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A Dirty Dozen with ALFONSO CIVILE from HEARTSICK – February 2021

| 21 February 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Emerging out of the Midwest and finally ready to take the whole of the U.S. by storm, Heartsick are a band of brothers, consisting of Alfonso Civile on vocals, Jerred Pruneau on guitar, Waylon Fox on bass and Justin Robinson on drums, the Lansing, Michigan metal machine epitomizes passion, hard work and dedication. Combining an onslaught of hardcore and metalcore-tinged ferocity alongside moments of haunting melodies and stunning atmospherics, Heartsick are set to elevate themselves to the next level in 2019 with their stirring sophomore album, Sleep Cycles; which deserves to see the quartet become firmly established as one of America’s hottest unsigned acts. Having already shared stages with internationally-acclaimed bands such as Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Fear Factory and All That Remains, Heartsick bring their own powerhouse live show to whomever and wherever will have them, with professionalism and an attention to detail that very few manage to emulate in today’s modern metal scene.” We get singer Alfonso to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our current release is our 2019 effort Sleep Cycles. I think when you listen to the record one or two times, never hearing it before, people tend to miss the hidden nods in lyrics to a lot of 80s songs. It isn’t even for die hard fans. They are there but I think people don’t really realize it and that is in some way by design but it is there. We are big fans of little nods to our favorites and heroes.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

The movie The Crow starring Brandon Lee came out in 1992. I saw it in theaters and Grunge was really on it’s way up. My sister was really into all those Seattle bands. I would sneak into her room after watching the movie and steal her cassette tapes and just learn as much as I could about rock bands and metal as I could. That movie changed the course of my life and I mean that literally because up until that point I wanted to be a doctor or vet. She unknowingly played a huge role in that change as well because of her musical tastes that unwittingly passed down to me. Then my buddy got a guitar and showed me he learned how to play a song. That song was “Doll Parts” by Hole… I was hooked, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

The soundtrack to the movie The Crow. That soundtrack was everything. For Love Not Lisa’s song “Slip Slide Melting” and Helmet’s “In The Meantime”… forget it. I was hooked. Those heavy sounds and those fast rhythms they spoke to me in a way that no other music had before.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

In no particular order… Silverchair, Deftones, Pantera, Boyz II Men, and Korn.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Chino from Deftones. Why? Because Deftones are my all time favorite band and Chino might as well be a religion in my book.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Shit… I would describe it as a little bit of Deftones (heavy songs) with a little bit of Fear Factory and Nine Inch Nails sprinkled with The Cure and Depeche Mode.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I 100% am the one that cooks out on the road but when we are home it would probably be a race between myself and our bassist Waylon. Guitar? Likely me or our Guitar player Jerred. Drinks everyone but me (I don’t drink).

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

When I met Chino Moreno back in like 2016? They were out on the road with Ghost and Avenged Sevenfold. My buddy is their Michigan weed hook up. He got me on their bus and I was just on cloud 9.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Best part of being a musician is the people you get to meet and share stories with on the road from the art you pour yourself into. My dream job would be teaching Jiu Jitsu and Judo at a school in Lansing, MI.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

This is honestly one of the best questions ever because I think about this a lot. I get that when your interviewing an artist you obviously need to have an agenda and a plan to promote whatever art is out for them at that time but I personally want to have real conversation. I wish I would get asked personal questions that help highlight who I am as a person outside of music and art. Things like how would you go about helping a friend going through a sudden loss of a loved one? Or maybe ask what I enjoy most about waking up in my bed and home? Stuff like that. Get to KNOW ME. By the way my wife and my dogs and I would really emphasize seeking therapy and just asking what I could do to help them at that very moment. Not make it about me but focus solely on them. The question I dread is the typical “what is your favorite song on this record?” It is just so like really?

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Nah. everything we did we learned from, we wouldn’t be who we are as a band now if it wasn’t for those missteps. I would say the one thing I would go back and be more mindful of was the struggle our former and now deceased drummer was having with substance abuse. I was oblivious until it was too late.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Deftones Diamond Eyes. It is the rebirth of my all time favorite band really coming out swinging and showing why they are such innovators in heavy music. A close second would be Architects All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Touring, I miss fucking touring SOOOOO MUCH.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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