This Heart By Heart show was special. The small, intimate setting afforded a sincere connection between the band and the audience. Steve Fossen and Mike Derosier, along with the rest of the band, were very gracious with their time. The following interview took place backstage minutes before their show started.
Women In Rock: Good evening, ladies. Let’s start from the beginning. Where are you from and why did you get into this?
Heart By Heart: I started singing when I was two years old. I always sang in church and in school. I was told I had a powerful voice. I guess if you sing this kind of material you sort of have to. I grew up singing Heart songs and country music. Whitney Houston was my idol. She had a giant voice, and she was my influence. That was kind of my thing—I just fell into this. I sang karaoke, and people would say I sounded like Ann Wilson.
WIR: Can I get a little bit of background on you, Lizzy?
HBH: My whole family is musical. I started on piano when I was six. That’s just what you did in my family. Then I started playing guitar a few years after that. I figured piano wasn’t that cool, but I really did like the guitar. Then I started hearing stuff like Zeppelin, Yes, and Rush; and I really got into playing the guitar. I played a little bass in the high school Jazz band. So, yea. I always wanted to play, to be a musician. And here we are.
WIR: How did you girls meet?
HBH: So, she played in the band that opened for Heart by Heart once in the Seattle area. I actually grew up in the Chicago area. I’ve been in Seattle for 22 years, I think.
WIR: I assume you like Blues music as well.
HBH: Yea, but I left there right out of high school. I went to Boston to attend Berkeley college of music. People ask me if I went to the Blues bars then, but I was never old enough.
WIR: So your inspirations were your family and the choir?
HBH: Yea, because you felt like your way of praying was to sing, so I did that for a long time. I’ve also been classically trained. I took voice lessons at the age of 12. I learned Jazz first, and then had classical lessons. Even in college I had lessons—just so I could know how to properly rock it without killing myself.
WIR: You talked about playing Yes and Led Zeppelin, so you’re obviously a Jimmy Page fan. A lot of Led Zeppelin is pulled from the Blues. Are you going to be doing any Zeppelin songs this evening?
HBH: There might be a few little quotes here and there. Heart played so much Zeppelin in their early days. Having Mike [Derosier] and Steve [Fossen], they both like that stuff. We all love it.
WIR: Do either of you have any children?
HBH: We are kid-less, and we like that. We’re very happy.
WIR: Tell me about this tour. Anything quirky happening?
HBH: I never call what we do “touring”, because we just fly out, do a couple of shows and come back home. Steve gets really annoying when we’re all driving around together. Steve and I are married, so you kind of get that. He’s got kids and grandkids, so they’re my step-children. Going back to the tour thing: we love coming to this area. We haven’t played this venue before. I think for us it’s always about giving to the new people who are discovering Heart By Heart because they’re already Heart fans. They grew up listening to them. Our goal is to get those same fans to be in love with Heart By Heart.
WIR: So, you’re both married?
HBH: My husband, Pete, is a fantastic drummer. We’re in another band together. We met in Seattle, so that’s why we’ve stayed there. We were auditioning drummers once. He showed up, and it was all good after that. I also play bass, so when a bass player finds a drummer, it kind of clicks. You find that one, and you stick with him.
WIR: Off-the-wall—I’m wondering if you’ve ever had to play behind chicken wire, or any weird stuff like that.
HBH: Never. We’ve had stuff thrown at us up on stage, though. M-80s and whiskey bottles. Some nice objects, too; but you remember the M-80s more, for some reason.
WIR: Any last quotes?
HBH: I just love being in this band because I love Heart. I’m a big fan of the music. I once met them at a little party in Seattle for one of their albums. I just love that I can play this music. It means a lot to me that I can share it with everybody. We’re together so often. We’re like a little family that fights and bickers, but we all love each other. And a great thing for me is that I get to play music with my husband, so it’s an extra bonus. He loves to play. Music is everything to him. Being able to do that together makes it that much better. We also do other stuff together, like go to concerts and see other artists.
WIR: I know you’ve gotta get on stage now, so we’ll let you go. Thanks so much for your time, ladies. Have a great show tonight.