2014 Artist Survey: HAERTS | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2014 Artist Survey: HAERTS

Nini Fabi, Ben Gebert, Garrett Ienner, and Derek McWilliams on First Celebrity Crushes, Favorite Directors, and Best Fan Interactions

Jan 19, 2015 HAERTS Bookmark and Share

For Under the Radar’s 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2014 print and digital issues for answers from alt-J, Camera Obscura, Chromeo, The Dears, Death From Above 1979, Deerhoof, The Drums, The Flaming Lips, Glass Animals, Hookworms, Sondre Lerche, of Montreal, Ought, Owen Pallett, The Rosebuds, Strand of Oaks, Teleman, Sharon Van Etten, The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Woman’s Hour, Wye Oak, Zola Jesus, and others.

Here are some answers from Nini Fabi, Ben Gebert, Garrett Ienner, and Derek McWilliams of HAERTS.

Top 10 Albums of 2014

1. Beck: Morning Phase

2. Beyoncé: Beyoncé-Almost 2014 and definitely still stands as one of the best.

3. The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream

4. Real Estate: Atlas

5. Lykke Li: I Never Learn

6. SBTRKT: Wonder Where We Land

7. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams

8. Spoon: They Want My Soul

9. Todd Terje: It’s Album Time

10. St. Vincent: St. Vincent

What was the highlight of 2014 for either you personally or for the band?

Nini Fabi: The highlight of 2014 was finishing and releasing our debut album. We started working on it three years ago and are very happy to finally share it now. Of course, being from Munich, the German win of the World Cup was another highlight.

What was the low point of 2014 for you?

Garrett Ienner: When the landlords of our old studio turned off the heat for a month in January of 2014. We were good tenants, but they just wanted to kick everyone out to convert the space into condominiums. New York this year was the coldest I remember in my whole life. It was absurd how freezing we were, all of our instruments, computers and recording equipment there, and us working in full outdoor winter attire, trying to keep the place warm with propane burners.

Derek McWilliams: That Germany won the World Cup and England was kicked out way too early.

Nini: You mean the high point, Derek!

What are your hopes and plans for 2015?

Nini: We are hoping to be on the road playing to as many people as we can, writing new material, collaborating and evolving as a band.

Derek: To be the best live band we can. The process of creating the album was a journey for us individually and together as a band. Conveying the album and its journey in a live setting is another task in itself. Finishing a show and leaving the audience with something special and unique is probably the biggest responsibility a band could have.

Which common criticism of your music do you most agree with?

Nini: I don’t know the common criticism of our music because I don’t read either the critiques or praises. They are valid opinions, but they can’t change what we do. The only thing in our power is to always do the best work possible and keep moving and transforming. If we do something that’s bad we know it first, and failure is part of doing music. Part of anything, really. As long as we don’t stand still we will always be our own harshest critiques.

What’s the most uplifting or heartwarming fan interaction you’ve ever had?

Ben Gebert: When we flew from Austin to Denver, a person working in the luggage room taped a letter to one of our many instrument cases expressing his love for the band. We still have not found out who it was, but it was the best surprise we had with a fan so far.

Derek: That was really cool, actually. Every musician dreads losing gear when flying, so to have someone looking over our gear was a nice little treat.

Who from your youth (such as a former bully, an unrequited love) do you most hope pays attention to the fact that you’re now a successful musician?

Nini: No one. I don’t focus or care about that and it’s never been my motivation. Thinking of the people who I did struggle with, I don’t feel the need to prove anything to them, but in a way I value them. A lot of times the people who are the toughest and the experiences that are most intense prove to be the most important.

Derek: I wouldn’t exactly phrase it as “paying most attention,” but I hope that all of the musicians that I’ve worked alongside in the past have seen that each one of them have influenced the musician that I’ve become. I guess I’m mostly thinking of my high school music teacher, and my friend’s dad, who was a guitarist in a band I played in when I was 15 or so.

Which musician or celebrity did you most have a crush on as a child or teenager?

Nini: I had a massive crush on, and massive poster of, Leonardo DiCaprio when The Basketball Diaries came out.

Derek: Funny, now I think about it, Claire Danes was on that list.

Which subject do you wish you paid more attention to in school?

Nini: My seven years of Latin.

Derek: Honestly, all of them. Probably Math or English.

Which well-known filmmaker would you most like to direct one of your music videos?

All: Werner Herzog. Sofia Coppola. We just had the chance to work with one of our favorites, Austin Peters, on the video for “Giving Up.”



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