Interview – Sweetheart


Sweetheart is an indie rock band from Vancouver BC, the band began as friends who wanted to create “emotional event music”, which meant any music that was written with emotion, and would in turn evoke an emotional response.

The band consists of Marty Zylstra on vocals, Sammy Stevenson on Guitar and vocals, Matthew Kittle on drums, and Jarred Bolen on Bass and vocals!

Their first EP was released in 2006, titled Map of the Human Heart.  The album shared a story of emotions as each member of the band went through major life changing events.

Their video for “Shout it” was featured on MuchMusic and “See you on the Weekend” was selected for a Starbucks compilation album that hit the Billboard Top 200!

Sweetheart has opened for such bands as The Trews, Marianas Trench, Faber Drive, Two Hours Traffic and more!

Today, the band continues to write song after song, recently signed with Porterhouse Records, legendary punk-rock producer Steve Karvac’s label.

Their new EP, XOXOXOX shows a maturity, accompanied with a darker edge. You can buy their EP on iTunes:

The EP features songs such as “David Bowie is Dead?” and my favorite is probably “London Girl” which has a dance vibe, and great lyrics, my favorite line is “We’re gonna dance all day, until you feel alright”. Each song on the EP gives you a different feeling, but it does evoke emotion and I recommend you take the time to listen!

Marty has agreed to do a virtual interview with me,  so let’s get right to that!

How did you first get into music?

MZ: I’ve been playing piano since I was about 4 years old.  I think, as the story goes, I was found plunking away at a simple children’s tune by ear one morning and my parents put me in piano lessons

Who is your main musical influence?

MZ: my personal influence is the beatles.  I’m one of those intense fans of John Lennon and his immense catalogue of songs.  That slowly morphed into an interest in British culture and music and I am a huge fan of a lot of brit-pop/rock bands from Joy Division to the Stone Roses to Blur to Supergrass to the Arctic Monkeys to the Wombats to Biffy Clyro etc etc

What are the main differences between your first EP “Map of the Human Heart” and the newest EP “XOXOX”?

MZ: the biggest difference is how we recorded it.  Map was recorded in a couple of weeks in our friend Toby’s basement but XOXOX was recorded over the span of a year in a number of recording studios on a shoestring budget produced mainly by ourselves.  In the end I’m really proud of both recordings and how we managed to release both albums.

You have toured with many great Canadian bands,  is there any specific band that you would like to tour with in the future?

MZ: I love touring with our friends.  We did a couple of small tours with Vancouver bands and those probably have the best memories.  It is really fun to travel with your friends and that’s the most rewarding.

Where would you love to tour?

MZ: the UK.  Plain and simple.

You seem to be quite active on social media sites, how important to you find social media to be in the music industry these days?

MZ: social media is a great way to meet people all over the country and even the world.  We have fans in Sweden and Denmark and Germany and Mexicoand we wouldn’t be able to connect with those people unless we had social media tools at our disposal.

What is your favorite song to play live?

MZ: I love playing David Bowie is Dead.  Probably because people sing a long and I get to play a bit of Keys a bit of Guitar and there is great crowd interaction

Most bands have fan bases, Marianas Trench has the Trenchers, Fighting for Ithaca has the Ithicans, did I read correctly that your fan base is called The Sweet Tarts?

MZ: you nailed it!

That brings me to a “sweet” question, what is your favorite candy of all time?

MZ: I’m a lover of cookies.  Home made ideally

What is the first album you remember buying?

MZ: Nirvana “in Utero”

What is one thing that would surprise your fans to know about you?

MZ: I’m surprisingly good at driving a tractor.  haha

What is one lyric that really speaks to you (one of yours, or another band, up to you)

MZ: “there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be” – John Lennon (from All you need is love)


Evian or Dasani?

MZ: gawd! Neither.  Tap water

Facebook or Twitter?

MZ: Twitter

Television or Movies?


Inside or Outside?

MZ: outside.

Nighr or Day?

MZ: day

Cats or Dogs?

MZ: dogs

I’d like to thank you for your time, and last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans?

MZ: you are all amazing and we appreciate it and it means a lot to us when you listen to our music!

-Jenna Melanson- Canadian Beats

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