Featuring former and current members of The Gifthorse, Army Of Champions, Reach Out and Values Here, Brisbane’s Headaches have been making a name for themselves across the country, smashing out their brand of melodic punk. With their debut EP being released a few months ago through Arrest Records, we caught up with the band’s bass player Mackey to discuss the EP, the band’s history and their plans for the future.
Start off by stating your name, your role in Headaches and the best show you have ever attended?
My name’s Mackey, I play bass and do what Crispy tells me to. Best show I’ve ever attended? Shit man, too many to list! Warped 97, Surf Skate Slam, Hatebreed at The Basement and Frenzal Rhomb/Toe To Toe/Bantha Fodder at the Broadbeach Hotel just to name a few of many awesome shows I’ve attended!
Headaches is comprised of current and former members of the likes of The Gifthorse, Army Of Champions, Reach Out and Values Here, what made you all come together to form a band that sounds like Headaches does?
We were all mates before and during our time in those bands and it just seemed the logical thing to do at the time I guess. We’re all old dudes who grew up in the 90’s with the whole So-Cal movement and thought it would be fun to put our own spin on the melodic punk/hardcore side of things. We all have pretty diverse tastes in music, which makes playing music together so much fun but we always come back to a mutual love of melody.
The band has been going for a while now, what has been your most memorable moment in the band so far?
Personally, it’s hard to go past our first show, with NO FUN AT ALL!!!! Such an incredible night with a stack of familiar faces. Our recent trip to Melbourne was awesome too which I’ll touch on a bit later.
You released the your demo quite a bit back now, what was the songwriting process like for those tracks?
Our songwriting process has been the same pretty much all the way through, Crispy comes to practice with like a thousand riffs and ideas for them, then we muck around and all have our input. Shane is amazing with his lyrics and arrangements so we just let him do his thing and it always comes up sounding great. (I think!).
The band’s debut EP was released a few months ago, with three new tracks and the demo tracks on it. What made you decide to put the demo tracks on the record?
We went to the studio with the sole purpose of recording a three song EP but our mate Dan Bones who recorded those three songs for us told us that he could match the sounds up on the mix for the demo tracks as well, so we thought it would be great to chuck those songs on there too. In addition to the demo being limited to a really small number of tapes, all the songs on the EP were written and recorded with our old drummer Stooks, who also did the front cover artwork, so it just seemed right to chuck all his songs on the one recording and go from there with our new drummer Joel on the next recordings.
How would you compare the newer tracks to the ones from the demo?
Like I said, the newer tracks were written and recorded with Stooks, so there’s a consistent theme running through all the songs I guess.
The EP was released by Arrest Records Australia. What made you decide to release the record through them?
Greg Bower who runs Arrest is another old head from the Brisbane scene, he’s been around forever, bringing his son to shows and making a huge contribution to the local hardcore scene up here. Our friends in Marathon and Fires Of Waco are also on the label and Greg’s an awesome guy, so when he offered to help us out it seemed like a no-brainer really!! Everyone should suss Arrest Records Australia out on facebook, bandcamp and bigcartel. Some of the stuff on that label from the states is unreal, as well as some awesome new Australian bands like Persist, Fires Of Waco, Snake Face, Never Content and upcoming releases from bands like Thick Skin.
You have mentioned a few times that you will be releasing a split with The Stereo State from Massachusetts, what is currently happening with that?
That’s kinda dragging a bit, as things do when organizing stuff with bands on the other side of the world but we’re still really keen to do it, they are fucking amazing!!
When do you think we can expect to see that being released?
Not for a little while yet, they’re really busy at the moment, but we’re still really keen to do it. Man, they’ve got this one song ‘Blood Ran Cold’, sooooo good! Everyone should check them out too.
Are you planning on releasing another record sometime this year? Possibly a full-length at some stage?
We’ve discussed a full length and at this point in time it seems a bridge too far, in so far as our songs are really short, sharp and to the point, it seems more sensible to release smaller releases that kinda hit you in the face and don’t give you too much time to think about it!! We’ve recorded 4 songs now that possibly will be released on a 7inch pretty soon. The songs recorded for that are our first songs we’ve written and recorded with Joel on drums, so we’re keen to get it out ASAP and let people hear our new stuff and give Joel the props for the amazing drummer he is and his fantastic moustache!
The new songs are a slight change in direction, a good direction though! They’re a bit ‘harder’ I guess, a little bit of the Good Riddance and CIV influence coming though.
Do you think the band will be hitting the road a bit more now that the EP has been released?
We are all (with the exception of Greg) older dudes, in or close to our 30’s, with big commitments to either our jobs and families so it makes touring in the true sense of the word a bit hard. We all kinda agreed when we started the band that we wouldn’t be that kinda touring band, we’re not lazy, it’s just hard as you get a bit older is all. What we’ll try and do is organize some weekends away here and there when we can get time off work etc, do a weekend in Newcastle and Sydney, another one to Melbourne sometime, that kinda thing. Having said that if Good Riddance, Lifetime and Andrew WK hit us up for a joint national tour, I don’t think we’d say no!
Back in January you made the trip to Melbourne for the massive Australia Day show at The Tote. How was that show?
Those few days we had in Melbourne were just amazing. We played Plastic on the Tuesday with House Vs Hurricane and Vultures then went to a houseparty later that night where The Omen, The Gun Runners and a stack of other bands were playing, needless to say, a party was had! The next day was one of our real highlights as a band and as mates. I really can’t put my finger on any one moment as a highlight, but if I was forced to I’d probably say watching Shane get up and sing ‘This Company’ with Darren Gibson, Jamie Hay and Ant Arrows was amazing. Search for it on youtube, it rules. We had a realllllyyy good response, which was awesome for us! Every act who played that day was just fantastic and a big thanks to Tom for organizing everything and Jelena for the awesome vegan treats, which I didn’t think was a possibility!!!
Not long after that you played with No Trigger and Such Gold, and from the shows I saw those bands play, they were killing it. What was your favourite part about that show?
That was the next night in Brisbane and yes, it was amazing! The line up was Headaches, The Quickening, Skyway, Such Gold and No Trigger, ridiculous really, I mean, The Quickening, holy shit!!!! My favourite part was probably seeing Such Gold, I had never heard them until that night and didn’t listen to them on purpose as I wanted to make my own mind when seeing them, needless to say, they were awesome and deserved of the hype!!
Do you have any goals you would like to achieve with this band?
We are all keen to do an actual record, on vinyl. That’s probably the highest aspiration that we have, anything else that comes along is a bonus really. On a personal level, I will feel really proud handing my mum and dad a record that I’ve played on. Nawwwwwwwwwww.
What bands have impressed you lately that we should be listening to?
Once again, too many! But here we go:
Luca Brasi, Sunsets, Traditions, The Gun Runners, Hawaiian Islands, Anchors, Craterface, Phantoms, Nectar, Army of Champions, Milestones!, Daybreak, Snake Face, Anchors, Fires Of Waco, Marathon, Thick Skin, Waiting Room, Inside The Whale, I Exist, Skyway etc etc
What are some of your favourite records of all time that you would recommend others check out?
Stop asking me these questions hahaha I’ll go all day!!
Strife – ‘In This Defiance’
No Trigger – ‘Canyoneer’
Bad Religion – ‘Suffer’
Madball – ‘Set It Off’
Good Riddance – ‘Operation Phoenix’
CIV – ‘Set Your Goals’
Lifetime – ‘Jerseys Best Dancers’
Saves The Day – ‘Through Being Cool’
Frenzal Rhomb – ‘Not So Tough Now’
Mindsnare – ‘Hanged, Choked, Wrists Slit.’
Rocket From The Crypt – ‘Scream Dracula Scream’
Just a few of my personal faves!
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thanks to you and KYS for the interview dude! Big props to Arrest Records Australia, our awesome little scene in Brisbane, Fat Louies, Burst City, Dan Bones, Sam Saljooghi and every band we’ve played with! Also, a BIG fuck you to the La Nina weather system. Fuck.