Street: You describe your genre as “Windows Down, Speakers Up,” but if you had to assign your music an actual genre, what would it be? (Ed. Note: The HeyDaze were formerly Hey Day.)
Pop would definitely be in the title of it. But it’s not straight-up pop.….Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Fun!—they’re all pop. There seems to be a little more thought into it and older people can grab onto [it] as well.
S: But pop has this stereotype of only being for teenagers and tween girls. Are you trying to reach a wider audience? Or are you okay being a teenage sensation?
We don’t just want to appeal to teenage girls, though we are very happy to have them as fans. Eventually, we would like to be something like… Maroon 5 or a Bruno Mars, [who have] this mass appeal where they can be enjoyed by a 13-year-old girl or a 21-year-old guy or a 50 year-old-woman. We have found through these tours that we appeal to the teenage-girl demographic. We’re working a little bit on getting a little bit of an older demographic as well. At the end of the day, you know, obviously we would be thrilled to be able to pursue this and make money doing this. If it’s skewed younger, then that’s how it would go. We wouldn't want to have [people] telling us that our music is too mature if it was the kind of music that we were proud of.
S: You were just on tour with Jesse McCartney and Timeflies! What was that like?
The Jesse McCartney tour was amazing and was a really great first tour experience. The Timeflies [tour was] probably a little more of a fun, rowdy time... just more of a tour than the Jesse McCartney. [With Jesse] we were in the Northeast for most of it... [With Timeflies], we were going from fucking Oklahoma City to Dallas…all these places we’d never been. We got the real experience of living out of a van and staying in shitty hotels and being in a different city every night.
S: You have your first headlining show at the Gramercy Theatre on 12/19 in NYC. How do you expect this show to be different than your tour sets and the solo shows you had earlier this year?
This is the first real, big concert that we’ve played…It’s our hometown, so we feel some pressure to sell it out. And we definitely want to make a good impression on people. We’re all nervous, but in a good way. I think it would be a good chance to define ourselves as a band.
S: Can you explain the process behind writing your songs? Is it collaborative?
It’s completely collaborative. I’d say a lot of times [Andrew] Spelman will come in with a musical idea, like with a riff or something, and I’m the primary lyricist, but everybody helps with lyrics. And then lately we’ve started doing co-writes—it’s been an amazing experience. We’ve been working with a lot of really successful pop writers and producers [in] a lot of different genres. We’ve worked with the guys who wrote the American Authors’ record and…the guy who co-wrote and produced, “Payphone” and “Stereo Hearts.” So we’ve been getting a lot of different perspectives on how to attack our music and they’ve really helped.
S: A remix of your song “Adderall” just made the Top 5 on Hype Machine, and I stumbled upon your cover of “Habits” on an 8Tracks Playlist. How does it feel to see your stuff out there, with people even adding their own spins?
JF: It’s really, really awesome. I love getting texts from people that our music is playing at a party in some college, or [getting] a screenshot of a text with their friends talking about us without knowing that the other person knows us. That stuff is really exciting. And then we were really, really psyched about the remix…they did a really awesome job with it and made it their own. It’s cool to see what other young artists can add to what we’ve done already.
S: Do you miss college? Do you feel like you’re missing out on senior year?
JF: I miss aspects of college, definitely. And I miss my friends…and I miss the independence somewhat now that I’m living at home. But…academically and just in general…I’m not regretful of my decision to leave. This semester has already been an incredible learning experience for me. And in terms of going back, we’ll see, but this is what I want to do with my life, or something in this vein of music…No class I was taking at Penn was really preparing me for what I wanted to do in life.
S: You’re on the brink of something huge! Is there a pressure now to sort of meet a higher standard? What’s it like to deal with up and coming fame?
JF: I mean, this whole thing is just kind of confusing. It’s exciting, but we also never really know where we stand. Some days it feels like we’re on the brink of being the next big thing, and sometimes it feels like, “What are we doing?” So it definitely varies by the day. But…since some other bigger industry people are [becoming] aware of who we are, we have to be a little bit more thoughtful of what we put out and what we want our image to be, which has really helped shape our music lately.
S: What’s your favorite original song, and why?
JF: “Little Bandit.” Just ‘cause, in my opinion, it’s the catchiest.
S: So when can we expect more music? Are you guys working towards a record, or an EP?
JF: We’re putting out the music video for “Don Juan” in the beginning of January and then we may put out a single in the next month or so. Hopefully by the end of January we’ll have 30 or 40 [songs] to choose from. [And we’ll be picking] the strongest five and putting out an EP in the spring.
S: If Penn ever asked you to play for Fling, would you do it?
JF: Yes, obviously. Just like New York is a really defining show for us, we consider Philly…another home. So it’s a big defining moment…and we really want to strive for when the time’s right and people want it. And if that time happens to be Fling, even better.
Want more "Adderall" and more Jesse? Buy a ticket to their December 19th Gramercy Theatre show here.