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Wednesday
Apr292009

Heartsrevolution




by Rachel Rabbit White

The giddy electronic sound of Heartsrevolution is both infectious and haunting -- sometimes sugar coated but always piercing. Sweethearts and band-mates, Lo and Ben are two pieces of the BFF necklace that make up this riot grrrl spirited electro-thrash band. Heartsrevolution first got media attention not solely for their music but also for their bubble-gum colored ice cream trucks. The band drove the truck to shows in Los Angeles selling candy, imported ice creams, toys and band merchandise. It was an idea lead singer Lo dreamed up at age 14 while laying on a rock at a rave in the desert. Now the band has a signature fleet of the pink ice cream trucks in LA, New York and Miami. 

Aesthetically, the Heartsrevolution-Hearts Challenger brand is like the real life embodiment of candy-flipping. It is instantly recognizable and spans everything they do, whether that is making glow-in-the-dark vinyl records or selling hot pink toy guns online. The band's mantra is "Choose Your Own Adventure", a lifestyle philosophy which is about breaking the cycle of conformity and living a life that moves you, in the words of Lo, "whatever the fuck you want to do." In this interview the band talks about their story of breaking from that cycle, becoming feminist darlings, and growing together as musicians. 

RW: What does the pink mask do?
Lo: The eyes are a window for the soul and the pink mask is kind of like protection for your eyes. Half of my family is from the middle east where they cover their entire bodies except their eyes and I kinda think it's like a reverse. What's so special about my ankles?! I wanna protect my eyes. People get so set off by the mask that you would think it would draw more attention, but people just stay away. It works to my advantage because I don't have to engage; it's a boundary. For the first couple shows I didn't have it on, and I was so scared, but then with it on I felt like no one could really see me. But I love that it's taken on its own thing: we sell the make up online and kids send in photos of them wearing it, kids come to shows wearing the mask. It's kind of the embodiment of being your own superhero. It's like it doesn't matter what color it is or how you wear it; it doesn't matter who's behind it; it's about a movement and a feeling. 

RW: I think Heartsrevolution on some level is about engaging people's inner child,. Where does that come from? 
Ben: Personally, I think we as a band are all very childlike. So I think some of that comes through. 

Lo: I, personally, did not have a childhood. When I was younger I was trying to be my mother's husband and dealing with finances and why we didn't have enough money. The older you get the further you get away from those instinctive childhood dreams of "I wanna be this" and "I can be this and do anything because I want it." You really get that beaten out of you.

RW: What adventure have you chosen for your life?
Lo: I think the embodiment of the spirit of Heartsrevolution is the Choose Your Own Adventure Model, and I think in this world people love to tell you what is possible and what is not, and you can become a victim of circumstance to your background, your education, your family but we do whatever the fuck we wanna do. 

RW: So many people don't go after their dreams. Why do you think this is? 
Lo: We are instilled with fear from the moment we are born, then you become a victim of circumstance. I personally came from the wrong fucking background and had a lot of problems with drugs and bad lifestyle choices. I had a baby when I was a teenager and certain things just are not possible for teenage mothers. You have to break that cycle, the first time is the hardest one but once you do it it's like a fucking roller coaster. Who wants to go to a job they hate everyday for $10 an hour? But they keep you afraid and in that cycle. You have to create your own infrastructure. 



RW: You've said before in interviews that Heartsrevolution and Hearts Challenger is a lifestyle brand. What does that mean for you? 
Lo: We said that as kind of a joke. But it is a self contained unit,: we are creating projects, experiences, songs and videos in accordance to the same visual aesthetic. The Choose Your Own Adventure Model became our brand. It encompasses all of the projects that we do and in a way that there is integrity behind everything, it's not a marketing ploy. We want to make stuff that is beautiful, like in 20 years you have a white heart shaped record...that's something that is beautiful. 

RW: I see Heartsrevolution as this bubble, the aesthetic spanning everything, almost protecting it. But at the same time you are constantly giving away a piece of that bubble whether it is through a heart shaped record or some ice cream. 
Lo: Heartsrevolution is such an insane dichotomy. Half of it is like a child wanting to share and the other half is like anger and wanting to cry and fight. Even the symbol is so guarded: the heart is the symbol of love and then you have the two unicorns protecting it. 

RW: What are you guys listening to these days?
Lo: Motown, we almost always have Motown on. I have this obsession where I listen to one song over and over. I can listen to a smiths song 5,000 times in a weekend, it's like why anyone listens to anything that's out today I have no idea.

RW: So I am really into the pink aesthetic, I think it totally works. 
Lo: I fucking hated pink my entire life then all of the sudden I hit 25 and I was like I want the faintest shade of pink, not barbie pink. If you look at what I wear it's almost beige. I wanted a whisper of neon and some holograph stickers-- this was before nu rave and dance music really happened. I think that we've done a really good job of creating something that's us. When the Ed Banger thing happened the whole world paired up like fucking Noah's Ark with two boy DJs everywhere. So-Me's graphics were everywhere. People don't wanna stand on their own two feet and do their own shit. And so navigating through the past two years of that you know when something has staying power and when it is different. 

RW: From a guys point of view why is Heartsrevolution awesome? 
Ben: Aesthetically there is such a strong identity with it, also I like try to make a balance in everything we do. When everything is pink it makes more leeway for something ugly or dark sounding. 
Lo: I am so angry. We don't have freedom of speech we just have freedom to say what they want us to say and how they want us to say it. You cant say fuck in public but you can say rape. 

RW: So what issues get you fired up? 
Lo: Oh, don't get started with this bitch. I think the world is full of cruel inner circles where it's a who's who game of hipster fucking bullshit. We are not concerned with making music for the 200 hipsters in all of the major cities. Also the fact that there is this crazy celebrity obsession with these poor girls like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. They build up these pop stars to unrealistic standards and then they love to rip them apart. All the while there are little girls and boys getting raped and killed all around the world starving and getting AIDS... and we are worried about Jennifer Aniston? If this continues we are going to be in a very bad place. You know when this Travis/AM thing happened? I saw the whole internet community rally. I would never wish that on anyone but if we would collectively take all of this energy and focus it on something that really fucking matters then anything would be possible! 

RW: I know you've said you grew up listening to riot grrrl, where is riot grrrl's influence in Heartsrevolution? 
Lo: I have been a riot grrrl since I was 13 years old. I will be a riot grrl 'till I die. I grew up in the crux of that. When I was really young I worked at this all ages club in LA and I got to see all of those bands: Bikini Kill, Bratmobile,Heavens to Betsy, I put on Sleater Kinneys first show! The whole thing was so magical. I dropped out of school in 9th grade because the kids were so horrible. So riot grrrl was like my family but then it became a thing where it was just as bad as the kids at school because it was like "you can't be into anything else this is your thing. " For me, and Heartsrevolution is riot grrl lyrically and content wise. I want to be able to give riot grrl a new face and take over where Kathleen Hanna and even Kim Gordon fizzled out. We need that more so than ever in fucking history with this ridiculous Disney machine that keeps cranking out assholes. We need to have something to counter balance for the kids. I wanna make music that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore will like have Coco listening to. She's thirteen/fourteen years old now, who the fuck is she going to listen to? 

RW: Also especially with electro because it is such a boys club. 
Lo: It IS such a boys club! I hate it. I like to think that we are like the future: Heartsrevolution are a fusion of hip hop and what's going on in the streets with amazing electronic music and a riot grrrl spirit. Without it being written off as "whiny girl music". People get all hung up on , "Oh she's screaming." Who wants to hear another woman with a guitar singing folk music? I don't! I have something to say.

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