Nothing is quite as intimidating as the experience of beginning something new and Heavy Bangs defines everything it takes to overcome it. In hopes of participating in Philadelphia’s festival, First Time’s A Charm, Laura Reeve (bass/vocals), Grace Ambrose (drums), and Ramsey Beyer (guitar) asked Cynthia Ann Schemmer (guitar/vocals) if she wanted to join them in crafting a band for the festival. As a festival asking that each band include a women, person of color, person who identifies as queer, or trans person, with at least one member who has not played their instrument before, and at least one member who has not played in a band before, Schemmer was the only member of Heavy Bangs who had been really familiar with life as a musician in a band. Reeve and Ambrose played as rookies, while Beyer picked up a guitar for the first time in 10 years, and after their festival performance, they knew they had something worth keeping.
Schemmer might have played in bands such as Very Ok, Zombie Dogs, and now, Radiator Hospital, but she has been going through something new as well as the other members.
“I just moved to Philly two year ago and I was very used to living in New York and I didn’t do a lot of music there because… I didn’t actually do much of anything there because everything is so competitive and while there are many good communities in New York, they’re so far and spread out from each other, when in Philly it’s a much more close-knit community and it doesn’t feel competitive,” Schemmer said, “ Everyone is really supportive, everyone really encourages you to write music.”
Since Heavy Bangs received this appreciation and respect of Philadelphia with First Time’s A Charm, they have recorded two songs online of grit and honesty, “All The Girls” and “Look At Them”, both of which are written by Schemmer, but the other two songs that they play live are collectively written.
“’All The Girls’ is actually a song that I had written a year or two ago and I had tried to start other bands and tried to do that song, but it didn’t really work out. I just wanted a very simple, straight-forward sound, but everyone tried to make it this big fancy thing and I didn’t like how it sounded, so I brought the song back to Heavy Bangs and really liked it,” Schemmer said.
Heavy Bangs are recording two more songs for a First Time’s A Charm compilation, and have hopes of recording at least six songs with Kyle Gilbride (also member of Swearin’) and putting out a 7’’ by the end of the year.