H.E.A.T. - The monicker reminded me of some dodgy action movie of the past - the music on their debut CD on the other hand reminded me of my childhood and all those artists with huge friggin' hairdo's and flashy outfits. They've won a prestigious rock competition in Sweden, a certain force named 'Europe' ended up as winners in 1982 (that joke will probably end up way over most people's head), and international Jack Daniel's 'Jack Rocks' competition. Yes sir indeed. These Swedes are clearly reaching for the stars with their own brand of the 80's sound, and they're about to hit the stage at SwedenRock festival and as the opening act for Alice Cooper this summer.

They've already managed to attract the attention of a real Hollywood Star though. Movie genius and overall weirdo-actor, PETER STORMARE, signed them up to his label (a part of the PlaygroundMusic company) and was involved in the mixing of the album. A good career move? Only time will tell, however, the H.E.A.T. wave is reaching us with full force and you better bring your own beverage (CD release date: April 28th). RockUnited had a quick chat with band members: Crash (drums), Dave Dalone (guitar), and Jona Tee (keyboards).

RockUnited- OK, first question, since you're all in your early 20's - When and how did you first discover the music of the 80's?
H.E.A.T.- OK, first answer.. We were all born in the mid 80's and we all grew up with eighties and early nineties music and lifestyle. You can say that we never really "discovered" it, it has always been a part of us.

RockUnited- OK... so even more importantly - Why did you decide to form a band in the grand tradition of that special era and time?
H.E.A.T.- We never really sat down and decided "Let's form an '80's' band". We simply write songs that sounds like they did in the eighties. We like the spirit and energy of that era and that's what we're trying to bring back to you.

RockUnited- Did you have any particular album/production in the back of your mind [soundwise] while entering the studio?
H.E.A.T.- Yes, of course! Probably like 20 of them! You´ll get different answers when asking different members of H.E.A.T but let's put it like this: we all agreed to aim for a late eighties/early nineties sound with a modern touch. We haven't forgotten that it's 2008 after all.

RockUnited- 2008? Are you sure? Anyhow, are you overall pleased with the outcome?
H.E.A.T.- Overall, yes! We barely can't wait to share this with the world! But I can't say that we were in agreement all the time with Michael Vail Blum who did the mixing and acted co producer. But now when its finnished we all think it's great!

RockUnited- You've clearly spent quite some time on harmonies and back-up vocals. Are they all the work of H.E.A.T. or did you bring in any outside help?
H.E.A.T.- It's all us. Most of the harmonies and back-up vocals evolved as we went on in the recording process. We all contributed in someway but Kenny Dave and Jona did most of it. They're really fantasic at that stuff!

RockUnited- Let's quickly check out the lyrics. They follow a rather traditional 'uplifting' style and formula of the genre, wouldn't you say?
H.E.A.T.- Yes. Isn't it great? =)

RockUnited- Ehem, yeah, whatever. You've never felt the need of updating them into topics such as: Aids In Africa, Terrorism, the Ozone layer [or rather the lack of it due to massive hairspray abuse in the 80's ], and various depressive facts of the world?
H.E.A.T.- Well, the thing is that we do care about such things. But we don't use our music as a campaign against it, not at the moment anyways. Other bands do it and that's awesome! We deal with other subjects instead that makes people think of other things than depression and everyday trouble. We're like a sanctuary from the blues of life.

RockUnited- So you're mainly supposed to 'feel-good', ehem, spirited, about your music and loudly sing-a-long to the melodies, yeah?
H.E.A.T.- That is one of the things we're trying to achieve. But that's far from the whole story.

RockUnited- Perhaps you could breifly mention what these tracks are all about
a)- Never Let Go
H.E.A.T.- The lyrics on this one should really speak for themselves. It's basically a song about love.
b)- Keep On Dreaming
H.E.A.T.- This is a special song. It's partly a message about following your dreams and a wake-up call to start chasing them.

RockUnited- The info sheet states your influences as Journey, Toto, Deep Purple, and Aerosmith(?). But... your CD is clearly more in the vein of Winger, Europe, Giant, etc. No? Or would that be considered as nitpicking?
H.E.A.T.- No, not nitpicking at all, I can agree with you. I don't know what superhero made that info sheet you got, but all those bands are also great sources of inspiration so it's not lying.

RockUnited- Would you say it's difficult to come up with all "original" music in the year of 2008? You know... stuff that doesn't get compared to 'this' or 'that' band of the past [reviewers sure luv to name drop acts & artists].
H.E.A.T.- It probably is!

RockUnited- Do you ever feel any pressure regarding performances? Considering that you're based at the very home turf of Joey Tempest & Europe [Upplands Väsby], and you've won the same rock competition in Sweden.
H.E.A.T.- No. We never think, "is this good enough?" about our performances. We just do our thing and hope that people love it as much as we do.

RockUnited- How many times a week do you receive stoopid remarks about hairdo and fashion?
H.E.A.T.- We love our hairdo and the way we dress and it seems that everyone we meet does that as well. The only guy we've heard something negative about our image from is editor of Sweden Rock Magazine, Mark Frostenäs. We just assume he was jealous. =)

RockUnited- So... how important is image?
H.E.A.T.- I suppose it's very important but we never sit down and think so much about that.We're just being ourselves and that seems to get us a long way.

RockUnited- But seriously, what the heck does Peter 'Hippie' Stormare, know about your type of music?
H.E.A.T.- The man saved the planet in Armageddon. He knows everything. No but seriously. He has a musical talent for sure. He spent a lot of time in the studio in L.A. mixing the album. Dedicated as hell, a good man.

RockUnited- Right on, If there's anything you'd like add, say, or promote, please do:
H.E.A.T.- Don't miss to check out our website:
www.heatsweden.com and check out when we'll visit your town! And always keep on dreaming..

Interview by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, urban (at) rockunited.com
(c) 2008 RockUnited.Com, 5 April