Article by site contributor Mitch Miller
Haunted Hearts is the newest project from husband/wife duo Brandon Welchez and Dee Dee Penny. Playing for Crodiles and Dum Dum Girls respectively, the two have played with each other before but this is their first album together. Recently I got the chance to interview one half of the duo, Brandon Welchez.
End Of The Universe: How did the idea for this project come about?
Brandon Welchez: I think we were just bored one night at home. We were probably stoned out of our gourds and I’m sure I was probably just fucking around on guitar and Dee Dee starting humming a melody and that was the first song. I think it was just an easy fun way to avoid going outside during our first NYC winter.
EOTU: For this album did you try to go with a sound similar or different to what you normally do?
BW: In general I don’t want there to be a thing I normally do. Obviously my music will all have some sort of common thread running through it but I really want to just be free to make whatever kind of music I feel like without concern of whether it makes sense in my catalog or whatever. So I wasn’t very concerned whether this project came out Crocodilian or not. I figured the stuff Dee Dee and I came up with would naturally sound different to what Charlie and I come up with. I didn’t think too much about it, honestly.
EOTU: What’s new in the way you recorded this album compared to others you have made?
BW: This one didn’t have a budget haha. It was very DIY – self produced with our good friend in San Diego, Jon Greene and done very quickly. I don’t want to say that we took it less seriously than we do Dum Dums or Crocs but it was very much just for fun. We had written the songs on acoustic guitars in NYC and went to San Diego with those skeletons; we worked very fast in the studio writing the bass lines and riffs and stuff on the fly as we went along. There wasn’t really much time or money to fuck around.
EOTU: I know that you guys have played together before but, does this seem any different being just you two?
BW: We’ve done a lot of acoustic shows together but that was always playing Crocs and DDG songs – this was the first time we really wrote together besides the Xmas song we wrote a few years ago.
EOTU: Does being married change the way you play and record together?
BW: Not really sure. I suppose we’re both aware that a music project is pretty arbitrary compared to a marriage so I think the idea is just to keep it fun. If it was ever causing major disagreements or something we wouldn’t do it.
EOTU: What’s the best thing about working so closely with each other?
BW: The best part is just that it gives us a bit more time to hang out. We both tour so much in our respective bands that we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like to.
EOTU: Where did the name Haunted Hearts come from?
BW: It came from a song on a TV Smith solo album.
EOTU: How did you choose the title Initiation?
BW: It just seemed to make sense being that it’s a first album; it sort of invites the listener to be a voyeur into our little world or to join our cult or whatever.
EOTU: Do you plan on taking Haunted Hearts on tour?
BW: It’ll probably be more of a thing of doing one off shows or super short tours only because our other projects are so busy.
EOTU: If people wanted more information about the band where should they go?