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Editor's note: KSL.com does a monthly feature on local musicians/bands in the community. If you have an up-and-coming band/musician in mind, feel free to email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a contact email for the artist, if available.SALT LAKE CITY — "I'm sorry for the delay, but I've been dusting off my grave," shouts Heartless Breakers singer Chase Griffis on the Salt Lake band’s new track, "Procrastinate."
It’s a fitting opening line, given the band has largely been quiet since releasing its debut full-length album, "The Great Give Back," on Animal Style Records in 2015.
However, guitarist Matt Mascarenas said the lyric wasn’t specifically about the band’s hiatus.
“It was about feeling stagnant with life in general,” he said. “But it ultimately came out because of the fact that we took so much time off from the band — it has been very foreign for us.”
The band — made up of Griffis, Mascarenas and bassist Sean Jurewicz — was formed in 2013. Prior to releasing an album with Animal Records, the band put out two EPs on its own, "Prescriptions" and "Lighter Doses."
Though the group took some time off after its last release, the members of the band didn’t stand still.
“We've still been busy,” Mascarenas said. “We've all still been writing in and outside of Heartless Breakers. I put out a record with my other project, Westing, earlier this year. And Chase is gearing up to release a new Nerve Clinic record in early 2018.”
Mascarenas said the time apart has been good for the band.
“Things feel a lot better. We needed a break from taking the band seriously and focus on lives at home,” he said. “We ended up recording a handful of new songs during the spring of 2017, and it felt great. We took an organic approach and wrote while at the studio and let the songs come out however they did without overthinking anything.”
The Heartless Breakers’ catalog is filled with perfectly crafted emo songs, in the vein of Taking Back Sunday and The Used. Though most songs are driven by churning guitars, on tracks like "Apartment 1E," the Breakers show they can easily navigate between soft and heavy, moving from light finger-picking to fast-fingered riffing — all set to heart-on-sleeve lyrics.
Mascarenas said the sound hasn’t changed, but they’ve taken a slightly different approach with their new songs.
“(They’re) definitely more natural and simple — and I can safely say this is relatable to not only our music, but our personal lives. Beforehand, I felt like we disciplined ourselves so much that it was starting to take away from the direction we wanted to go. This time we were more straight forward and let it come out without complicating anything, and I think you'll be able to hear that in the new record."
The new EP will be available sometime in 2018, and then they’ll hit the road for an East Coast tour. In the meantime, they’re sticking close to home with a few local concerts.
Though the band has kept a low profile recently, fans haven’t forgotten about them.
“I see new faces and make new friends at every show we play, and there's always room for more of them,” Mascarenas say. “So keep coming out!”