Interview with: Heed's Daniel Heiman (vocals)

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Heed: The Call
Though currently owing their fame to the fact that two of Heed's members originate from Lost Horizon, I expect this to change quickly with the release of the band's debut album – "The Call", a solid slab of melodic metal which features the unmatched talent of vocalist Daniel Heiman. Now that the album is out, Heiman was kind enough to give us the lowdown on current and past events:

Hey Daniel! I'd like to start with current events in the band, what are you guys up to now?

Daniel: Hi Alon, right now we are working on new material as well as spreading the word about “The Call” everywhere. As we just recently signed with Metal Heaven for release in Europe there’s a lot of work ahead and that’s what we’re focusing on right now. Also we are in negotiations with some booking agencies. Rehearsing is at top ten as well.

Is Heed going to participate in any summer festivals?

Daniel: We have hopes for some but the late release of our first album “The Call” made it hard to book the hottest festivals this year. I think 2007 will be our festival year so to speak. Nevertheless we are discussing some festivals to take part in but nothing settled yet.

You have a new video for "Last Drop Of Blood", where is it aired, and why is the video released now, and not when your album was released?

Daniel: The video was shot when the album was thought of being released but negotiations with the labels at that time took to long and were not what we wanted to wait for. When we signed with Metal Heaven the silence of the band was so embarrassing so we decided to let the fans take part of the video. Also the video will follow with the Europe release as a bonus. From what I know it’s only aired from our website at the moment but any website or TV-show is more than welcomed to air it…
I really wonder if there’s any TV-shows left airing good metal?

I understand that you have secured a contract for Europe with Metal Heaven Records, wasn’t the album available in Europe until now?

Daniel: That’s correct! Until the 10th of June only Japan is blessed by Heed. Unless you are rich then you can order it from there and pay like 30 dollars. Many fans won’t do that and I fully understand them. We therefore wanted the album out as soon as we could. So the wait would be as painless as possible. We had a plan of releasing “The Call” in Europe a month after the Japan release but that plan was shredded, unfortunately.

I understand you have some new members in the band, what happened to the former ones, and how are the new guys fitting in?

Daniel: Yes new members and new atmosphere. A greater one! The former members were somewhere else heading and not on the same level as me and Fredrik. It was hard to foresee as we based the band upon friendship and not affairs. Now we still have a friendship relation as ground to stand upon but also running the band as a company as any. I think it’s important for a band and for each member to early decide how far and how hard one can and are willing to work. When it all comes to show, not many stand the pressure and commitment that it takes! Maybe there will be more changes in the future for Heed but I’m sure they as well as sorrow bring new fresh air to the assembly.
I don’t speak much to either Mats or Jörgen today but from what I’ve heard, they are doing fine and both I and Fredrik wish them all the luck and well in what they do in the future both musically or in life.
The new guys are as said before a new fresh gust in the band. They are taking this band seriously, which I am glad for, and putting efforts in the old and the new material that brings out the very best from it. The old songs are a joy to play now and they are even more amazing live than on the album…

Some history, where did you and Fredrik start playing together?

Daniel: It’s a long story but I’ll try to make it short. We went to same school and decided to create a band early in those days. We where about 14 years old then and the notes I sang were higher than ever. We did some gigs at the local clubs for teenagers in our little and grey town. Playing for ghosts we wanted to expand our fields so we continued to play at other places around. Our first recording was when we reached 16 years old but it was never released. Fredrik went to the states and I continued to mess around in different bands until I hooked with Lost Horizon. When the first album with Lost Horizon was ready to capture the world we needed a second guitarist and I told about Fredrik that recently had come home from the US…

Why did you and Fredrik leave Lost Horizon?

Daniel: My reasons were mainly because I couldn’t stand the attitude within the band. It was like running around in circles with great personalities and wills but without unity. Not a good ground to stand on, within a band. I wanted to create and evolve from it but there was no such space in Lost Horizon. I couldn’t stand being in one mans band. Fredrik left also because he wanted to create but he had no problems with certain members of the band from what I know.

Why did you decide to keep on working together on the new band?

Daniel: It was very spontaneously, we’ve got an offer from Bohus Entertainment to record an album and both I and Fredrik had loads of material we wanted to do something with. On that way Heed was created. We searched for a drummer and took hold of Mats since he was a friend and also he’d played on Lost Horizon’s Spain tour as a stand in drummer, due to the accident that happened to the band when Christian broke his shoulder. Jörgen had played with Mats in Seventh One and was a great bass player available for Heed at the time. One thing led to another and “The Call” was borne!

Even earlier history, when did you know you wanted to be a vocalist?

Daniel: When I first listened to Kiss, Ozzy, Black Sabbath and W.A.S.P. I started to explore my vocal abilities and found pretty soon that it was meant for me. I have always been amazed by good vocalists and the feelings I get listening to the magic combination of great melody, lyrics and singing and I wanted to be able to do that myself.
I started to sing in a band when I was 14 and I never wanted to do anything else since then. The music has been my savior in life. As I grew up as a divorce-child my roots was loose and I was personally in a chaos. Drugs and alcohol was sometimes my escape but the music took that place early and never let me down since then. I had a goal and something to live for and still music is all that for me. I think that a personal bound to the music or to anything one is living for gives depth and greater joy doing it. Of course I sometimes get tired of singing, it can be strenuous or frustrating as well but I always end up happy with my work.

Daniel of Head What's the earliest band you sang with?

Daniel: Man must I remember those things… It was the band I had with Fredrik when I was 14. I can’t remember the name we had then on the band but different names we’ve had was: Project X, Ruin, The Zone and Fairytale. Both I and Fred were in those bands.

Are there any earlier recordings of you singing with a band before Lost Horizon?

Daniel: Yes there is. They were never officially released but we’ve printed a few copies to friends and ourselves. The bands I recall recording with: Fairytale, Project X, Ashtray, Ruin, The Zone and Nature Bleeds. I also sang on some Death metal albums just doing extraterrestrial screaming, not whole albums just some few lines here and there.

I was personally struck by the quality of your singing back in Lost Horizon, did you receive many positive reactions during that time?

Daniel: Yes, a lot of them actually. I was very uplifted by that and still am. I think I get just as much appreciation in Heed though.

How did you get into singing on the Crystal Eyes album?

Daniel: It was Mikael Dahl who phoned me up on that! We are old friends since the early days and also been playing together in an Accept cover band. He asked me if I wanted to sing on two of their new songs on their new album (“Confessions of the maker”) and of course I wanted that. In that moment I also told him I’d quit Lost Horizon and a few days later he asked if I wanted to sing on the whole album as well as becoming a member of their band. I was nothing but honored but I didn’t want to become a member because I wanted to start my own band (Heed) and write my own music and Lyrics… Or at least lyrics and to decide what music direction I wanted to go. When it comes to Crystal Eyes and their music its like an old chime ringing in my ear since I’ve been singing and listening to that kind of music for ages. I like their stuff but I think I could do more with it if I wrote the lyrics. When I was asked to sing on the album they already had recorded all songs and they where originally meant for Mikael and a little to low for my pitch. I think that it can be heard on the album but it had been too much work for them to rerecord it and too expensive as well… Sadly they also chose to do the mix in their own studio and on their own, and the sound is in my opinion not even comparable to either Heed or Lost Horizon.

What are the ideas behind Heed's lyrics?

Daniel: The origin ideas come from my twisted sub-consciousness mostly. I start with a word or a feeling then I decipher what comes out of it into lyrics. I think that inside of us the real truth and pain is seasoned and for me that information takes form and prospers in the music. Of course I sometimes take control and the lyrics then contain a story or just something I want to write about that I’ve read or seen or even just experienced…

I read somewhere that you used to function as a "youth leader" what does that mean in practical terms?

Daniel: It means that I worked with children at age 12 and up. I was their mentor teaching them how to avoid being cheated in life and to listen to good Metal.


Do you personally think that metal music should carry a message, being something more than just a musical genre?

Daniel: It really sounds good so why not!? I think definitely that music affects the young on a deep level and that it can be used for good purposes as well as for bad… It’s really up to the listener and how he interprets it. When I was younger I was saved by the music and especially Metal music. I believe if it wasn’t for the music I would be dead by now… Partly the music saved me from drugs and my miserably teenage suicide thoughts by just absorbing my attention, but also I read the lyrics and some of the bands like Helloween and Dio made me feel more confident and also their lyrics were uplifting and enlightening…

Any last message for the fans out there?

Daniel: All metal maniacs out there! Check your record stores the 10th of June 2006 for a new act is taking the throne of Metal in its possession!
Take Heed!

That's it, thanks for taking the time doing this interview!

Alon Miasnikov
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