What is your name and role within the band?
Hi, my name is Pim and I play rhythm guitar and backing vocals in Young Hearts.
How did you start?
Almost five years ago Kevin (our drummer) and Timmy (our lead guitarist) felt the urge to start a new band, as all bands and projects they were working on were not exactly what they wanted to do. So they started looking for similar-minded musicians. Rody (our bassist) and me joined fairly quickly, but finding a singer took a bit longer. We did quite a lot of auditions, and when we first met up with Tom we knew he was the right guy. With him in the band, we started re-writing all the songs we already created, and after a year of rehearsing, we started doing shows across Belgium and Holland. In 2015 we released an EP called ‘Now’s My Time’ containing five songs and in March 2017 we released our debut album ‘In The Middle You’ll Find Balance’.
Where are you based?
We’re based in Hemiksem, close to Antwerp, Belgium.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
Timmy has the most ideas for new songs. So he comes to the rehearsal with a bunch of riffs he wrote, or with a few nearly-ready song structures. Most of them are really god, but we always tear the entire idea apart and start working on it with all of our ideas… Which is sometimes quite difficult and leads to a lot of hilarious arguments, but the final result is something in which we all had our say. I think that that is a quite unique approach, because we all have a different musical background which brings along a broad spectrum of ideas when writing.
What are you working on right now?
In March 2017 we released our first full album ‘In The Middle You’ll Find Balance’ which we are promoting now. Promoting an album as a DIY band takes a lot of time, although we get a lot of support from our independent record label ‘Thanks But No Thanks Records’. These guys are great and always available for good advice and ideas.
Meanwhile we are working on new songs to record an (hopefully) even better album next year or so… We took a lot of time to write ‘In The Middle You’ll Find Balance’, so it’s really fun to work on new songs from scratch again, but with all the experience and learnings we have from the recording of ‘In The Middle…’.
What is your gear setup?
I have a quite straight forward setup: an Orange Rockerverb 100 and a 4×12 Orange cabinet, which is a combination that sounds really great and massive on it’s own. And then I use a few effect pedals, such as a T-Rex overdrive, a phaser, a delay and a tremolo pedal. And a Boss TU-3 tuner of course, or things would sound weird. I play an LTD 401-EC guitar with EMG 81-60 combination which sounds very good with the Orange. Timmy plays a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier with similar pedals and an ESP or Gibson Les Paul. We like our amps big and loud, so the Orange and Mesa Boogie combination really works very good for us.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I like to visit shows and festivals frequently, and that of course has it’s impact on our music. When you see bands for the first time, or when you see bands growing and becoming better in what they do, that always gives me a lot of inspiration and ideas to take our music to a next level. I really love the energy that you feel when seeing other bands perform.
Besides that, I am a Graphic Designer and I am fascinated by design, photography and video art… which of course comes in handy when I am busy with music as well.
How would you describe your music genre?
We play loud, fast and technical punkrock, with a wink to the good ‘ol nineties (in which we all were teenagers) but with a lot of different influences. We all have different musical backgrounds and we try to implement that in our music. Kevin listens to a lot of technical punkrock like Strung Out or Propagandhi, Timmy also likes his punkrock, hard rock and metal classics, like Bad Religion, Metallica and Guns ’n Roses, I prefer post-hardcore and metalcore like Deftones, Thrice or Parkway Drive… But we also listen a lot to pop and rock music, so we have a very wide range of musical influences that we try to incorporate in what we do as a band.
Do you know any music theory?
I went to music school for a year or two when I was a kid, but I never took the time to really study music theory… I know a few basics, but I don’t really know music theory. Playing guitar was always something I did by hearing what and how others play. I also learned a lot from playing with other people in bands.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re now promoting our full album ‘In The Middle You’ll Find Balance’, playing shows, making clips, scouting for shows… Meanwhile we are writing new stuff for a next full album which we hope to record somewhere next year. We’ll see how it goes with the writing process. Besides making music we all have families and a busy day-job, so unfortunately we can not spend all of our time making music.
How did you get into music?
I grew up in a very musical family. My parents are both performing artists who make music for a living, and my brothers and sister are also very into music. So I guess it was meant to be? It’s just something I grew up with and music has always been (and will hopefully be) a very important part of who I am as a person.
What are you listening to at the moment?
At this very moment I have a Spotify radio list on, and the song ‘The Prophets And The Wise’ Adrenalized is playing 🙂 I listen to a lot of different bands at the moment, but the bands I listen to the most currently are Parkway Drive, Propagandhi, Every Time I Die, Thrice. But I spend a lot of time listening to local bands as well. Homer, Altitude, You Nervous?, F.O.D., Steele Justice, For I Am, Get Off My Shoes and Generation 84 are all bands with whom we played some shows, and they all recorded some pretty awesome albums recently! The punkrock scene in Belgium is really putting out some bands music these days!
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
That’s a tricky one… As a musician, I look up to a lot of different people and bands, but I don’t think that they all have a similar influence in the music that I play today. But there are some people and bands like Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder & Pearl Jam, Guns ’n Roses, Deftones or Prince that I really look up to. Some of them I’ve seen live, and some of them I was never able to see live at all…
When are you playing next?
The next booked show is… In September?!? Damn,… 🙂 We’ve played a lot of shows the last few months after our album release, including Groezrock which is the biggest punkrock and hardcore festival in Europe, and in September and October we have a few big shows scheduled. Meanwhile we are looking for other opportunities to play. So if you have any open slots on a line-up near you, you know where to find us 😉
Please feel free to include any extra info.
Young Hearts is:
Tom Schrey – Vocals
Tim Baestaens – Lead Guitar
Pim Hens – Rhythm Guitar
Rody Van Leekwijk – Bass
Kevin Palmer – Drums
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