LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Stephanie Wlosinski: We are a four-piece band from the Buffalo NY area and we have been performing together as Hearts & Hand Grenades for over a year now. We all come from the cover music scene here in Buffalo and have played in several other bands over the past years but we finally came together as H&HG to create our own original music and sound. We knew that playing covers was only going to take us so far, so the next inevitable step was to create our own stuff and we haven’t looked back since.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
Stephanie W.: The pandemic has certainly made things difficult for musicians and has really hurt the artists that rely on live performances for their livelihood. For us, we released our debut album, Turning To Ashes, and have continued to create new material through the pandemic. We can only do what the rest of the music world is doing right now, which is await the return of live shows. In the interim, we plan on being as prepared as we can to get out there and tour once its safely allowable.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Stephanie W.: We have definitely kept busy leading up to the album release. We promoted as much as we could digitally, and Eclipse Records has done an impressive job utilizing their reach to get our music heard. Since the album has been out, we have continued to use digital platforms to reach and engage with our fans. We are also going to be hitting the studio again later in January to continue recording new tracks for what will become our second album. Even though we are still riding the buzz of Turning To Ashes, we have not stopped writing and creating.
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Stephanie W.: For us, I think Hard Rock just came naturally. We are all individually fans of Rock music and the many genres that fall into it, and it made for an easy collaborative effort when we write our music. Our sound I think falls somewhere between a blatant Rock genre and Metal and can float between the two, so Hard Rock feels quite appropriate if we have to put a label on it.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Stephanie W.: Since the album release, we have been really eager to get on a tour to promote the music. Its difficult to be sidelined from live shows for as long as we have since the Pandemic started, especially when you are so excited to share the music with people. So as soon as its safely possible to be on tour, we plan to hit the road as hard as we can.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Stephanie W.: Our typical process has been Mike usually brings a riff or rhythm to me that he has been working on and we play around with that until we have the guitar and bass lines worked out. At that point I get to work on the lyrics and melody and from there it just evolves. We bring in Kenny and Tom to add their magic and just like that, we polish it up until we are all happy on the results. It’s a lot of fun creating the songs this way, so we all get to bring something different to the mix.
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
Stephanie W.: There is a special kind of feeling that you get when you’re on stage, the music is loud, and the crowd is connected with you. As a front person, this is amazing to experience and it is the basis for the song “Adrenaline”. The Studio is great, and it lets you hone in on exactly what you are trying to convey creatively, but the live shows are my favorite. It’s the nervous excitement that keeps you on your toes and always striving to be better and grow as a performer.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Stephanie W.: I think there is a very delicate balance that must exist for performers. To one extent, I love being able to write my own music and share that with people, but to another extent if the music isn’t pleasing to a majority its hard to gain the traction that a band needs to grow in this industry. So we, as a band, have to weigh the difference between satisfying our creativity versus creating something that satisfying to people to listen to. We are trying to include a mix of both right now, but hands down if a band does not enjoy the music they are writing, they will not last. Period.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Stephanie W.: I have a huge collection of CDs that are just stashed in bins and boxes, with the exception of about 20 of them that I will keep on rotation. Call it the refusal to let go of physical music, but I much prefer listening to a CD instead of streaming. I like the support that I give to my favorite bands by purchasing a physical copy of their music, and I never really got into Vinyl. So CDs are still my favorite music medium right now.
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Stephanie W.: I would have to say: support your local music scene. Live music venues are really struggling right now through the Pandemic, but more importantly keep the scene alive! Even before the Pandemic hit, those live venues were starting to fade away in a lot of areas. Take a change on a new band, buy some merch, or just hang out to say hi to the band after a show. Trust me, its those moments that can be just enough encouragement for musicians to keep going and to pursue their passion.
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Stephanie W.: Be sure to check us out at our website for an upcoming tour dates which we hope to update soon. Subscribe to our social media accounts to keep up with what we have been busy working on, and we hope to see everyone out on the road soon!
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time!