THE HEARTLAND COLLECTIVE is a project that explores the darker elements of life and emotions, and embracing the light within both, fuses and echoes these elements in its enthralling sound. Created and headed by songwriter and producer Mick Johnson, and launched in 2018, this captivating venture soon recorded the debut single, I Just Don’t Know, which keenly pulled in swift attention and praise. Released at the start of 2019, I Just Don’t Know was widely embraced with radio stations across the global offering support, and the inclusion of a spot on the legendary Rodney Bingheimer’s Show on SiriusXM. THE HEARTLAND COLLECTIVE’s previous single, My Deepest Darkest Friend, managed to garner over 30,000 streams and made Spotify’s Release Radar with its accompanying video also being critically acclaimed and earning a Cannes Shorts Nomination for Best Music Video.
Inspirations for Mick include the likes of Royal Blood, The Strokes, Iggy Pop, Velvet Revolver, Queens of the Stone Age, The Damned, and The Pixies. The new single is further influenced by the likes of The Cult, Trent Reznor and Johnny Cash, and you can sense the whispers of these influences, as the project weaves them expertly to create both a diverse and individual exploration of sound. The new track, Gun To My Head, epitomises Mick’s love of aligning dark and light whether in sound or emotion. Featuring former Stormbringer vocalist Mike Stockley, bassist Ben Ellis (Iggy Pop/Razorlight/Depeche Mode) and Pendulum guitarist Peredur ap Gwynedd, the track is the next bold step in the emergence of THE HEARTLAND COLLECTIVE. It is a striking moment brought forth through the imagination and vision of Mick Johnson, who has gone deeply into the dark beauty and enlivening light of this peculiar world. This is all depicted by an accompanying video which backs the single. Mick remarks about the creation of the video: “It’s about the story of a man who gets increasingly frustrated after being ignored for most of his life, and he realises the only way out is to turn into a mischievous super villain”.
Where the first singles from THE HEARTLAND COLLECTIVE more than invited such connection, Gun To My Head will demand it.