Even if you don’t know the song "How You Like Me Now?" by name, you’ve almost certainly heard it. The funky, gritty tune has been ubiquitous for a couple of years — in a Super Bowl car ad, in TV shows like Entourage and Community, and lately as part of the official Obama re-election campaign playlist. The band behind the song is four British guys from the small city of Bath who call themselves The Heavy.
The Heavy’s new album is called The Glorious Dead, and they’re touring North America now. The band talked to Kurt about why Brits — from the Rolling Stones to Amy Winehouse — keep reclaiming American soul and blues. “I remember being very young and thinking I was American because of American television,” says guitarist and co-founder Daniel Taylor. “You’re raised with American culture being part of your culture whether you like it or not … and I guess we kind of take the elements that we like and work out a way of serving it back.”
Even though the band takes most of its sound from Southern music, they hadn’t actually been to the south until their last tour. In Columbus, Georgia, they recorded a gospel choir for the new album. “It was hours and hours spent at the front of the bus with our driver,” says singer and co-founder Kelvin Swaby. “He said, ‘You have to come down, you have to come down to Columbus, Georgia — there’s something magical there.’ And he was not wrong.”
The Heavy performed two songs for us off their new record: “What Makes a Good Man?” and “Curse Me Good.” Watch a video below.
Video: "What Makes a Good Man?" live in Studio 360
Be MineArtist: The HeavyAlbum: The Glorious DeadLabel: Ninja Tune/Counter Records
How You Like Me NowArtist: The HeavyAlbum: The House That Dirt BuiltLabel: Counter Records/+1 Records
What Makes a Good ManArtist: The HeavyAlbum: LIVE in Studio 360
Blind LoveArtist: Tom WaitsAlbum: Rain DogsLabel: Island Records
Curse Me GoodArtist: The HeavyAlbum: LIVE in Studio 360