Essential End released the impressive ‘Deadwood’ EP last year. I recently caught up with drummer Brady Hearn to talk about the EP, and playing in a band with your father!
Hi there, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions, Brady. How are things in Pennsylvania right now? Are you snowed in yet?
“It’s not so bad! Just a little bit of snow here in Windsor, but it definitely is freezing cold here right now. Where are you? Spring? Hahah.”
There is a picture on Facebook of vocalist Tad unloading the van, and it looks rather cold, the show must go on though!
“Absolutely freezing! It was pretty tough loading everything up in the trailer to unload at the venue. The worst part was, after the show, all sweaty, coming outside into the cold. I believe it was in the low teens that night… but, it was well worth it!”
When I reviewed your latest release, the ‘Deadwood’ EP, I said; “this five piece play a hybrid of classic hard rock mixed with some modern metal, and a few shades of groove metal”. Would you agree with that description?
“Yes! I would honestly say you nailed it to a ’t’. Couldn’t have summed it up any better myself! With myself, Connor, and Caleb being in our early 20’s, and Scott and Tad being in their 40’s, that is what really creates that unique sound that is Essential End. Putting together all of our individual influences really strikes a different, but yet a familiar, kind of sound.”
Tad has a great deal of variety in his voice, equally comfortable with the smooth, clean vocals as he is with the growls.
“Most definitely! He has such a wide range with his vocal styles. He could honestly go sing a song from Matchbox Twenty and turn around and play something from Metallica with no issues. It’s crazy the pipes he has!”
He is also quite a presence on stage. I would not like to mess with him! Must be handy if a promoter tries to screw you out of your money?
“We definitely never had any issues! Hahah. Nicest guy you’ll ever meet, but don’t push his buttons.”
‘Sacrifice’ is perhaps my favourite on the EP. It has massive hooks along with an Alter Bridge vibe throughout, and the arrangements add another dimension. What’s the story behind this one?
“I’d say, the feeding off of the lyrics and its emotion we felt that this song deserved a lot attention. When we wrote this song, we really put a lot of thought into the writing process, such as working in some really cool dynamics and hooks, including high energy. We wanted something that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. We knew, with no questions asked, we needed to record this and put it on the EP.”
‘Wasted Time’ runs it a close second. Beginning with a tip of the hat to classic Iron Maiden, before fast forwarding a few decades and shades of Mastodon and Lamb Of God kick in. A smorgasbord of influences it seems?
“Absolutely. Between both our guitarists Connor and Scott bringing their individual influences it creates that mixture. Scott being older and growing up listening and playing Iron Maiden, Metallica, YES, The Police, and Connor growing up on Mastodon, Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theatre, does stick out.”
The dynamic of the band features the rather unusual pairing of father and son, was this always the case with the band?
“Yes, actually. Previously, myself and my father, Scott, played in a band together when I was starting out. Once that band decided to split, we started what now is Essential End and have been playing together ever since. It really adds to the uniqueness of the band.”
I spoke to Paul Martin [Devilskin]. His son, Nic is also a member of the band, and he said that they form a great partnership on stage, with one always seeming to know what the other is thinking, and about to do. Is this similar to Essential End?
“No doubt. I’ve played with many different guitarists, and I’ve never had any better interaction. We can read each other very well. Father like son, I suppose! Also, we’ve been together for years now, so that really helps how we click. I love it.”
Brady, watching some of the live videos on YouTube, it’s fair to say that you batter the living hell out of your kit! What made you pick up the sticks?.. and growing up, who were your influences?
“Well, first off, thank you for watching the live stuff! Haha, I’m definitely a heavy hitter. Although it’s very natural for me, I love adding the aggressive energy. It all started back when I was 14 years old. For Christmas that year, my parents bought us the game, ‘Rockband’, and within that first week, I was playing on expert level, and it really got me interested in wanting to play the real thing at that point. When I got my first drum set at 15, everything fell together so naturally, and very quick. I fell in love with the drums! There are two people that seriously influenced me to pick up the sticks for good. Back when I was in Junior High, I came across a drummer by the name Tim D’Onofrio who did Avenged Sevenfold drum covers on YouTube. Finding out he literally lived about 30 mins from me, and was the drum tech for Halestorm, I was in shock. I was so inspired by his journey, and I always followed it. I was a huge fan, and loved his playing. Most people will recognize him now for being the drummer for the band ‘From Ashes To New’. Funny, now we are actually friends! He was a big impact, along with my biggest inspiration, Shannon Larkin of Godsmack. When I first saw him play, I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to look like him, play like him, he was my drum idol. He is a god on the kit! They both really impacted on me as a musician, and the person I am today. I thank them for that.”
What are you all up to when you are not out on the road? Back to the daily grind of work or college?
“Currently, everyone is working their day jobs. Other than playing shows on the weekends, we are just continuing to keep the ball rolling.”
Pennsylvania has thrown up it’s fair share of rock acts/performers. I can think of Live, Halestorm, Cinderella, Bloodhound Gang, and Breaking Benjamin amongst others… but we won’t mention Poison!
“So many talented and great bands have come out of PA. It’s pretty amazing.”
So… What are your plans for 2017?
“Our plans are to play as much as we can, on a local and regional level, and really get the name out there. We are also currently writing for album #2, which is rolling along beautifully! There are plans of releasing our first music video later this year, with the new music, and working on announcing a tour for later this year as well!”
Wow! Busy, busy, busy! Well, I’d best not hold you up! Thanks for your time, it’s much appreciated. All the best for 2017!
“Thank you so much for having me! Appreciate all the love and support. Best wishes.”
Interview – Dave Stott
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