In the past, as one year was ending and another was starting, Chris Heckman would usually find himself at a bar.
Heckman will be wrapping up 2012 doing something a little different: a New Year’s Eve concert — his first as a spectator and as a performer. The Epilogues, Heckman’s Denver-based band, is booked to open for fellow Colorado act 3OH!3 at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood.
“A couple of promoters came to us and asked us about playing on New Year’s Eve, and we said, ‘No way — not a chance,’ ” Heckman recalls. “And then 3OH!3 gave us a call [and at that point] it became a different story. Those guys are friends, and it should be fun, and I would imagine it would be sold out.”
A sudden change in plans is nothing new for The Epilogues. In late 2011, singer/guitarist Heckman says a label the band had been working with closed down, and “everything that we had going got taken out from underneath us.”
He adds, “We asked ourselves, ‘Well, now what?’ All the other [label] offers [we had] came off the table as well, so it was a really frustrating and trying time for us.”
At that point, Heckman says he and his band mates thought back to a tour they did in early 2011 with Awolnation.
“That was actually one of the highlights of our band’s career. I think that was a motivating force for us — to buck up, that it wasn’t the end of the world. And from that, we kept on trudging forward and trying to finish this album that we’d started.”
The end result is Cinematics, which was released in November via the Greater Than Collective label.
“It’s the first full-length album that we’ve put out,” Heckman says. “Prior to this, it was a bunch of EPs. It was exciting and important for us to put out an album. There’s always been so much focus about the single being so important, but we grew up with complete albums and artists who wanted to put out an album. This gave us the freedom to do that, to try and make a complete body of work that you can listen to from start to finish.”
On Dec. 31, that new body of work will be featured, as well as a new cover song or two, Heckman says.
“We’ve been playing the same two cover songs for the last three years, and it’s time for a change,” he says. “We’re still refining our current set with the new songs. It’s going well, but at the same time, we’re trying to put a little more breathing room in between everything. What we’d like to do is make it a more professional, and bigger. There are so many ways to improve it, and that’s what we’re going to strive for with this show.”
And after The Epilogues relinquish the Gothic Theatre stage (sometime between 11:30-11:45 p.m.) to 3OH!3 on Dec. 31, Heckman says he’ll probably be hoisting an adult beverage when the clock strikes midnight. But not the one that’s synonymous with New Year’s Eve.
“I’ll try to avoid the champagne as much as possible because everybody knows [that gives you] the worst hangover.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Photo by Randall Paetzold