Q&A: The Heavy Pets' Keyboardist Jim Wuest Speaks Ahead of CD Release Party at Culture Room

Local jam outfit the Heavy Pets have a CD release party set for Saturday evening at the Culture Room. The gig celebrates the band's second full-length album, a self-titled affair. Download the album at their site, and get out and groove with them tomorrow. Keyboardist Jim Wuest is understandably pumped about the show.

New Times: Whats happening for you right now?

Jim Wuest: At the Culture

Room, we got a huge party planned. We're releasing our

self-titled album, which is a pretty big deal. We did a lot of hard work

on it and worked with some amazing people. I can't wait for as many

people to hear it as possible.

What is your biggest achievement?

The Heavy Pets album has been the

best professional music experience to date. Becoming a career musician

has been a life long goal. The opportunity to play music as much as I am

right now has led to some amazing experiences. Being able to play your

music in front of thousands of people is the biggest thrill on Earth.

What's getting the most attention on your MP3 player?

I have been

listening to a large amount of electronic music recently. When the band

was recording in Marin County this winter, I spent a lot of time at

Amoeba Records. I stocked up on some really awesome house and dubstep


Favorite keyboardist? Biggest inspiration?

I could put down 100

names for 783 reasons, but I would narrow my personal favorites down to

Herbie Hancock and Trent Reznor. Both men are iconic for bending musical

and technological boundaries on the the keyboards and synths.

What has been your biggest challenge?

The office can be pretty

stressful. A lot of time spent sleeping on the road, eating on the

road, and driving on the road. But you have to love the road.

What are your goals?

I feel like music affords one so much

opportunity to succeed and improve. Its so easy to find something to

be working on as a musician or songwriter. Continuing to expand and

evolve my sound is something that drives me day to day.

What is it like to play your music with the Heavy Pets?

I have really

been able to expand my material since moving to Florida and joining the

Heavy Pets. The band does an amazing job on everybody's tunes, and I

really feel very fortunate to have that caliber of musicians handling

material that I wrote. Now I'm at the point where i am writing more

music than I ever have and am starting to push the boundaries in which I

perform music.

The Heavy Pets. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Culture Room, 3045 N.

Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $10. 954-564-1074; click here.

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Miami New Times staff