Interview: The Heirs
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 10:32:50
California’s been synonymous with quite a few musical revolutions. Most notably, it’s inextricably connected to the sounds of the sixties and seventies with melodies as bright and sunny as the landscape itself. The Heirs stand on the cusp of igniting a sonic rebirth of their own. The brother-and-sister duo of Savannah and Brandon Hudson concoct their own brand of artfully intricate and elegantly infectious pop music that’s reflective of modern day Los Angeles and touts a massive message. They’re one of the most passionate and powerful duos to emerge not only from SoCal but anywhere...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, The Heirs talk their single “Alright Goodnight,” inspirations, and so much more.
Is Los Angeles more conducive to making music than Florida?
Brandon: There’s an artistic vibe to being here in general. People are more freely expressive, and they’re able to be different. It’s allowed. I think that’s such a cool thing. You get that in big cities. You get that in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London. It’s a city thing. There’s something very special about L.A. When we first moved out here as kids, we grew up in Laurel Canyon. That’s where all of the great songwriters and musicians lived. We were surrounded by that thought process. Our godparents live in the canyon too. They used to tell us the trees had spirits, and certain birds symbolized things. It was encouraging to be an artist or musician.
Does your interplay result from being personally similar as siblings or the fact that you’re different?
Brandon: It’s really cool you caught on to how we play off of each other lyrically. That’s something we work hard on when we’re making songs. We ask, “How can we accentuate different lyrics and storylines?” I feel like we’re different personality-wise, and that helps.
Savannah: I think we are as well. We love harmonies, and we love the fullness they provide. That’s been our thing since we were younger. How can we harmonize with each other? We want to maintain that in our records and throughout our career. We think it’s really important. Thanks for catching on to our little plays during songs!
Brandon: We’ve been working on a lot of new material for future releases. We’ve started to work more and more on telling stories through songwriting. It’s been a fun and difficult process. On some songs, I’ll be telling a certain part of the story. Savannah will go into a pre-chorus, and it will go through a different part of the story. It’ll be her perspective on certain situations. As brother and sister, we’ll have one idea for what we want a song or a couple of songs to sound like. Right when we start to write, Savannah’s perspective on the situation or storyline will appear as mine will too. You get two different perspectives of the same story, which adds for some exciting.
What encourages that?
Savannah: I think we have very similar thoughts, but each of us has different traits the other doesn’t have. We play off of each other in a way. We fill in the spaces that need to be filled in.
Brandon: We read a lot of poetry and fiction. We like to absorb what we learn from other people’s writing and make it our own and express it in a way that we express it.
Savannah: Things Brandon reads will be in the writing as well as what I listen to and read. Then, experiences we’ve shared such as touring and being around different people all serve as inspirations to us, the music, and the writing process. We’re very into poetry and all sorts of music. The most random things inspire us.
Brandon: We love art too. That’s a big inspiration. You have certain visuals.
What poets and authors do you come back to?
Brandon: That’s a good question! Savannah, who do you like a lot?
Savannah: Maya Angelou! I love her. She is a feminist writer, and she talks about the empowerment of women. She’s incredible to me.
Brandon: Stevie Nicks’ poetry is amazing.
Savannah: She’s one of the best writers.
Brandon: I have a little William Shakespeare diary next to my bed. It’s his complete works. That’s always really cool to look at because you can find poetry with storytelling and theatrics. It’s a very big deal to me—comparing all of those aspects. I found this other book in a bookstore by Louise Glück. Her poetry is just so special. They’re very heartfelt, metaphorical love poems. It’s very unique.
What does “Alright Goodnight” mean to you?
Savannah: Our vision is very similar particularly on this song. On different songs, we have different visions and meanings. This one is very clear to us. Since it’s the first song we’ve released as The Heirs, we wanted it to be a strong topic and more of an empowering song. Our whole vision is a world where this generation is next in line for what’s to come. They’re the ones who are making everything happen. Those in our generation are called The Heirs. We’re all creating the future as we live our lives. It’s about the importance of our generation and what we’re going to make of it. It explains our whole purpose as The Heirs.
Brandon: It’s a way of sparking people’s interest in equality and coming together as a generation. That’s something we wanted to spark interest in. We’re teenagers. We don’t have the same authority or say as adults to speak in this world. The song basically says, “No matter what the situation is, we’re next in line to inherit everything.” It’s as much on us as it is on any adult. One of the last things that the pilot of flight MH370 said was in effect, “Alright goodnight.” That's hidden in the song.
Do you notice a passion for music amongst peers your age?
Brandon: Living in Los Angeles and then going on tour, I feel like this generation, we teenagers coming of age right now, have a very strong passion for the arts. It’s very unique. It’s a cool thing to have vinyl and bring that back. It’s cool to listen to different bands. There’s a spark of interest.
Savannah: This is a period where it’s cool to be different. It’s not cool to be in the same box as everybody else is in. Teenagers admire other teens who are trying to do different things. It’s awesome. We have a very artistic generation. More and more people are into the arts, creating, trying new things, and bringing back the old stuff that was amazing at the time.
Have you heard The Heirs?