Before HeartPunch formed in 2011, the lead singer, Yankton Sothern, had never sung before. He also had never even written a song. But for the self-titled first album, Sothern wrote and sang every track. With the help of friend Lou Whitney and his studio, Sothern put together a band, started playing shows and recorded an album. Although the band members have changed since the beginning stages with new drummer, Jason Kearbey, and bass player, Justin Kearbey, the heart of playing music for the love of music has stayed the same.

Sothern and Jason Kearbey answer a few questions about life, music and HeartPunch. The Springfield band is making its way to Columbia on Friday to perform at The Bridge at 8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of HeartPunch

Do you have any musical influences? Is there anyone you compare yourselves to?

Yankton Sothern: We are influenced by so many different things. We seem to agree on early rock ‘n’ roll, and we are all three punk rock kids at heart.

Jason Kearbey: The Skeletons on fast-forward with Yankton as their 15th singer. Or maybe not.

What’s your favorite song to cover?

YS: Lately we have been covering Wreckless Eric, “Whole Wide World.” It’s really fun to play.

What inspired this album? Is it a culmination of life experiences and relationships?

YS: It is the end of one relationship in particular. We are currently working on the follow up record, and the songs are similar in content but are faster and slightly more upbeat. Hopefully less depressing, but they’re still pretty personal.

Outside of this specific album, who or what inspires you?

YS: I try and find inspiration in everything. I have stolen lines from conversations I wasn’t even part of to use in a song. My daughter is 8 and some of the things she says and the way she explains things have found their way into songs in the past. Living my whole life in the Bible Belt has also had an impact. The new record deals with that here and there.

Do you perform music full-time?

JK: No way! I believe in music as a hobby. If it is a job, then you won’t have fun, and it isn’t real. Plus, when it is a hobby, you can do what you want as opposed to doing what you think people will like.

What’s your goal for the band? Just to write and perform for fun or eventually expand your audience?

YS: We are all in our 30′s now and have made honest efforts in bands in the past and are at a point that it’s fun to get together with your friends and play music. At the same time, we want to sell records but we want people to want to buy the records because they like what we do.

JK: Goals are for work, not playing music!

Have you ever been to Columbia before?

YS: This band has never been to Columbia. It’s exciting and I hear the Bridge is a great place to play so we are really looking forward to it.

What can people expect to see Friday night?

YS: We put on an honest, lowest-common-denominator rock ‘n’ roll show. I had my heart broken; I wrote some songs about it; and I’m bringing my friends with me to play them for you. No fancy light show, no guitar gymnastics and no masks.

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