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FALSE-HEADS: against the charts

I met up with London’s alternative rock band FALSE-HEADS to talk about their brand new EP ‘Tunnel Vision‘, which was made available for free about a month ago. It has a lot of very good reviews and generally gets rated pretty well on underground music sites. Despite the fact these guys told me they hate (!) the straight edge hardcore scene, I gave ’em a try ;) You do the same and tell me what your verdict.

The band had been around since 2010 and there were some early demos. Their first EP ‘Animation Draining Needles’ was recorded just before a couple of line-up changes that let the new pack  to putting together their second EP ‘Tunnel Vision’. The outing turned out to be a worthy listen for all the 90s rock, grunge, and post punk lovers. Learn more about it and check out me heroically defending the London straight edge scene  in the interview below ;)

Hey, what’s up, fellas? Are you facing some seriously hot weather in the UK, too? :)

Hi Karol,

Currently not much is up, I’m doing sweet fuck all, how about you?

Yeah, it’s pretty hot. Sorry, I gotta ask is the website named after the RADIOHEAD song?

Yeah, man. It’s a phonetic transcription of the word Idioteque – the act of suddenly going into a crazy, seizure like state. It’s a vision of a society full of people more and more obsessed with technology, and selfishness entertainment than life itself. 

I hope this interview is not dependent on the the fact fact it’s named after the RADIOHEAD song and you won’t run away now ;)

Alright, so tell me about the origins of your name. Also, how did the band get together in the first place?

That’s a more awesome word than I ever imagined if it means that haha I completely agree, people are obsessed with technology. People are like fucking attached to their smart phones. People live their lives over the internet. Makes me sick.

Haha don’t worry I won’t but I do love RADIOHEAD.

The origins of the name are pretty lame. I wrote a load of words down, then I went away and came back to them and read ‘False-Hood’ but I thought it said ‘False-Heads’ so I chose it. I thought it had some pretty cool connotations to it. Especially living on the outskirts of London bordering onto Essex, there are so many people trying desperately to be something they aren’t. I hate them. 

Well the name ‘FALSE-HEADS’ has been around from other people I played with but when I met the new guys at uni we started a new band but we just kept that name because we liked it. 

Again, a pretty lame story to bore you with haha

So, you fired your old crew, huh? :) Tell me about those line-up changes.

Not exactly. I got on with the other guys and I moved to uni with intentions of starting a new band but when I met the other guys we genuinely couldn’t be bothered to find a new name haha and we liked the name ‘FALSE-HEADS’ and other members were okay with it. There are lots of line up changes. One of my closest friends actually founded the band with me but he left soon after, but I’m also in another band with him ‘DON CHINO’. There were some other people in there that we just didn’t click with and others I did but it ended up working out well. And then Jake Elliott who I used to jam and write with recently joined as second guitarist as well.

True love indeed comes to those who wait :)

Alright, let’s get to the point, shall we? The point is called “Tunnel Vision” and has just been released. Tell me more about this piece of art and how you’re proud of it.

Yeah I guess. I think it has some of our strongest songs on it so far. It has re-recorded versions of older songs such as Where is Your Man? and Without a Doubt which we all really like and it has Fall Around, Comfort Consumption Remedy which are brand new songs. We just picked our current strongest songs and put it on a record. I’m proud of it. I’m really proud of Fall Around, I think it’s our best song and I think it combines quite a lot of influences. I suppose overall that’s how I’m proud of it, there’s a lot of different influences combined and I think it has some nice melodies as well. 

Why “Tunnel Vision”? What does the lyrical concept of the album deal with?

It’s a lyric in Comfort Consumption and I thought it sounded like a cool title. I can’t quite remember what I was thinking exactly but the cover art and the title do sort of convey how technology seems to blur all aspects of your life into one and how people seem to sleepwalk through life working jobs they hate, driving to places they don’t want to visit to make money to spend on buying a car or something they can show off to people they don’t like. That kind of ‘Fight Club‘ ideal I guess. The lyrics are about all sort of stuff really and are open to interpretation but I suppose it’s just about society really and what I think about it. Fall Around definitely has some criticisms of religion in and Where is Your Man is mainly about how much I hate celebrity culture. Most lyrics are a mismatch of different stuff though really. I’m not good at explaining it. 

Naah, it’s all good. I get the idea.

So what’s the best place to catch you guys live?

Upcoming we have the New Cross Inn in London on the 21st. Hopefully the Islington in London on the 6th September. The Blind Tiger on the 16th September. We are usually playing around London but also in Brighton and Chichester as we go to uni there.

How would you describe your local music scene? Are there a strong community of people helping each other out? Tell me more about your local network.

Definitely not. London music scene is pretty awful. Unless you’re fairly established it’s pretty hellish for small bands. Just so many promoters out to take money off you and not promote anything. There doesn’t seem to be much of a community of bands either. I have met some nice bands though but I don’t know, doesn’t seem to be a community. We’ve only just started playing Brighton but it does seem more promising in the aspect. Chichester does have a community of musicians it just doesn’t really have any venues other than one or two pubs which is a shame.

Shame indeed :/

What’s the furthest you travelled with the band?

Brighton really. We hope to tour next summer however.

 

Where do you want to travel with your FALSE-HEADS next?

No idea really. I would love to do some American shows. Or maybe some European shows but we just don’t have the backing to do so yet. We are looking for some people who could perhaps help us out in that way.

Ok guys. Before we finish off. Tell me, what’s the real reason for doing this? What does the band mean to you?

I love music and love creating music and I think a band with sincerity has to come out soon and destroy this sea of mediocrity so we might as well try. It means quite a lot to me and I hope something comes of it.

What’s the best way to label and tag your music?

I don’t know. Alternative Rock is an easy way to label it.

What are some of the pros and cons of being an English rock band? :)

Erm it’s probably easier to get noticed in England and there are a lot of opportunities in England. On the other hand, venues are dying out all over the country and the underground scene is getting smaller and smaller. 

Hearing your sound I can’t prevent myself from asking.. do you think the 90s was the last good and truly interesting decade of music? ;) Are you sentimental about music eras?

As a whole, yes I do think the 90s was the last great decade for music. You still shit like the rise of the boyband but you had the alternative rock explosion, RADIOHEAD and even ELLIOTT SMITH who was a lot smaller than bands like NIRVANA and RADIOHEAD. I just think a lot of great music was in this decade. Having said that, we do have a lot of other influences other than bands from the 90s. We’re heavily influenced by bands like the SEX PISTOLS and THE CLASH. I’m also heavily influenced by THE BEATLES and BOB DYLAN.

I wouldn’t say I get sentimental but it’s annoying that music in the charts is just so fucking awful and banal and there hasn’t really been any kind of movement in the UK since the ARCTIC MONKEYS really so it would be nice for another one.

Do you guys go to punk shows?

Not really. We’ve played with a few punk bands. There really isn’t much of a punk scene in London anymore.

Come on! There’s a strong straight edge scene, I believe. ABOLITION, IRONxCURTAIN, GUIDANCE, INHERIT, VIOLENT REACTION, etc… At least that’s what it looks like from up here :)

Anyway, let’s wrap it up. Is there anything else that your followers should keep their eyes peeled on coming up?

I hate the straight edge scene haha. People that are proud to be boring essentially. I wouldn’t say they were punk, that’s more of the hardcore scene. Again, something I hate.

Yeah, if you could just keep your eyes open for our future gigs and we should be releasing our third EP around February. We also plan to hit up some form of tour next summer.

Whoo ho ho, why ‘hate’? :)

Well the straight edge movement I can’t stand. Not even because I can’t relate to it but more so I just don’t know why it’s something to start a movement about and especially I don’t know why it’s something to start a music movement about. I’ve met people that don’t drink and don’t do drugs and even they think the straight edge movement is just stupid. It just seems like attention whoring ‘look at me I don’t drink and I don’t do drugs’, so fucking what? It doesn’t make you a better person or mean anything really. I’m not encouraging people to go and drink and do drugs because that doesn’t make you a better person either and if there was some stupid movement where you had to drink and do drugs to be apart of it I’d think that was equally as stupid. I think that’s a problem with society as well, we still don’t really judge people by their actual merits and how they think and how they treat others, we just like slapping labels on everything and everyone. I don’t know why you would define yourself by something like that. I drink but I wouldn’t want that to become a defining feature of who I am and I especially wouldn’t want that to slapped on to my music every time someone listened to it. Don’t get me wrong I’ve met straight edge people who are nice guys, I’m not attacking the individual at all (same goes for hardcore music) but the whole idea just annoys me. Why would you constrain yourself to that anyway? What if you wanted to drink or take drugs? I think some take it as far as to not have sex before marriage. Man, life’s too short.

Everytime I read ‘straight edge hardcore’ or ‘straight edge punk’ I just sigh. It’s not all based on that however, I can’t stand the music either. Contrived movement on stage and off stage (with hardcore dancing etc) and music with little to no melody. It’s a genre of music that I just cannot understand. I’ve tried and I just can’t. I live on the outskirts of London which brushes with Essex and Essex had a huge hardcore scene so I’ve experienced quite a lot of it and I still can’t get my head round it.

You know, not every straight edge person is preachy and shitty about his or her choice, showing off with it. Sure lots of sxe don’t wear their thing like a badge. Lots of amazing interview with Ian MacKaye can explain it reallu. CRO-MAGS’ John Jpsephn once said to him that he “created a fucking monster”, haha. “Real bad boys move in silence”, he quoted KRS-ONE, and added that “empty barrels make most noise” and I believe that’s right. A few idiots you met shouldn’t  compromise the whole movement.

So what’s your personal take on linking music with certain ethics and attitudes?

Having a message is extremely important. It just depends what the message is. I like music that conveys something a bit more about the world we live.

Any good examples of that?

If the music has genuine feelings and sincere observations then it’s a good example I think. As soon as people start writing music with the sole purpose of appealing to a certain type of person is when it becomes meaningless.

Alright, thanks again for the interview. Cheers!

No worries. Thanks for the interview. I’m usually not a big fan of doing them but I actually quite enjoyed the questions haha.

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