Interview: Her Burden
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
HB: All of us got into music at different times growing up, wanting to do what our favourite bands did, started playing our instruments as a creative hobby, and then getting to a point where we wanted to find like-minded musicians to jam and create with.
At the moment we all work full time in separate career paths, so it’s likely we would be pursuing our careers individually (maybe doing even better if we weren’t spending so much time as a band).
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
HB: We're a DIY band through and through, so we love to create stuff - Make the best music, visuals, videos, shows we can possibly make, and have fun doing it. We also all love going to gigs and seeing other artists play live. Nothing provides more inspiration or motivation to progress/succeed than seeing a great band live.
On top of that we each have our own extra hobbies which all provide some form of inspiration, i.e. films, TV, video games, football.
How long has your band been around?
HB: Initially, Her Burden was an alias for a solo project started by the band's singer and lead guitarist, Joshua Jones, who first started releasing new music in 2013.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
HB: We are based out of Leicester, UK. The scene here is varied, odd and kind of all over the place and the city has produced some major acts like Kasabian, Easy Life and Mahalia. It doesn't have the strongest live scene going in the UK, but you can hear some amazing artists producing a range of styles, which allows us to not be pigeon holed as a band.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
HB: It was the least bad "band" name Josh could come up with at the time.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
HB: We played some pretty amazing gigs in 2019, including supporting the likes of The Hunna, Toploader and The Zutons, and also playing at Liverpool Sound City festival in the UK. However a highlight so far has been playing to a 2k+ crowd at the Swanbourne Music Festival. We smashed each song and the crowd was 100% on our side.
Our worst gig was probably when we were asked to play on the main stage at a festival up in the north of England. We got there and nothing was set up, and we were told to sit tight. Hour after hour passed and we kept being told that there was an issue with the mixing desk and it would be sorted ASAP. By this point we were getting absolutely hammered in the pouring rain in a cold field, waiting to get told if we were actually getting time on the stage that night - we didn’t. The next morning we were asked to play on another stage really early, when no one else was awake, which we barely fit on, and none of the equipment worked. And it was fair to say that being hungover didn’t help our mood.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
HB: In Leicester, we’ve never had a bad gig at The SoundHouse - their sound and lighting guys know exactly how to get the set up sounding and looking great. To play the Whisky a Go Go on sunset strip, or the Troubadour at some point in our career would be one to tick off the bucket list.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
HB: The Rolling Stones, Green Day, Oasis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and then us.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
HB: Have fun and write as much music as you can, and unless you're trying to be a specific type of band, mess around with genre, song structure etc. it all helps your progression as a group of musicians creating art.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
HB: Don’t waste your time trying to get everyone to like the band and your music. Focus on finding the crowd that likes you and your music.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
HB: It would probably have to be our song ‘Lately’ - it perfectly sums up our approach to music. High energy, powerful, melodic music with a bittersweet tone, lyrically. It’s also the song that alot of our fans seem to connect with the most.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
HB: It’s always fun and exciting to play our newest music live and after hours of work to perfect the song, to see how a crowd reacts to it in that environment. Especially if the song has a real energy to it, like our latest release “Way Too Good For Me”.
Our most requested tune has definitely got to be “Lately” - since its release it’s been a fan favourite and we always finish our sets with the song.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
HB: Usually an idea, riff, chorus melody will come from one of the band members. From there we workshop it as a band; building and shaping it as each member adds their own flavour to the sound with their instrument. Along the way, the singer, Josh, will write the melody and lyrics to finish the song.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
HB: Lyrically our songs cover subjects like relationships, mental health and societal pressures. However as a band we tend to not take ourselves too seriously and we tend to write music that is upbeat and energetic.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
HB: Of course! To successfully create something with a group of people is always going to require some form of compromise, which in turn will naturally lead to arguments about the song, video, artwork etc. you are wanting to create and release.
For us, to get past any arguments, we give our honest opinions on the disagreement and if it requires a decision, we treat it democratically and put it to a vote.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
HB: Prior to (and during) the COVID lockdowns starting in 2020, we recorded a number of tracks. The first of these to be released was "Way Too Good For Me" on 3rd Dec 2021. Our next tune, "Figure It Out", is being released everywhere 25th March 2022. From there we plan to release new singles over the course of 2022 to 2023. We're still getting our name back out on the live scene, so no tours planned for the time being. That being said, we've got shows lined up in Leicester (next up - 26th March @ The Soundhouse), and are scheduling more shows and festivals across the UK. Follow us on socials to keep an eye out for new shows we get booked on.