March 31st. We took a trip to Leeds to see False Heads for a second time. Regulars at the blog may have read our review on their gig in Manchester a few weeks ago. We managed to catch up with the boys after the gig, and they explained that they never managed to fit Leeds and Liverpool into the tour, so a couple of extra gigs were added to the end. So here we are.
The Library bar was rammed downstairs. Many people in costumes, taking advantage of the long weekend, most people there to watch Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker.
Upstairs, however, the music fans were in The Lending Room to see some cracking live music, and that's just what they got. Local indie rockers, Mixed Descent opened up. Followed by Able’s Army serving a delicious blend of indie-pop and old school rock n roll. Kitsch played third, an instrumental band of technicians who brilliantly find themselves somewhere between Billy Talent and Mogwai, two bands I never thought would share a sentence.
False Heads finished the show with another energetic half an hour and the songs we've come to know and love over the last few weeks here at ALOMR.
After the gig, drummer Barney shot downstairs to watch the fight while we cornered singer and guitarist Luke for our first interview.
We shared a few laughs as Luke told he was being electrocuted by the microphone throughout the whole gig tonight. We then hit him up with some random quick-fire questions for the video. Bassist Jake joined soon after and we fired the random questions at him too. His answers were beautiful (and fucking weird). Check out the video below.
Here is the interview in full
In an industry where there are literally thousands of genres, sub-genres, labels, you’ve taken a step outside of the box and described yourselves as “CRACK-PUNK-INDIE-ROCK”, what does Crack-Punk-Indie-Rock mean to you?
“I think it’s just like fast paced Punk, with a little early 00s indie in there, there’s a little jangly guitar and then flicking between the two. To be fair it’s getting more iffy, but then we’ve been writing some more pop stuff lately that we haven’t been playing the in set.
Yeah, it’s a cross between that kinda more jangly indie and heavy punk.”
Having read previous interviews, your individual tastes in music are very eclectic and drive influence from many places: Muse, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Bob Dylan, to name just a few. Collectively, how did you manage to you settle into your sound?
“The one band that we all love the most which we all kind of go over is Radiohead, which in the that, kinda, half an hour set you don’t really get in too much. Then there is certain bands like pixies, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, and me and Jake love Elliott Smith, The Beatles ...and it kinda all came out in that shouty punk, that’s got some melodies that you can sing along to.
We thought it’d be a cool thing to have 2 lead singers, Barney has his own vocal parts completely separate to mine. Mines really shouty and aggressive and Barney has the nice Falsetto.
We thought that was quite a cool thing where me and Barney both have separate parts of the song, and that kinda happened naturally, we can both have our own personalities in the way that we sing. But then we can’t have it too 'ooey', so only a bit around where I’m playing a really fat riff. That was kinda the base of if. We have pop harmonies, but put them over really fucking heavy rifts and me singing them outta tune most the time, so it works to kinda take away that pop element.”
Politics is very much part and parcel of the Punk genre, and evident in your own music, especially your first EP Gutter Press. Not so much with your latest single ‘Retina’. What’s the story behind it?
“I ended up taking 3 tabs of Acid by accident!
Oh, I really, I don’t do that thing! You got this as an exclusive here, I really hate that thing where bands like 'oh man I smoked so much weed and I wrote this song'.
But, like, I was pretty, I was so fucked up, that I was really drunk with my Girlfriend, and it was the first time I was doing it and I broke a few in half.
I was really drunk and I thought they were half, they were actually individual ones, not the ones I’d been breaking up, so I slammed back 3 thinking it was 1 and a half!
I was fucked up man, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, at the same time it was really fucking crazy shit I thought I could control the universe at one point.”
How did this time in the studio writing and recording compare to previous sessions?
“We knew what were doing more with ‘Retina’."
“‘Retina's kinda funny, as we recorded it a while ago and it took a while to get out, but compared to when we did the EP we thought when we got there it would just work itself out, but we realised quite quickly that it doesn’t.
So with ‘Retina’ we worked everything out, we had all of our parts, very clear cut, got it down it, was a seamless process”
“It took a while, because we were trying to get out of our old record contract and shit, we had it recorded and had a load of shit going on. It was about a year old but we were really tight, and we'd rehearsed it a lot. Where as the first EP we hadn’t been a band that long. ‘Retina’ came out a lot better.”
We agree. ‘Retina’ is sick! But here at the blog, we think ‘TwentyNothing’ and ‘Gutter Press’ are equally as good.
Jake tells us they’re going to go and do an album, or 4 or 5 track EP later in the year, or early next year. They plan to re-record ‘TwentyNothing’, and want to get it tighter and much more polished. Having moved away from scatty garage rock to a better produced sound, and with a greater contrast with the chorus and verse.
November last year you opened ‘A Peaceful Noise’, an event held by the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust, in Memory of Nick Alexander. Nick is one of the 90 people that lost their lifes at the Bataclan terrorist attacks in Paris. As members of the music community these type of attacks are something that feels extremely close to many of us. Tell us a little about how you got involved as part of the Memorial night and how was it?
“So how we got involved into that, Zoe (Nick’s Brother), she saw us live really early on and she really liked it and we became really good friends. She came to gigs, we fucking love her she’s amazing. I’d say about 3 months after we met her, and become mates, her brother died. So we’ve seen the whole process.
She is genuinely amazing, like I’ve never really... when things like that happen, my opinion and it sounds a little cynical maybe, I get real sick of all that bullshit 'Everything’s alright', 'Keep Calm and Carry on' and that shit. I don’t know, there’s a place for it, but I don’t really know what it achieves.
There’s always so much narrative and people using it to their own political agenda, the Left and the Right Wing, I can’t stand that shit.
And Zoe, for me, is one of the only people... like, because Nick was on the front of every newspaper, the only English guy who got murdered. How do you deal with that in the public-sphere?
‘Cause it’s such a private thing, it’s so horrific, it’s a public horrific tragedy! And, man, I think she fucking deserves some kind of medal. I don’t know what medals they give out now, but she took something that was public that she couldn’t get away from and turned it into something that is palatable and actually can help people and can bring people together.
I get so sick of that shit on the news, politicians giving speeches like we’re all together and were with you. Fuck off what the fuck do you know, man?”
“She got some of the biggest names in music, it was a room full of people, everyone was laughing, everyone was drinking, everyone was having a really good time.”
Jake & Luke
“...And that’s how you beat that”
“Thats how you beat fucking horrible, fascist, theocrats that wanna murder you for having a good time. like if you do something like that, and she’s fucking amazing and that.
Not only did we do ‘A Peaceful Noise’, we saw the whole process from her brother being murdered to doing 2 gigs with some of the biggest names in Rock and Roll and pop culture. It was amazing, it was a very weird thing. Even Josh Homme played a little weird little intimate set on acoustic guitar and we were the first band on, we walk out and play a really loud punk thing.
But, it’s about Fuck those people, this is how we’re going to respond to that and there are as a genuine really electricity in the air. We went on and we all did ‘Instant karma' by John Lennon, we butchered that, we were out of tune, we were battered, our manager had to drag.. oh I was so fucked.”
“Like Frank Turner and Carl Barat singing, Band Of Skulls were singing, it was beautiful, and you could hear me and Luke on the corner like drunk Uncles”
“But we were there and the crowd was singing that song like “We all shine on”, that’s when it means something. Because it can affect people. It’s not a fucking scripted bit of paper that you go on TV, it’s amazing and I hope Zoe does that every year. It’s a beautiful and amazing event. And the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust, all the money goes to help people heal their lives in loads of different ways, they help poor people get instruments, poorer schools with music and that. Music therapy.
So it’s an amazing cause and I think she’s the strongest person I’ve ever met, to take something that public and that tragic and twist it.”
“The way that the majority of people would deal with that would be to retreat for it, you have so many people talking about your brother in such a public way, you’d retreat, but she’s had the strength to go and do it, put the gig on and make something so positive from it.”
“The thing is it’s so beautiful her family are backstage, we all getting drink with Josh Homme and Carl Barāt, and like there is something beautiful in that, because it is a genuine rebellion, fuck you, to people who wanna murder people for being on a night out and seeing a gig.
To be fair, the mainstream media did cover ‘A Peaceful Noise’ both years pretty well. It's a good thing things like that are being covered, the BBC, RadioX, Radio6 and Radio1, it’s a good thing people are getting on board with something like that.
She sold out Shepherds Bush, and sold out ULU, I’m sure she’s going to do bigger next year, whether we’re playing or we're there, we’re going to be on board with it."
Luke, quite rightly reitorated that many other people lost their lives at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, and Nick, depressingly, became a poster boy.
Just listening to guys talk about Zoe and The Nick Alexander Memorial Trust is truly inspiring. More information and donations can be made at.
We decided to talk about what songs the guys first learned on guitar.
Luke first learnt ‘Polly’ by Nirvana. His first Led Zeppelin song ‘Heartbreaker’. Luke also remembers first trying to learn Stairway to Heaven and was like “why am I doing this?”
Jake tells us the first thing he learnt, and was really proud of, was White Stripes Icky Thump, he laughs "that song makes no sense".
What’s in store for False Heads next?
“there is quite a lot up in the air at the moment, We’ve got Demos and we're going back into the studio. We've got festival season to look forward to, we've got a few dates and we’re booking a tour'
“We've got a new manager, she’s fucking awesome , we’re recording demos, talking to some big labels, were basically gonna tour for the rest of the year then we’ve got demos we’re gonna record a 4 or 5 track album, with ‘Retina’ and a few new songs.”
Make sure you follow False Heads on all the social networks @falseheads, and check out 'Retina', available absolutely everywhere.
The Video & Quick Fire Questions
Remember check out the lads at www.falseheads.com
New single Retina available all over.
Thanks to False Heads for the time.
That's the lot, enjoy!
Michael & Chris
Check out the main page for any new interviews www.alifeofmusic.rocks/interviews