Music interview – False Heads: ‘Music is meant to make you distrust authority’

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After only two years on the scene, False Heads have been described as “one of the best live bands in the world” by ex-Ramones manager Danny Fields. They’ve also received huge support from Iggy Pop, who constantly plays them on his BBC 6 Music show and on top of this Rodney Bingenheimer has played their tracks on Sirius XM.

Playing alongside The Libertines, Queens of the Stone Age, David Byrne, Band of Skulls and Frank Turner is now something of the norm for the three-piece, and on top of this they’ve just released their latest single ‘Yellow.’ False Heads will be playing at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds on September 17 as part of their mammoth UK and European tour, and we were lucky enough to catch them for a chat ahead of the show.

2018 seems to be flying by now – do you have any highlights to tell us about?

Yeah, it’s going pretty quickly. Our headline show at Dingwalls was a highlight, was just utter carnage and my favourite show of our own this year. The tour with Strange Bones was just so much fun and had great crowds and the main highlight was supporting Queens of the Stone Age and David Byrne on the main stage at InMusic Festival, that was pretty special.

Your latest single Yellow has just been released, it’s already had some big radio plays too. Can you tell us about how the track has been received so far, are you pleased with everything?

It’s been received very well. We’re extremely pleased with everything so far, straight away Spotify, Radio X, Absolute and Amazing Radio gave it some coverage and it just seemed like everyone jumped on it after that. Not to mention getting a great response from our fans, which is the main thing. I was quite confident it would go down well, I think it’s one of our best tracks so I’m happy that it has gone down the way it has. It’s one of those songs that almost wrote itself, it came pretty naturally, then the riff bit in the middle took a bit of time to get right, but the three of us had input in it and we’re happy with the outcome.

I’m proud of all of the EP, from the songs to the artwork, to the production. I think it all relates to what we’re conveying. The idea of escaping pain and misery, being angry at authority and censorship and escaping your echo chamber.

Yellow is taken off your upcoming EP, Less is Better – which parts of the EP should people listen out for? Is there anything you’re particularly proud of?

I’m proud of all it, from the songs to the artwork, to the production (thank you, Jonny Hucks). I think it all relates to what we’re conveying. The idea of escaping pain and misery, being angry at authority and censorship and escaping your echo chamber. I’m particularly proud of the last half of Wrap Up, it just conveys that live energy that we sometimes struggle to get on record, but when I blast Wrap Up at top volume it makes me feel like I’m playing it live, and also the fact we got that many different riffs in a minute also makes me happy.

You’re playing in Leeds later this month, have you played here before? Do you have any memories from the place?

Yeah, we’ve played Leeds on our last few tours, it’s always a go-to on the itinerary. I don’t really have any specific memories if I’m completely honest with you, I remember ending up a weird party after a gig once where they had like three different floors with different music and had Mulan on the wall through a projector. I wouldn’t have even needed acid to make that feel odd.

What do you have planned post tour and EP release? Is it more of the same or is there something else in the pipeline you can share with us?

We’re looking at the album for 2019, we’re already recording demos and tracks for it now, as well as thinking about cover art and timelines and everything so it’s all pretty exciting stuff really. I kind of already know what I want the lead single and the other singles to be as well, but I’ll have to consult everyone in the team on that, like a benevolent dictator. We might squeeze an EP or a double A-side in between this and the album but that’s a few more conversations to be had. There’s a lot we can’t reveal just yet, but next year will be extremely interesting, I can promise you that.

You’ve had praise and support from your heroes Iggy Pop and Danny Fields, who else do you look up to in the music world and why?

Dead and alive? Bob Dylan, Thom Yorke, Elliott Smith, Eminem, Kurt Cobain, Pete Doherty, John Lennon, David Bowie, Noel Gallagher, Frank Black and countless others and why? Because they didn’t compromise and said and did what they wanted, inspired people to rebel and distrust authority. That’s what music is meant to do, make you distrust authority and open your mind up to the possibilities of other music, other art, politics, film, literature, music can do that, but it takes a special type of artist to wake that up inside you. Unfortunately, we have virtually no one that does that on a mass scale anymore, those artists are out there that can do that, I’ve seen them, played with them, it’s just to be given that chance. We need artists to infiltrate this vapid gaggle of morons that occupy the mainstream, that do nothing but dumb people down and keep people sitting convinced that they are satisfied with mediocrity.

Finally, which other bands should people be keeping an eye on at the minute?

Strange Bones, Breed, Calva Louise, the Americas, The Blinders and Gang.

False Heads play at Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds on September 17. www.falseheads.com