Luke Vande Heiden is the Grand Rapids-bred eclectic Rock songster performing under the moniker—The Heiden Underground. It's a Rock and Alternative festooned amalgamation of sonics that projects a sonic rendition with the foundations of mystifying storylines. And it all arrives in bipartite, like an A and B side record, as to not lose the sense of the millennial experience he's usually diffusing from every upbeat and cherubic upswell his latest musical catalog produces.
On "Monday Heroes"—the freshest release to arrive from his two-part release schedule—Heiden takes you on a purifying journey that traverse between an anthemic upbeat chorus and gospel-like mantras in the verse singing, "halls of angles, I walk alone, teenage dreams in a reality zone." It's his lyrical incantations that fester up the fleshy moments in music when goosebumps erupt from your skin, and that's precisely what happens here.
As the clean-amped guitar chaperones rhythm in tandem with the punchy drums and saturated bass-guitar, Heiden drops an introspective inquiry, for which he answers with thoroughgoing conviction, "What do we have to complain? Fortune beats on us through the rain." In the subsequent choruses, an urge to sing-along with the hymn-like hook erupts almost instantaneously, and as the core of the good-will, good-vibe sonic journey arrives at their epic electric guitar and vocal synergizing apexes, The Heiden Underground reminds his audience that the anthem rock influences are of his past are not far-gone.
Looking back, "Monday's Heroes" renders-up like those songs that you could listen to all day, completing any mundane and laborious task with a wide-eyed smile on your face. Though it may be more of a straight-forward, lyrically defining anthem rock track—varying from his previous eclectic-leaning escapades—Luke Vande Heinden proves that when he stretches out his creative arms, he's bound to grab onto something tangible and meaningful, embellishing himself with a new independent skin.
How did you go about recording "Monday's Heroes"? Were all the instruments done by you personally? Or are there guest musicians throughout?
Monday's Heroes was recorded at River City Studios in Grand Rapids, engineered by Austin Ruhstorfer. The lead guitar was played by Detroit-based guitarist Cory Allen, and bass was played by GR musician Koty Schoenberg. Everything else (rhythm guitar, drums, vocals) was played by me.
Can you tell us about some of the emotions you tend to channel into when performing your previous singles, and how it compared to those you drew from on "Monday's Heroes?
Monday's Heroes is definitely a nostalgia-driven song, whereas "Song For Shana" is about romantic disappointment, and "Whiz Kid" is more cynical as it deals with the dark side of social media and tech culture. But all of my songs, I would say, explore the choices we make as we go through life, whether it's societal/generational choices ("Whiz Kid" or "Monday's Heroes) or more personal ones ("Song For Shana" or "Walk Of Shame").
What's your favorite part about being an Independent Artist? Is it creative freedom? The ability to unpack and repackage your creative intuitions without outside doubts aiming back at you?
It's definitely creative freedom. I will fully admit to being a control freak when it comes to music and, scary as it sometimes is, I love the idea of every single decision in this project being mine. It also means I have no one else to blame when something doesn't work.
If you could give your listeners some words that you think would enhance the experience behind "Monday's Heroes," what would you say and why?
I hope "Monday's Heroes" connects with listeners who are maybe feeling some 90s nostalgia right now, who grew up with alternative rock and Lollapalooza and TRL, etc., and I hope it brings them back to high school for 4 minutes (in a good way!). I also hope it connects with a new generation of music fans who might be looking for something beyond what the Top 40 is feeding them, but that they can still crank up in the car and sing along to.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
A lot of different things actually. The city I live in, conversations with friends and fellow musicians, and even the pandemic in a weird way, how it said 'You have nothing to do but stay inside and make music. Do it.'