Hi! What inspired the creation of your EP “It’s You That Has To Think,” and how did you come up with the title?

Costas: Back in the summer of 2021, my former band PRSNA broke up and I started writing what would become this EP. At the time I was just going through some motions, some dark times and I was just letting out what was on my mind at those given moments through the music. When I listen back it, I think I definitely got the feelings I was feeling off my chest. “It’s You That Has To Think” is actually one of the lyrics in the song “Wasting”. It is basically saying don’t let anybody make decisions or choose for you. It is you that has to live your life. It is you that has to be comfortable with yourself. While there is compromise in any relationship whether it be a marriage, friendship, co-workers or whoever, it should always be you that makes the final decision. That makes the choices for you. You can’t let anybody think, speak or act for you. At the end of the day, you are only hurting yourself doing that.

Can you share the story behind the single “Catch Me If I Fall” and its significance within the EP?

Costas: I was having a hard time sleeping during the writing of this record. I would get 1-3 hours a night if I was lucky. One night around 3-4 in the morning, I woke up and started reading some old journals from 10-15 years prior. Just some old lyrics, poetry and creative writing from the past. As I was flipping through the pages, chills started running up my spine. It was a spiritual awakening moment. A moment of recognition. It was like my younger self was talking to me and telling me that everything is going to be okay. Just keep going. Do not stop. You survived the days you never thought you would and the same goes now. It was honestly the ghost of the past, who I was 10-15 years prior talking and consoling me. I will never forget that night. It was one of the craziest, surrealist moments I have ever experienced.

How would you describe the overall sound and style of “It’s You That Has To Think”?

Costas: “It’s You That Has To Think” draws a lot of influence from my pop punk, pop rock roots, but I feel it also has a little bit of expanding on that. Lyrically, I don’t think I have ever been more raw or honest within my songwriting. It’s got some emo elements to it. It’s got some alternative rock elements to it. Little bit of indie rock in the blend. I like to describe this record as melodic rock, haha.

What was the songwriting process like for this EP, and how did you collaborate as a band?

Costas: This record was actually written by Nikki and I. Nick (our drummer) and Andrew (our bassist) weren’t around at this time yet. I would spend the days demoing the music in my home studio. Jumping back and forth between instruments and laying the foundation down. Nikki would come over and we would write lyrics. These 5 songs were written over the course of a 10 week period in the summer of 2021 and brought to Sound Acres Recording Studio with producer Gary Cioni (Crime In Stereo, Hot Mulligan, Free Throw, Moose Creek Park) in September 2021. 

Are there any specific themes or messages you wanted to convey through the songs on this EP?

Costas: I think there is a lot of pain and rage reflected on this record. I think there’s a lot of sadness being let out. A lot of confusion being put out. But under the surface, I feel this record offers a glimmer of hope and optimism. A reflection of ones self. A reflection of a former life. A reflection of the future. Who you were, who you are and who you want to be. Where you were, where you are and where you want to be.

How has your music evolved since your previous releases, and what influenced this growth?

Costas: I feel like I am getting a lot more raw and honest in my songwriting. I am not shying away from personal, touchy or reflective subjects. I feel like I am not writing just to write what I think people want to hear. I am writing what speaks to me, what I feel and where my brain is at at present tense. It is definitely more honest and raw and I hope that resonates with listeners. We just finished production on a brand new record last month. 10 new songs. I think the songwriting has taken a new shape, I think the lyrics go even deeper. Song structures, riffs, time signatures, tempo changes. There is a lot more experimentation in the new material. But I believe it has been done in a way where it has not overshadowed the signature sound or who we are.

What was the most challenging aspect of creating “It’s You That Has To Think,” and how did you overcome it?

Costas: I was literally in the middle of a crisis while writing and recording this record. Everything that could have went wrong, went wrong. Nothing made sense. It was just a really dark period in my life. To find the strength to do the simplest of tasks was daunting. To find the love to even pick up an instrument, let alone every instrument was challenging. But Nikki was a great support and I have great friends who helped me through these troubling times. I am very proud of what has been created and put out there. Nothing about this whole process was easy, haha.

How do you hope listeners will connect with and respond to the songs on “It’s You That Has To Think”?

Costas: I hope listeners find a sense of comfort knowing they are not alone. I hope listeners find the strength to keep going. I hope listeners understand that all storms pass. I hope listeners understand that you can only control you. Life is hard, man. I hope listeners understand that they are not walking through these fires and flames alone. There are people out there who feel just like them. There are people out there who care. I care. We care. I would love to know what listeners think and our messages and emails are always open to them. We will always respond. We’re in this together.

What are your future plans for Heavy on the Heart, and can fans expect any upcoming tours or new music?

Costas: We have 2 shows left for the 2023 calendar year. Followed by a whole lot of touring and campaigning the “It’s You That Has To Think” EP in 2024. We just finished production on 10 brand new songs we will have available to you in the future. We have some music videos and media stuff in the works. A lot of exciting things going on in our camp and we cannot wait to share them with you. We are truly ecstatic to finally be able to bring this music to you and we are doing everything we can to make sure we reach you. Thank you for listening, supporting, following, sharing and everything. It truly means the world to me and to us. Let’s make 2024 the best year yet.