Student Meets Up With Indie Band

Ty Noel, Columnist

Why You Should Know As a Heart Attack
By: Ty Noel
In the past week I recently got in contact with the members of the band As A Heart Attack while they were in the studio recording a new EP. Once together and ready to go, the group put their heads together and braved the barrage of questions I threw their way. It didn’t take much to get them to talk about what they love, and the following are the things I felt most important about their band and what makes them so awesome. The band consists of Mikey Crew on vocals, Tim Southers on lead guitar, Zack Thompson on rhythm guitar, Austin Burrows on bass, and Sam Nelson as both the drummer and clean vocals.
How would you describe both your music and lyrics?
Mikey: I’d say the music is definitely heavy and dark, but at the same time has kind of a happy or “major” feel to it. The lyrics are just kind of about life lessons, or experiences. I’m sure the lyrics on the old e.p. are less relevant, but people will be able to relate to the new ones a lot more.
Tim: The music is kind of on both sides of the spectrum in our genre in that it can be extremely heavy at times and incredibly melodic as well. Very fast, aggressive, in your face metal and shredding one moment, and the next we utilize almost post-rock style clean delay guitar passages. We also have some very long songs, but I find that they are still easy to listen to, because they don’t feel long. As for the lyrical content, the songs on our new EP relate to the theme of being fearless in everyday life and during hardships as well. There are also songs about saying goodbye to the past, breaking habits and never looking back.
Sam: I’m just going to talk about the new EP. “The Fearless” literally fell into place by itself. All of the songs (lyrically and musically) were written at different times but somehow meshed together flawlessly and created a concept for the album. “The Fearless” tells the development of a character from someone who is timid, insecure, and has some serious problems to someone who is essentially “fearless” in the way that he deals with the obstacles presented to him in life. This character has been created from the experiences that certain band members have endured during life. Hopefully this EP will hit home with the fans and possibly even help them on their own paths of life. Musically, “The Fearless” mirrors the lyrics. As I stated before, this was not originally intended but just fell into place. Tim pretty much nailed it.
Austin: “My job is kind of sit down and shut up… but in all honesty man the new stuff coming out is going to be heavy! I don’t think I’ve ever been so pumped on music that my own band has made.
What was your biggest inspiration for putting the band together?
Mikey: Me and Tim were friends all through high school and shared the same taste in music, and just finally decided to jam together in 2010.
Tim: Listening to music and playing instruments with my friends! Zack and I had been playing guitar together for years, so when Mikey and I decided to jam after school one day and start playing for fun I knew right away he’d be with us as well. It’s always been about making fun music and playing music with my bros!
Sam: What they said.
Austin: I was drafted!
What has been the biggest accomplishment your band has achieved so far and what are the goals in which your band has set right now?

Mikey: Our biggest accomplishment so far has been all the shows, and publicity we’ve gotten, just from the old cd. We can only imagine what it’s going to be like for the new one. Short term goals, get some better equipment, not that ours is bad, but you can always get better things ha-ha. Long term goals include labels, tours, and full lengths.
Tim: I feel like the fan base we’ve achieved has been our biggest accomplishment. We’ve had such amazing support and response to our music thus far; my only real goal is to get more songs out there for everyone to hear!
Sam: In my opinion our biggest accomplishment is having kids know the words to our songs and singing along at shows. I’d really like to tour someday!
Austin: I would say all the shows we’ve gotten to play, and the bands we’ve gotten to meet. Plus all the love and support from the fans and TOUR!
Zack: I’d also have to say the shows and fans, and the signed bands we open for, it’s great to have the support we have the whole way too.
Were there any former band members and what caused them to leave?
Mikey: When we first started, it was Me, Tim, Zack, Tony KinKin, and Tyler Barboza. Tony left for school, Boza was just too busy. Then we got Mark and mat, and then Sam joined late 2010. In the summer of 2011 it was kind of like things were just going to different ways, so Sam went from keys to drums, and we picked up Austin.
Tim: I started on drums in the band, with Mikey on vocals, Tony and Zack on guitars, and Boza on bass. Eventually Tony had to leave for college, and boza was unable to practice, so I moved to guitar, we recruited Mat on drums and Mark on bass. We then picked up Sam to do clean vocals and some synth. Mat and Mark left the band due to creative differences, Sam moved to drums/clean vocals, and we picked up Austin on bass, after he was in a band with Sam previously.
Sam: What they said.
Austin: Exactly.
Do you have any upcoming shows for people to be able to attend?
Mikey: We have one the 25th in Peru, the 2nd of March in Washington, IL. Then the 17th of March in Champaign, at the canopy club. St. Paddy’s day. Uh oh!
Tim: I usually have no idea when shows are until Sam informs me the day before, but all upcoming show and event dates can be found on the Band Page tab on our Facebook page!
Sam: 25th of February in Peru.
Austin: 25th
When can we expect a full album or another EP?
Mikey: We’re hoping to release the new material late summer, early fall.
Tim: We are hoping to gain label support to release our next EP, which we have just finished, so it’s not really safe to say yet. However, we have released one song off of it entitled “43” on YouTube and our Facebook page!
Sam: Late Summer/Early Fall
Austin: SOON
For new people just starting to listen to your music, what song would you recommend they listen to and why?
Mikey: ‎43, its brand spanking new haha
Tim: Probably 43, it’s our latest song and we chose to release it because it shows a bit more of what we can really do musically, as opposed to the older EP, which I feel is a bit more generic! It is also a good taste of what’s to come on the new record.
Sam: 43
Austin: 43!
For the fans that you have right now, what would you like to say to them?
Mikey: I love you. The fact that you appreciate something that I do, and love to do, just makes it that much more worth the struggles to get to where we want to be.
Tim: If I could thank them all individually I would! We are trying to do what we love, and we wouldn’t be able to if it wasn’t for their support. I feel like as a band, we value our fans above all, we try to respond to all of them and talk to them as much as possible!
Sam: It’s still hard to fathom the actual existence of our fan base. We went a long time without having any support so it’s an amazing feeling to know people actually enjoy the material we’re putting out. I could only say, “Thank you.”
Austin: That your support to us is everything and without you we would seriously be nothing. You guys inspire us to do what we do. You make the drives, the money, and the shows worth it.
What artists did you take an interest in growing up?
Mikey: I listened to everything. But I did love the metal, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Mudvayne, and then I went through the emo stage, like Hawthorne Heights, Senses Fail, Fall Out Boy, and then I got into the metal I listen to now.
Tim: I listened to it all. I mainly jammed metal like Pantera, Slipknot, It Dies Today, Atreyu, Trivium, Mudvayne, Still Remains, Hatebreed, and lighter stuff like New Found Glory, Sum 41, HIM, Panic! at the Disco, Fall out Boy, and Senses Fail just to name a few, although there’s way too many for me to list!
Sam: Underoath, Slipknot, Saosin, Sum 41, Creed, and Nickelback.
Austin: I started out jamming to My Chemical Romance which got me into playing music. I think they made me feel different because, I never wanted to be a jock; I just wanted to do what I loved. So they made me believe that anything was possible with music.
What’s the process you use in putting together a song? A.k.a is there any specific person that writes the lyrics, music, etc..?
Mikey: ‎5 guys in a room, just straight chemistry.
Tim: I usually write the skeletons and scratch tracks of our songs, and we’ll all kind of build off of those together. As for lyrics, Mikey and Sam write them, and I’ll come up with a cool line every once in a while.
Sam: What Tim said.
Austin: Tim for the win!

What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you at a show?
Mikey: Well, the craziest thing can’t be told, because it involves nudity. But I got drunk before we played in dixon or rockfalls, and was going hard on stage and broke my head open on my stage box, and knocked myself out. Blood everywhere. I don’t drink before shows anymore…
Tim: Probably our last show in Bloomington when we tossed all of our merchandise into the crowd. Either that or any of the times Mikey has flopped on stage and banged himself up.
Sam: The first time kids actually moved to our music was pretty sick.
Austin: I haven’t played too many shows yet and the ones I have been with some pretty insane names, so I guess my first show opening for Oh, Sleeper was crazy and terrifying at the same time because that was the first show I played with the band.
When you’re not with the band, what are things you enjoy doing in your free time?
Mikey: Guitar, sex, video games, work, working out.
Tim: Listening to Pantera, skateboarding, shooting hoops, playing Halo, or hanging out with buds!
Sam: Doing homework and playing drums.
Austin: I love to talk to people on Facebook, skateboard, draw.
Who would you say is the hottest girl out there right now?
Mikey: I think that Jenna McDougal from Tonight Alive (fearless records) is wife material.
Tim: Probably the chick from Hey Monday
Sam: Kate Upton mmmmmmmm
Austin: Zooey Deschanel
If you had to pick any show to be watching, what would it be?
Mikey: The trailer park boys. So funny.
Tim: Lost, its super addicting.
Sam: The Walking Dead
Austin: Trailer Park Boys!
Anything else you’d like to say?
Mikey: I like turtles.
Tim: One day I want a pair of 24 carat gold bowling shoes
Sam: I love my mom
Austin: I love Sam
As A Heart Attack is one of the best bands to come out of the Illinois Valley since Egons Unicat. If you haven’t been persuaded yet to listen to their music after just reading their article, my only suggestion for you is to go check out their music on Facebook and become a fan immediately. Their page is or find them on YouTube if you have yet to jump on the Facebook bandwagon.