The instrumental post-rock band out of Kingston, He Heard Footsteps, is on its way to releasing an EP, announcing a tour and overall success.
Alex Barnhart, URI Music Composition major and guitarist, explained how he was always musically inclined. At age six, he started playing music and picked up the piano for a while. Then, he moved onto the violin but had a distaste for it. In middle school he decided to pick up the guitar with the idea of being a “super hip rock-star” one day. Today, Barnhart has been playing guitar for eight years and plays around with percussions and vocals as well.
In high school, when he was around 15-years-old, Barnhart wrote the first track on the EP “House-Home”, for a metal band he played in. After booking studio recording time, the band had a falling out. Instead of leaving the studio owner in the dust, Barnhart decided to use the time to record a solo project. He ended up recording a three-song EP, playing guitar, bass and drums himself.
“It just sort of happened, and I put the whole project on the back-burner,” Barnhart said. He discussed the analytics with the studio owner and thought about the idea of having another guitarist.
Barnhart came to URI with an expectation of receiving a degree in music, but originally maintained the idea of doing more shows back with his old band. He ended up meeting Bruce Hagist, URI Music Composition and Psychology major, Billy Hagist, URI graduate student with a degree in music education and Garrett Campbell, URI music education major.
Over a year ago, in February of 2014, the four music majors joined together to form He Heard Footsteps, with Barnhart and Bruce on guitar, Billy on drums and Campbell on bass guitar. Barnhart is originally from Westborough, Mass., Billy and Bruce are from Exeter, Rhode Island, and Campbell is from Coventry, Rhode Island.
In terms of influences, the band has a lot of respect for bands Explosions In The Sky, Caspian and Mogwai. Barnhart said that he has been listening to more and more bands in the genre, but enjoys other genres as well.
“We’re a pretty eclectic group,” Barnhart said. “We all have a diverse music taste.”
Currently, their songs are strictly instrumental, which Barnhart says “is a shame,” and he is “toying” with the idea of potentially adding vocals in the future. As a music composition major, he composes his own music but does not play his own work. He explained how he has one piece with vocals on it, which he took some poetry from T.S. Elliott and added some music to it.
Barnhart said that he is thinking about buying some gear to record his voice live and sample with it.
“We have a lot of plans as a band, but I don’t know if we have the money to do it,” Barnhart said.
He Heard Footsteps has been playing shows since Spring 2014, and just recorded a five-track EP, but they are not sure when they are going to officially release it. Over the next couple of years, they would like to quadruple their number of shows, and hopefully, get a couple of tours under their belt during this coming summer. They are booking a tour with their friend’s band, Northernmost.
Barnhart explained that his dream venue would either be a “really, really packed, tiny, venue, like someone’s basement,” or a huge venue like Madison Square Garden in New York. In the past, the band has played a few house shows, which Barnhart claimed was a lot of fun. “I think for different reasons, I love the idea of having a bunch of friends come and hang out for a house show,” Barnhart said.
Conversely, “my old band played for 2,000 people before,” Barnhart said. “Just looking out and seeing a sea of people was the coolest experience of my life.”
The band could potentially play for a festival like Warped Tour one day, but for now, Barnhart said the band will stick to some “DIY” tours.
He Heard Footsteps’ music can be found on Bandcamp, and after the EP’s release, it will be available on iTunes and Spotify. Their Facebook page has links to their Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Bandcamp, and Youtube, where the band hopes to release a music video on soon. Barnhart said that all of their shows are filmed on a GoPro, so they would like to do a multi-shot of clips from a bunch of different shows put together.
Catch the band this Friday, March 27, playing at The Wheelhouse in Narragansett. He Heard Footsteps will be playing with bands Milkbread and Northeast Traffic. Audience members must be 21 and over, there is a $5 cover, and the music starts at 9 p.m.