In 2009, the Heene family attracted national attention when their 9-year-old son was believed to be trapped aboard a helium balloon. After finding little Falcon Heene had simply fallen asleep in the attic, relief gave way to disgust when it was apparent that a hoax had been perpetrated by the family, which had already appeared on Wife Swap twice. Richard Heene was eventually sentenced to 90 days in jail for the stunt, which managed to temporarily shut down Denver International Airport.
Following the embarrassing event (and jail time), the Heenes moved to Florida, where Richard began marketing a number of strange and overpriced inventions. Meanwhile Falcon and his two brothers formed a metal band known as the Heene Boyz. In a CNN piece catching up on the family, the Heene Boyz talk about their their passion project, American Chilly, a “Rockestra” that tells the classic tale of a gas station owner who “loses his mind after taking peyote, setting off a gross and grisly escapade involving laxative-laced chili.”
The Heene Boyz have also taken to YouTube to declare their innocence: “Balloon Boy No Hoax” asserts that law enforcement lied about the ordeal, and that their father was forced to take a plea deal after their Japanese mother was threatened with deportation. Falcon also has damning words for Wolf Blitzer. “Who the hell is Wolf?,” the lead singer asks, referencing the famous interview when Falcon admitted to the CNN anchor that he had been instructed to stay in the attic by his father.
Falcon’s brother and bandmate, Bradford, explained why they needed to write the song. “(A promoter once told us) instead of hiding it, we should embrace it,” said Bradford. “So we started writing melodies and thought, ‘Dude, this fits. This sounds really cool.’ So we went along with it.” If there’s one thing the Heene Boyz understand, it’s knowing when to go along with a cool-sounding story they heard.