Six-piece indie/folk band The Head and The Heart was formed through a series of open mic nights in Seattle and soon was recording their first self-titled album. Their second, "Let's Be Still," was released in August 2013 and debuted at number 10 on Billboard 200. Now they are on a North American Tour that includes performances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, and a stop at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
Drummer Tyler Williams chats with Miami.com on the heels of their performance at Coachella.
How was your second time playing at Coachella?
The first time was two years ago. We were in the smallest tent at like 3 o'clock in the afternoon and now we are in the second largest stage at 5:20 and it feels good to move up, you know? Other than that, there was kind of a dust storm on Saturday that kicked up in our set and it was a little weird; I was getting sand blasted in the face.
Do you prefer big festivals or smaller, intimate shows?
I think each kind of has its own pros and cons. A large festival is more of a party. There's more people watching you play. At smaller, more intimate festivals, you're becoming friends with people who are seeing you. There may be a thousand people on the whole island but you are more connected to the audience.
How do you prepare to face a large audience?
I think if you don't get nervous, it's not a good thing. Probably about 10 minutes before we go on, we all kind of pace around and we'll take a shot of tequila or something like that. I definitely do a lot of stretching before we go on. I try and get into the zone, mentally, and try and bring out this alter-superhero ego.
How do you stay entertained while on tour?
At first it's not a lifestyle for anyone, but you kind of find the things you like to do. I look for new restaurants in a place and find local food I've never tried before. It's my favorite thing to do. Usually I walk around and visit museums and take in the sites. Obviously, everybody misses home. When you're gone you miss your friends and family. It's a different life that most people won't get to do so you have to take advantage of the opportunity.
Have you been to Miami before? There's definitely a lot to do here.
I hear that. No, I've never been to Miami. I'm looking forward to the beach. Is that what everyone does down there?
It depends, but you should hit the beach. What's your input when it comes to songwriting?
When Jon, Josiah and Charity bring parts of a song - sometimes a whole song, but that's pretty rare - we all kind of sit down and arrange it. So my hand is definitely in the arranging aspect and the restructuring or ending what they've already done. That's what I love to do and what I've excelled at. I don't really write melodies or create lyrics or anything like that. It's more about the structuring to make things work as a song flows. That's definitely my favorite part. I think it's something about energy and how we understand the flow of a song or how to build impact into a song by the way it's arranged.
How important are the lyrics in your songs?
I think it's one of the most important parts of our band. Everything that we write about is who we are. There's an honesty and openness to what we try to get across.
Is it easy to keep a good relationship with your band members?
[Laughs] At first we kind of fought like brothers and sisters and we pushed each others' buttons but now we learned to be our own personality and grow into who we are as people. We let other people be who they are and whatever you want to do is fine, you're not attacking me, so now we definitely fight a lot less and we get along better.
That's great, especially if you all plan on doing this for a while.
Yeah, you just got to let people be people.