Heart Condition
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Heart Condition

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Post-punk





As a followup on my recent artistic collaboration with fellow noir artists/musicians “Crime Rock,” I am excited to bring you this exclusive interview with L.A.’s own Brandon Jordan.

Check out my cover design for their brand new single “Stop Looking For Love,” then head downtown tomorrow night to catch a FREE live show at the Down & Out on Spring Street. Whoever said crime doesn’t pay!

GH: Many of my blog followers are L.A.-based and familiar with your old band “Killradio.” Can you tell us how you went from post punk to Tom Waits meets Nirvana meets Morphine staging Weegee photos?

BJ: I began poking around into my father’s unsolved and mysterious death because I got a package sent to me in the mail with his death certificate. It said the cause of death was “unknown.” I started asking questions, I didn’t get many answers. Killradio fans should remember the song “Burning the Water Brown”, that’s about my father. I was sick of not knowing what happened so I started writing songs, and I made shit up like a fiction writer. It opened up a new creative side of me. I had turned the dark into the light. After Killradio, I had fallen in love with the band Morphine. From then on I knew I needed a baritone saxophone in the new band in order to re-tell the story of my father’s life. A distorted guitar and a baritone sax go together in an amazing way, and I realized I was heading into new sonic territory. If these events didn’t go down, I don’t think I would have started Crime Rock. I was pretty beaten down after Killradio called it quits.

GH: Before you picked up a guitar or discovered you could sing, what were you listening to on the radio and was there any particular catalyst in your life that made you decide to be a musician?

BJ: I started singing and recording songs on this little tape recorder I had when I was 4. So I was probably watching and listening to a lot of Sesame Street. Blame the Count!!! In 4th grade, I was getting into too many fights and school made me to the office for recess and lunch. I started really writing songs in that stuffy office. Guns and Roses was the biggest band in the world at that point, so I was listening to a lot of them, and I loved the story telling of 80’s hip-hop. I know it sounds funny now, but I really liked Ice-T, he had a great way of telling a crime story.

GH: I’m a noir artist who draws inspiration from art forms and artists ranging from German Expressionism to Alain Resnais to David Lynch. Who are your “noir” influences and how was Crime Rock conceived?

BJ: Musically I think The Murder City Devils, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits had a lot to do with how I approached writing the lyrics in Crime Rock. But the French gangster movies of Jean-Pierre Melville and Jules Dassin in the late 50’s and 60’s really set me off. My early favorite noir authors were Jim Thompson, Ross MacDonald, and James Ellroy because our childhoods were very similar.

GH: I don’t know too many people who pay for music these days, but I supported the protest against Pandora Radio. As an artist who has made a living making records, what are your feelings about the royalties paid to musicians when their creations are streamed on Internet radio?

BJ: I like any service that gets music out to the people. I really do. I wish those companies had more transparency and the artist could have a check and balances system behind the scenes. But in an industry that is plunging, the need and consumption of music is higher than ever. If it wasn’t Spotify or Pandora, it would be something else because people are going to get their music, no matter what. I think that’s proven. One day the musicians will get together and start a digital union or something like that, and then we’ll see the industry really rally against us. The industry does a lot better when musicians are in the dark.

GH: When you asked me to create the cover for your new single “Stop Looking for Love,” listening to the song gave me an impression first in the form of colour (this case red) then the lyrics inspired the subject matter. How would you describe the start to finish process of writing a song and is it a solo or joint collaboration?

BJ: Every song is different and as an artist, I have many tools to use. Generally, I start with the lyrics. Really, I start with a title. I have a notebook with just possible song titles. For instance, a couple years ago I wrote down the title “Right Time, Wrong Blond.” A little later I sat down to write and opened up my song title book and saw that title. I had just had a fight with a girl I was dating who is blond and I got to work. A lot of craft and a little inspiration can go a long way. Recently I’ve been taking the lyrics and just singing with no instruments. Just singing. When the melody feels good and it fits the content of the lyrics, then I pick up the guitar and figure out chords. Then I bring the melody and some chords to the band. The best thing I do as a writer is….I keep writing. I write terrible songs, all the time, but you will never hear them. But I don’t let the last song keep me from writing the next song.

GH: How did you meet your current band members?

BJ: The whole band was almost put together using craigslist. Our new drummer Mike was told about us because his friend had wanted to try out but schedules didn’t line up. The friend told Mike to check us out and he did. Other than him, it’s all been Craigslist. Andrew, our bass player, grew up around me and we had a ton of the same friends but we had never run into each other.

GH: What and where was the most memorable live show Crime Rock has performed to-date, keeping in mind of course the best is yet to come?

BJ: We recently opened up for the band SNOT. We were very nervous that the crowd would hate us and not “get” us. They have a much heavier sound than most of what we do. But the crowd ate it up and really showed us some love. I guess we realized that our sound, that can’t be described in one genre, was still able to reach other audiences. But in the early, early days of the band, it was just a sax player and myself, and we played at the back end of a cat-walk at a seedy Hollywood strip club. The girls really liked us and they seemed to still find a beat to groove to, even though we didn’t have a drummer at the time.

GH: Describe 3 things you can’t live without.

BJ: Gel pens with fine pointed tips, my beagle Bentley, and my SOS Crew.

GH: If you could open for any band/artist who would that be?

BJ: Faith No More, without a doubt.

GH: What’s next for Crime Rock and how would one commit the perfect crime?

BJ: First off, to commit the perfect crime, I wouldn’t talk about it here, that’s for sure! Ha.

For Crime Rock, we are releasing our new single and video for “Stop Looking for Love” this month, which features your wonderful artwork. A live record will be released this summer from the show where we opened up for SNOT. And we have finished writing Episode Two called “Little Victim”. We will be going into the studio in the next month or two and recording it. As far as live shows go, we will continue to show LA our pride and loyalty, but we are also getting outside of Los Angeles and bestowing our love onto more of the West Coast.

GH: Thanks Brandon - good luck to you guys! - Gina Higgins


Episode One, Full Length Concept Album, 2012
Streaming at http://crimerock.bandcamp.com

"Stay On Tonight" Single, Released October 15. 2013

"To Hell With" Single, to be Released December 2013

"Stop Looking For Love" Single, to be Released Late January 2014



Brandon Jordan, singer/guitarist of Heart Condition, spent most of the aughts as the lead singer of the political punk band Killradio. Killradio released 3 full length albums & 2 EPs for Columbia Records. Killradio spent its summers on the Vans Warped Tour & opened up for Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Henry Rollins, Rise Against, Jello Biafra & Mindless Self Indulgence to name a few, on their way to gaining an international audience. Jordan settled back into his hometown of Los Angeles after the Killradio flame had burned out. Suddenly, Jordan received a strange piece of mail, his fathers death certificate from the 80s. Jordan was only a baby when his father was found dead on the lawn of a residential home in the San Fernando Valley. Jordan began to explore the mysteries involved with his fathers tragic death or murder after the death certificate stated the cause of death was unknown. Instead of driving Jordan into morbid reflection, Jordan used his childhood fascination with crime fiction and his fathers mysterious life to begin writing songs again. These new songs followed the trials and tribulations of a fictional character, inspired by Jordan's father & his own past. These songs would go on to be the seeds that grew Crime Rock.

Crime Rock was brought together by a Craigslist ad. The 1st to join was a baritone sax player from New York. The duo cut its teeth playing at the back end of catwalks throughout the seedy strip clubs of Hollywood. Jordan recalls one of the most memorable moments from CR's embryonic stage. "We had a song with the lyrics 'Saw the suits at Eddies throwing money like confetti.' and suddenly money is being thrown in the air around the strip club, landing in peoples drinks, getting stuffed down the saxophones horn. Thats the moment I knew we had truly captured the spirit of Los Angeles & Noir in our music."  In the spring of 2012, Episode One from Crime Rock was self-released. The entire record was like your favorite episode of Law and Order, only it was fucking punk rock! Deep bari sax blasts, grungy guitars, Jordan's soaring Chris Cornell-esque vox & hard-boiled lyrics kept CR's fans guessing if they should ever walk down a dark alley alone again. They had yet again, captured the Noir spirit of LA in their music, only this time on record.

In the Summer of 2015 CR dissolved. The direction that the music was taking the band had evolved into something that didn't make sense for CR any longer. However, after taking a short hiatus, Brandon found a new bassist, Jarrod. His busy blues bass lines are reminiscent of Rancid & add an extra spark to the rhythm section. Adam, anchors the rhythm section with pounding beats, similar to Dave Grohl.  Adam and Jarrod stir the punk rock sound by carving out penetrating melodies & wailing backing vocal harmonies.

In true DIY form, Heart Condition has been writing and recording all of their own songs at Brandon's home studio in Hollywood and at Downtown Rehearsal2 in DTLA. The band seems to be dead-set on converting jaded audiences who have lost faith in the new rock music scene back into die hard music lovers as it gears up for their first tour in March 2017.

Band Members