The Heartland Collective – Interview

Interview with Mick Johnson of The Heartland Collective and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

MJ: I feel I’m still finding that out, but so far I guess I’m a solo artist who is not afraid to embrace whatever genre comes out of me. Although I’m mainly rock based I write and produce for the song, and even if that means I need a rap vocal on a track I’ll put it in there. I feel each of my songs deserve their own sonic identity and because I use different creative talents on each, that’s what they get.


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

MJ: I’m quite long in the tooth, there’s a lot to tell. I started life drumming in punk/rock/metal bands in the 80’s and have graduated to writing, recording and releasing my own music. My new single My Deepest Darkest Friend is my second release and is for me a very personal track.


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

MJ: Musically I come from 80’s rock & metal to very recently loving the dynamic dirty rock of Royal Blood.  But for writing I feel the authenticity of Johnny Cash and the brutal reality NIN dishes out really underlines what I try to do with my music.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

MJ: My dream is to write and produce a body of music and take it on tour around the globe.


PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

MJ: I write the songs. They normally start as autobiographical, but then develop into a bigger thought and concept. I could start off writing about an emotion but very quickly I want the song to tell a bigger story.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

MJ: I promote through social media, although I do remember standing outside a nightclub in 1987 handing out cassette tapes to the queue of big haired rockers. When I eventually do shows, it’ll be a whole new experience promoting it.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

MJ: As long as it’s downloaded from a legit source and the artist is getting what they are due, then fine.  It’s about respect.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

MJ: Pretty Vacant  – Sex Pistols, for me its a song that’ll never get old and I would love to have been responsible for the attitude and angst that pervades it. Never Mind The Bollocks will always be relevant and needed.


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

MJ: Having to amass thousands of social media followers in order for anyone to take notice of your music. Apart from that I’m a pretty chilled good vibes guy!


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

MJ: There’s two: touring Europe as a drummer with a band I was in; and releasing my first solo single ‘I Just Don’t Know’. Both for very different reasons.


PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

MJ: I’m working on the follow up to my new single. My new single is called My Deepest Darkest Friend which is out on the 25th June. It’s a brutal and beautiful tale about the fight between good and evil that goes on in all of us. I’ve just finished the music video  to accompany the track which I directed and edited. The music video premiere is on Youtube and Vevo on the 25th June. The follow up to this track is probably going to be a single called ‘Gun 2 My Head’ which is in the final stages of production and is sharing the same themes and concept of the current release.


PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?

MJ: My first single was called I Just Don’t Know and you can buy it from all good download sites.

But the next single My Deepest Darkest Friend is out on the 25th June which you can also pre-order!

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Band/Artist location – Durham England
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