If you’re looking for some fresh new music, you definitely should check out Kendall Schmidt and Dustin Belt of Heffron Drive, aka HD. With their debut album Happy Mistakes being released September 9, fans are in for a real treat. Come spend your Labor Day weekend with us—and Heffron Drive! The band performs here at iPlay America’s event center September 1.
You may know Kendall Schmidt from the American boy band (and Nickelodeon series), Big Time Rush! The group was put together back in 2009 for the series and picked up a major following. Schmidt’s new Heffron Drive bandmate, Belt, was the star of a short film August, and played guitar for Big Time Rush when the group was on the road.
These Kansas natives just so happened to live on the same street and connected right away through their music. Heffron Drive was originally formed in 2008. In 2013 after the Big Time Rush television series ended, HD came back to life. Schmidt takes care of all the band’s business through his very own label, TOLbooth Records. Nothing will stop this duo from reaching the top!
Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to check in with Heffron Drive and get the scoop on the new album and more. Here’s our Q&A with Kendall Schmidt!
iPlay America: What made you want to name the album Happy Mistakes?
Heffron Drive: There were a couple of options actually. I usually feel an album should be the name of a song ON the album—call me old school. ”Happy Mistakes,” the song, had such a great overall message that it seemed to be the perfect fit. The rest is history. I always wanted to say that!
What is your favorite song/lyrics you worked on during the process of making this album?
There are a few songs that I produced entirely myself, in addition to writing and co-producing every song. Those have just a little extra quirk that I think might be a kind of style. I don’t want to say which ones because I want people to look at the credits.
If Heffron Drive could tour with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
This is such a difficult question! There are so many legends that I could name, so I’ll go with someone currently touring and say [the band] The 1975.
There has been a great response to your hit song “Parallel.” What made you choose that as your lead single off of the album?
I felt at the time it was the best representation of Heffron Drive’s style. It has a great hook, guitar, and dub step love. It’s kind of the perfect type of song for me.
What was the transition from being in Big Time Rush to the band Heffron Drive like?
It was by far the riskiest thing I could have done! I know that in order to be successful in anything you have to take risks and try your best. Sometimes things can be overwhelming, especially because HD is released though my own label, TOLbooth Records, however, I know that I wouldn’t be here at all if there wasn’t an army of people supporting the project. The fans single-handedly keep it going in the end, and we love them very much for that.
With Happy Mistakes being released through your new record label, TOLbooth Records, how was your experience making this album?
Every decision has to come through me, which is a responsibility that I never had. And, to be honest, most of the time, I just try to go with my gut, no matter what the potential issue.
We heard you are working on a documentary.
Yes, it’s really just filming key moments in the progression of HD to be cut into a proper documentary. There are a couple really cool developments in the TV world I’m working on.
How would you describe Heffron Drive’s style of music? What can your fans expect from the album Happy Mistakes?
I’d say that HD is heavily influenced by guitar and synth. And the main topic of discussion is definitely love. Over the years, the sound has taken on a life of its own. I really can’t wait to see what people think. We are very proud of the songs regardless.
What do you both like to do in your free time?
We both love doing active things. We have a very tight group of friends and we try to get together with them as often as possible. Both of us are also very close with our families, so we try to fit in as much family time as possible.
When you come to iPlay America on September 1, do you think you guys will head on in for a round of Cosmic Battle Laser Tag?
Uhhhhhhh…YES!! Do you really need to ask? Heffron Drive is a competitive team.
Where would a band be with out the support of its fans? New Jersey can’t wait to hear HD’s new music September 1 at iPlay America. Heffron Drive answered some of their biggest fans’ questions. The fans got deep and weren’t afraid to get right down to business. We reached out to our followers via Twitter to see what they would ask our new pals.
@BRTrusher112 What would you rather be: a bunny-sized elephant or an elephant sized bunny?
A bunny-sized elephant for sure. I think that would grab a lot of attention.
@rxdicirwin If you were a cookie, what kind would you be?
I’d be a Pazooki!
@faithsansone Who are the people who have inspired you to become who you are today?
Ultimately, my family is the biggest inspiration. They, without a doubt, keep my head up when I second guess myself. They are the ones who encouraged me to be whoever I wanted to be and also instilled an understanding of respect and how it goes both ways. A close second are the people who say I inspire them. Man, that’s a cool feeling.
@ofhenderson How do you feel when a fan tells you something personal or that you have saved his or her life?
Wow, that’s a good question. I feel like that’s something you could never get used to. I usually try to get them to understand that the number one driving force in their life is themselves. And I’m just happy the music can help them feel better when times get tough. I’m honored, really.
@xojenna26 How has your music evolved since you first began playing together as Heffron Drive?
If anything, it has just opened up creatively. Now we just want to make music that makes us feel something and hope it makes others feel the same thing.
@Megan1_BTR Who is Heffron Drive’s favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?
I’m not sure that it’s possible to just pick one, but speaking for myself, Leonardo!
@jessnort Do you each have your own music downloaded onto your iPods?
Absolutely! If you can’t listen to and love your own music then how can you expect anyone else to?
Here is your chance to win your VIP tickets for free! Click here to head over to our Facebook page and tell us in 200 words or less why you would love to meet Heffron Drive! Only one entry per person. One winner will be selected randomly. Odds are dependent on the number of entries. Deadline for entry is August 28, 2014 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified by email and/or phone. Must be 18 years old or older to enter.
Lauren Hoffman is a 21 year old Jersey girl who has fallen in love with the entertainment industry. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Public Relations. She loves live music, reality television, New York City, and the beach. You can most likely find Lauren at a concert venue or daydreaming about Nashville, Tennessee. @LaurennnHoffman on Twitter.