Heavy AmericA is a rock group that derives its core sound from am amalgamation of rock idioms including progressive rock, alternative rock, and a tad bit of stoner rock. Fans enjoy their sound which triumps over the stagnant music formulas that are found in todays’ digital music world. The three-piece band features: Michael T. Sequin (lead vocals & guitar), Dan Fried (drums & vocals), and Budd Lapham (bass & vocals). With undeniable talent, as musicians and songwriters, Heavy AmericA delivers a top-notch music experience you won't soon forget.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Michael: I have my father to thank for getting me interested in playing the guitar & writing music early in my learning. He would encourage me to solo over an entire classic rock song or write my own part to play along with it. Later I would take those riffs & piece them into songs but it was usually just the music. My defining moment of change as a writer really came when I decided I was going to be a lead singer & play guitar. It wasn't about just writing the music anymore. I had to write the lyrics as well & make sure I could sing & play the parts without sacrificing the integrity of either. I'm constantly trying to find the balance. It can be challenging but very gratifying as well. It's pushed me to grow as a writer & taken me to some experimental places I'm not sure I would have found myself in otherwise.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Budd: The craziest thing that has happened in my music career would have to be some of the people I have met and the relationships that have formed. Some people become great friends and some people are so strange you can’t even believe they are real. Being a musician has allowed me to travel and see some great places, meet some interesting people and have some incredible experiences.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Budd: I would have to say the high point of my musical path is this band Heavy AmericA. I have been playing with Mike for quite a few years now and with different styles of music and bands. But this band Heavy AmericA is with out a doubt the most proud I’ve ever been to be in an original hard rock band. I love the music and would be a fan if I wasn’t in the band. With the chemistry we have and Mikes song writing I’m convinced this band has massive potential.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
Michael: It's very fragmented in the beginning. I write riffs & lyrical lines all the time & keep them in a notebook. When it's time to bring in a new song, I will start piecing together ideas from the book until I have something good to work with. When I'm happy with most of the guitar & lyrical content, I'll introduce it to Budd & Dan. From there we'll complete the song as a whole, record it & make any final adjustments. At this point they're considered "complete" but I don't think we ever really consider any of our songs "finished". We're always tweaking them in little ways to improve them, even years after they've been written.
Take a moment to check out their music video “Easy Killer”
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Dan: There are definitely some significant challenges today for up and coming bands. One challenge in our media driven world is building a social media and streaming presence that keeps you relevant, fresh and connected to existing and new fans and cuts through all the listening choice clutter. In addition to the fan focus, your media presence is also a barometer for the music industry and all legitimate bands they look to support will have healthy and growing media numbers. One aspect that would be great to change over time with the music industry is streaming revenues. The music industry has now settled with streaming being the majority of their revenues and this format is starting to be profitable for them. What artists and bands want to see is a fairer pass through of song revenues for their streaming content.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Dan: For us it would be Queen Of The Stone Age. While each of us comes from a diverse set of influences and each have various music we currently have on our playlists, we all strongly relate to QOTSA’s music, their sensibility then it comes to the approach of their songs, and the way they execute live on stage. We take extreme pride in our ability to play our songs live while playing tight, playing with passion, and putting on a performance that engages the crowd. QOTSA are just a great role model for any band when it comes to all aspects of writing kick-ass songs and putting on kick-ass shows.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Dan: Our rehearsals are very purpose driven and productive and there is always a plan every time we get together. We are either working on a new song, revisiting a song for refinement were we feel there may be a weak spot, prepping for a recording session, or practicing a set for an upcoming show. We always plan each show set in advance and practice through the song order a few times to make sure it flows right. We have quite a diverse set of songs with different feels and tempos and we like to mix it up from show to show. Once we are all happy with the set list we also spend time adjusting the intros and endings for each show to make for the best and most interesting song transitions.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Michael: Probably "Bleed Mary" from our 'Now' album. The music & lyrics came fairly easy, the challenge came in the transitions between the parts. The song has a certain flow that needs to be played with emotion & conviction for it's story to be told. Tone also plays a huge part in this. The song needs to have all these things happening in unison for it to really come alive. This made the production of the song very important as well & took a while to get right.
What's coming up in the future?
Michael: Right now we're promoting our new single "Easy Killer". It's been getting a lot of positive attention from the press & really moving forward! All our numbers are up & we're going to keep the ball rolling. We've returned to the studio to begin tracking another song we hope to release in early summer along with a video. It's a long process as most of us know so the earlier we get started, the better. We will be doing a few early spring shows in the Boston area & we're currently booking shows on the East Coast for the summer & fall. All upcoming events are listed on our website as they come in. Please feel free to give us a visit!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Michael: All of Heavy AmericA's music including our new single "Easy Killer" is available at all major online retailers including CDBaby, can also be found across all major streaming services including Spotify, We invite you to visit our website, click some links, like, follow, share & subscribe. It's an incredible journey & we'd love you to come along!