Heathens is a “Punk N’ Roll” band made up of Bret Von Dehl, Fast Eddie Thomas, and Joey Sanchez.
You may have heard of Bret Von Dehl’s former band, The Relapse Symphony, who had released multiple records and toured with Vans Warped Tour in 2015. Heathens is an even harder hitting band filled with twice the attitude of Dehl’s previous work. Below, you can catch an interview with Bret on his transition between bands, artistic inspiration, and more!

1) Can you explain how Heathens came about?

Heathens is an idea I’ve had in my head since like, 2015. I was feeling really creatively unfulfilled in my ex-band. I had all of the ideas and things I wanted to say that were just not going over well in one way or another with my ex-bandmates, I guess. I wanted to make music that sounded like what we liked, and some of us wanted to follow trends and do the “industry” thing, or whatever. So, I started making songs out of all my own ideas around 2015. I wrote “Pop Scars” in January of 2015. That’s when I started taking the idea of starting a new band very seriously. The members were just natural, obvious choices. Me, Eddie, and Joey go way back to our high school bands.

2) What inspires you artistically and musically? Has the inspiration for your music changed when writing songs for Heathens rather than your former band?

What I’m inspired by is kind of always changing. Recently, it’s been the power and energy people put into celebrities and technology. We’re so obsessed with those two things. A celebrity is now president. It’s disgusting – I could go all day. But, I write about all kinds of things, which you will see as we release more music. It’s pretty different than my former band in the sense that I usually wasn’t allowed to write because my stuff “wasn’t good enough.” Haha! I get to write all the lyrics and a lot of the music now. It’s awesome.

3) You just released the Heathens’ debut single, “Pop Scars,” along with a bonus track, “Don’t Talk To Me.” What has the fan response been like so far, and how do you feel those songs will represent upcoming releases as well?
Well, it’s actually a single that contains those two tracks. Like, an “A-side, B-side” type of thing. The bonus track is something we send you if you buy the single off of our bandcamp page. We like to try and do cool things for people who support us. And I mean, we’re so new… Do we have “fans” yet? Haha. I mean, a lot of people are saying they think it’s great which, is rad to hear! I wasn’t sure what to expect, or if anyone would give a shit at all. I’m grateful for every person who’s bought it or has been listening to it. We’re just making the kind of rock n’ roll we like, so we welcome anyone who wants to join us for the ride! The upcoming material will be fucking great. At least I think it is, so that’s all I care about.
4) Heathens has yet to play a live show. Which will your live production consist of? Straight up classic rock n’ roll show, or a more modern rock theatrical route?
Eh. We’re just trying to rock. Fuck theatrics. I don’t care about bullshit. I just wanna play our music for people who are into it. Which we will, shortly.
5) Younger fans may not know of all of the artists who influence you such as Misfits and Sex Pistols. Name 5 artists that you want readers to check out immediately.

Aw, man. ONLY FIVE?! Haha. If I could name five bands to sum up our sound, I’d say: Dead Boys, TSOL, Black Halos, Gallows, Ramones. (I know everyone knows the Ramones, but I feel like that’s a kinda-maybe-sorta accurate representation of our sound.)

6) You are well known for your design and art work as well as your music. Will you be incorporating more of your own visual art into Heathens through merch, album art, etc.?
Oh, yeah. I do all that stuff myself. We do everything ourselves, which I love. I think it’s the best way to go. Fuck everyone else trying to get a cut of your shit.
7) What does Heathens have coming up for the rest of 2017?

Well, in the near-future we are finishing up the writing of an EP we’re putting together. We’re shooting a video for Pop Scars. Then, we’re looking to go play! Thanks to everyone who digs HEATHENS. No Gods. You are your own. Make your own way. Believe in yourself.

Buy their first music release off of their bandcamp here.

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Questions and article by Dominique Benedict.