By Morgan James
Inhale rapidly, deeply, filling your lungs with the life of your surroundings… hold your breath… then exhale fully and release, heart pumping. That rush of potent ethereal magic you feel could very well be the after effects of listening to “You Know I Care” by Hungry Hearts. The Coachella Valley band made up of Miguel Angel Guizar (vocals), Mani Beltran (guitar), David Ceballos (bass), Ozzy Cervantes (guitar), and Chesley Kidd (drums) is coming out with a new full length album and I urge you to listen up! Boasting strong instrumentation, poignant vocals and passionately playful melodies, the music of Hungry Hearts is sure to impress the masses and possibly consume fans entirely. I was fortunate to speak to all of the band members about their music and where they are headed with it.
MJ: What is unique about your song writing process?
MB: “Our writing process is way different than most bands. We usually start with a demo I write in my home studio. Then everyone makes the changes they feel it needs according to their instrument and then adds their own input. Once we feel the instrumental is ready, we do vocals. We also go back and make changes to suit the vocals if we feel the need to. We have a huge production behind each one of our songs. There are many more instruments in our songs besides your usual band.”
CK: “I was originally a jazz trained guitarist so as a drummer I feel like I try to implement as many feel changes, offbeat hits, and other little things as possible without sacrificing the consistency needed to play this kind of music. And I love following the guitars with my kick drum, but even more, in my music, I love to use my kick drum as its own instrument.”
MJ: What inspires the messages behind your lyrics?
MAG: “Our music is inspired the by the passion for life and the fear of death(sometimes vice versa) we strive to continuously connect with our fans and people who listen and or are listening for the first time. Having real and personal lyrics really helps connect with our fans and audience music has the power to change lives with just a few words or one message so why not have that be a positive one.”
MB: “I think a consistent theme with us has always been go big or go home. We also try and make huge sounding choruses that are very catchy and memorable.”
DC: “I’ve been playing bass for years but what I feel extremely passionate about is songwriting. For the past few years a big inspiration behind the lyrics I write are very few times are talked about like mental disorders, addictions, etc. To me it’s not about relating to the most people, but relating to the hardest people, even if it’s just a few.”
OC: “We still have more to venture off with lyrically, but as of now we’ve chosen to write what can relate to anyone in the band and it’s therapeutic for us whenever something personal is going on. I sometimes listen to our songs and think, ‘wow that’s exactly what’s going on right now in my life.’”
MJ: Tell me about the experience of performing your music live on stage and how you convey your message to your crowd?
MAG: “Passion, passion, passion and the desire to leave an imprint in your mind. Personally I’m very interactive with the crowd and we usually don’t like to start until we get everyone who’s having a drink at the bar smoking cigs outside and whoever is doing god knows what in the bathroom to the crowd. The crowd can expect to have a really sweaty, in your face singer who tries to connect and interact with every single person in the crowd (so expect a lot of creepy eye contact).”
DC: “As a band we are aware that we are performing and not just playing songs. Personally I just let it all out and become vulnerable to the people watching me perform and I think the crowd reacts the same way by opening up and enjoying our music in a way they may not be used to.”
MB: “I think what sets us apart is our production. It’s cool in the recording process but live it’s a whole different monster. We play to a click tempo track so we can play on time with our backing tracks. It took some getting used to but we have the hang of things now. We’re a metal band so we want people to go crazy. We welcome everything from mosh pits, crowd surfing, circle pits, singalongs, the whole nine. We want people to let loose and have a good time.”
CK: “When Miguel grabs the microphone fans get pumped up right off the bat because he really sets it off. He makes the energy go through the roof and that’s something that we have that I’ve noticed a lot of bands don’t these days. A good vocalist can make or break your live show.”
MJ: You have some funny stories about past gigs. Would you mind sharing?
MB: “All our shows have been pretty nuts. We’ve been lucky and have had huge turn outs for our shows. One show I remember being nuts was last year around December in Coachella with CIVX and Tribesmen. Everything that could go wrong went wrong that night. Ozzy and Miguel got stranded in the middle of the desert on their way to the show. I was stressed over it and made a mistake and got extremely hammered. So when it was our time to play we just channeled all that energy and it got pretty crazy. They had to stop the show because people were getting hurt in the pit. A bunch of people fell on top of our equipment and knocked over our amps. An old guy landed on top of David. It was a nightmare in my eyes but for some reason people loved that show. Good times.”
CK: “Our first show at The Hood in Palm Desert will always be one of my favorite shows I’ve ever played with any band. No one knew what to expect from us, just some new band on the scene that hadn’t had a drummer for 2 years and couldn’t play live until then. Then the place erupted when we got done opening with “Crossing Lines.” The place was lit seriously. I’ve never gotten such a good response from a crowd I don’t think.”
MJ: Where can our readers find your music now and tell us about the upcoming album?
MB: “We actually have our own site (ihearthungryhearts.com). You can buy all our stuff through there. We also have some free music on there and if you join our mailing list we’ll send some free stuff like custom picks and such. We’ve worked with other people in past but we really like the chemistry in the studio with Charles Massabo. He can be tough but he brings out the best in us. We actually just finished recording a full length with Charles that has yet to be released. It’s our best material to date and I feel like people are gonna love it. We’ve been playing some of our new songs in our set and the crowd response has been great. As to the release date I’m not sure yet, but it’s in the works.”
DC: “You can also get our music on iTunes and Spotify. We really want to tour this Fall. We have been saving up to buy a tour van and new merch! As of now we are sold out of the physical copies of our first EP but are planning on getting some more soon. Besides our EP we have a full length which is yet to be released. It’s crazy how much we matured from our previous release, I think people are gonna love it. On our first EP we worked with Nick Matthews from the band Get Scared, Nick Morzov from Cartographer and Charles Massabo, which has produced bands like Falling in Reverse, and Metro Station among others. For the full length we worked exclusively with Charles because we really liked the chemistry.”
MJ: What is next for you once the new album releases?
CK: “As a band I feel like we need to get off the ground. We have a great foundation, a pretty good local backing, great social media network and all of that but we need to expand. It’s time to do it big. And this band is what’s next for me. That’s where I’m at in life right now. I have faith in these guys and I know they have faith in me, and I feel like things are just getting started for us. So be on the lookout for us, because we’re going nowhere but up.”
OC: “Get signed by a label, play a bunch of shows, jump on a couple tours or possible festivals, win the lottery and hope David grows a couple of inches so he can carry his own equipment for once.”