was also listening to a lot of the Pogues at the time, so I think subconsciously I was attempting to write an “A Rainy Night in Soho” or something. It came out far sillier than that, though. The lyrics were written pretty quickly mostly just to facilitate the melody and also the melodrama of the whole thing. It’s essentially a classic break up/make up tale.

Talk to me more about the importance of family, and how that plays into what you are doing as a band?

Speaking personally, I owe all of my earliest music ‘education’ to Luke. We grew up spending days watching music channels, listening to CDs and writing songs together. We would tape a crappy USB mic to a little Squier practice amp and record stuff to Audacity to put out on MySpace. Eventually life did its thing and we weren’t kids anymore. We’d still do the odd thing here and there and our bands would play some shows together, but as much as it came up we could never quite pin down properly starting something. The thing that is so fulfilling about Heart Foundation to me is that it really feels like we’re back where we were. Like we’re still two kids, just as excited to make up stupid songs together. That is essentially what this is about.

How do you define success as artists? 

In terms of what we’re doing in this project at the moment, we measure success on how far we can take an idea and how much it speaks to us during the process of developing it. We approach each track as something completely new, it’s an experiment each time. As long as we’re making quality stuff that we love and enjoy making and we’re not second guessing it, that seems pretty successful to me. Of course, we’d be lying if we said we don’t hope others catch on and love the stuff, too!

What are the challenges of creating music as brothers?

Sometimes when we disagree about something we end up scrapping on the floor of the studio, usually resulting in Luke administering me with a lethal piledriver through the console which abruptly ends things. No – I sort of wish there was a story like that to tell but honestly, any challenges stem less from our relation and more just to do with the fact we live in different cities and have other life stuff going on. No different to what a lot of bands face! So far, that is…

What about the best bits?

I think what most would see as a challenge has actually worked in our favour up until now. There’s absolutely zero awkwardness, we’re not afraid to disagree with each other or tell each other if something sucks. For the most part we trust each other’s judgement, even if it takes some convincing, and it’s the back and forth between us that rolls the snowball down the hill and gets the best results. Ultimately, we just get each other, there is a chemistry there.

There are some cool “pop” hooks in ‘Anniversary’ – was that an intentional goal with this project to diversify the sound?

For sure, yes. I think going into it I had some feelings of what the project should or shouldn’t be, but the more we got working on stuff we realised it would hinder us to box ourselves in, there isn’t any pressure after all. The idea is that each single we put out has it’s own distinctive sound, scenery, colour scheme, flavour etc. We’ve always been into bands who are able to match up the sound of their albums with the perfect imagery and create a really vivid little world for each one. We’re aiming to apply this idea to the singles we do. We kind of want it to appear like some weird production house putting out these strange little vignettes. We’re talking about how we might end up doing this stuff live, too. It’s exciting to imagine what the shows could be like.

Anything else you’d like to add before we finish?

Go stream Anniversary on Friday 17th November! I might as well add – there will be a pretty wild video dropping for it a week later, too. We’ve also got loads more ideas cooking away, so get us on yer Instagrams (@heartfoundationsound) and stay tuned. Cheers!