The last time we saw Jordan Heaney, aka Yung Heazy, he was looking a little green. With his face painted to make him look like an actual pickle in the music video for his aptly titled “The Pickle Song,” Heaney strangely captured the cagey yet controlled energy of our collective mid-pandemic anxieties.
Always moving forward with boundless creative energy, the Vancouver-based indie rock provocateur has emerged once again with a crafty new video. This time, Yung Heazy has taken his quirky jangly alt-pop sound into the puppet world for his post-breakup single, “I Was Wrong.” Heartbreak is a common theme tackled by Heany as he masks his emotions in clever albeit goofy antics.
In “I Was Wrong,” he starts out sitting across from a therapist before his reality warps into a Jim Henson-inspired acid dreamscape where the puppet form of himself — a strangely accurate portrayal — competes for his lost love’s affection. Created by Max Boonch and The Joe Rose Show, the hard-working team of creatives did everything right to bring “I Was Wrong” to life.
We caught up with Jordan to talk about the song, find out what he’s been up to, and even get some tips on dealing with a broken heart.
Congrats on your new EP and this magical new music video. It’s interesting to see you go from pickles to puppets so seamlessly. Have you been using the pandemic to brush up on arts and crafts?
Thanks! I’ve been going a little stir crazy in isolation. I’ve picked up tons of new hobbies, the weirdest one being stop motion animation. I want to eventually combine that with my painting and make something weird.
The music video is amusing, considering its heavy subject matter. How did it come together?
I sent the song to Max Boonch, who directed “The Pickle Song” video, and he pitched me this crazy psychological puppet idea. I thought it was hilarious, so we put a team together, including Joe Rose, who co-directed, and puppet crafting expert, Emily Case, who did an awesome job building and operating the puppets.
Looking back on the video now, what are you most proud of?
I spent about two weeks creating the set for the house party and had to learn how to build miniature furniture like lamps and couches with cardboard glue and fabric. I went really hard on it, and it became an obsession. I built a mini waterproof aquarium with working lights, a beer pong table, cotton stuffed pillows. I even had a fully working TV which I created by building a cardboard shell around a Nintendo Switch. It’s funny because I love all the little details in there, most of which you can barely make out. There’s a bunch of references to movies and muppets and stuff in the background if you look hard enough.
Can you tell us a bit about the single itself? How much do romance and heartbreak play into the fabric of Yung Heazy?
I think I try to create tragedy in my lyrics. I don’t want things to be all good or all bad. It’s really like things are one way despite the opposite. So tackling this song about falling out with someone you still thought was into you, I try to address how hard that sucks but give a glimmer of hope that you’ll get over it.
In your experience, what are some effective tools that you’ve embraced to cope with the messy emotions that inevitably come with a breakup?
I just have to keep myself preoccupied with work or friends or something. Being more social definitely helps. Going on a date can help. I think you just have to find something to keep you sane and try to always be looking at the big picture. Everyone processes pain and emotional distress differently.
What has been the most difficult part about being a musician over the last year and a bit of the pandemic?
Not playing live or even being able to jam as often has really sucked. I’m jealous of the musicians who have roommates they can play with or, even better, are with a band together. I live alone in my little home studio, so I don’t have that luxury. I have other luxuries, you could say, for the opposite reasons (laughs).
Is there anything that you’ve been surprised to learn about yourself during this forced break that everyone has been forced to take from live music?
Yeah, I’m not as good at being alone as I thought I would be. I figured isolation would help me bunker down and focus on writing and creating with zero distractions in my way, but it’s been the opposite. I need to be active in all other areas to have max productivity creatively. When I was 18 or 19, I worked two jobs seven days a week, just busting my ass for money while still finding time to record and release music.
You’re living in Vancouver. What are some things about the city that inspire you as an artist?
I like walking around and people watching. East Van is great for that; there are lots of artists and parks and buskers. You can usually find a culture clash of hippies and hipsters and really well-off business suits. Just being around people in the city is inspiring, I guess, especially at night.
What are some other artists making music in Vancouver right now that you feel people should be paying attention to?
I think Prado is doing some cool stuff right now, I saw her last music video, and I think a snippet of one to come that looked and sounded dope. Future Star could use more recognition; her melodies and lyrics are perfectly wholesome, like the end credits song of Adventure Time. I also have some collabs with The Pierce Kingans and Happy Kid Toy Band that I think are really cool.
What’s up next for Yung Heazy? Anything else you’d like us to know about the video or the man behind the moniker?
This video was crazy to put together. The whole team did a fantastic job, and I feel like it’s one of the best music videos I’ve ever put out. I have a lot more music to share with you guys, maybe an EDM or metal album coming soon. I don’t know!