Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of American Heritage when the band came to be back in 1996. Has this early intention/spirit changed in any way until today?
American Heritage: Hmmm… I think the intention has always just been to do what we do, regardless of what is going on around us. Our sound has changed a lot over the years, but I think that the initial spirit of the band is still there.
Musicscan: I would like to think you guys do not care about fitting into any scene, right? But what current bands do you think of as your peers or bands that you feel a commonality with?
American Heritage: You definitely got that right. We’ve never really fit in with a scene or particularly cared to. As far as bands that we feel somewhat a kin to, Keelhaul and Sweet Cobra come to mind.
Musicscan: People who get introduced to American Heritage can be impressed by your “different” approach to heavy music I guess. What do you think about this thought, and what is your approach towards music and being American Heritage?
American Heritage: That’s hard to answer. We are just sort of plodding along and doing what we do and not thinking about how other people view it. I suppose the only thing I could say is that we take a pretty punk rock approach to writing heavy music. This has always suited us as people and as a band.
Musicscan: Where do you guys see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? One thing is for sure: you are not that “typical” kind of a heavy band. People have to be concentrated and to take time to get to what American Heritage is all about…
American Heritage: We’ve never had a line. When we write riffs we are either like “Yup, keep that” or “That riff kind of smells like a doodie”. With the past two records there was very little left on the cutting room floor. We would only practice about once every six months or so, due to us living in different cities, so there wasn’t time to dick around needling everything. The only time that I think the band did have more of an agenda as far as what direction we would take was when our old guitarist left, Adamn switched to guitar and we added vocals. We produced the worst music we ever had during this period. It took a while for us to figure out how that was going to work… and we made some real stinkers in the process.
Musicscan: With the direction of American Heritage heading a certain way and listeners growing with you over years and releases, do you feel that your fans can now relate to what you are feeling or at least understand what you are trying to tell them with your music and with the songs of Prolapse?
American Heritage: We have fans? I think we finally found what we were supposed to sound like on the last two records. If people are into it, that’s great.
Musicscan: Musically and lyrically American Heritage seems like a band fueled by raw emotion which is at the same time tempered by a - let's say - disconnected vibe. Would you agree? What are the motives behind writing in this style, what reactions are you seeking to evoke in your audience?
American Heritage: Again, this is hard for me to answer. What our audience thinks about what we do has always been an afterthought for us. Not that we don’t appreciate people who like our music. We most certainly do. But the band has always been an excuse for friends to hang out and do something creative together for us, by us.
Musicscan: Your music and sound(s) are rooted in dark atmospheres and content. Tell us how important maintaining these overtones are to the band's mindset, please.
American Heritage: It’s not. We like to whip out a quick peppy punk song and also enjoy the more brooding downtempo. We have never had a mission statement as far as what we can or can’t do.
Musicscan: Listening to Prolapse quite a bit, I have been noticing a little more groove and flow. Would you agree? Is this something guys tried to do with the new stuff or did the writing process just head in that direction?
American Heritage: I really see Prolapse as a continuation of Sedentary. There wasn’t a point where any of us looked at each other and said “This needs more groove”.
Musicscan: A strong part of the sound of your band is about feeling and gut instinct I would say. Of all the songs you’ve chosen to be on the your new album what song do you feel is the most representative of all the facets of the band and of what you want American Heritage to be known for?
American Heritage: Thanks. I think that’s all we’ve ever tried to achieve. Just do what feels good and hopefully someone else will like it in the end.
Musicscan: Lastly: what type of “success” you hope to gain with Prolapse?
American Heritage: Haha. We aren’t. We’re all happy with how it turned out. That’s all one can really ask.