It seems like in the past couple years that noise-rock or just heavy music in general is really coming on strong. I’m not sure if it is me finally taking notice or if it has been going on for years now, but there have been a ton of bands putting out really heavy and creative music. One of those bands happens to be Berlin’s amazing power trio HEADS. who back in May released an excellent self-titled release containing six noise inspired rock jams that straight up own. HEADS. is a relatively new group founded in 2014 by Chris Breuer (bass/vocals) of The Ocean Collective with Ed Fraser (guitar/vocals), and Peter Voigtmann (drums). Since the albums release band has put out a killer music video for “A Mural Is Worth A Thousand Words” and been touring throughout Europe in support of the album. With their touring and live appearances closing down for the year the band is releasing one more music video as a farewell to 2015, which we are premiering for you here. The video is a live performance of “Black River” and a collaboration with Ghost City Recordings and since HEADS. were so kind to premiere the video with us we figured we would take advantage of the opportunity and ask Breuer some questions about his amazing new band. Get the info and watch the video below.
I was on tour with THE OCEAN in China when Eddie replied to a craigslist post I put up where I was looking for some musicians here in Berlin to start a band. He told me he just moved to Berlin from Melbourne and I fell in love with that Aussie dude. Peter is also doing lights for THE OCEAN and it turned out that he is also a great drummer – plus exactly that stoic, heavy hitting one we were looking for. Peter is based in Hamburg and I was on tour, so after exchanging ideas online for a while we finally all got together in the same room in Berlin and it just worked really well, right from the start.
What is the story of the band’s name? Does the all caps spelling and the period at the end represent anything? We decided that the name really had to be something simple and also something that all of us could relate to. So we thought about our body parts and we all agreed on the most important one. The period is kind of our way of saying that this is it, what you see is exactly what you get.
I’ve always loved bands that only have three members and have the whole “power trio” thing going on. Describe the dynamic between the band members.
When we started this band we wanted to create something pure. Nowadays there are so many over-produced and totally overloaded records where you really miss the ‘soul’ in the whole thing. It can get lost pretty easily. That’s why we liked the idea to do this band the other way around, and to have as few members playing instruments as possible. Not to mention the total pain in the ass of making plans and decisions with 5 or 6 band members. In terms of the band dynamic it is pretty tight, and we all contribute a lot to the band. When we all get together in the studio, for writing or whatever, things tend to come together pretty quickly.
Has there ever been a point where you considered adding more members?
For now we are very happy as it is but I could also imagine to have some additional instruments in the future. But the three of us will definitely remain the heart of this band.
Describe the band’s writing process. Is there one main songwriter? Or is it more of a collaboration?
We are writing everything together and we really want to have a band where everyone is involved. That’s not always easy but absolutely worth it. And yes, we do have a somewhat nostalgic/romantic ideal of what a non-corporate rock band should be like.
Congratulations on your debut album by the way! All six tracks are seriously so solid. In your press release you had mentioned that you initially recorded 13 songs. Any plans to release the other seven songs that didn’t make the initial cut?
Thanks Jon. Yeah we did record a bunch more songs, but in the end we agreed on just releasing those 6 for the debut. One of the other 7 was a live cover of the Melvins Song “At The Stake” that we recently put out digitally as a bonus – (you can get it for free on our bandcamp site – headsnoise.bandcamp.com). For now the other 6 songs are in waiting, and we’ll do something with them with when the time is right. Or not, who knows. We’ve written a lot of other material too, so there’s plenty in the works for us at the moment.
We know Jan Kerscher (recording engineer and main man behind Ghost City Recordings) from Peter who was also involved in Jan’s solo project. Jan already did a bunch of really great sessions with bands like EF, Karnivool, etc. and we were very happy when he invited us.
Did you do any additional recording while at Ghost City?
We would have loved to, but unfortunately there really wasn’t enough time to do so.
Playing in front of a crowd is one thing, but to have a camera crew tracking your every move is another. Were you super self-conscious during the shoot for “Black River”?
Do we look like that? Haha. To be honest, we had a rough night before that session and it was a bit confronting to have a bunch of cameras up close like that. We had been on a short tour with METZ and had driven from Cologne to Nuremberg that afternoon. I think Eddie was feeling particularly rough that day. Though Jan treated us very well and that definitely helped a lot. It’s definitely a very different type of ‘performance’ to what we would give on stage in front of an audience, but I’m glad we’ve captured it this way as well. This kind of ‘live studio’ thing has its own merits in another way.
Is the video one full take or did they edit together multiple performances of the song?
That was one performance.
I know you guys do a bunch of touring in Europe. Any plans of traveling to the U.S. for some shows?
We would love to play the US and we are definitely working on that. We are planning to make our next record in the states, and that would then also be a great opportunity to play some shows over there as well. There are so many awesome bands in the US that we’d love to do shows with, the list is huge.
What does the future have in store for HEADS.?
We are releasing a split 7” with our Swiss buddies CLOSET DISCO QUEEN (Coilguns, Red Kunz) early next year. The new song will also be mixed by Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna), cause we are all fans of his work. And we have just signed off on the mix for a cover of HELMET’s “Blacktop” that we recorded for a HELMET tribute record on NY-based label Magnetic Eye Records. Plus there’s some more videos we have ideas for and wanna work on, plus some more touring – hopefully we are getting to the US and Australia for the first time next year too. Apart from that we have started writing songs for the full-length-record we plan to record next year, so keeping plenty busy.