By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
To finance their new EP, Till We See the Sun, the members of the Heyday appealed to fans with a tiered donation system to help get them back in the studio. Depending on your level of generosity, you could land your name in the liner notes, book a private show or, as one fan did, spend a day in the studio with the band. We spoke with bassist/vocalist Peter Wynn recently about the Heyday's unique strain of grassroots capitalism and how the band's slick pop-rock sound has evolved since the first record.
Westword: Where did you get the idea for this auction-style fundraising? It kind of reminds me of what Radiohead did with In Rainbows.
Peter Wynn: We saw a number of different groups who were doing some creative things to promote their work. We played a show with the Damnwells in Chicago in December of 2008, and they were doing a project like this. We had a few examples of some creative things people were doing, so we figured we'd combine some of those strategies.
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We had a tiered system, so that the more you contribute, the more you could participate. Right now we're going out to hand-deliver some of the CDs; we're driving around meeting people, and we're working on a vinyl [album], which is something we've wanted to do forever. I think people feel like they're getting more out of it than just clicking a button on iTunes. It's a little more personal.
How is this new EP different from your first record?
I think it's better. I wouldn't call it completely different, though. We wrote all of those songs from the first record the summer after we graduated from high school. Those songs are about four years old, and a lot has gone on since then. We've been on the road a lot, and we've gone through a lot of trial and error with our sound. I think we've matured sonically, and we spent a lot more time getting the sound right in the studio.
We also know each other better, and that helps the way we play together. We went into this record knowing how we wanted it to sound. Our goal wasn't to just get the tracks out. We spent a lot more time just writing these songs; some of them we've been kicking around for two years. But people who liked our first record will like this one, too, and I think we'll pick up some new fans as well. It's still fun, it's still a sing-a-long, and there's still hand-clapping.