This week’s featured Meet The Band artist is the Michigan alt metal/metalcore group Heart Of Jordan. They released their self-titled debut album last year. Guitarist Elijah White introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Heart Of Jordan.
Elijah White: Heart of Jordan began its formation in early 2017 with Eric TenEyck (guitar), and Andrew Everett (drums). Andrew was filling in on drum duties for Eric’s now defunct band. After the band dissolved, Eric and Andrew decided to carry on with a new project. Preston Mailand (vocals) was called in by Andrew and soon joined the fold after returning to Michigan from a stint in Florida playing in a small handful of Gulf Coast bands. Preston and Eric combined some song ideas to create the beginning framework for the first handful of Heart of Jordan songs. Soon after, Eric reached out to long time friend, me, to fill out guitars. After going through two bass players in two years, we now have two dedicated bassists on rotation: Alfonso Civile and RJ Lambright.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for your self-titled debut album.
The majority of our songs start as ideas either jammed out at rehearsal or as spur of the moment riffs that get recorded as they come. The ideas are then developed through the demo process until we have the meat and bones of a song. Lyrically, Preston is near a 100 percent contributor, drawing ideas from life experience. Overall, no song is ever really complete until it’s churned through the recording and production process. Our debut album was recorded and produced with Josh Schroeder. I encourage any band out there to do at least one song with this guy. He is a madman and you get beyond your money’s worth.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
Alt metal with a “core” foundation.
What led you to go the independent route for its release?
Being an unsigned band, it was the only route to go at the time.
What has the response to the album been like so far?
The response to date has been amazing. We are very grateful for the praise we have received on our debut effort. We have set the bar pretty high for ourselves.
What has been your most memorable Heart Of Jordan live show?
Playing Rocklahoma for sure. We performed at an after party stage and finished our set just before a tornado barely missed us. Rain was coming at us sideways and someone happened to unknowingly lock our van keys in the van. That made for an awesome show and very long night.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
7/20 in Flint MI with Heartsick; 7/26 in Kalkaska MI with Heartsick; 7/31 headliner at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI; 8/09 at The Music Factory in Battle Creek MI with Nonpoint; 8/26 Core Chaos Showcase at The Stache in Grand Rapids, MI; 8/30 at The Twisted Spoke in Pekin IL with Dark Lit Sky; 9/28 special headliner TBA.
How did you get started in music?
I got started formally in music in the 5th grade when I learned how to play my first real instrument in violin class.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
The Big 4, The Beastie Boys, Faith No More, Tool, and most grunge era bands. But BIG emphasis on Metallica.
What was the first rock/metal concert you attended?
I started concerts a little late. My first one was Pantera. This was also my first real moshpit experience.
What’s the heavy music scene like in Lansing?
Although there are not too many venues that cater to heavy bands, the heavy scene in Lansing is a community and family. We are really proud to be an important part of it and we make sure to spread the love.
What’s the last thing you binge watched?
“Dark” on Netflix.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I have many, but here are some of the ones on top: The new Killswitch tracks, After The Burial – Evergreen, Deftones – Koi No Yokan, and not super heavy, but, QOTSA – Songs for the Deaf.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Our new music video for the track “Deaf Ears” premieres very soon, so keep your eyes on YouTube! In the meantime, get familiar with our debut album on Spotify.
(interview published July 20, 2019)
Watch Heart Of Jordan – “Deny”