American Heartbreak

American Heartbreak’s co-founder/guitarist Billy Rowe (ex-Jetboy) took time out from preparing for a tour in Japan to speak with Metal Express Radio.

Metal Express Radio: Hello Billy, thanks for taking the time to talk to Metal Express Radio!

Billy: Thank you!

MER: The band’s logo catches attention as being similar to the 70s American sitcom Love American Style. Has anyone told you this? What was the inspiration for the logo?

Billy: YUP! It Is a knock off of the Love American Style 1970s TV sitcom logo!! That’s exactly where we got the idea from, and yes we have heard this before. To be honest the idea for the logo came instantly after we all agreed with the name.

MER: Your second album (You Will Not Be Getting Paid on Perris Records) consisted of mostly live songs and acoustic tracks (including Starz and Cheap Trick covers). Did you guys feel this was somewhat of a risky move so early on?

Billy: We never thought of this to be any kind of a risky move at all! Basically, we had the live recording side from a show we did in France, so we then added a few acoustic tracks to make it a complete album: 5 Live and 5 Acoustic. Perris records were into releasing it so we put together the artwork & titled it You Will NOT Be Getting Paid. It was actually good timing for us to have something new out at that time to keep the band name going while we were working on this new album. It’s all about taking risks anyway, right? It worked for many great bands, one of which was KISS with their Alive album in 1975!! I just wish American Heartbreak sold as many as KISS did!!!! LOL

MER: Your newest release is self-titled … why? Does this mean this is a “new beginning” for you guys?

Billy: We all felt a self-titled release would work best for this album with no title in the way. Plus, I’d say this album is a bit of a “new beginning” for American Heartbreak for sure. We’re on a new label, have a new line-up and definitely a more focused direction with our sound. This band has always called itself a Rock ‘N’ Roll band, yet we never recorded that real big ROCK album yet until now. Even more of a reason for this new album to be just self-titled.

MER: Congratulations on releasing American Heartbreak in Japan. The Japanese release features two additional bonus tracks, acoustic versions of the album tracks “Last of the Superheroes” and “Unhappily Ever After.” Any plans to release these to fans in other countries (e.g., United States) someday?

Billy: Thanks!! We actually recorded an acoustic version of the whole album in our rehearsal room right after finishing the electric one. Originally our idea was to release a double CD, but that didn’t happen. We do plan to get the acoustic version out in its entirety, just not sure when or how, possibly at shows, not sure yet.

MER: It looks like you guys have some tour dates in Japan. After gigging primarily the state of California (USA), this must feel pretty good to play a different country? How are you guys preparing for this and what’s the expected fan response in Japan?

Billy: YUP!!! We’re going to Japan!!! We’ve waited a long time for this day to come. The band has played mostly California dates, but we have toured all of Europe four times now. So being out of the country we’ve already done. We’ve had some great friends and fans in Japan since the band formed in ‘97, so it’s going to be pretty cool to do a tour over there and play live for them for the first time. As for the response, I guess we shall find out In November!!?? I can only imagine it being AWESOME!!

MER: A lot of tracks on American Heartbreak are accessible for “Pop Radio” or FM Stations. Do these tags bother you? Is this something the band strived for?

Billy: Nah, these “TAGS” don’t bother us at all … this band has always been about writing the best songs we can!! We like to write catchy, anthem, sing-along Rock songs with big guitar riffs. When it comes to the Pop side of the songs, for us we go in the direction of Cheap Trick, I’d say. For the music end, we go with an AC/DC riff style, especially on this new album versus our previous ones.

MER: Is there a campaign to get any of your songs onto American radio stations, where it seems the band could do very well?

Billy: Good question! Right now that’s what we are working on at the moment. We actually have an independent radio promoter that will be campaigning a plan this next month. We would love to have American radio stations play the hell out of our songs!!

MER: Your biography coins a new phrase “New Wave Of Classic Rock.” How would you describe American Heartbreak fitting into this category? What qualities or characteristics define “NWOCR”?

Billy: As for American Heartbreak fitting into this phrase, sure why not!!?? I would say this is mainly due to our influences from 70s Rock ‘N’ Roll, which is now called “Classic Rock.” So, that being said, I guess you can say we have what I would consider a traditional Rock ‘N’ Roll style & sound. The qualities of this would be how the songs make you feel along with the attitude of them.

MER: You just came off some show dates with Jetboy (your ex-band). Is it safe to assume that you and American Heartbreak are on good terms with Jetboy?

Billy: Yes, I just did a few reunion shows with Jetboy!! As for being on good terms with both bands … absolutely!! You know Michael Butler played Bass for the reunited version as well, so there are two members of American Heartbreak who also play with Jetboy now.

MER: What’s next for the band? What are some future plans you can share with your fans?

Billy: The next plan for American Heartbreak is getting on the road to support this new album. It was just released in Japan at the end of July, and we have four shows over there in November. We are also currently talking to labels for the European release with a tour to follow over there as well. In a nutshell, our plan is to tour, tour, tour and support this new album!!!

To find out more about American Heartbreak check them out on-line at


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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