Heart bassist Steve Fossen talks new ‘spin-off’ band

Steve Fossen and Michael DeRosier, the founding bassist and drummer for the 1970s rock band Heart, have formed what they call a “spin-off” band called Heart by Heart and will be performing at the Point Casino in Kingston on Nov. 22-23.

The North Kitsap Herald’s Ken Park was able to speak with Fossen about the upcoming show, the idea behind Heart by Heart and the ever-changing music scene in the Pacific Northwest.

The idea for Heart by Heart stemmed from the relationship between Fossen and his wife Somar Macek.

“In the morning time, she would be getting ready for work and I would be playing my bass and she would start singing along… and people heard about us doing that… so we would play at people’s dinner parties and gatherings and stuff,” Fossen said. “That turned into us playing bistros and jam nights around town… because we were a couple and we were in love, we came up with the name Heart by Heart.”

While the band Heart, with its original singers Nancy and Ann Wilson, are still actively touring, Fossen and DeRosier don’t see Heart by Heart as a “cover” or “ tribute” band but rather as a “spin-off” of Heart.

“We do perform almost exclusively the music that Mike and I helped create and recorded back in the ’70s and ’80s,” Fossen said. “People do think of us as a ‘tribute’ band, which is a word that … everybody understands the word tribute because they know what they’re going to hear is our representation of the music of Heart. There’s another word that comes to mind and that’s a ‘spin-off-band’ because Mike and I are original members. But if you say spin-off, it’s not a word that is as recognizable as ‘tribute.’”

It’s important to note that Heart by Heart doesn’t try to emulate the look of Heart back in the ’70s and ‘80s.

“We play the music as faithfully and accurately as we can,” Fossen said.

The Point Casino has also served as a kick-off point for Heart by Heart some years ago.

“They were one of the first casinos in the area to give us a chance and we’ve been playing there ever since,” Fossen said.

Fossen and the band are especially looking forward to the show as an opportunity to connect with friends from all over Kitsap County.

“Over the years we’ve played a lot of places in Kitsap County, on the peninsula and we have a ton of friends over there. It’s always a blast to meet up with and see the friends we’ve created over the years,” Fossen said.

Heart by Heart has performed at numerous venues and events such as Whaling Days, Olympic Cellars Winery and Seven Cedars Casino.