Heart Line: AOR from the West Coast of France
Heart Line: AOR from the West Coast of France
One year and a half after their debut album, French group Heart Line founded by guitarist Yvan Guillevic, returns with a brand new album! German label Pride & Joy Music. Rock’n’Roll Queen offers a brilliant collection of AOR/Melodic Rock that will transport the listener back into the realm of the glorious 80’s. From the vocals of Emmanuel Creis to the solos of Yvan Guillevic, the bold keyboard lines by Jorris Guilbaud and the sharp rhythm section driven by Dominique Braud (Bass) and Walter Français (drums), Heart Line has delivered the melodic goodness in a grand and epic way! Highwire Daze recently caught up with Yvan Guillevic to find out the current happenings of the band based out of the West Coast of France. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Heart Line, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Yvan, I’m the guitar player and the producer of the band. And we started 3 years ago in 2020, during the COVID. So it’s a young band, but we are not young guys. I’m 55 right now.
Where is the band based and what is your local music scene like there?
I’m in a land called Brittany in France, on the west coast. We are not close, we are not near each other, we are all along the west coast from my town called Lorient, to Rochefort, so it’s a very long distance. But we are from the west coast of France.
How did you wind up signing with Pride and Joy Music?
I don’t say it’s a lucky shot because I sent the album to maybe 10 labels around the world. And I had three good responses, with an Australian label and two German labels. And one of the two in Germany was Pride and Joy Music. And they’re definitely a good label in melodic rock. So, they wanted to produce and to release the album. And I say, yes. It takes maybe less than a week. I sent the album maybe the Monday and 6 days later, I had a positive answer by Pride and Joy Music. It was a real surprise for me.
Is there any inspiration or story behind the title Rock’n’Roll Queen and that very cool album cover?
Yes, thanks. Well, in fact, I married a rock and roll queen.
Yes, absolutely. And she looks like the cover. It’s strange because Stan (the cover artist) doesn’t know my wife, but in fact, she’s blonde and she’s a girl like that. And one day I saw her on the stairs and she was dressed in a leather jacket and stuff like that. And I said, “Wow, you are my rock and roll queen.” And, “Wow, rock and roll queen? It’s a fucking good title!” So the album is called Rock’n’Roll Queen.
What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming Rock’n’Roll Queen tour in September?
First of all, we are very happy to be able to tour in September in France. We have right now five of six gigs all around France, but we are working on several other gigs, and we really want to to go in Europe, especially in Germany, because there is a lot of fans in Germany for this music style. And in Sweden, Finland, Norway, all these Nordic countries, because of the same things. They are very much fans of AOR and melodic rock and all these styles of music.
If Heart Line could open for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I think Foreigner. I saw them in London last year. It was a fantastic gig. And we all really like Foreigner. It’s a fantastic band. I think this day or yesterday, it was the anniversary of the 4 albums with Urgent and all these incredible hits. So Foreigner, and Europe. We are fans of the band Europe – I’m especially a real fan of John Norum. He’s a great guitar player. I think Extreme will go to France in a few months. So Extreme, Foreigner, Europe, Whitesnake. We are really fans of a lot of bands. All of these 80s bands, it’s our inspiration.
Your other band, YGAS. Tell me about that and how it compares to Heart Line?
It’s very different. Anne Sorgues is the singer and she’s a gospel/soul singer. It was a blue soul gospel project. We made two albums. One album and one EP. And in 2020, she fell sick. Very sick. So we stopped the band. And she’s still a very good friend of mine. We see each other sometimes. And I really appreciate her. She’s a fantastic person. But in fact, the end of YGAS was the beginning of Heart Line because I have no project because of the lockdown and COVID, so no project. It was not a fun time. But three years later, it’s my second album with Heart Line. So that’s the destiny.
Tell me about Project United Guitars, and how you became involved with that. And what is the George Lynch connection?
I’m a big, big fan of George Lynch. I saw him live in France in 1985 as an opener for Accept, the German band. And it was “wow.” I was blown away by Dokken and by George Lynch. United Guitars is a project made and funded by Ludovic Egraz, who is the chief redactor of a magazine called Guitar Extreme. It’s a magazine about the guitar, obviously. And I worked for this magazine. I’ve had a video section called Classic Solo. So, when Ludovic found United Guitars, he told me to play on the album. First it was in 2019. And for the United Guitars‘ third volume, I composed a song with Ludovic. And he knows I’m a huge fan of George Lynch. So, he has a connection because he’s a chief redactor of a big magazine, so well, he asked George if it will be possible for him (to participate). He said, “Yes, I’ll do it.” So I have a song with George Lynch. He plays a fantastic solo. Yes, it’s a really good souvenir for me. It’s incredible.
Animals by Pink Floyd is one of my favorite albums of all time. And you’re in a Pink Floyd tribute band, Empty Spaces.
Yes, I was.
I wanted to ask you about Empty Spaces. And what do you think of the album Animals?
One of the best albums from the last century. Maybe my favorite of Pink Floyd is Wish You Were Here. Well, I founded Empty Spaces 15 years ago. I just wanted to play Pink Floyd because I’m a huge fan of Pink Floyd and Dave Gilmour. And we made a lot of concerts all around France. It was a very cool experience. But I wanted to play my own and only my music so I stopped playing the band. But I don’t stop the band because I left the band to the other musicians and say, “Okay, take it and do what you want with Empty Spaces.” But yes, I’m such a big fan of Pink Floyd. The song Dogs in Animals. It’s fantastic. So many parts, the guitar solos, the lyrics. I’m still blown away by this album and by this band.
What’s up next for you and for Heart Line?
The next step is to work on the next shows. We have to build the show. I opened the file on my computer. Where is my new Heart Line setlist? I work on that these days. And after that, this summer, we don’t have any shows, just a rehearsal for September. And in the same time, I’m already work on the third album. I have maybe a few songs. I know the title tracks for the next album. And maybe a surprise in January, February, for the next year. But I don’t want to say too many things about that. But we work a lot. And Heart Line is my main project. I don’t have any other project, in fact, for now. All my energy is focused on Heart Line.
Would you like to bring Heart Line here to the United States?
Yes. It’s a promised land for us. I was in LA four years ago. I married my rock and roll queen in Las Vegas four years ago. So yes, I, we really want to go to States and play. It’s a dream for us. Really a dream because USA with all these fantastic bands, you have Winger, Bad English, Journey, Foreigner, Boston. It’s heaven!
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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