In 2008, aspiring musician Kendall Schmidt met fellow musician Dustin Belt, who was twenty. Upon realizing that they lived on the same street, Heffron Drive, Burbank, California, the two joined forces to form one of the most intriguing indie pop duos ever. Shortly after creating the band, however, Kendall books the Nickelodeon/Columbia Records television show Big Time Rush as one of the four leading members, and Dustin became the touring guitarist for the band.
The two spent nearly five years on the road with Big Time Rush, which is currently on indefinite hiatus, leading to the revival of Heffron Drive. Both Kendall and Dustin are excited about their upcoming projects and look forward to spreading their music across the world. In the past year, Heffron Drive made sure to keep in touch with their vast international fan base, performing sold-out shows in countries such as Italy, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and more. Heffron Drive also broke new ground with a worldwide streaming concert event called “Live from Montevideo” so that fans in every corner of the globe could watch the concert from their own homes.
Additionally, Heffron Drive has released two new singles, “Don’t Let Me Go” and “Rain Don’t Come,” which feature the band taking an exciting new musical path. I recently had the chance to ask founding member Kendall Schmidt about the band’s creative inspirations, process, and upcoming projects, as well as what brings out the nerd in him. Check it out below!
Who are some of your biggest inspirations as a musician?
I love so many different artists but pay special attention to bands like Incubus, Walk The Moon, Radiohead, Taking Back Sunday.
Musically, how would you say that being on “Big Time Rush” and being a part of that band has impacted you?
Well, it definitely changed my life forever. And now I use all the different blessings I got from that experience to further the rest of my career.
Has it in any way affected Heffron Drive’s sound, and if so, how?
I did a lot of writing for Big Time Rush, so I learned more about my craft. But overall, writing a Heffron Drive song is a completely different process.
You mention on your website that Heffron Drive spent over a year working on “Rain Don’t Come.” What was that process like?
(laughs) That was like a love/hate relationship. We had so many computer and recording rig issues with that song in particular that it took forever to finish. But we had other stuff to do in the meantime.
What were some of the challenges that you all faced throughout that process?
I wish music recorded itself sometimes (laughs). But for real, I’m doing the whole process myself, so it really takes a lot of effort.
What are you most proud of in respect to that track?
The flute. First time recording a flute for me.
What was the creative inspiration for the music video for your latest single, “Don’t Let Me Go”?
I wanted it to be full of crazy visuals and somehow, through the whole process, it really ended up full of parallels to the music and lyrics.
Musically, what’s next on the horizon for Heffron Drive?
More music. An EP or LP. And more videos.
How has the launch of Live from Montevideo affected your approach to live performances?
There are plenty of people all over the world who would love to see a concert even if it’s on the computer. I feel that it’s going to be much more common in the next few years to stream concerts like that.
What books, movies, TV shows, etc. bring out the nerd in you?
Love “Mythbusters,” “Crocodile Hunter”…pretty much anything Animal Planet and Discovery. Gotta have me some “Alaskan Bush People”!