For the past decade, Des Moines punk rock outfit Display Case has honed its craft to become one of Iowa’s most energetic live acts. And with the band’s upcoming ‘Breathe EP release and 10th-anniversary show at Wooly’s right around the corner, now is the perfect time to get yourself acquainted with the group if you aren’t already.


Jordan Essy and Joey Heirig

Jordan Essy (left) and Joey Heirigs (right) // Photo via Facebook

We recently caught up with Jordan Essy (vocals) and Joey Heirigs (drums) for a little Q&A session.

Check out our chat below:

CCS: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, fellas! Before we dig in, can you tell our readers a little bit about the band’s history?

JH: We started the band in 2009, Jordan and I met when we were failing the same class in high school so we got matched with the same tutor. Once we were out of high school we went straight into multiple national DIY tours after getting advice from friends of ours in the bands Such Gold and Transit. They helped us out a lot.

When Taking Back Sunday had to cancel their show in Des Moines when Adam Lazzara’s kid was born we got the call to hop on the bill since Transit was on that tour. More recently, one of our favorite acts to share the stage with was Strung Out and Pennywise.

We continue to play around the country and have plans to travel more this upcoming spring and summer to support the new EP.

CCS: That’s really cool, man! I’m always blown away by bands that make things happen for themselves. As I’m sure you know all too well, nothing is given to anyone these days, so to see you guys are still going strong after 10 years speaks volumes to your work ethic and drive.

I know information can be tight before a release, but what can you share with us about the upcoming EP?

JE: Thank you!

Okay, so this EP has 4 songs and it was recorded by Griffin Landa at The Establishment in downtown Des Moines. We tried to mold our sound into more of a hard rock style for this release while still trying to keep it our own. Big guitars, thunderous drums, and in your face yet melodic vocals, that’s what Display Case has always been about and I think Griffin helped us capture that perfectly.

A bit of a fun fact, I woke up the day I was supposed to go in and record vocals and just decided to throw out all the lyrics. Joey and I sat in my car an hour before I was supposed to go in and re-wrote all of the lyrics and it turned out to be some of the best we have written.

CCS: No pressure, right? ?

Griffin Landa is a familiar name in the Des Moines music scene. I believe he also worked with another of my favorite local bands, Green Death.

So, can you tell me a little about Display Case’s creative process? How do your songs usually come together?

JE: Most of the time, the guitars and drums will jam and come up with the basic outline of the songs.

For this EP, we had about 6 or 7 ideas in which we ultimately took the better parts from the weaker songs, and meshed them with the tracks we for sure wanted to keep.

For lyrics, An everyday occurrence for Joey and I would be texting each other lines we come up with, whether it be a simple phrase, verse, chorus, or even an entire song.

One aspect of the Display Case writing process that sticks out to me is that neither of us is afraid to say if something sucks, haha. Our system of checks and balances during writing keeps it interesting, challenging, and fun.

CCS:  You’ve gotta appreciate that. There isn’t much room for false ego inflation in the music business these days, especially in your particular genre.

Being in the band together for so long and having that mentality of not being afraid to say when something sucks, does it ever make for tension in the band, and if so, how do you overcome it?

JH: Well there’s tension in every relationship sometimes and a band is no different. Over the years we have learned to respect everyone’s opinion and situation.

Bottom line, we think of each other like family, so we know there’s usually no bad intentions.

CCS: That’s a great way to go about it. What doesn’t kill us can only make us stronger, right?

So, you two have known each other since the beginning. Has the lineup for the band remained the same since its inception, as well?

JE: We have had a few line-up changes over the last few years but we all remain friends and support each other still. The old bandmates we are still friends with and hang out with pretty frequently or when they are in town or have the time.

It kind of feels like a fraternity in many ways. No bad blood, just support – which is great!

CCS: I love it!

There’s a ton of negativity these days – in-band fighting and drama left and right, so it’s good to see you guys have found a way to do what’s most important and set the petty stuff aside.

So, with the EP almost finished, are there already plans for the next album, or will you guys mainly tour for a bit and then come back to the drawing board?

JE: We are always kind of messing around with new material and ideas but once the release show is over, we are going to start booking dates to hit the road this spring and summer.

CCSExcellent! I’m looking forward to catching some of those shows.

Are you able to divulge any more info about the EP? What’s the name of it, and where/when can folks get their hands on it?

JE: Yeah sure!

The name of the EP is “Breathe”. The release date for the single “Nothing Personal” is scheduled for October 15th as well as the music video, and the whole EP will be available a week later on all platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon. We will also have hard copies for sale on November 15th at Wooly’s for our 10 years/EP release show.

CCS: Awesome! I’m really looking forward to both the single and the whole EP when they release.

I know you guys are super busy, so we’ll round things off with a couple of light questions before I let you guys get back to business.

In a dream world, you get to share any stage with any three bands.

Which venue, and which bands?

JE: I’d say the venue would have to be Reading Festival – at night – with Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, and Sum 41.

CCS: That would be an EPIC show, man!

I’ve seen all of the above, with the exception of Nirvana (which obviously and sadly can’t happen), but I think that would be a great fit for you guys.

Lastly, if you had to pick one song from your catalog that encapsulates the essence of Display Case, which song would that be?

JH: I’d have to say “Nothing Personal” which is on the new EP.

It’s definitely the most collaborative I think we have been as a band when we wrote it and the song shows that.

It has our unique sound and captures our live energy very well. I really think that ones going to be a new favorite.

CCS: Very cool!!

We will be keeping an eye out for the release of that track, and we’ll be sure to share the news when it drops. Any last words for your fans and our readers before we quit bugging ya?

JE: We just want everyone to know that the single drops October 15th and to make sure you get your tickets to our show on November 15th at Wooly’s.

It’s going to be nuts!

CCS: Yes indeed it will be!!

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, fellas. We’re looking forward to what the future has in store for Display Case.

Keep making the 515 proud!


Display Case band members came together in a basement in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, releasing their first album, “Make Your Mark” in 2012 and completing their first two national tours in 2013 & 2014. Released in 2015, “Talking to Pictures”, features their own unique musical style influenced by pop-punk, hardcore and rock with thoughtful lyrics throughout. “Talking to Pictures” lead the band on 2 national tours throughout 2015 and 2016. The band’s newest of 2017, “New to Me” brings an innovative yet familiar sound for the band with heavy guitar and catchy rhythms. “New to Me” is currently being toured and promoted around the country.

This band is not to be missed live as their high energy performance will have you on your feet for the duration. Drummer Joey pounds out a grunge influenced beat with Charlie on bass and Steve sharing his gift on lead guitar. Lead vocalist, Jordan, gives his all relentlessly night after night.

Via: The Display Case Facebook Page

Band members:

  • Jordan Essy – Vocals
  • Steve Bruxvoort – Guitar
  • Charles Porter – Bass
  • Joey Heirigs – Drums

Display Case – New To Me


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