For me HEADS. is one of those full-package kind of bands. The atmosphere in their work is so intense you could cut it with a knife, and their music is an aesthetic on it’s own- bleak and loud but then out of nowhere it mesmerises you with a beautiful melody. They are often labeled as post punk and noise rock, although these terms fall short to describe their style, which is a sound equivalent of concrete, nighttime desert, a violent thunderstorm, and a mist.
The group is a German trio with an Australian voice. They debuted in 2015 with the release of the “HEADS.” EP, and the unpredictable 2020 didn’t stop them from releasing their third album called “Push”, which lives up to the high standards set by their previous records in grand style, while also featuring their most diverse work yet. For this interview i spoke to the HEADS.’ singer/guitar player Ed Fraser residing in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia for the time of pandemic lockdowns.
When I first heard your music I instantly knew you were going to be among my top favorite bands. I could have sworn that this sound is a result of a group of friends that have known each other forever, and played with each other for years, and they like the same artist. That’s how effortlessly connected you seem to be. But then I’ve found out that you came to Berlin from Melbourne five years ago, and you just found Chris (Breuer, bass player) and Peter (Voigtmann, ex-drummer) on craigslist. When you first came together did the music just start flowing out as effortlessly as it sounds or did you need long hours to develop that sound?
(Ed Fraser, guitarist/singer) There’s definitely plenty of hours put in to develop things. I think we’ve all played in other bands for years, which has helped, and Chris and I particularly definitely had an immediate musical connection. We listened to the same kind of stuff, and we wanted to do something quite similar, so it definitely clicked straight away. But in terms of refining the sound it was a process that definitely took some time, and we started out with very rough sketches, which is a very similar way that we still work in Heads. We start with ideas that are perhaps a little bit more complicated and then we whittle them down to the basic elements that feel important to the song.
You guys have this unique sound, and even though you change things around a bit from album to album it’s still always rooted in your unique soundscape. I’ve never heard anyone that sounds anything remotely close to you with the intense aura that you’re creating, so that was very surprising for me to find out that you have basically just met.
We’re definitely influenced by similar people, but then each of us also has very different influences. I can’t really speak for the other guys but I know that throughout my music life I’ve definitely tried to sound as much as myself as I possibly can, so even when I was a teenager, and I was first learning to play the guitar I tried to avoid learning how to play my favorite songs. My friends would be learning how to play “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns n’ Roses, and I would often make an effort to not learn how to play the songs that I liked, because I wanted to try and sound as much like myself as I could.
So it seems that If you really want to create your own sound, compose your own music, and not play in cover bands for your whole life (there’s nothing wrong with that though) then you definitely need to pay attention specifically to not sounding like anyone else, or at least that’s what worked for you.
Exactly. I also kind of felt that once you learn how to do what somebody else does it takes away a little bit of the magic from that as well. Once you know how to your favorite song, then at least for me- I don’t know if for other people, but I felt like that song felt really different after I knew what the notes were. I didn’t want to steal the magic from the songs by figuring them out.
You play dirty but you record very clean. Your records have this high-fidelity touch to them, and it seems to me like it was a very conscious choice from the beginning. Was it a conscious choice?
It’s definitely a conscious thing. I think I can speak for everyone in the band in that we’re all into sound. We’re people who would probably be considered perfectionists as well in many ways, so the mixing, and mastering process for all three of our records has been pretty lengthy, and there was a lot of talk about details. We’re very specific. We want things to sound a very particular way. There’s emails threads that are very long, and they go on and on and on.
They’re necessary for us because we’re often not all in the same place, so when the band was me, Peter, Chris, Peter was living in Hamburg, Chris was living in Berlin, and I was living in Berlin, and Melbourne traveling around, so it was very rare that all three of us would be in Berlin together. It was often very necessary that we had to just mix an album by email. Everything gets mixed by Magnus Lindberg who does an incredible job, but he’s in Stockholm in Sweden as well, so it furthers the distance thing.
The production of your music really stands out. That’s what sold me in the beginning, because I’m also super into sound. When you put on an average recording on a good speaker or whatever it sounds cool, but when the recording is done with your level of attention to these details it makes everything just so much better.
Awesome, Thanks! I feel like it helps to get the music across better. Songs have meaning behind them, and I feel like that comes across better if the song sounds as close to, or exactly like you need it to sound. If you can really narrow the song down and make it sound super close to what you need then it just feels right.
That also translates to your live shows. I’ve seen you perform twice. What was really surprising for me is that every time I saw you, you guys sound so clear live. Before I’ve seen you the first time I was expecting that the details that you can hear on your records might get lost in a live show, but I was blown away by how much you guys totally sound the same during a live show as you do on an album, and I mean that as a compliment.
That’s really good to hear! We’ll have to give a bonus to Kevin, our sound guy. That’s awesome, he’s done a good job. I feel like this music is definitely made to play live, so we record it live, but then we overdub guitars, and there’s some extra elements, and we record the vocals separately, but essentially what you’re hearing on the record is us playing live. That’s the majority of the sound, and then we just add extra stuff on top of it. When we write those songs and rehearse them they’re definitely made for live shows, so that’s really good to hear that it comes across. Cheers to Kevin!
Cheers to Kevin! Where is he from? Europe or Australia, or…?
He’s living in Switzerland.
You guys just can’t live all in one city, right? Or country? You’re still missing a guy from the US or Asia.
Just to make it extra complicated we’ll get a saxophone player from Antarctica and try and figure it out…
I’ve read an interview where you talked about the albums that shaped your taste in music, but I wonder if there’s maybe something else that you feel has contributed to the sound of that’s not strictly music-related.
The shit that happens in your life. For me particularly writing lyrics, and singing, and stuff- that’s the main influence for me in terms of that side of the songwriting, or what’s happening in my life, and the lives of people I care about, but then I’m also personally heavily influenced by literature, and all kinds of films. I’m a massive film buff too. I was recently watching a film called “Only God Forgives”. That kind of stuff is amazing. It’s just such a long list it’s hard to know where to start. I’m trying to think of stuff I’ve seen lately. Lockdown man, I’ve been in lockdown for like six months, so it’s all just movies becoming a bit of a blur.
So much time to see everything, and you probably end up just seeing the same movies you’ve seen a thousand times, but you just enjoy them so much. Are you one of those people?
I can be, yeah. I got married last year. My wife hasn’t seen a lot of the films that I really liked growing up, so we’re watching things like “Jurassic Park” together, and I’m seeing it for like the tenth time, and she’s seeing it for the first time, so it’s exciting for both of us.
What about the poetry? Do you read foreign translated to English poetry for example?
No, I usually only read stuff in english. I try, and read things in german but my german isn’t good enough, so I don’t get the nuances, and the details, and the things that make poetry and novels special. I just can’t get that in german. It’s too basic for me, so I pretty much only read things in english.
Who are your favorite authors?
I got right into Bret Easton Ellis recently. I’ve read a bunch of stuff written by him.. He has an interesting style where things are often very bleak, and they seem very stark, and very cold. They often seem very much like there isn’t a whole lot of emotion in it, and then out of nowhere he’ll hit you with a passage that seems very profound, and has a lot of meaning.
It’s a style that I personally can really get behind. He takes some of the coldness, darkness of life, and some of the very difficult things about life, and he contrasts those with some of the more profound and meaningful things about life, and that’s what I take from it personally.
Very suitable themes for 2020, right?
Oh yeah [laughs]. It works. Another one is Cormac McCarthy. It’s an author that writes a lot of Southern American kind of stuff, but also often very bleak, very direct, quite dark stuff. “No Country for Old Men” is written by Cormac McCarthy.
Right, right! I love that film! It’s among my favorite movies, and I didn’t even realize that’s the guy who wrote it.
Yeah, the film is also just absolutely brilliant. Everything turns on the head on the flip of a coin.
Yeah, that coin scene is just iconic. Talking about the Southern US- there is something of a nighttime desert vibe in HEADS. music for me. Was Cormack’s work influencing you for a long time, or is it something that you have gotten into recently?
Probably for a long time. I think what tends to happen is I read stuff, and then it gets in there.
Sits around quietly, and later shows itself?
Yeah, you’re writing something a year later, and you think “ah, that’s probably influenced by this thing, or that thing”, but also definitely I think you’re spot on that Heads music is influenced by, and reminiscent of deserts nighttime open spaces, empty places, and that’s something that I am definitely heavily influenced by in life is just big empty places, because they’re very powerful places, and Australia especially is full of those. There’s a feeling that you could get while standing in the middle of a desert, or a dried out salt lake, or somewhere where you’re completely on your own, and there’s nobody for kilometers anywhere you look. That’s a very powerful feeling, you know. It’s a very inspiring thing.
You seem to like finishing your albums strong. Each release ends with often the most intense song on the album. Does that come out randomly, or you just can’t help yourself but do it that way?
Good question, yeah, I’m not sure! I think we just can’t help ourselves all right [laughs].
For “Push” you have “Paradise” (before the album’s epilogue), “Collider” has “Youth”, and the self-titled EP has “The Voynich Manuscript”- they’re all among the most intense songs of Heads.
Yeah, it’s definitely something we discuss, and decide on as a band, and finishing the album with something quite intense is definitely something that we choose to do. I think HEADS. albums work best if you’re able to listen to them from start until the end, because they are put together in a way that’s supposed to make sense as a full piece, so for us I guess ending with something very powerful is kind of a way of saying that these are all the the things that we’ve brought up, and spoken about, and now we’re going to finish it with a bang, and we’re going to leave you with this feeling, and hopefully some of that feeling stays with you for the rest of the day.
What is also cool about “Push” is that the first and the last song sort of feel like the prologue and epilogue.
Definitely, yeah. That’s the idea. In the prologue we’re calling forwards, and sort of saying this is what’s going to happen, giving you some hints about what’s coming next, and then in the epilogue we call back again to the start, and there’s things that happen throughout the album that are referenced, so there’s certain lyrical themes, and certain ideas that come up again, and again, and again throughout the album. I don’t really ever get into specifics too much about what the songs are about in terms of the lyrics, because some people take a lot from them, and some people have their own meanings. Maybe it means a lot to them, or maybe it doesn’t. I like to leave it open to interpretation, and let people decide what it means to them.
I’d say this is respectful towards the audience. They’re not spoon fed with ideas, but they can use their own brain, and figure out what’s the song about. Maybe they can even relate to it better when there’s no obvious meaning attached to it.
Yeah, absolutely. That comes from experience for myself as well. I’ve had songs that I’ve really loved, or that really meant a lot to me, and then I’ve read an interview one day and then the singer’s been like “oh yeah, that song’s about my favorite football team”, and I was like “damn it you ruined it!”, so that comes from experience, and I want to give other people the ability to take what they take from the music, and to leave it at that.
Every Heads album includes guest appearances from interesting artists. You’ve had Kevin Whitley from Cherubs on “Collider”, you’ve had Kristof Hahn from Swans on “Push”, you’ve got a video for “Weather Beaten” made by Alex Edkins from Metz. Are all those musicians whom you have befriended somehow down the road?
Some people we’ve befriended along the way. Some people we’ve just reached out to. We definitely have asked people who we admire, and people who we’re big fans of, so all of those guys who you’ve just mentioned, they’re all people that we’re fans of as a band. We’ve done a couple of short tours with Metz in Europe in the last few years, and Alex is a super super nice guy, and also incredibly talented, so we just reached out to him, and he was straight on board which was really cool, and he made a really really cool video for us.
Kristof Hahn we didn’t know personally beforehand, but we were looking for a lap steel player to play on “Push”, and it was the first time we’ve made a record in Berlin together, and somebody said “we should try Kristof”. I think it was Nic, the drummer. He was like “oh, we should try Kristof Hahn from Swans, because he lives in Berlin”. We have a friend called Basti Grim, and he takes all our photos and videos, and stuff for the band, and he was in the studio with us taking some photos, and some footage, and he said “oh, Kristof Hahn, yeah I know someone who knows him”, and within an hour he had an email address for me, and I emailed him. Within a day or two he was in the studio playing lap steel for us, so that was really easy. Kevin Whitley was someone who we didn’t know personally either, but we were big fans of Cherubs. I’m a huge fan of their album “2 Ynfynyty” from 2015. Again, we just wrote to him by email, and said “would you like to sing on our record?”, and he said “yeah”.
If you could get three living, and one deceased artists to collaborate with you on your next album who would that be?
Good question. So three living, and one deceased… I would love to collaborate with Angel Olsen. I really, really like what she did on her latest record. I’d love to get Earl Sweatshirt to collaborate on something like pretty, pretty heavy hip-hop. All right Angel Olsen, Earl Sweatshirt… someone else living… It’d be cool to get Joe Talbot from Idles. It’d be cool to get him on something, because he writes music with such passion, and it’s just so inspiring.
Yeah, definitely! I’m all for it! Joe, if you ever read this interview- guys, make it happen!
And then one dead artist. Oh that’s tough, that’s tough… Jimi Hendrix just keeps coming up in my mind. It’s so obvious, but he’s also just such a genius, and so amazing, so why not just put one Jimi Hendrix solo on a song. Or put a Jimi Hendrix solo on every song actually!
You mentioned Earl Sweatshirt, and it made me think about the Spotify playlist which contained songs that influenced the sound on “Push”. There was a hip-hop song by ASAP Rocky, and I was wondering how did hip-hop influence the sound of HEADS. Is there a specific element that you know for sure it comes from hip-hop, or is it just like a general vibe?
Definitely a general vibe. There was a Tyler, the Creator song which was the one that was a collaboration with ASAP Rocky called “Who Dat Boy”, and there’s a Kendrick Lamar song on there, and Sleaford Mods as well. I’m definitely a huge fan of hip-hop, and I think it’s inspiring for a lot of different reasons as well, but one of the main things about all these people- Tyler, the Creator, Kendrick Lamar, Sleaford Mods- it’s very passionate. Kendrick knows what he wants to say, and he says it with such conviction, and such fire. That is super inspiring. It’s kind of the same for all hip-hop really, or at least for hip-hop that I like. It’s very, very inspiring. I wanted to do similar kind of things lyrically on “Push”. I didn’t want to try, and do hip-hop, but I took that inspiration, and added it to my own lyrics, and way of singing.
I was reading through some of the lyrics for “Push”. I felt like you sort of call the audience out a bit more. It’s a bit like that contrast in the work of Bret Easton Ellis you mentioned earlier. It can be devoid of emotion but then it’s hitting you at times when you drop your guard.
Cool! Nice, I’m glad that you get that, and appreciate that because that’s definitely what’s happening.
The first two albums had a very different approach to composition, or at least the way I see it, the debut EP having much more repetition, and minimalism going, and “Collider” being more dirty, and complex, and “Push” definitely sounds like the most pissed off of the three. You have the fastest, and the angriest songs in there, it has more spoken word kind of vocals than previous albums, but you also shout, and scream a lot more. You threw some synthesizers, and a lap steel in there as well. Where did that come from, this shift in intensity, and the kind of details that ended up on the album?
It happened very organically. Peter, our former drummer joined a german band called The Ocean who Chris used to play with as well, and so he didn’t really have enough time for us anymore, so we got a new drummer, a guy called Nic Stockmann who’s based in Berlin, and is a different style drummer to Peter, and with “Push” we had a limited amount of time. We had about two months to write all the songs, and then time for recording, so it was very organic. Whether it’s because it’s a different drummer, whether it’s because we were in a different place in terms of influences or mentally it’s hard to say, but naturally things got faster this time, and we just let that happen.
So you didn’t fight whatever came to your mind. You just rolled with it, and didn’t fight the ideas.
Yeah, totally. In in the past we definitely deliberately slowed things down, so for “Collider”, and the first EP we wrote songs, and then on some of those songs we were like “this could be slower”, so we bump it down a few BPM, whereas we didn’t do that on “Push”. If it came out a certain way, then that’s what it is. To me it feels very natural. I think you can hear that. I know Chris was listening to Sleaford Mods, and he was programming some stuff at home. I was fooling around with a synth. Nic’s a naturally heavy hitting, quite aggressive, and it’s I think naturally the band just went in that direction, and it feels good too. It’s also fun to play live. We did play some of these songs live towards the end of last year before we put the album out, and it’s fun, yeah. It’s fun to play these fast ones.
It surely brings a different flavor to your sets because usually there’s a very intense atmosphere in them, but I imagine playing something like “Weather Beaten” must be a new level of intensity.
Right, yeah. For me to be able to play that, and sing it I have to be mentally in the right spot. With a song like that I can’t just get in front of the microphone, and just do it. I have to be actually in the right place. Does that make sense?
It does make sense, yeah. It’s sort of like with acting. You have to bring yourself to a specific emotion.
Yeah, it’s about being in the right headspace to be able to push it out, and scream it, and play it, and perform it, and it takes a lot after that. We would usually play that song last, and after that song I’m done. I need to go, and sit down.
That makes sense, it’s an intense song.
The first song you released from “Push”, “Weather Beaten” touches on the subject of the all-powerful nature, and our absolute defenselessness against it. At least I feel that way about it, and I also think, that the song could be heavily inspired by fires Australia was struggling with early this year. I imagine this must have been a very depressing, and hopeless experience for you.
Yeah, it’s scary! It’s scary shit! We’re coming into summer in the next two or three months here in Australia, and a lot of people are pretty nervous to see what’s going to happen this year, what it’s going to look like. It’s a pretty frightening situation, because it’s already bad here. Fires in summer in Australia are already a very dangerous thing. That song’s not specifically about bushfires, and even specifically about weather, and natural disasters, and stuff like that. It’s more based around a feeling, and toxic things basically. Without giving too much away…
Okay let’s leave it to the audience, or let’s just say it’s about weather…
It’s about my favorite football team.
I’ve seen that video where you deliver vinyl copies of “Push” in Melbourne by yourself (LINK). You mentioned that you can’t go further than five kilometers away from your home. Does that apply to everyone?
Yeah. In all cities you can’t go more than five kilometers from your house, and we have a nighttime curfew, so you can’t go outside between eight o’clock at night, and five o’clock in the morning, so the whole city is completely empty after eight o’clock at night. It’s really weird. It’s very strong measures, and it’s pretty challenging, and we have very low cases in Australia as well, but I understand that it’s about saving people’s lives, and it’s a big sacrifice to do that, but so be it.
If that saves people’s lives then that’s probably for the best. It’s been a very challenging year for everybody of course. I can understand that, but speaking from a personal perspective it’s really weird to release an album, and not play any shows, not even see my bandmates because they’re in Germany. I’m stuck in Australia, you know. It’s difficult for the whole music industry, and hopefully it gets better. Having said that it’s also a frightening time for people who are elderly, or who have compromised immune systems, or who are sick, or things like that, so I understand that it’s a big sacrifice for a lot of people to make, but if it helps people, and saves people’s lives then it’s probably for the best.
Yeah, Australia doesn’t fuck around.
Definitely. That’s crazy man! Never in my life I thought I’d see a nighttime curfew for a whole city. It’s really weird. I don’t think I’ve been that healthy in years as well. I mean tonight I’m having a couple of beers, because it’s saturday night, but apart from that it’s like just in bed every night, just having a good sleep, you know.
I guess it’s about time to bust out that coronavirus question. Many bands have postponed everything they’ve had going on along with new releases, but you guys decided on releasing “Push” anyways. How did you land on that decision?
We just decided to go ahead with it. We didn’t even really discuss postponing it. We decided we were going to put it out anyway, and then if we couldn’t tour it, and we couldn’t play shows on it we would do that next year or whenever we can. We felt like it was a strong album, and we felt like it could stand up on its own without us having to tour it. Who knows what things would be like if we’d also been able to play shows. Very hard to say, but I don’t have any regrets. I’m glad we put it out, and we can play shows next year, or whenever the time comes.
Good decision. I’ve got to say the album is pretty fucking great and it actually makes a really good soundtrack to 2020 because of the things we discussed earlier.
I think it works for the coronavirus, so that’s probably a good one to have out there.
The band has toured both Europe, and the US. What are the differences that you experienced as a band between those continents, and how do you compare them to Australia?
In Europe it definitely changes country to country, as anyone who’s toured europe knows. You definitely get different treatment in different places, but without knocking on the Americans you definitely get treated very well in Europe. You get dinner, you know. People are super nice. You get breakfast even, whereas I find that in the US you don’t really get that kind of treatment, not in a band of our size, but the bands definitely go out of their way to help you, and be very hospitable, so they will be like “you can use my gear, sleep at our place”. There’s all this stuff which is super cool, but the venues in the US in general tend to just be like “oh yeah you’re from the band, are ya? yeah cool, there’s the stage, there’s the door…”, whereas Europe has pretty fancy treatment. It’s nice.
We often tour in Europe with bands from the US, and I know a lot of those bands say the same thing. They really enjoy coming, and touring in Poland, and Germany, and Switzerland, and all over Europe because you guys really look after bands. It’s super nice coming from Australia, because in Australia it’s more like the US in general. It’s not everybody, and some venues are super nice, but for a band of our size playing in Australia most often you’re going to get to the venue the people are probably going to be nice. “G’day mate, how’s it going? How are you? Yep, stage is there, doors there… you get two drinks per band member, two beers each, and that’s it”, you know, and then that’s it, you go to work. Europe’s a bit special all right, so that’s cool.
It’s such a huge industry, and such a huge organism. It’s really amazing, whereas in Australia it’s much smaller than that. It costs a lot more to get there. It’s a lot harder to make it work, so there’s a lot less bands actually touring in Australia.
How do you compare the music scene in Australia to Europe in general?
The scene in Melbourne is very strong, especially for rock, heavy music, and pop music, but it’s just a much smaller scene, so it’s more competitive basically. If you want to get the slot supporting Whores in Australia for example- that’s a huge deal. There’s only a handful of bands that’s going to be decided between, so it’s very, very competitive. It has its good sides because it means that to either get a gig, or to get a good show you have to be a really fucking good band, so it’s quite a strong scene. I guess the main thing for me is that it’s so much smaller.
There’s a distinct thing in Melbourne in that you’ll see incredible bands playing to very few people all the time. I’ll go, and see some band that just absolutely rips, and it’s playing to like 40 people 50 people. There’s also kind of a distinct attitude that Australian bands can have. It’s not guaranteed, but there’s a sort of a no-bullshit, don’t talk yourself up too much. We call it “having tickets on yourself”. “Don’t have tickets on yourself”, which is like “don’t walk around like you’re in Motley Crue”, because you’re not. You’re just the band from the pub, so it’s very down to earth, and if you try, and if someone sort of stands up, and it’s like “I’m the coolest guy ever”, then everyone else will go “sit down, you’re a wanker.” [laughs]. So in general the scene is very down to earth, and it’s nice, it’s pretty fun, and it’s pretty friendly.
I was thinking whether Heads listen to their own music. Many bands can’t stand their own records. When they hear a song they’re cringing. I was wondering if you guys feel the same way, or are you one of those bands that create the music they would like to hear, and actually enjoy, or are not bothered by listening to it.
Oh yeah. I feel fine about listening to it. It’s like I have a feeling that it is what it is, and it was that thing at that time and place, and even if it’s not perfect, or it could be changed, or whatever then it doesn’t matter because it’s what it is for that time, so yeah. I feel fine about it, I don’t really actively listen to it, but if I ever do I’m cool with it.
And like for the last question of this interview- what’s the worst advice that you have ever been given?
Worst advice I’ve ever been given… that’s a good question. I’ve definitely been given bad advice before. When I finished high school I was trying to decide if I wanted to go, and just travel around the world basically. I was young, I would have been 17, or 18, and I wanted to take a year off, which is actually quite common in Europe, but I didn’t realize that at the time. Take a year off, and travel around the world, and just have experiences, and learn stuff, and then go to university later, and I had some teachers from my high school say to me “You shouldn’t do that. You should go to university, because if you don’t go now you’ll never go” basically.
Really? Lame teachers. Come on, live a little.
Yeah. Terrible advice, because I actually listened to them, and I went to university, and then I just dropped out a year later. Uni didn’t work out for me, and I didn’t end up traveling around the world for quite a few years after that, so that was bad advice.
Yeah, definitely. You still traveled a lot later though, right? Coming to Berlin was a part of that desire?
I ended up traveling extensively, and still generally do. I wanted to change my life, and that was the main thing with coming to Berlin. I was living in Melbourne, and I wasn’t unhappy there, but I really wanted to change my life, and I wanted to also try playing in bands, and touring around Europe. It was something I hadn’t done, and that was sort of one of my main things about moving to Berlin. I wanted to move there, start a band, and tour around, and…
I gotta say that’s good you took that bad advice. This is the worst advice that you took, and still had some pretty cool outcomes.
It’s all part of the path, it’s all part of the journey.
I said this was the last question, but right now I noticed I actually missed one about travels, so this segues pretty nicely into it. We went through the first lockdowns, and travel restrictions, then they got lifted a little bit, but now it looks like we’re going back to sitting around in our homes, and not being able to travel abroad again, especially in your case, so that sort of makes me think about the best trips I’ve had in my life. Let’s talk about yours. Where was it, and who were you with?
Good question. In february 2019 I traveled across Vietnam on a dirt bike with who is now my wife. We took a couple of dirt bikes, and a camera, and we shot like a bunch of music videos on dirt bikes, which we are now releasing. That was a pretty amazing music trip. Pretty frightening. I wouldn’t recommend riding a motorbike across Vietnam if you’re nervous, because it’s pretty full on.
Sounds like hell of an adventure. You’ve mentioned Vietnam and it made me think if it’s related to Kino Motel, that project you’re having with your wife? Did it influence it somehow?
Fully, yeah. We shot a bunch of music videos for songs that didn’t exist yet. We had a general idea of some storylines, and some stuff we wanted to do, and then we just sat on the footage for like over a year, and we’re now ready to release the first music video. I’m really excited to release this one for people. It’s quite an exciting, and pretty interesting music video. It’s a bit of a thrill adventure ride, Tarantino-inspired, James Bond kind of thing.
It’s cool approach to writing stuff in general. You first made a video for songs that don’t even exist yet, so you have written music that sort of fits to the themes of the video?
Pretty much, yeah. When we started writing the music we knew that we wanted to make something that was inspired by classic cinema, kung-fu films etc. We wanted to make a kind of movie soundtrack music for movies that didn’t exist, so we took a similar idea, and we shot the videos for the music that didn’t exist, and then just worked it all out together.
This approach to writing process or creative process in general- have you used it before for example in Heads?
No, this is a new thing, and now in 2020 I’m really glad we did that because we definitely can’t fly to Vietnam, or Bangkok, and shoot these videos, so we’re actually really lucky that we have all this footage we can use now. This is a new process, and that really was born out of being very busy as musicians, and doing things in multiple different projects, and realizing that it’s easier in the future if you have a bunch of stuff already set up, and ready to go. In music you’re always living six months in advance, or three months in advance or you know a musician’s life is often like you’re booking a tour, but you’re booking that tour for next year. You’re like mastering a record, but the record doesn’t come out until February. You’re always working ahead, so it’s just an extension of that.
Cool! That was the last question I’ve had in this interview. Thanks for doing this!
Thanks for having me!
Interviewer: Patryk Łobas