20 Jul 2010
The Heads - Interview with Hugo Morgan
The Heads - Interview with Hugo Morgan (translated from French)
The last group to plunder the British energy reserves, called The Heads. A bunch of irresponsible not even in the game. And refuse to bow to the business, to avoid a sodomy profitable, irreversible effects level credibility. What interests them is cool enough to prodding to collapse the wall of indifference. Kamikaze hesitating between the tire burned and menthol, to make a napalm synthesis. From the lightning towards the sun, and back in one hour. Mercenaries underground dynamite Watts and PA systems, the group broke Bristol ears of a strange cult in the media as complete anonymity. Fuzzine managed to catch the bass player for some questions. When their last live album (from 150 copies, already sold out) propels the car from our Lou, in the early morning rain. And at a time when their hard scariest quietly (for once) E Bay. Tremble young chic, rock is still moving.
Fuzzine: Introduction to our readers. Who are you? How the group formed?
Hugo Morgan: I am Hugo, better known by the name of HO Morgan. I play bass since the beginning. Before joining The Heads, I was in independent groups in the area. Of the kind that gives a concert in all and for all. But when I arrived, I was part of Quinton, who released one album on PopGod. And also Soundhouse, which added a trip in Husker Du. I knew Simon Price, through mutual friends, who one day asked me if I would meet him (Dave Spencer) to beef, to start a band. Simon worked at Replay independent record store in Bristol. Me, I was at H.M.V. but I was regularly raiding homes Replay, they had a large radius of vinyl used, and working with distributors coolest. Not a single album for Simply Red.
Simon and Dave came from Spasmodics. After an extended stay in Africa, Simon has returned to find his place occupied. He and Dave tried something a little more underground. After a few repetitions, with Mel on drums, we felt ready to play live.
Our first gig was opening for Babes In Toyland, Fleece in Bristol. The same day, I gave the last gig with Quinton, at Ashton Court Festival. We played 4 songs, 35 minutes, mostly instrumental (apart from the classic Banana). The reception was good, and we were offered more concerts. We were really excited to open for Swervedriver, but Mel has a broken ankle, and we sought a replacement. Wayne Maskell, who was with me in Soundhouse, has suggested. Soundhouse has continued for a while, in parallel to The Heads, but after a few months we went on to become members of The Heads at full time. Training with Simon Price (vocals / guitar) Dave Spencer (lead guitar / vocals) Wayne on drums and me on bass, began looking for gigs around Bristol. In the first part of Here And Now, the Moonflowers Mayfest, headlining in smaller venues. We played constantly in our garage Syndham Lane. Then back to Simon to hear the result, drinking gallons of tea, with lots of grass and joints. Simon has managed to put enough money aside, and we send Whitehouse studios to record a demo of six songs. Spliff Conga'd out on the single Rocket Sessions 1 comes from there.
Unfortunately, shortly after, Dave decided to leave, leaving us in deep shit. Rather than give up, we looked for another guitarist. We all lived in the same barrack prefabricated, so we have put ads, and invited the candidates to the house. After a few auditions, they chose Jim, who was a great way to manipulate his pedal wah wah. He started up his own group, after another round of demos in the studio. It was back to the starting point, again, to look around us.
A couple of friends suggested we approach Paul Allen, who played in a local group. We jammed with him, and he admitted incredibly well. A great guitarist, never afraid to take things further. Since then, dark without looking back.
F: Do you live in your music?
HM: In short, no. All the money we earn goes into the group. The rehearsal studio, equipment broken, have more promotion material, set up our own label, Rooster. When we started, we had a foretaste of glory, when our first album went to John Peel, and on Radio One. We opened for The Mice in England, Motorpsycho in Europe, and played our own concerts in England. But in front of small audiences. To make things worse, Talking Heads without David Byrne had reformed, renamed itself The Heads. The promoters found themselves whether Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays) would play with us! After so much work to get there, it was really frustrating. Especially when you read that The American Heads claimed they had separated. Although it was quickly clear that we would never be in the first division, it has made us more inclined to make music for us, rather than trying to stick to the current fashion.
F: It is assumed that you have a live band. It's hard to turn without sponsors?
HM: It's hard to turn without support. Fortunately, just as it occurs, it is in position to be paid a reasonable sum. In principle, what is perceived covers the cost of the truck, fuel and driver, but not much more. Even with the participation of a label, if you do not bring them the money they throw you after two years. Then there is the possibility of paying for playing with larger groups. We offered 50 pounds a night to play the first part of Nebula, recently. When taking into account all costs, and lost wages of our regular jobs, you lose before reaching the first concert hall.
F: Who would you like to be sponsored for a concert of your choice, somewhere in the universe?
HM: No problem with being funded by the Ministry of Culture English. We are sure it will not happen. Sure, the concert will happen in space, but the organization would be a nightmare for us and for the public.
F: What is your opinion on downloading? What would you need to sign a major label?
HM: The download has completely changed the way people listen to music. And I think the sound quality of a current MP 3, is far less than the vinyl. Anyway, I spent so much time working in record stores, that my opinion is all done. It seems that most people who exchange files, and downloading illegally, are big fans of music, trying to find new sounds. And these people slamming a maximum of money for music. It gives someone who is at the other end of the world the chance to listen. Whether legal or illegal. Signing with a big box, I think it will never happen. Our music is too eclectic and underground to make money. They do not affect us with a gaff.
F: You are a psychedelic band?
HM: I believe that our audience thinks. We do things the DIY, our sound is rough, we love things loud and repetitive, it is not afraid to go ever further. All of us have been influenced by so-called psychedelic groups, but also by many other different music. This helps us to have a unique sound. For many, it's just a wall of noise. On our second single, Coogan's Bluff, there was a song called 'Jaywalking', it was an attempt to sound indie pop. But today, it sounds horribly dated. We knew we would never be in the charts.
F: Some interesting new groups?
MH: Unfortunately, I hear little news to share what I sometimes hear on the radio. I liked the album from Fleet Foxes last year. When we played in Finland, Psycho Tropic Caravan festival in February, saw Pharaoh Overlord, for the first time. Most guys are in Circle, which I am a big fan. I also like Teeth Of The Sea.
F: The Heads sound?
HM: No, never. We tried once, when some friends who run a club in Bristol, invited groups to play acoustic in a pub. We said ok, tried two songs, but it sounded like crap. So, we returned with our sound system, to balance our usual racket. To the great chagrin of the tenant. In a sense, it would make us service. Because now, if you want to do a session for radio, they will cram into a small room, hoping for a nice set not too noisy. To avoid disturbing other programs.
F: And now?
HM: We try to organize the registration of a new album. And of course, is easier said than done. Good luck we play in Scandinavia in October / November. And in Ireland.
F: It has also discovered Fuzz Against Junk your project, which one is literally crazy stiff. You can tell us a little more?
HM: It was in the air for a while. Paul, The Heads, plays guitar for themselves. They asked me to join them when Billy, bassist, has left to concentrate on his new band The Moles. He played with Robert Plant, too. I was responsible for the true rock deposit. I had already taken the place of Billy, when FAJ open Comets On Fire, Thekla at Bristol a few years ago. Paul has brought a shitty old organ, and he now plays instead of the guitar. They are all nice guys, and musically it works well between us. We are working on a set of thirty minutes, and are looking for gigs. Fuzz Against Junk is still a side project and temporary, the news is The Heads!
Interview conducted by Lawrence, with the collaboration of Venukse and Lou.