The Heirs Dish On Gear And Their First Warped Tour

Wantagh, NY Warped Tour
Michelle Turk



The Heirs are a California based indie pop band featuring brother and sister vocalists Brandon Hudson and Savannah Hudson who have been featured on America’s Got Talent, Alex Flagstad on guitar and synth, Eian McNeely on bass and synth, and Brennan Benko on drums. Flagstad has also worked as a session guitarist and producer, which is obvious in the band’s sound that he has an ear for songwriting and live production. The style of pop music they play stands out at Warped Tour, which is usually very heavy in pop punk and metalcore. With Savannah on vocals, they are in great company with the few other female fronted acts on Warped Tour such as Against the Current, Tonight Alive, Mother Feather, and Bad Seed Rising. I sat down to discuss their Warped Tour experience and rising music career at the Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, NY. The band will be performing throughout Warped Tour until August 13 and can be seen on the Poseidon Stage.

BtS Press: How are you feeling doing this Warped Tour thing as a new band?
Savannah: It’s a crazy experience for us and we’re meeting a lot of awesome fans. We’ve met a lot of great bands and the people who are traveling with the bands. It’s been great!
Brandon: We’re doing what we love everyday and trying to do it to the highest extreme we can. We're meeting lots of new people and we're really enjoying the experience.

BtS: What’s your favorite song to perform on Warped tour?

Alex: It’s gotta be “What You Want.” We just put it into our set since it’s been released as a single. It’s been so much fun to play live. For me, it’s the most scattered because I’m playing synths for a part and guitars for a different part. 

Brandon: I like playing “Lungs” which is our b-side to our exclusive single on Warped Tour. It’s new so it’s fun to see people’s reactions to something they haven’t heard.

BtS: One thing that interested me in talking to you was that your music isn’t exactly like every other band that is on Warped Tour. It’s very modern.

Alex: We’re the breakaway pop band.

BtS: Who are your influences?

Eian: A lot of old school 80’s dance. Bowie. Michael Jackson, Iggy Pop
Savannah: Prince

Ian: We have more modern influences, too. Like Walk the Moon, the 1975. A handful of others.
Alex: Hip hop and electronic.
Savannah: We listen to a big variety of music
Brandon: It’s an ever changing thing. Anytime people ask me what my favorite song to listen to is, it’s hard for me to say. I can tell you what I like this week. Even for us, our influences are constantly evolving. We came from different backgrounds of music. We came together and made our own blend and own take, which you can see live.

BtS: Can you talk a little about your gear?

Eian: For Pedalboard- fuzz bass, Short scale Fender Musicmaster, Fender P Bass. I have an Orange Tiny Terror. Keyboards- I’m using a Roland VR-09. At home I have a Roland Jupiter 80. Thank you Roland for hooking us up with that. I have a Moog Little Phatty for Synth Bass.

Alex: I am tempted to go into all of the pedals. I run my guitars in stereo. I have my Mesa 550 Express Combo. I run an Orange Tiny Terror head. My primary guitar is a ‘63 Fender Strat. I have a 76 lawsuit Ibanez that they were sued for because it looked too much like a Gibson Les Paul. That was my dad’s first guitar and I switched out the pickups. That’s my niche sound guitar. I have a huge pedal board that has a lot of Exotic pedals on it. For the keys, I use a Roland Juno 06 mini Juno. I set it up on my mic stand. Small but powerful. I keep it minimal in that sense.

Brennan: SJC Kit. 14 in floor rack. Big toms, a low sound that I think accompanies the rest of the tracks in the band.
Alex: Citing George of the Jungle as his main influence.
Brennan: Or animal from the Muppets. Using a black beauty snare drum. Sounds really great. All Zildjian cymbals. I’m super into that right now. I’m trying to get into huge washy rides- we have a lot of songs that really dig into that sound. I have a Roland SXP 10 and we are running all our tracks through a midi control Digitech.
Savannah: That’s the most excited I’ve seen you talking about gear
Brandon: Roland JC120 amp. It’s an old school amp from the 80s that the session players used on records like many of Michael Jackson’s. It’s really clean and I enjoy it. I useFender Strat from 66. Pretty simple on my end of the stick.

Savannah: I’ve got a mic and tambourine. A Boss vocal processor.
BtS: The red one?
Savannah: VE 20. It’s so rad.
BtS: What’s your favorite feature?
Savannah: Not serious, the robot voice. I mess around during rehearsal and the guys hate it. Seriously though, there’s a harmony. The third and the fifth. That’s my favorite to sing melodies to. There’s distortion.
Alex: The third and the fifth on a stripped down version of “Lies.” In the track there’s an “oh” line. She turns it on for that one part and it’s the sickest thing! That part gives me chills
Savannah: You like it?!
Brandon: Our real feelings come out in our interviews.

BtS: I saw you guys playing pokemon go... What have you been catching?
Savannah: This has been controlling our lives since it came out.
Alex: I have 18 pokemon. Squirtle. Magnemite. I thought there would be more water Pokemon. I caught Meowth up in the seats (of the Jones Beach Amphitheatre). Magikarp. Psyduck in the parking lot. Pidgey.
Brandon: I’m at 16. Voltorb is my favorite.
Savannah: I love Goldeen!
Eian: This Pokemon shit is killing my battery. I’m at 2% and it’s three o’clock so that’s no good.

BtS: When’s your next release coming out?
Alex: We want to put out something before our next tour, whether it’s an EP or a single.
Hopefully something more than a single. At least 4 songs to a full length.
Savannah: We are going to go home and write a shit ton
Eian: Online it says that we released “What You Want” but when you come to Warped Tour there’s a B-side called “Lungs.” You can only get this secret song at Warped.

Catch The Heirs set on The Poseidon Stage at Warped Tour through August 13 and