February 14, 2012
Columbus is home away from home for Heartless Bastards' Wennerstrom
You've been waiting for more on this band, since our print piece came out last week. Well, wait no longer. Heartless Bastards plays The Basement in two days, and we're here with a little more with which to whet your appetite for this modern-day version of The Pretenders.
Maybe the "woman-fronted act from Ohio" lends to the comparison - makes it a little simpler. But, while we would not suggest Erika Wennerstrom's Heartless Bastards sounds like Chrissie Hynde's The Pretenders, it's not much of a leap to see that they occupy a similar place in the rock n' roll world, allowing for changes in taste and style over time. We defy you not to feel a little bit of this while listening to Parted Ways.
So, the Ohio connection? Wennerstrom grew up in Dayton, and formed the first iteration of the HB while living in Cincinnati. She subsequently moved to Austin, Texas, but told us her immediate family has pretty much all relocated to Columbus - her brother a student and now employee at Ohio State and her mom recently relocated here as well. "It's home even though I've never lived there," Wennerstrom told us.
As for the woman-fronted part? Wennerstrom said she thinks music is beyond that sort of thing now, and that she fells no responsibility to advocate or behave in ways that make any sort of statement on behalf of female rockers. "There are so many women in rock these days," she said, "that you just don't stand out because you're a woman. In my band, I'm just one of the guys. We've gotten pretty far from it these days."