Heaps Good Friends Interview – Nick O’Connor – 1st April 2018
Wrapped up in woollens on a cold rainy day in Newcastle, I was met with the sunny demeanour of Nick O’Connor. With a national tour underway and the release of their latest EP, Hug Me, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement that is Heaps Good Friends. For those not familiar with the Adelaide trio, picture yourself bouncing around in a jumping castle while holding an enormous stick of fairy floss, that’s also wearing a tiny hat and covered in peanut butter; in other words, it’s an explosion of high energy, outrageously fun peanut brittle pop that deserves a place in your Spotify playlist (and your heart).
Growing up on the good graces of Michael Jackson and The Beach Boys, Nick delved into the energetic and wholesome side of the industry from an early age. While generic pop music tends to get a bad rapt for coming across as trashy and dumb, Nick and bandmates Emma Fradd and Dan Steinert, ‘…really enjoy some realness [in their pop music], but also we like shaking the bums. A good pop song is about drawing people in with the rhythm and the hooks…just hooks every day’.
When it comes to song writing, Heaps Good Friends rely on their surroundings and their friends for their inspiration. Emma likes to take note of when people reveal tiny parts of themselves to the world, where ‘…it’s those little ‘isms’ that happen and make you think, that’s a bit magical and did anyone else notice that? Those little clues are wonderful, or can be interesting or heartbreaking’. When these lyrics are mashed together with the infectious guitar licks of Heaps Good Friends, it makes for a fun-filled indie pop explosion; a time to focus on the positives and to not sweat the small stuff.
While it might have been the allure of Billie Jean and high school fame that prompted Nick to initially take up music, it was his friendship with bandmate Emma that really brought Heaps Good Friends to fruition. With a friendship spanning over ten years, the band became about celebrating their relationship and this ‘…explosion of happiness that was really inspiring…with someone you just creatively connect with’. After Emma moved back to Australia, they finally got the chance to dive in and began writing and recording.
With an upcoming show at The Small Ballroom on Friday 13th of April, Heaps Good Friends could not be more excited to touch down in Newcastle. With supports such as She’s My You and Milky Thread tagging along, Nick has been preparing for a raucous, fun-filled night. ‘I’ve get wicked vibes on both of those bands…She’s My You have got production sorted and I can’t wait to have a nerdy chat with those dudes’. When it comes to Milky Thread, Nick confessed that ‘They look like a whole pile of fun to jump into…but I think they’re buying [their] coolness with Bitcoin on the part of the internet that I can’t find’.
For those of you who who’ve yet to delve into the wonderful world of Heaps Good Friends, let this be a call to arms. Queue up their illustrious Hug Me EP and dance around while you deal with the post-apocalyptic mess of Easter, or simply feel free to walk down the street singing of eating yo-yo’s and hugging longer; I dare you to try and keep the smile from your face.
Bree is a Newcastle import who survives off British television and hummus. She spends the majority of her time chasing bands up and down the east coast or lost in a wormhole of related artists on Spotify.