Running for a bus to make it to an interview at The Roxy, no big deal…that’s just my Wednesday night. Did I make it there in time? That’s just something you’ll have to read about next week when we get to the Southern gentlemen, Namesake. But for now I’m sitting across the street from where TMZ films in a McDonald’s doing what I do best, stealing WiFi and waiting for one of my BFFs to walk in. As I wait I sift through Sean Highley of Let It Happen’s interview, I have to applaud his grammar savvy answers!
Let It Happen is not only well written, but well done musically. They’ve taken what’s been cultivating lyrically now and forever ago in all subsets of rock; outsiders looking for a piece of hope. Sean lamented on their album, It Hurts But It’s It’s Worth It; “From the first song “Disconnect Routine” to the last song “Hide and Seek”, it is sort of a lyrical diary over the course of a year, and really hits different periods in the process of finding yourself. The ups, the downs, and the in-betweens are all written about.”
There you have it, a musical diary. To me, a musical look back at a group of guys’ lives spread across a pop rock blanket. “You’re Killing Me” will have you singing along, but it’s weird because it’s not as poptacular as you’d expect for something that burrows in the brainstem. And oh how I wish I could just tattoo lyrics all over me thanks to “Can’t Close My Eyes” and the line “I have a mouth full of words to say as a result of a head full of things I can’t convey.”
Let It Happen’s It Hurts But It’s It’s Worth It is available now (get it if you like bands like Cartel and All Time Low) and if you’re in their tour path you can pick it up on the Summer Vacation Tour in June. And right now you can stick around and read what Sean of Let It Happen had to say about Tumblr, bucket lists and venue “dos” and “don’ts.”
Kendra Beltran: With your guys recent attention from J-14, what are your thoughts on potentially being some tweens “heartthrob?”
Sean Highley: The attention we got from J-14 was really flattering! It’s really weird to think that we could be heartthrobs because we’re just four guys playing music. More than anything I hope that by reaching the tween crowd they are introduced to music like ours, and other bands like us that don’t make it to top 40 radio!
Kendra: It Hurts But It’s Worth It will of course reach people of all ages, but you guys have mentioned “our generation is coming of age in a complicated time.” What are we exactly facing right now; can you shed some light on that statement?
Sean: I think that we are in a period of time that is new to the world. Almost everything is accessible all of the time, and there is so much information, and content being put out that it is hard to know what to think. Whatever it is you may believe, we want you to know that we are right there with you and try to write music that conveys we are going through the same things.
Kendra: Since you talk of insecurities in songs like the single, “Bridges,” I wanted you to share an insecurity you have and how you deal with it other than creating music?
Sean: As you said, creating music is a way to deal with insecurity. For me, my life in the music industry can be the cause of some insecurity. After we have songs written, and record them, I tend to wonder, “Are we doing this right?” I wonder whether people will approve, or enjoy what we are doing, and it causes some insecure feelings. At the end of the day though, I sit myself down and realize that I love the music we are making and what we are doing. I know that it will all just be alright in the end.
Kendra: Moving from themes influences…The band looks up to popular acts that usually end up in that section of bands Facebooks like Jimmy Eat World and The Starting Line, but I wanted you to tell everyone a little more about how Relient K’s music played a part in Let It Happen’s style? Anything to do with religion?
Sean: Relient K is a band that I have been listening to for a very long time, and though we aren’t a Christian band, the positive messages and vibes that Relient K puts out are a big influence on our writing. We want people to feel good when they listen to our songs, and be able to take away something from the song, even if that something happens to differ from what another person takes away.
Kendra: Now on a broader note, recently Avery “the bucket list baby” passed away, and that led to me wondering what are the top 3 things on your personal bucket list, as well as the bands?
Sean: Wow, that’s a tough one! There are so many things that I would love to do in my life. I would love to live somewhere like San Diego or New York City. Both places have played a big role in my upbringing, and I would love nothing more than to live there one day. Another thing on my bucket list would be to go skydiving. I have always wanted to jump out of a plane and know that I will be okay! The thrill of it, and the peace of it at the same time are definite must do’s for me. A third things on my bucket list, and the band’s would be to tour with a band like Jimmy Eat World or Foo Fighters. Both of those bands are inspirations to what we are doing today, and sharing the stage with them would be so incredible.
Kendra: Maybe one of them is touring somewhere pretty awesome? Is there anything official you can talk about coming up on the tour front?
Sean: I would definitely love to do some overseas touring in the future! We will be busy this summer as well! We are doing a tour this June with a band from Syracuse, NY called Of Fortune and Fame. Check our website for those dates, and come hang out with us!
Kendra: When you do tour, what is a venue “must have” and a venue “must not” rule you think all venues should abide by?
Sean: We’ve run into a few problems on the road, and I would say that a venue “must have” would have to be a semi clean, functional restroom. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone into a venue after a 7 hour drive only to be greeted with a dirty unusable toilet! A venue “must not” rule would have to be a really eager promoter/venue owner who acts as a hype man, and tells you the bar’s specials in between bands. It makes the crowd feel awkward, and like they are at a dance club and not a rock show.
Kendra: I noticed your site is a Tumblr, since it’s much easier to control because there’s less HTML and so on, do you feel it allows you to have a more hands on experience with it and be more in tune with your fans?
Sean: It’s nice to have a site hosted on such a popular server. Tumblr has a gigantic community of people that can see what we post through news feeds, and it really makes the difference. The ability to retweet (reblog) others, and have them retweet (reblog) you has given us an interconnectivity with our fans that a regular website couldn’t provide.
Kendra: Being Golden Mixtape, it’s time for you to make one for us! Going off “Oh So Speechless” and it being graduation season, if you had to give a graduation speech, which 5 songs would you steal lyrics from to make it a kickass speech?
Sean: There are so many great songs that you could put into a speech! I’m going to stay clear of Don’t Stop Believing, but let’s go with”