Much has been said about the state of the music industry today. There are many who feel that things were better in times past. I am one who fights for the young artist of our day. I want to allow all artists to be heard, with the space and time to create songs and music as they hear it. However, I do understand that in some ways those who look behind them longingly have a point. We live in a time where bands are created by way of reality television shows and singing contests. They lack the authentic chemistry. Those two words have a larger meaning when placed together in a description. When speaking about a group of performing musicians, authentic chemistry is the special ingredient to begin making music.
Earlier this year, May 28, 2017, I attended The Undertow Music Festival held at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater. I went there to hear the band, The Unlikely Candidates with the intent of featuring them in a Weekly Music Commentary post. The band was featured July 2, 2017. As I arrived I noticed the band that opened the event, The HeyDaze. The band had a really good sound complete with good songs. I scrambled around the stage area trying to find more information about the band. After a while I settled in and just listened to their set. I came to the conclusion that I was listening to a very good band of musicians. Upon leaving Pompano Beach, I now had two goals: finish the post about The Unlikely Candidates, and learn more about The HeyDaze. That’s exactly what I did.
New York-based group The HeyDaze. Vocalist Jesse Fink, guitarist Andrew Spelman, drummer Tyler Matte, and bassist Alexander Glantz are true best friends. That fact is apparent in all the music and experiences of The HeyDaze. In an interview for All Access Music two years ago, Jesse Fink explained how the group got its start. “Andrew and I met at UPenn when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. We started jamming and writing music together in his room with no real intentions. About a year later, we picked up Alexander-who was a freshman at the time-and got him to drop out of college and join the band. And then a few months ago, we met Tyler through a friend and just knew he was the missing piece of the puzzle.”
“We like cheering each other on,” says Jesse, “but we can also be brutally honest to each other without taking it personally.” Their chemistry also translates into the music itself, allowing The Heydaze to create and hone a unique blend of pop and alt-rock, with messaging that truly resonates.
As I listened to The HeyDaze play their live, open-air set, I knew I was listening to a very polished pop band. They seemed to be battle tested despite being young in years and even younger as a band. Authentic chemistry is what helps the group members work and enjoy the overall experience. When you hear the band playing, you get a sense of their camaraderie.
“We want to write about, sing about, play about things that every person has felt, and then say it in a way they’ve never heard before,” says Alexander. This commitment to lyrical honesty attracted the attention of iconic label Island Records, to which they’re now signed. “Being signed by Island was so exciting,” says Jesse. “It felt like a dream but also legitimized that this was what we’re supposed to be doing.”
My first introduction to The HeyDaze was by way of the live performance in Pompano Beach. If I had to choose how I would first hear any musical act, I would love to hear them live first. Those live performances provide a glimpse into to talent and connection to an audience that cannot be experienced on studio recorded music. I’ve said before that the live performance tells us more about a band’s authentic chemistry than any recorded performance. Nevertheless, after hearing The HeyDaze live, I looked for EP’s and other music from the group.
When I listen to The HeyDaze studio recordings, I immediately hear very crisp pop music with infectious hooks and beats. This is a band that would surprise me if they did not gain a larger audience. The recent release True Religion translates well when the band plays live. Like the rest of the band’s music.
The HeyDaze are multi-instrumental, highlighting the importance of learning one another’s instruments for writing purposes. They make sure each band member has an equal voice. “We all have different influences which is nice when brought together in a writing or performing atmosphere,” says Alexander. “The fusion of those influences creates a very interesting aesthetic. It’s nice when we can come together and make something that we all think is cool.”
Is a band with authentic chemistry poised for more success in the music industry than a band put together by record executives? Well, there really is no way to tell. Both ways have given us successful acts. However, the band of friends like The HeyDaze will enjoy the ride to the top because they will share the experience with – friends! Simply put, The Heydaze love playing music, and they love doing it together. “It’s that chemistry that allows us to get to a place that a lot of bands can’t get to onstage or in the studio,” says Andrew. “Seeing my best friends get to do what they love challenges me to go to a better place playing. It allows all of us to reach a different level.”