INTERVIEW — False Heads on its second record

Before their second record, « Sick Moon », got released, we sat with Luke Griffiths, False Head’s lead singer.

SOB : Hi ! Can you maybe start by telling me why you decided to start a band?

Luke : So I was playing guitar and then kind of came up with the name. We’re best friends. Jake and Barney were in another band, and basically me and Jay kind of been on and off, but he never really joined at that point. And then we came back and Jake came back and Barney came back and then, um, yeah. And then we decided to sort of take it seriously and then  it became fairly serious, fairly quick because we signed a small but terrible record deal within about six, seven months of us. That was kind of the origin of it.

SOB : You started in like 2015 and your first record came out in March of 2020. Do you consider your second album to be your first? 

Luke : The first album was kind of the combination of all of the songs that I’d written from, you know, 17 to 24, really. And, that was some songs that we put out or I’d done versions of them and put them up on SoundCloud or whatever. And we put out some EPS that had been self-funded, and then we rerecorded some of the older songs, and then we had a brand new song, The Island, which was like a rabbit hole, which obviously kind of went on to become our most well-known song, you know? And it was lovely, obviously, and there was a few other new ones on there. So it was kind of like five brand new ones that had been written only about four months before we went into the studio and then five one to encapsulate the band and my journey on my own, and then the band forming kind of over the last five years. And then literally all of these songs, “Sick Moon”, which got rewritten basically took the roof off our song and the chorus and said and done are all brand new that were all written in a lockdown. I mean, even most of the riffs and everything like that weren’t really taken from anywhere. They were brand new songs. So it’s definitely a weird kind of catch over a year, I suppose, you know, a lot of lockdown, but I mean, we had nothing else to do, so.

SOB : How did you feel about your first LP, because you couldn’t promote it ? 

Luke : Well, I mean, to be honest, it was fucking brutal. We had so much lined up as well. I mean, we got our TV debut lined up in the factory in Germany. We were going to America and play South by South West on Friday, and on Monday the lockdown happened. We were pretty much locked down, not just in the UK but everywhere. At that point I just took in the fucking records and the vinyl and the CD in my flat, which my girlfriend obviously wasn’t very happy about at the time. And because there was no point in going to record shops and stuff like that at that point. And then I was working for my dad part time. My dad has a small little coffee business and I was working for him. But that is what my situation was. It didn’t have a job. And I was on the fucking dole. And then we started, I think between us and our management and our label, we borrowed some money. And one of the projects I was doing was with video advertising, which was kind of like my day job at that point for my dad and some other freelance companies just to keep the bills paid. We just kind of went mad and the album kind of sort of saved the day. And our manager was right ! We started writing the album and then we sold out five. I mean, it was small venues doing 100, 200 cap, but we sold out maybe five or six of that.

SOB : What are your influences on this record? 

Luke : We definitely don’t like to write the same kind of song. I mean they still race and we work a lot on them. There’s obviously classic influences that people can make up on : Rage against machine, Sex Pistols and Radiohead to a large degree. But there’s also, I think, other influences. I mean, Elliot Smith is one of my favorites. I think he’s probably the greatest of all time. And The Beatles. Barney’s really into electronics. So I think that influences a lot of his bass. Um, I mean, Jake Love like Neutral Milk Hotel and I love hip hop. So that’s probably why it comes out that way because if I’m only listening to that, at that moment, yeah, that influences that song. The lyrics I was writing, a lot of the instrumental and vocal album was kind of me and then we, we changed them and shifted them and went and when we became both sides. But then some of the newer ones were very copying Bonnie for the breakdown riff. I wrote the bass line, so it was a lot more collaborative and in lockdown it was quite nice because what really happened was there were months where we couldn’t see each other. So we started writing separately and there were riffs and choruses and I had so much time that I was trying to write four or five different vocal melodies for one part, and then we’d go in and we’d all have different parts and we sort of emerged together.  I felt even worse than the first album, which I’m not sure was possible. But I do think that my anger in a rage knows no bounds obviously, but is more melodic. I think we have songs on the album, the melodic, but I think we kind of find it a lot more honest. And we’ve always loved pop songs.

SOB : Who did you work with on the album ? 

Luke : We did a few singles with Joe Cross. He’s a really great producer in terms it’ll just big band stuff because Frank ended up recording it for us. We played with him two years ago. He built a studio in his garden and I was like, “Do you want to produce it?” So we went and did a couple of tracks. We love it. We ended up staying there for two and a half weeks. That was a great experience. And it was interesting as well because, you know, Frank’s a songwriter as well. So it was nice to have a kind of producer songwriter who I mean, he didn’t write. He wasn’t someone that kind of wrote parts for the tracks. But it was nice to have someone in there that was producing that you can bounce ideas off.

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