Talk Thursday to Me – Aaron Distler

Today we talk to Aaron Distler from Heypenny about their upcoming tour, new songs in the works and much more.

Postcard Elba: Hello, let’s just jump into it. You guys are getting ready to embark on what I believe is your longest tour to date – correct?


Aaron Distler:  Most definitely our longest tour. I think we’ve maybe done a little over 2 weeks a handful of times and this one squeezes in 19 shows over 23 days and then DJ and I leave for 2 weeks with Kyle Andrews as soon as we get back. I hope I still have a job.


PE:  Ha – that makes two of us. So another thing that is different for this tour is that it’s a package tour for most of the dates, right? How did you hook up with these other bands, and what are they like?


AD:  Yeah, we’ve never really had the luxury of doing a package tour, so this will also kind of be a first for us. Both Tommy & the High Pilots and STAMPS are on tour right now with a band called Ludo. Our manager, Frank is really good friends with Tim from Ludo and they came up with the idea for the package. We’re hitting a lot of the same markets that they’re doing right now so, they’ve been pushing these shows on that tour, which is fantastic. Both bands apparently have a really great all ages draw which is something we haven’t really had a chance to tap into yet.


As far as what they’re like… I’d say that Tommy & the High Pilots have a grandiose pop sense. They music is very sweeping, melodic and totally radio ready. STAMPS are power pop through and through. I think they’re from LA and they sound like it. Super sunny, feel good tunes.


PE:  Sounds like it should be a fun night. So I know you recently had Zach Grace from Mock Orange do some touring with you guys as part of the band. Is that going to be a permanent thing, and if so is he going to start writing with the group as well?


AD:  He’s going out with us on this run as well. I’m constantly trying to get him to move to Nashville and I’m fairly certain that we’d be enamored with him as a permanent edition to the band. As far as writing and collaborating goes, Ben’s really the main songwriter. He’ll usually demo something and send it to us and we learn the parts. We’ll make a few suggestions here and there, but really, Ben knows exactly what he wants to hear and often it’s down to the most precise thing whether it’s the way a thing is played rhythmically, a specific way to play a chord or even a rim click thrown into an otherwise ordinary beat. He’s really a mad scientist. With that said, though, each player brings forth their own feel, tambre and what-not and Zach has always been one of my favorite musicians so it’s a complete joy to be able to hear him add to the songs.


PE:  Awesome, I look forward to seeing him play with you guys on this one. So how have things been with the latest release? You guys had so many hurdles to getting it out, now that it is, how has it been doing for you?


AD:  I still feel like we’re jumping through hurdles. It’s been selling at shows and online but I don’t think it’s had a proper push, press-wise. But that’s the constant struggle of releasing your own music. You simply don’t have the budget to hire a publicist and do a full blown PR campaign. I know when we released the album, the track “Water” got a lot of attention from blogs, but as far as the album as a whole, I think we’ve only seen one actual review of it. Aside from touring and a niche market of fans online, I don’t think people know it exists. Hopefully we can change that.


PE:  So the plan for now is to grind it out on the road and raise awareness that way? What about new stuff? Any ep’s or new tracks in the works?


AD:  That’s the plan right now. Just keep touring over and over. We’re really trying to make it out west as soon as possible. As far as new stuff is concerned, Ben’s been working on some new songs. They’re super dancey. Beyonce-esque! … and we’re actually throwing around the idea of releasing a collection of really pretty songs this fall. It’ll be called Tendre which DJ fantastically points out is a rare instance of a contronym or an auto-antonym — that is, it is a word that is it’s own opposite (like the English word “cleave”, which can mean “to separate” and “to put together”). When “tendre” is used as a verb, it means “to tighten” or “to make taut”. However, as an adjective it means “soft” or  “delicate”. So, if you think about it, the word means both “tight” and “delicate” — which is kind of the same commentary that a softer album would be saying about Heypenny — that we are capable of both tightness as well as delicateness. That’s a great summation, I think. Also, those songs are really gorgeous and need to be released.
PE:  Very cool. I always enjoy it when you break out the more melodic and less spastic stuff on stage. Ok, well we always end our interviews the same way – name three things that are currently rocking your world. Could be anything at all.


AD:  The new seasons of Louie, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Breaking Bad. Hands down.
PE:  Excellent! Thanks for talking with us, have a great tour and we’ll see you at the Bluebird.

Heypenny are a dance rock band from Nashville, TN. Catch them at one of their upcoming tour dates below, or check them out online here. Catch up on all of our Heypenny content right here.

Friday, August 5 @ Villain’s in Chicago, IL (After Lollapalooza Party w/ Ghosthouse)
Saturday, August 6 @ Villain’s in Chicago, IL (After Lollapalooza Party w/ Ghosthouse)
Sunday, August 7 @ Modern Exchange in Southgate, MI

Tour dates w/ Tommy & The High Pilots and Stamps
Tuesday, August 9 @ Thunderbird Cafe in Pittsburgh, PA
Wednesday, August 10 @ Bowery Electric in New York, NY
Friday, August 12 @ Fennario’s in West Chester, PA
Saturday, August 13 @ IOTA in Arlington, VA
Sunday, August 14 @ The Basement in Columbus, OH
Tuesday, August 16 @ Bluebird in Bloomington, IN

Wednesday, August 17 @ Uncle Slayton’s in Louisville, KY (Heypenny Only)

Tour dates w/ Tommy & The High Pilots
Thursday, August 18 @ Lamasco’s in Evansville, IN
Friday, August 19 @ Rhythm and Brews in Chattanooga, TN
Saturday, August 20 @ The End in Nashville, TN
Sunday, August 21 @ Firebird in St Louis, MO
Monday, August 22 @ Mojo’s in Columbia, MO
Tuesday, August 23 @ Outland Downstairs in Springfield, MO
Wednesday, August 24 @ The Jackpot in Lawrence, KS
Thursday, August 25 @ Beer:30 in Emporia, KS

Friday, August 26 @ Rogue Pizza Co in Fayetteville, AR (Heypenny Only)



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