Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 23, 2013

Heartland Music Collective keeps in touch with scene

By Jack Clark
The Register-News

---- — Miss me while I was gone?

Well, I’m back. And the music continues.

Roger Perez and Kelly Bandy began an Internet podcast called Heartland Music Collective in which they talk about — what else — local music here in Southern Illinois.

Bandy doesn’t pull any punches when talking about what music means to her.

“I am a fan of music. Music has never abandoned me. Music has never allowed me to feel empty. Music makes me feel something whether it be unbearable sadness, overwhelming joy, love, sorrow, pain, extreme rage or uninhibited bliss,” said Bandy. “Even when I didn’t want to feel anything at all, music made me feel alive. Music saved my life. Music made me who I am. I am because of music.

“I owe it to the music to support it and the amazingly talented musicians who get up on stage and bare their soul to me. I not only hear the music but I can feel the energy from each musician on stage hammering out their own demons either in their vocals or on their instruments. I appreciate the fact that they are willing to get up there and share that pain with me.”

Bandy said the project is a few months in the making.

“It was due to a late night Facebook chat with Roger back on Sept 24, 2012” Bandy recalled. “We were both talking about our local talent and what we could do to help them, to help the music. He mentioned that he was wanting to do a podcast to spotlight independent artists. He saw that we both had the same passion for the music and told me that I would make a perfect partner...and here we are. We are up and running as the Heartland Music Collective. We have several episodes under our belt. Viewers can find us on Facebook ... and they can follow us on Twitter @HMCPodcast. They can email us at and most importantly, the podcast episodes can be found on”

Bandy believes the local music scene may need some help to in order to continue.

“I fear for the scene in it’s current state. People aren’t going out to shows. Venues are closing left and right. I can’t tell you how important it is to get out to shows. To spread the word. If you are in a band, go see another band. If you are not in a band, there is no other form of entertainment around that will put live performers in front of you for four hours for less than $5,” said Bandy. “Every famous band started somewhere, as a band hoping that someone walks through the door that likes what they are doing; hoping they made enough gas money to get to the next gig.

“Without the fans, there is no one to play for. I certainly have hope for the scene. There are tons of musicians out there who are being proactive with in the scene. There are people like Roger Perez out there who, by faith in the music alone, make positive things happen. The music never died ... it’s always been there. It just needs to be heard.

“Let’s revive the scene and keep it alive by supporting each other. Long live the music.”

Tonight, the Pumphouse Monster will be performing at The Hideout on Salem Road in the King City.

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Don’t drink and drive or text and drive! The Illinois State Police are counting on it.

(Jack Clark is the host of Musically Speaking, a locaI internet-radio program heard at