Heffron Drive, the LA-based duo composed of “Big Time Rush” star Kendall Schmidt and Dustin Belt, released their new single, “Rain Don’t Come” this spring and are only getting started. Ahead of their tour and more new music, we caught up with the guys about what inspires them and how they challenge themselves as musicians.
What did your time with Big Time Rush prepare you both for what you’re doing with Heffron Drive today?
Kendall: BTR was an amazing experience. There were endless lessons to learn from, not just on the performance side, but also the business of how a band works. There are notable differences between the two bands, but a lot of the inspiration of wanting to start TOLbooth Records was so that I made the decisions on how Heffron Drive would operate. All of that aside, the two of us learned that the fans come first, and we learned how life is on the road.
Dustin: I was only on the live performance side of things, so I definitely learned a lot in those years. It was also a chance for us to be surrounded by the technical side of things, which is something that I have grown to love and appreciate. I don’t think I understood a lot of that side of the business before joining those tours.
What inspired your new song, “Rain Don’t Come?”
Kendall: “Rain Don’t Come” is metaphorical representation of following your dreams no matter what.
Dustin: We wanted to write something that we felt kept our pop influences and fan base, but also reached a whole new audience as well incorporating more “indie rock” tendencies.
Kendall: For its music video, we wanted to have a strong visual component that explained the message in an abstract and meaningful way. I think we achieved that.
Dustin: We spent over a year spit-balling ideas and trying to figure out exactly what we wanted to do. It wound up being a huge team effort from our friends and family, all the way down to the horse.
How do you challenge yourself as musicians to constantly be better at your craft?
Dustin: We’re always listening to new music and new types of music. A lot of that comes from traveling and listening to what is being listened to in other parts of the world. We just got back from Italy and it was so interesting to hear what is popular there right now. Some of the songs weren’t even in Italian, but in Spanish and French. It was really cool to experience that.
Kendall: By staying as creative as possible. The beauty of music is the ability to make different kinds of music. We never have to fit into anyone else’s mold.
In your opinion, what sets you both apart from other bands in the industry?
Kendall: That we make all the decisions for our band, and that we have a strong and dedicated team of people behind us. We are constantly innovating at a rapid pace and continue to make music that has real meaning.
Dustin: First off, we’re an indie band signed under Kendall’s label, TOLBooth Records. We also make all the decisions for the band. There’s no chain of command or bosses up the ladder somewhere, it’s just us. We also write, produce, and record everything ourselves. I think in this day and age, if you want to be successful, you have to really buckle down and bust your ass to learn as much as you can about the business you’re in. Kendall and I are in the studio five days a week working and learning. It’s a lot of work, but the reward of getting to play shows and create something that we’re proud of is worth it.
What’s next for the two of you?
Kendall: More music, more videos, more touring, more traveling, and more having a fantastic time doing it.
Dustin: We’re in full promo mode for “Rain Don’t Come” right now. We’ve got another single and video that’s ready to go, but for right now “Rain Don’t Come” is our main priority. And we have some tour dates coming up.