Heartfelt Confessions is already creating a buzz in Arizona. Packing regional venues with hundreds of screaming fans, their popularity has led to explosive success in a local contest to find Tucson's favorite band, as well as a nationwide battle of the bands.
Their variety of Music was developed largely from the varying influences and styles of its five diverse members. If Mariah Carey had grown up singing in a Seattle grunge band, linked up with Jimi Hendrix and crashed the Warped Tour during a tribute to Pink Floyd by The Used, she might have had a vibe like Heartfelt Confessions, whose hybrid sound contains the DNA of everything from 70s punk, 80s rock and 90s metal with chromosomes of emo showing up in the strands. Stylized female vocals with arrangements that contain elements of hard core and progressive rock team up with soul crushing lyrics for a sound that cannot be duplicated. Heartfelt Confessions' openness to experiment and test traditional boundaries excites crowds and is apparent in their music.
HFC is a band that not only must be heard, but must be experienced.
Below is an article by Gil Kaufman, a Sr Writer for MTV, who weighs in on Heartfelt Confessions.
Bodog Battle of the Bands: American Idol Reject Rocks On
Making Taylor Hicks look more vanilla than a lounge act in central Utah
June 22, 2006
By Gil Kaufman
Bodog Nation Contributing Writer
This week, the fourth in a series of profiles of bands in Bodog's $1-million Battle of the Bands. Like all of them, they're hoping to live the dream by winning the grand prize of a record deal with Bodog Music, along with some cash and guaranteed marketing muscle.
City: Tucson, Ariz.
Sound: Evanescence subtlety delivered with a screamo sledgehammer
Members: Tora (vocals), Nate Hudson (guitar), Gabe Moreno (guitar), Justin
Colby (bass), Bobbie Colby (drums)
Point of origin: Bands are born in the strangest places: high schools, playgrounds, basement rec rooms, bars, hell, even church choirs. But you don't hear of many that are birthed over spilled ink and blood. That's the story with Tucson's Heartfelt Confessions, an emo/hardcore group that formed in a tattoo parlour after a fortuitous meeting between its teenage singer and drummer. “I go to this tattoo shop, Majestic Tattoo, all the time to get my work done,” explained 17-year-old singer Tora, the owner of 10 tats, who moved to Tucson from California with her mom when she was four. “Bobbie, our drummer, apprenticed there and we started talking about music and I said, 'I've been looking for a band.' He said, 'I have a band and I'm looking for a singer.'” The group invited Tora to join them for a tryout in January 2006 and she wrote some lyrics to a track they'd written before meeting her, “Driven By Mistakes.” They immediately clicked and that became the song that launched a band. “I was in one band in California, but they seemed really flaky and sketchy … getting drunk during practice and I wasn't down with that,” said Tora, who recently got her GED and works a day job selling magazines over the phone. “I needed someone who was more serious.”
The sound: To look at them, you wouldn't think of the members of the band as “jammers” per se, but Tora said a lot of the songs on their just-released six-song EP started with a riff from guitarist Nate Hudson and some "random" lyrics she came up with on the spot. Even harder to believe, though, given the band's sometimes crushing sound and Tora's whisper-to-a-demonic-howl vocals, are her musical inspirations. “I've listened to Mariah Carey since I was born,” she said. “She's my idol. I still love Mariah Carey, but I like to do different music and I listen to a wide variety of stuff, from hardcore like Winter Solstice to, like, Rocky Voltato and Jeff Buckley. And I know it's weird, but I really like Britney Spears. It's just good music for dancing.” The rest of the band have similarly eclectic tastes, from Hudson's preference for Pink Floyd and the Foo Fighters to Colby's love of emo rockers Hawthorne Heights and Atreyu. But even if Tora isn't exactly singing pop ditties with the boys, you can definitely hear the decade's worth of vocal lessons she took in her operatic singing.
The name: “I have no idea. It was already named before I came,” Tora said. “It's probably because we all have similar backgrounds to our lives having to do with relationships and heartbreak.”
Finding her voice: Tora said she been singing since she was two years old and it wasn't long before her mom started putting her in local vocal groups and entering her into singing competitions. While she was all about the Mariah in those days, by the time she turned the tender age of 10, she started getting into hardcore music and discovering her “rough” voice. “I just kind of always sang like that, with a kind of rough voice,” she said. “But I could change it up and sing not rough if I needed to.” But unlike other singing divas, Tora doesn't really do anything special - other than drink a lot of water in the dry Tucson heat - to keep her vocal cords in shape, despite the intense shredding they often get during live shows. “We moved to Tucson when I was four and I always bitched at my mother because of that,” she joked.
What she learned from “American Idol”: Tora tried out for the most recent season of “Idol” and she made it onto the show and was put through to Hollywood, but was eliminated before she could compete to make the final 12. “I got a lot of publicity from it,” she said of her few seconds in the spotlight singing the Used's “Hard to Say” and “What You Waiting For” by Gwen Stefani. “Paula said that I remind her of herself when she was younger because I'm so petite and have a big voice for how small I am. And Simon said he likes my voice but America was not quite ready for my style.” In case you missed it, that style included a bright green skirt, a bright pink shirt, a plaid pink and green blazer and intense make-up. In other words, she made Taylor Hicks look even more like a lame cruise ship lounge singer with his crushed velvet blazer and corny stage moves.
Male groupies? “I don't really have any,” Tora said without a touch of disappointment. “Not that I know of. I don't think they're afraid of me, they just don't come up to me.”
Hardest thing about being the only girl in a rock band: Actually, there's nothing hard about it, Tora said. To be honest, she doesn't really like hanging out with girls anyway, never has. “My whole life I didn't hang with girls because they start drama, they're females,” she said. “I've always hung out with guys. When we're in the dressing room I don't really notice.”
Why you're going to win the $1-million Bodog.com Battle of the Bands: “I think we have a lot of potential for doing what we do. We can bring a good crowd and make more fans when we get there," Tora says. "A lot of people seem to like us already and we haven't even played outside of Tucson yet.”
Gil Kaufman is a senior writer for MTV. His features of competitors in the Bodog.com Battle of the Bands contest appear regularly in Bodog Nation.