Uncle Mantis had the pleasure of interviewing Casey Allen of HEARTMOUTH. Here is what he had to say about the band and their art.
Are you all from Four Oaks, North Carolina originally? How did you meet?
Casey: Four Oaks is a super small, 3-stoplight town. I’m the only one that lives here in town, but we all live within 20 minutes of each other. Being as it’s a small town, we had heard of each other just from being around the same scene. There’s an extremely prominent metal scene here, and we came together wanting to step outside of that and explore songwriting in our own way.
How have things been with HEARTMOUTH since the release of the single “Nothing at All” featuring Patrick Wilkins?
Casey: Each new release has been bigger than the previous, which is exactly how we always want to be. Nothing At All was written back when HeartMouth was not only a completely solo gig, but I was also first beginning to dive into doing full productions all on my own. Although there are things I’d do differently about that song now, I still love that song – it’s like a yearbook picture to look back on and see where you were then, and how you’ve grown since. HeartMouth has grown into a full band since then as well.
How would you best describe your music? Where do you pool your inspirations from?
Casey: HeartMouth makes music for people that want to feel deeply on a very introspective level and dance at the same time, haha. We all draw from different areas, and I love the melting pot it’s creating for the band. OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and Dermot Kennedy are my two heroes, and if anyone ever told me I fall somewhere in the middle of them, I’d be happy. Tyler D is a huge Anberlin fan. Tyler Pow is all rock and roll with refined jazz chops that makes a killer combo. Harrison is so funny to me because one minute he’ll be talking about his love for Emmure, and the next minute he’ll send me a new Harry Styles track that he can’t get enough of.
Tell me about your most recent single “Worth It.”
This song is incredibly special to me, because it’s the first song released since evolving from solo-project to a full band. I can’t stress enough how important it is to collaborate as artists, and it felt so good to do that with these guys – It got lonely as a solo artist! “Worth It” initially came from advice I got from my dad while out on a 30-mile bike ride together. We were battling a strong head-wind, and I was frustrated that it was slowing me down since I was trying to beat my last personal record. He essentially explained how there’s no use getting frustrated over it because it’ll only slow you down more, and you can’t beat the wind – just accept it and roll with the situation you’re in. It turned out to be great life advice; he’s smart like that. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race, and it’s good to slow down and take in all the beauty around us. We won’t always be around to see it, so if we have something to say, we should say it while we have the chance.
Are there plans for a full length album in 2020?
Unfortunately, no. Full-length albums take an awful long time, and HeartMouth is still in its adolescence. The plan for right now is to constantly release singles every 6 weeks or so for the next year, then release 3-4 EPs in 2021. I’d love to entertain the idea of a full length by 2022 and it make good sense.
When HEARTMOUTH formed, did you anticipate being where you are right now?
When HeartMouth formed, I was in a really weird place mentally (gotta love that quarter-life crisis), and I really just wanted a chance to work on my production chops and songwriting without any compromise, all on my own terms. It was good for me at the time, but at a certain point, I knew that I needed to have band mates again and to create with others again. Music just always feels better when it’s with others. I don’t know that I anticipated anything out of HeartMouth when it started, but I’m really happy to be where we are now, and excited to see where it continues to grow.
Are there any plans for a nationwide tour?
We start rehearsing our live show in about 2-3 weeks after we get these next two songs wrapped up in the studio. If the right tour comes around and it makes sense, we’ll jump on the opportunity in a heartbeat. In the meantime, we’re looking to play as many shows/festivals in the region that we can this year.
What places in Four Oaks do you enjoy playing out of?
Raleigh is the closest city to us to play in, and I’ve always loved The Pour House and King’s. I had the pleasure of playing at Red Hat Amphitheater a few years back, and I’m itching to get back on that stage – so many legends have played that stage and it was a surreal experience.
What bands in your local scene are your favorites? Do you pull inspiration from them as well?
The Bronze Age are my boys! We’re collaborating on some music soon, and I can’t wait to hear what we come up with, given our styles are pretty different. They’re the best pop-punk band around. I had the pleasure of singing harmonies and backgrounds on their track “Second Chances Don’t Come Easy” – listen and see if you can pick out my voice!
Do you plan for all of your songs in the future to be about love or do you have another direction you all would like to go?
Our songs will always explore different topics – if it’s part of the human condition, I’ll have something to sing about it.
Where can readers find you online?