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Non-Prog Interviews

My American Heart

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Jesse Barrera of My American Heart from 2008
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at

How has living where you do affected your music?
I'm From San Diego California. Being home is a huge help for the writing process because you're in one stationary spot and actually have time to sit down and think of ideas, as opposed to being in a van with five other dudes, where you can't really concentrate. Writing is an art.. It's like how could you paint a picture with a bunch of people making noise around you to break your concentration?
MSJ: How long have you been playing and what was your first instrument?
I've been playing guitar for about 5-6 years now and  have been in bands since i started. It's funny cause my real first instrument was the clarinet, then I went onto playing Alto Sax. I was a band nerd!
MSJ: What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music?
We've gotten many comments, messages, and compliments about our band so it's really hard to pinpoint just one thing.. I remember we got a message about a girl who had been wanting to commit suicide and our record changed her life.. It's stuff like that, that keeps us going. It's really amazing to know our music can move people in such a big way.
MSJ: When you get bad reviews, do you let them get to you?
Sometimes they'll bum you out., of course! But most of the time they're just motivation to strive on and do better things. Once again, reviews are just opinions, I have them too.
MSJ: What are your main musical influences?
As a band we really love Jimmy Eat World, Muse, The Foo Fighters and Thrice. They've been a huge influence on the song writing. Personally I love more blues, and pop stuff. I really love John Mayer.
MSJ: What's the song you're most proud of writing?
I think the song I'm most proud of writing is a track on our new record called "Dangerous," It's amazing cause I never thought we'd write a song like it. - very blues and rhythm based, Stevie Ray Vaughan
influenced, but with our own sort of twist to it. I remember playing it for my dad for the first time and once the bridge kicked in he yelled really loud "Oh my God!" and started crying. That's how I knew that the song was moving.
MSJ: What's the last album you bought that you're enjoying?
Sara Bareilles - Little Voice
MSJ: Have you seen any great live shows lately?
Got to see Incubus at the SOUNDWAVE festival in Australia. They were great. Sigur Ros is amazing live as well.
MSJ: If you're life was a song, what song would it be?
"Stop This Train" by John Mayer
MSJ: What is your guilty pleasure band?
Oh God. I knew one of these days someone would ask, but Hanson. They're great song writers and their new record is legit.
MSJ: What was the first album you ever bought?
Jock Jams maybe? Or Bone Thugs & Harmony. (laughs)
MSJ: First concert you ever attended?
Nsync in 6th grade - loved it.
If you could create your own fantasy music festival, who would the top 6 headliners be?
Muse, Rush, Pink Floyd, John Mayer as an opening act, The Killers and Silverchair
Do you support any specific charities and how do you give back as an artist?
We've always been supporting the Keep a breast foundation, and invisible children. Doing shows for them.
Do you actually participate in other social networking sites aside from MySpace?
MSJ: Have you read any great books lately?
I'm really big into Charles Bukowski. War All The Time is unbelievable.
If you were a superhero what famous musician would be your arch-nemesis and why?
That's a tough one! I'd say Alex Lifeson of Rush just cause he could shred anyone's face off.
MSJ: What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?
My Gibson Les Paul Custom that I'm actually selling right now
MSJ: Have you ever illegally downloaded music?
Do it all the time. I support downloading music.
MSJ: What do you think of fans recording and trading live shows?
It's for memories!
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Wish I had one
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