I discovered Boosegumps at a basement show in Montclair, NJ this past week and was lucky enough to interview lead vocalist and guitarist, Heeyoon, after her set.
The experimental project consists of Heeyoon of Wayne, NJ and drummer, Kyle Coan. The two find it difficult to write just one type of music and are inspired by a multitude of genres, “jazz, hip hop, surf rock and electronic” to name a few.
“Right now, I guess I would have to categorize it into “bedroom pop” but there’s no doubt that will change in the future. I’m already planning on my next album sounding very different compared to the other EP’s I have written” she says.
Heeyoon and Kyle Coan of ‘Boosegumps’ at the Meatlocker Thursday, March 12th | Montclair, NJ
She received an acoustic guitar from her dad on her 13th birthday and taught herself to play by watching videos and covering songs. Because the piano is the first instrument Heeyoon learned to play, she’s also well acquainted with her Casio keyboard and uses it in a lot of her songs.
“It has some really funky beats programmed into it that I like to use.”
While releasing her many guitar covers, she never thought she’d be making her own music. However, in college, her perspective shifted and she began to write and perform music of her own.
“I met some really talented musician friends who inspired me to write songs of my own. My first band, now Secret Mountain, formed after I was on a tour with my friend Matt’s band, Hodera, and he asked me to start a band with him. After the tour, I started writing songs for it immediately and then our friend Alex joined and we started playing shows locally. Now, Secret Mountain is a completely different band. Matt isn’t even in it anymore.”
Boosegumps was inspired by the – you guessed it- R.L Stine series “Goosebumps.” Heeyoon chose the name while working on a halloween/haunted house music project and a short EP called “R.L 69.”
“I was writing for Secret Mountain and realized some of these songs I was writing for Secret Mountain didn’t really go with the sound we wanted, which was more upbeat and loud. So, I took some of the quieter, bedroom pop songs and released my first Boosegumps EP called “Leave Me Alone”.
Its because of this that the music produced by Boosegumps varies so often. Her songs call for a combination of fiction and truth, lightheartedness and raw, delicate lyrics. While “I don’t want to be in love” and “I want 2 believe” seem very personal, others like “handy dandy” are a bit more fictional. However, Heeyoon admits thats not entirely the case:
“I think almost all of the songs I write are very personal to me, even “handy dandy”. I wrote that song right after I found out I lost my notebook/planner. I was super bummed that I lost such an important part of me that I decided to dedicate a song to it. It’s situations and experiences like that that inspires me to write songs. It feels really good to write about things that have upset me, things that make me feel good, and things like my cat and my relationships with people.”
Heeyoon’s advise for upcoming musicians is to be both patient and passionate about creating music. For her, simplicity is key as well as keeping involved with local music scenes and making friends.
“Make music that you would want to listen to. Even if it uses like 3 chords, or even 1, who cares! I think beginners are sometimes intimidated and think they’re not good enough.”
Boosegumps’ two EPs can be found online, however, physical copies of the works can be purchased in cassette form. Why cassette tapes? Boosegumps’ found this method cheaper and convenient. A friend of Heeyoon’s runs Swet Records and put them together for her. Currently, they’re working on a full length album and playing shows around the New Jersey area with Secret Mountain.
For more information on Boosegumps, upcoming shows, or Heeyoon’s other project, Secret Mountain, you can follow her: Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Tumblr
article written by staff member, Melanie Calantropio.