Hoping to Blast Their Way to Tachevah: A Palm Springs Block Party
by Lisa Morgan
“Josh Heinz and his talented band of Blasters are the symbol of the musicians who have no choice but to produce the music that pumps his/her blood no matter what the cost. Many have fallen from the calling, prey to the strain of the circus juggle between creating, playing with the band and the ever dreadful day job and heart tugging duties to family. It is what separates the hobbyist from the fully invested. After all these years, Josh Heinz has proved himself as a card carrying member of local rock royalty, having paid his dues in full and then some. Now to the delight of all of those following his musical endeavors, that sweat and blood wrought from his years in the craft have been poured into this album, and as the title suggests, for Josh Heinz and Blasting Echo, the end is still so very far away for this band.” This is what I wrote about this band in our April 2013 issue. I wrote this sight unseen, based on the music that was produced on their CD, The End is Still So Far, and the well documented history of Blasting Echo’s front man. I have since had the incredible opportunity to know the members of this band personally, and I have to say, I may have short changed them. They are so much more.
Blasting Echo is one of the hardest working, talented rock bands that our desert community can truly be proud of. Along with jobs, bills and beautiful kids with special needs, this band’s passion for their music drives them to work tirelessly on their art weekly. The band, as much family to each other as they are a working body of music makers, is just plain old good people with some serious rock and roll soul and integrity. On February 26th, some great things happened for the band that are set to secure their future on both personal and musical levels: Lead guitar, vocals and and front man, Josh Heinz, married the girl of his (and his baby son, Jack’s) dreams, Linda Lemke (now Heinz), vocalist and keyboardist for the band. On that very same day, they received word that they had made the cut and would have the opportunity to audition for one of the two coveted spots to play at the high profile Goldenvoice sponsored concert known as Tachevah.
When leading the front of Blasting Echo with guitar and vocals, Josh Heinz is probably one of the most honest and fun performers I have seen on stage. As he sings and warps faces with feverish skill on guitar, Josh is never “performing”. It’s easy to see that what you are witnessing is pure joy and fearless abandon to the thing he loves to do most. Backed up by Mondo Flores’ drums and Laramie Eve’s bass, a couple united in their love for this music and each other, these two aggressively drive the energy of the music while Linda Lemke-Heinz’s perfect ear ads tasty keyboard and vocal licks. This passionate band delivers song after song with precision, and with as many songs as they have produced and continue to create, you are guaranteed to never get bored, show after show.
But beyond the solid instrumental and performance aspects of Blasting Echo’s music, are the lyrics, often unnoticed by the passing fan. This band not only plays together well, but they write well. “I write lyrics that mean a lot to me; sometimes they’re autobiographical and sometimes they’re about observations around me,” shared Josh. “The great thing about this band is no one ever questions me. I tend to write full songs and then I bring it in to the band. Mondo and Linda have this great formal music education, so when I play something they’ll start describing what I’m doing and they make it sound like chemistry. But when I bring a song into the group I’m hoping that there’s something they’re going to dig about it. When the emotion behind the song is so powerful, even if it’s not perfect, everybody is supportive of the song. I don’t lay down the law. I will not be a f*&%! dictator. What is unique about this band is that they contribute and the song evolves and gets better every time we play it.” Mondo echoed the spirit of collaboration by saying, “I think it’s very heady to think that one person can write the ultimate song.”
“I love the fact that, even though we have our ‘go-to’ set; our best shot at appealing to an audience, we can also appeal to ourselves. If I have a day where something happened to me and I have a song that emotionally fits that moment, I can turn to the band and say, ‘Hey, I NEED to do this song.’ Energy is the key. Most of the crowd can’t really hear the lyrics but if you connect with them on an energy level, you connect with them in an honest way. Maybe that’s the one thing about us. We project an honest energy in everything we play. People at least get that we’re honest. We’re not contrived. And maybe, just maybe, that’s why we have a shot at Tachevah,” shared Heinz.
Flores added with a smirk, “We’re going to musically punch people right in the face.”
Blasting Echo will be vying for the slot at Tachevah, March 12th along with four other bands and your presence and support are priceless. That will, however, be a very short set. The valley will have a golden opportunity to witness this musical face punch in full force when Blasting Echo performs at the Coachella Valley Brewing Company alongside their face melting brothers in arms, Mighty Jack, March 21st starting at 8pm. You’ll sample 14 unique varieties of locally brewed beer along with some of the desert’s very best rock and roll. Coachella Valley Brewery is located at 30640 Gunther Street, Thousand Palms.