A perfect addition to your road trip down 'Memory Hwy playlist', is the all pretty-boy band, HEYROCCO from South Carolina. When childhood friends Nate Merli (Black Future) , Chris Cool (Cool) and Tanner Cooper (Taco) decided to put their studies on hold in pursuit of triumphant face-melting, 'the stars seemed to have aligned'. Their music is reminiscent of bands such as The Cure, Nada Surf, and 'early Pumpkins spiked with an experimental blend of Broken Social Scene meets On A Friday', offering such a compelling and energetic performance on stage. After spending the year touring with acts such as Surfer Blood, Mutemath, & Miniature Tigers, they began to work on their debut LP with producer Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down, Sister Hazel) which is set to be released early-mid 2014.

   I got the chance to meet Black Future backstage after The Weeks' stellar performance at the House of Blues with Kings of Leon a while back in Chicago. As I was just chilling around and taking photographs, the cool glow irradiating off the charming yet boyish shy Black Future was hard to miss as his presence imposed in the room. After the usual formalities, Black Future and I continued to discuss our day and our shared interests in music which was no surprise to learn that he was in a band. As we continued to hang out with The Weeks towards the end of the night, Black Future mentioned something about a Movers and Shakers production being set up later in the week with a couple of other bands, we were cordially invited to their concert. It wasn't until the end, on my way back home that I stumbled upon Taco while carrying all of my equipment out, who formally introduced himself to me and once again told me about the event, so on my way home I searched their music up. I wasn't expecting so much energy and nostalgia all at once, so I suddenly became very enthused for this special and intimate event.

Heyrocco3   Clearly, there was nothing shy about Black Future. As soon as he struck the first note on his pastel pink Fender and started to rock out on stage. Minor technical difficulties brought back the mannerly boy back and after getting them fixed, it was back to rocking out on the stage, and on the floor. There was no mistake here, rock stars for sure. After the event, we headed to the merchandise table where we came across Black Future again, and after a warm welcome and humble 'thank you for coming', our conversations were cut short after such an unfortunate event obligated HEYROCCO to absent themselves: some of their equipment was stolen. Right away  we all started to buy some merchandise and spread the word to support the band and while the band left with a bittersweet taste of Chicago, they were above all positive. So we decided to catch up with HEYROCCO, and this is what happened:

FM) Thank you guys for the chance to get to talk a little bit more of all things great. Let's go back to the beginning. How did HEYROCCO start?
BF) We weren't making any money skateboarding and a is the ideal career in terms of getting paid to party... Just kidding, we were huge music nerds!

FM) Makes perfect sense. So you decided to hold on to school and make your music career. Why?
BF) Music is by [far], the strongest way to connect with something [or] someone.
TACO) I suck at everything else and I don't like working retail.

FM) What about the name HEYROCCO?
BF) I don't like this question, but I will let it slide.
[Cool couldn't answer because he was coughing up a lung in the bathroom]

FM) Very well then, thank you!
BF) Rumor has it, Cool had a pet turtle named Rocco.

FM) If it wasn't for HEYROCCO, would you be doing anything else?
ALL) There's never been a plan B.

FM) That's a great answer. Now, who inspires you?
TACO) Paul Ebersold, Stevie Wonder, Charles Manson.
BF) So many! Hendrix, Thom Yorke, Shaq...

FM) How about artwork that you find inspiring?
BF) The Bends and anything by Dalí.
TACO) Jackson Pollock.

FM) So now, how important do you feel it has to be for there to be a direct relationship between music and the visual arts? 
BF) A lot depends on the music. I think Rock n' Roll is all about the image more so than the art, but I love when an album cover fits a record well. [...] It's the best.

FM) I definitely agree, and with that said, when are we shooting our fashion/cover shoot?
BF) Anytime baby! Our fur coats are never far out of reach.

FM) Wonderful so in regards to keeping close to your fans, what do you do to feel more connected with them? 
BF) I tweet my weird random thoughts so people know how lame we are and I love hanging after a show (for no more than 20 minutes) with everyone just swapping stories about art, girls, and aliens.

FM) To conclude, what do you wnat people to feel when they listen to HEYROCCO? 
BF) I want them to know everyone gets nervous and has imperfections. That's what makes someone special.