Q&A with Ben Lieber of Head North: "We Bared our True Selves to the World Through This Record."
Earlier this summer, Buffalo, New York cosmic rockers Head North penned a new chapter in their growing story. The Last Living Man Alive Ever In The History Of The World not only marks the band's debut full-length release, but also finds them expanding on their sound while at the same time, weaving an incredible story about an alternative reality where religion and love are forbidden. For this new release, Head North were able to finally experiment with their sound and in the process, learned what really makes them tick. The result is an incredibly complex and well rounded release.
Along with the release of their debut album, Head North also recently wrapped up tour dates with Gates and they're not showing any signs of slowing down soon. With plans to hit the road again this fall, Head North is a name that you're going to want to know before they hit your city.
Interview by Dom Vigil
You guys have had a busy summer with the release of your debut full-length and tour dates with Gates throughout June and July. With the summer winding down, what have been some of the highlights of your year so far?
Releasing this record was the biggest highlight in itself. It’s been such a long journey start to finish, and it’s a phenomenal feeling to have it out. We feel like we’re onto the next chapter of our band now, and we are just getting started.
Your new album, The Last Living Man Alive Ever In The History Of The World is not only your debut full-length as Head North, but it also marks a shift in sound for you guys and some of your most complex work to date. When the album first started to come to life, what goals did you have in mind for it?
Actually, it was the opposite. We had no expectation, no goal to meet. We felt like the band was at a standstill, and even though it sucked in the moment, it really allowed us to not have any presumption, and to naturally create the best art we possibly could.
Is there anything that you wanted to experiment with on the new album that you haven’t had the chance to do in the past?
A lot; from different recording techniques, like layering multiple drum takes to create a sound of its own, to sampling electronic elements, to horns and a von guard field recordings, as well as writing conceptually, and not just focusing on each song individually, but more on the piece as a whole.
The Last Living Man Alive Ever In The History Of The World is also a concept record. Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind the album?
We like to leave it up to interpretation, but in a broad sense, it’s about an alternative reality where religion and love are forbidden, and one character’s journey in attempt to change that.
Were there any challenges that you faced when writing and recording the album?
Massive adversity. Like I said, the band was at a standstill, so it freed us creatively, but we also had it in the back of our heads saying, “This is gonna make or break us.” It was also our first time doing a full length record and our first time attempting a conceptual piece so yes haha.
How do you feel you’ve grown as songwriters or even just in general with the writing of this album?
Immensely. That was a huge reason we felt we needed to step away for some time; to figure ourselves out, and not just be forcing “songs” out without really learning about ourselves as people to then turn it outward and be better musicians because of it. We pushed ourselves, and this record has been a turning point for all of us to reach further than the surface, to not just go with the first thing that comes to mind, and to create something bigger and more powerful than you have before.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from the album?
Mostly, I just want people to receive the absolute honesty that’s in it. We bared our true selves to the world through this record.
With the summer winding down and the album out now, do you guys have any other big plans for the rest of 2017? Could we expect to see you on the road again soon?
We’ll be back out in the USA this Fall. :)
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Rock and roll forever