Kendall Schmidt has earned a huge fan base thanks to his starring role on Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush, and as the show rolls on in its fourth season, he's seizing the opportunity to re-launch his own music project. BFTV recently checked in with Kendall to find out if this really is BTR's final run and get the 411 on Heffron Drive.
Kendall's co-star Tanya Chisholm told us earlier this month that season four is "technically" the last for Big Time Rush, but he said that he hasn't gotten that memo. "I really have no idea. I'm pretty sure being part of the band somebody would have told me, and nobody has done that yet," he explained. "I love doing the show, so we'll see. I think all of us are okay with taking the time to do something on our own, but also we love being Big Time Rush."
He and his colleagues don't just play a band on TV - they actually are a band, and fans will be thrilled to know that there's more Big Time Rush music headed your way. Their new album is called 24/Seven, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon before it hits shelves on June 11. "We're really excited about that. We've been working on it since the end of our last tour," Kendall said. "I think there's 10 songs on the [regular] CD, 15 on the deluxe album. All the songs are in an episode [of the show], and then the deluxe stuff is just stuff that we had to put on there. James [Maslow] did this song called 'Amazing,' which is really great. Logan [Henderson] and I did a song called 'Untouchable.'"
In addition to his commitment to Big Time Rush in all its forms, Kendall has teamed with Dustin Belt to resurrect a music project they began before the show called Heffron Drive. When he spoke to BFTV, he'd just returned from a European tour for the new-old gig, and he's excited to bring it back to the forefront.
"Basically it's a new effort at something I did a long time ago. We started making music and we put a name to it, then I booked Big Time Rush, so obviously I kind of had to put on hold," he explained. "But [Dustin]'s always been there. He's been playing guitar for the actual Big Time Rush band since the beginning. So we kind of always had the idea of keeping it going. It's reinvigorated I guess you could say. I'm going to keep doing as much as I can while being in Big Time Rush."
If you're a BTR fan that hasn't yet listened to Heffron Drive, there are a few things he'd like you to know before you get started. "The songs that they're listening to, I did them on my computer in my room when I was 17," he said, referring to the few tracks that are available at places like ReverbNation. "They're literally like mixed, mastered and done by me. I'd like to redo those songs and eventually put those songs out with modern tracks and everything like that"
"It's a little more grown-up. It's a little more upper teenager lyrical content. The Postal Service is a big inspiration," he continued, describing the Heffron Drive sound. "But it's catchy stuff. My brothers love it just as much as some of the fans love it."
Being on a hit TV show, playing in the band that goes with it, and launching his own side project - what is it like for Kendall to juggle all these ambitions? "At this point it seems sort of normal to be on a pretty hectic schedule," he explained with a laugh. "You can't ever really be that upset. I'm running around promoting music that I've made, and I'm running around promoting a TV show I was lucky enough to be a part of. There's people in the world who want to see us play live and want to meet us in person, and it's our job as entertainers to do that."
He also takes a moment to thank the Big Time Rush audience, having found out before this interview that the band has snagged a Teen Choice Award nomination. "I just found out about that. We're nominated for Choice Music Group," he said, adding without missing a beat, "We have the best fans in the world."
Big Time Rush airs Thursdays on Nickelodeon (check your local listings for specific time and channel). 24/Seven is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. You can also keep up with Kendall on Twitter (@HeffronDrive).