I Am Heir is a metal/deathcore band from McAllen, Texas. I spoke with vocalist Matt Klein about their new EP, living out the Christian faith and upcoming plans on touring and music. I also recently did a review on their EP Uncondemned so check that out as well. Enjoy!
Jeffrey: Hey, hope you’re doing well. I want to start this by telling us your name and role in the band?
Matt: I’m doing awesome. I’m Matt Klein and I do all the yelling.
Jeffrey: How long have you been doing vocals? And do you play any instruments?
Matt: I’ve been doing vocals for basically a year. Before I Am Heir I’d mess around with screaming but didn’t start really doing vocals until we started the band and I do! I play guitar as well but not as good as Juan and Diego.
Jeffrey: What were you biggest musical influences growing up and how does that affect your sound?
Matt: Personally, I started getting into metal at the age of 12 so it’s been all and only metal over half my life. I draw influence from all kinds of stuff though. We have a lot of diversity within the band as far as musical taste, so it makes for a good mix.
Jeffrey: Tell us about the background of I Am Heir. When did you develop the vision for I Am Heir? And what inspired you to start the band?
Matt: I Am Heir began back in 2008 while we were in high school. We all graduated together and wrote the EP back in high school. After we graduated everyone kind of went their own way and did their own thing for a while. Early 2017 we were all back home at the same time and jamming out again, so we decided to fix up the four songs we wrote in high school and start playing some local shows just to see what happens.
Our goal has always been to take hope and the love of Jesus to people that need to hear it. Well aside from our personal beliefs we’ve all been playing music together forever so it kind of just made sense.
Jeffrey: How did you meet the other member of the band?
Matt: We all went to high school together and played in the band in high school together.
Jeffrey: What’s the meaning of the band name I Am Heir?
Matt: Back when we wrote the EP and were trying to decide on a name I remember I didn’t want some cookie cutter band name.
I wanted a band name that carried weight. That had power in it. It was given to me one time while I was praying about it and it’s been the name ever since.
Jeffrey: How would you describe I Am Heir’s sound to someone who randomly stumbles upon your music and is curious what you sound like?
Matt: I’d say it’s just good old heavy metal. We have a pretty modern sound as well. Lots of good head banging and a few breakdowns here and there.
Jeffrey: You guys released your long-awaited debut EP Uncondemned earlier this year, how was the writing and recording process?
Matt: Well most of the writing was done a while back but when we got back together to start playing together the writing was really awesome. Everything we wanted to add or take away came really naturally and we all mesh really well. We recorded with Sam Gonzalez at The Bird’s Nest Recordings in our hometown. He’s a super cool guy not to mention a great producer. He really understood the sound we wanted, and he gets our message as well, so it was really great to record with him.
Jeffrey: What’s the story behind Uncondemned(EP) and what’s your favorite track from the EP?
Matt: I guess ultimately, I just want to people to know who they are. I want people to know what we’re about. Lyrically we’re pretty in your face about the way we believe. I never thought I’d say this because it was the most difficult to record and to really get down tight live, but my personal favorite is I Am. It’s just a blast to play now.
Jeffrey: I know you guys are a Christ-centered band, and that you might also get some backlash from Christians who don’t think Christians can play metal and glorify God at the same time, what does being a Christ centered band mean to you and do you think that limits you as a band as far as outreach goes?
Matt: To me wearing the label doesn’t mean as much as actually living it. I do my best everyday to actually live the way I believe which is really what it’s all about. What good is the message without someone leading by example?
Jeffrey: Would you mind briefly sharing how you came to have faith in Jesus?
Matt: Not at all. I was raised in church. My parent’s first date was actually to a church service in 1989. At eleven years old my family moved to Mexico to do missionary work. At thirteen we moved to McAllen, Texas which is where the band met and was birthed. Right after I graduated high school, my family and I moved back to San Antonio, Texas which is where we’re originally from. I was in a very dark place and had given up on Jesus, my faith and my moral beliefs really. I hated people in general. I started a career in construction and that was life for the four years immediately following high school. In April of 2016 I felt a need to move back to McAllen. Right after that I was laid off from work and took that as a sign. I had nothing holding me in San Antonio.
For about 3 months after coming back I was bouncing between friend’s houses and living out of my truck. It was in that time that I really experienced the love of Jesus for real for the first time in my life. I haven’t been the same since.
Jeffrey: You recently signed with Sancrosanct Records. What fueled you into signing with them and how’s it been working with them?
Matt: It was really just a God thing. We were looking and praying about a label and whether we wanted to be signed or not. God made the introduction and it was just meant to be. Thus far it’s been awesome working with Sancrosanct. Tony and Tyler are really great Godly dudes that really understand our goals and want the best for I Am Heir. All of our label-mates are super sick. It’s really a great privilege to be with Sancrosanct.
Jeffrey: Now that your EP is out. What’s next for I Am Heir? Any upcoming tours? Have you guys started writing music?
Matt: Well we recently acquired management through The Sights Set North Agency. We’re trying to tour as much as physically possible before we record our next album. I can’t give away too much yet but we’re working on a pretty big tour for the latter half of January 2018 so everyone should definitely keep an eye out for that. As far as writing goes, we’re always writing. We’re already tossing around recording ideas and people can definitely expect new music in 2018.
Jeffrey: What bands are you currently really into?
Matt: Personally, I’ve been bouncing between True View from Stick To Your Guns, You’re Not You Anymore from Counterparts and the latest So This Is Suffering album. The two bands that are always on rotation for me are Silent Planet and Prison. Johnny and Garrett inspire me so so much as a front men and lyricist.
Jeffrey: Awesome! That’s all the questions I’ve got! Thanks for doing this! Any final words you’d like to share?
Matt: Thank you so much for having me! I guess to finish it off I’d just say be ready next year. I Am Heir is coming at 2018 in full force. Thank you to everyone that’s supported us in any way since we began. We love all of you very much and Jesus loves you as well. We’ll see you all soon!