Heffron Drive

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In music journalism, I tend to be exploratory but still really only stick to what I know. I've interviewed what seems like hundreds of bands. I interview the bands I haven't heard of before that open for bands I already have worked with. The way I take it on though stops me from knowing if the band I'm interviewing is all over mainstream radio, has celebrity connections or even found themselves on a tv show and that was the case for this interview with Heffron Drive. Heffron is Kendall Schmidt's current project while on hiatus with his other band, some group you may know called Big Time Rush. While I knew of his work going in and kind of had an idea of how he may be, he completely surprised me in this interview!
Kendall is a true music lover as it comes across in this interview. We talked about how this project was around before he even did Big Time Rush as well as what may be happening in the future for the band. Bonding over a love for Smallpools a band I had interviewed the night before, I got to see a different perspective of the self called boy band member. While Heffron Drive is just beginning and no music can be found yet to be bought, this is sure to be a great new project!

For this project, it is obviously something super new but what have you realized are the three things that you must have with you while on the road to survive?
Must haves on the road? Almond milk. Organic almond milk because otherwise it's like Almond Breeze which is fine but it's not the same thing. It's like ten ingredients compared to like three ingredients.
Bit of a difference.
So that because I just need to drink milk every morning. An extra pillow for the bunk. Usually your own blanket too because a basic mattress set isn't the comfiest thing in the world and the humidifier. A portable one. The one I got recently you just put a water bottle on top of it. It's really cool. Especially for all we have on the bus is bottles of water (laughs).
Perfect! Then how did this project come about?
It was actually something where we started making music. I really took a liking to making tracks on Logic and after I would put something together, Dustin would come over and we would start working on the lyrics together. He was always ready to go with a verse and then I was always ready to go with the chorus. So we started making songs and then after they started becoming songs, we were like 'Well, we have to come up with something to release it". To call it. With Heffron Drive, it was the street we both lived on so that's what I did. Then it got popular on Myspace. I started making Youtube covers as well and this was when people were getting signed off of Youtube like left and right. 2008 was really crazy. So it was almost just like people were looking up covers. Like from anybody. I started getting a lot of views on mine and kept getting more popular on Myspace. Then, late 2008 I booked Big Time Rush. I had been trying to have a job like this my whole life. Like a consistent television show being a kid actor. At the time it was barely a band. It's like a fun project, he was just like go for it. Then did Big Time Rush, I wanted to bring this back.
So it isn't a new project. It's something that you've had for so many years but now it's kind of being able to be on the road.
It's a revamp.
A revamp?
Well then I know from interviewing Ariana tonight as well as Eric, I wanted to ask how you go about this tour.
Well, originally it was totally acoustic and it's sort of as toned down as I can make it. With the songs that I have but it's kind of interesting. Ariana has a full band but they play sort of acoustically but my set is pretty rock and roll at the top then crescendos into acoustic at the end. So it's interesting?
Then is a new album like on the horizon for this band or do you think it's still going to be a while?
Yeah, I'd love to. I mean first I would just like to put a single out. I'd like to be able to. I just can't. Legally can't. It is nice to be able to play the new songs live because people, they already know the words to the new ones I've been playing. It's kind of nice. They all know it and I'm the only one who has the mp3 which is really cool. The one that I'm really pushing I'd like for it to just get popular amongst the people who like the band and hopefully more people. Then when I do get the chance, it should make it pretty easy to get there I would hope.
Perfect, then being someone that has been involved in doing music for so many years now, the first CD or cassette you remember buying as a kid and the first concert you ever went to?
It was a cassette. Honestly both of them I think, meaning CD or cassette and concert were Garth Brooks.
So the country influence?
Yeah, I'm from Kansas originally.
Do you think those influenced you, like music you're doing today or being a musician in general?
Absolutely! Both. I mean Garth Brooks was the king of arenas. The original arena country artist.
I grew up country too, I love Garth.
The way he looked onstage was amazing. I mean even using the mic that Big Time Rush uses when we're doing full choreography and not holding a mike is the same mic that he uses and he designed that mic because he was the first person to have that type of wireless system. So he could play guitar and sing at the same time. It's really cool. So it's sort of full circle. Then I also played the Kansas State Fair which is where I saw that concert. So I got to go play the place I saw him play which was really cool. I guess I'm trying to see where I fit in. Like with Big Time Rush, it was more pop but am I going to fall into that pop world with this one too? If I did get a song on the radio, what station would play it?
I mean to be honest maybe you can tell but I don't really know a lot about your other band. I mean I don't 'really catch Nickelodeon.
Well, you're learning now.
Well yeah I'm learning now.
About Big Time Rush?
Well I mean the average Nickelodeon watcher isn't actually my age.
Well no yeah but you'd be surprised. It's pretty crazy. I mean Big Time Rush is an arena pop band.
Like a boy band, not in a bad way!
Yeah no it's a good thing!
Boy bands do really well these days.
Like I don't think Big Time Rush would ever really get a shot at radio because of what it is.
Do you know 2Gether? It was kind of a more satirical take on MTV. Aging myself at 25.
I'm 23 (laughs).
Well, MTV had a show where they formed this band called 2Gether and they released actual albums and they went on tour. Kind of what Nickelodeon is doing with your show.
Well, MTV owns Nickelodeon.
So makes sense. See, I don't know those little things.
Well, now you do! So hopefully I'd like to see you again. Hopefully you can tell me where you think we would fall then.
Yeah, well next time around I'm sure. Speaking of this band touring and being out there, what is coming up for Heffron Drive and not other projects? I know you may be busy with the other band.
Well, no that's why I'm doing this because I wasn't crazy busy recently and I wasn't about to not be busy. If I didn't do this tour, I'd be writing right now anyway. Whether it was for Heffron Drive or me writing a song for somebody and doing a feature with them. Like featuring Kendall Schmidt or writing for somebody else. When I get home, I'm going to take a vacation. I'm really tired. I haven't actually taken a break in three years. So yeah I'm going to take a vacation. One of the guys from Big Time Rush is getting married so I'm going to go to his wedding then I'm going to get right back to writing again but our new big song right now that we're pushing is "The Art of Moving On"!

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