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/// ON TOUR


Risk Turns to Reward for The Head and the Heart


| by Garrett Dennert I


T WAS A MERE TWO YEARS ago when six people left behind a job or academic pursuit and formed what we now know as The Head and the Heart. Drummer Tyler Williams hasn’t


looked back since, as he realized music was his true passion. “I started playing when I


was nine and it always kind of consumed me,” Williams said. “I didn’t do very well at school probably because of that—school wasn’t my first priority, music was.”


The dropping of what most


consider a pursuit of legitimate careers was a risk. Instead, the


band members look back on it as an extraor- dinary experience. “The first year is a big year because there


are things you have to decide on, ways you have to choose to go,” Williams said. “It’s where you figure out how you run the ship.” In early 2010, the band


THE HEAD AND


THE HEART wsg Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, The Devil Whale Covenant Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids; Oct. 3; 8 p.m. $15 public; $5 with Calvin ID calvin.edu


entered the studio to record and self-release an album that received local praise, as well as a signing with Sub Pop records. On Sub Pop, the band released The Head and the Heart, its first studio-label release. Williams knows it won’t quite feel like those two years again, but he isn’t afraid of fizzling out.


“The momentum seems to just keep go-


ing,” he said. “The key is to keep putting out good music and playing a good live show. If we continue to do that, the other things will take care of themselves.” Part of the band’s appeal to audiences can


be linked to the vastly diverse tastes in music the six members have, which in turn, spark the band’s urge to try something new, but familiar. “When we’re writing a song we try to de-


termine what sound goes best with it, based off of the variety of genres we listen to when we’re


PHOTO: SHAWN BRACKBILL


not playing,” Williams said after citing country, blues, folk, and indie rock as influential genres. Its lyrics, filled with soulful storytelling,


touch on such relatable themes like homesick- ness, the transitory stages required of being human and that anywhere The Head and the Heart travels, it is met as if it was the local band. “It’s pretty crazy lately, actually. We just


played a headlining show in London and it felt kind of rabid and energetic,” Williams said. “The audience felt like a hometown audience.” n


48 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2011


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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