Menacing bass riffs, catchy-as-hell punk rock and two-fingered salutes to Murdoch, Trump, warmongers, oil barons, self-serving politicians and most other examples of post-millennial shithousery you could think of; Ab Absurdum by local trio Heads Off is a record very much of the times. In fact, it’s that good we invited the band to step forward as our April Exposed In Session band. They sportingly accepted and we collared frontman Danny Lowe for an interview before the cameras started rolling.
Eh up Danny. Please introduce the band to the Exposed readership with an interesting fact about each member?
Hello! We are a three-piece – Dave on drums, Ian on guitar and me on bass/vocals – and I can’t think of any interesting facts about us at the minute. Sorry!
Why the change from Rumpus into Heads Off?
I had been uploading demos to Bandcamp under the name Heads Off for a while, and I really wanted it to become a real band. We had been playing together again as Rumpus after a seven-year break, which was a lot of fun, but it also felt a bit like stepping backwards, so I asked if we could do this instead. The styles are actually quite different. Heads Off songs poke fun at the establishment, the media and popular culture and so on, and the music has more of a punk rock sound rather than just rock. It’s still alternative, though. I hate trying to describe our band. I’m not into pigeon-holing. It’s like dogging: it leaves you feeling a bit cheap and wrong.
You guys have been playing music together for a while now. How did it all begin?
We’ve been in bands together since we were 15. I was in a band in Chesterfield and we needed a drummer as my brother had left the band to go to uni. Dave turned up to audition and it was love at first sight. Things got serious pretty quick, and before long Ian was born. It was such a long time ago now I can’t actually remember!
Do you know which track you’ll be playing for your upcoming session and can you tell us a wee bit about it?
Yes, we will be playing ‘Psychopath’. It’s possibly the catchiest song on the album, but it also has the darkest lyrics. The album version has a sample of John Bercow in the House of Commons. It’s nasty but nice.
A number of tracks on Ad Absurdum take on the big injustices of today. In the general clusterfuck of a world that is 2017, what’s our biggest threat?
I think it’s the same threat as always: any person, ideology, or political group that aims to oppress us and take more of our rights away. And Ed Sheeran – you literally can’t escape him. Every time you’re exposed to something that’s so middle-of-the-road, you lose two weeks of your life expectancy, and a small part of your soul disappears. That might be an alternative fact, actually. But whatever.
And with that in mind, are there enough bands writing protest music to challenge the current status quo?
I think there’s always been plenty of protest music, so I’m sure plenty of artists will be aiming their grievances at the present regime. Whether it gets any airplay though is the thing. Maybe it’s time Adele had a big dump on stage. Fuck the system!
It’s a right old mess though, isn’t it? ‘Hey You’ is pretty clear on calling out a good chunk of the corrupt scumbags in the world. If you could dedicate that track to one person in the world, who would you choose?
Picking one is tricky. That song is mainly about the relationship between western warmongers, Islamic extremists, and the oil and weapons industry, so there’s plenty to choose from there. But I’m going to say Tony Blair because he just keeps popping back up. At least Bush had the decency to leave us alone. Anyway, Cuckoo Films, who are filming the session, made us a great video to that song, so that’s worth a watch.
Male grooming’s a big thing nowadays. What are your tips to growing and maintaining such a resplendent tache?
Think happy thoughts and your tache will grow long. Think unhappy thoughts and it will start to shrink into one of those little Hitler things. Then you’re in a nightmare world of terrible comb-overs and mass murder. Not shaving it might also be a good tip.
Back to the band. What are the plans for the rest of the year?
We have a gig at The Washington on Saturday April 15th with support from Vladimir. That should be a great night. We are going to keep doing as many gigs as we can get, and try and sell a few a CDs along the way. We’ve also got four new tracks for an EP which we’ll be recording in the next couple of months. We recorded the Ab Absurdum album with Alan Smyth at 2 Fly Studios, and we are very happy with it, so we will be doing the new EP there.
And finally, give the Exposed readership three reasons why they need a bit of Heads Off in their lives – and why they should go check out your Exposed session online RIGHT NOW…
I’m not totally convinced anyone should have us in their lives – but everything’s ruined and Trumps probably going to get us all nuked anyway, so you should definitely all buy our album, and watch our video – RIGHT NOW!
Exposed In Session
An exclusive YouTube gig from some of the city’s finest musical exports, filmed live every month at The Greystones.
Filmed & directed by: Cuckoo Films – www.cuckoofilms.co.uk
Recorded & Mixed by: MU Studios – www.mustudios.co.uk
If you are a band/artist interested in playing a gig at The Greystones, contact firstname.lastname@example.org