Therapeutic music: The Heartless Bastards Erika Wennerstrom, coming to the Ranch Home, displays on 20 years of methodical songwriting

Since forming in 2003 and releasing debut album Stairs and Elevators in 2005, the band Heartless Bastards has been constructing and tweaking a sound rooted in rock, blues, punk and extra. The band moved from onerous blues/punk on Grey in 2005, to soulful, funky gentle rock on Just for You (on LP Arrow in 2012) to, most not too long ago, a mixture of Western, gospel and pop on You By no means Know, a monitor from 2021 launch A Lovely Life.

The band is heading out on a summer time tour, together with a cease on the Ranch Home in Sparks on Sunday, July 23. Throughout a current telephone interview, band chief Erika Wennerstrom defined what tour preparation seems like for Heartless Bastards.

I believe one of the best preparation is simply self-care, Wennerstrom stated. I actually hold my thoughts on the current. We play so persistently, we dont rehearse for a tour or one thing. Everyones bought it fairly down. Our staff will do primary stuff like get accommodations booked and that form of factor, however actually, I believe (pre-tour) is my time to work on a brand new album. I cant actually write once Im touring a lot. I’d get melody concepts, and I jot them down on my telephone or one thing, however that is my time to work on new materials, so Im simply embracing that chance whereas its right herewhereas engaged on self-care and hanging out with my canine.

Wennerstrom equated the method of writing new music to remedy.

Once I was youthful, I dont suppose I equated it with remedy, however it actually form of is, Wennerstrom stated. Any time any of us as folks can discover our artistic facet, its very therapeutic, and my course of is simply to discover that. I really feel like music is medication. I didnt use to grasp why I did what I did; I simply felt compelled to do it. However increasingly, it provides me extra of a way of goal & and I suppose its good for my psychological well being. Folks have advised me varied songs have helped them over time, and I suppose it drives me all of the extra to heal myself, and I do know that it would provide anyone some advantages as properly.

The music of Heartless Bastards has resonated with followers everywhere in the world, if streaming numbers are any indication. Just for You is nearing 50 million Spotify streams and 23 million YouTube views on the time of this writing. Wennerstrom defined how she depends on the therapeutic energy of her music to raise her via durations of authors block.

Ive been actually challenged by (authors block), and in all honesty, I could be a little onerous on myself once I dont really feel like Im being productive, she stated. I noticed in some methodsand I shouldnt get so philosophicalhowever I’m this little speck of mud on the earth, and if Im having some authors block, and Im not producing one thing, its OK. Once I do end a track, I discover consolation in understanding it will probably assist anyone. I believe thats a part of my taking-care-of-myself writing journey, being OK with a gradual writing course of. Its at all times been that means for me, understanding that itll are available time.

A self-proclaimed gradual writing strategy may very well be one cause the group has launched simply six albums over their 20-year profession, with the largest hole between information being six years.

Im not extraordinarily prolific, however I suppose I’ve seven albums (together with one solo report), Wennerstrom stated. I dont write very quick, however Ive had some longevity right here, and Im nonetheless doing it. Its nonetheless form of a giant physique of labor. I believe my songwriting is rising, and I suppose thats a bit subjective to the listener, however I simply actually take my time. Id prefer to suppose its high quality, not amount at this level.

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Some artists launch music extra usually due to brief consideration spans. Once I talked about that, Wennerstrom quipped: If anyone has a brief consideration span, isnt it going to be even shorter if its a foul track?

Folks simply must ask themselves why theyre doing what they do, and for me, its at all times been a little bit of remedy, additionally, Wennerstrom stated. It form of begins with me attempting to jot down songs that I believe I might take pleasure in, or messages that I believe I would like to listen to.

In 2022, Heartless Bastards re-released signature album Arrow,in celebration of the LPs 10 yr anniversary. The re-release included just a few bonus tracks and acoustic variations.

Theres nostalgia, however I additionally really feel like Ive persistently performed a whole lot of that materials since then, even once I did my solo album, she stated. Once I look again, Im like, Oh, my God, its been 10 years, however weve been taking part in these songs over time, so its not like Im fully revisiting the fabric in a means.

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Jim Eno, who produced that album and performs drums in Spoon, is transferring to Rhode Island. We did a form of a celebration of Jim with totally different folks hes labored with. Its been attention-grabbing to look again and take into consideration (recording Arrow). I wrote some phrases for the occasion; we performed some songs; and it was good to simply take into consideration that have with Jim and that entire course of. He was actual, actual affected person with me. It takes me some time to seek out my means via songs. Its like Im trying to find one thing, and I’ve to trial-and-error fairly a bit earlier than I discover my means via it. Typically its a sense, and I cant fairly place it or put my finger on precisely what Im attempting to get on the market.

Wennerstrom stays grateful for the album.

I do know its been our greatest album, and I simply look again with gratitude, Wennerstrom stated. Im so grateful that individuals responded to it the way in which they did, and Im actually grateful for the response it bought, and persons are nonetheless listening to it lots on the DSPs (digital streaming platforms). Again then, I used to be simply placing one foot in entrance of the opposite, and I dont know if I even had a grasp on how properly it was doing.

Heartless Bastards will carry out at 8 p.m., Sunday, July 23, on the Ranch Home, 906 Victorian Ave., No. B, in Sparks. Tickets are $35. For extra data, name 775-453-1657, or go to

Originally posted 2023-07-09 17:35:51.