Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
H: It has been a constant effort for people to pigeon hole us, but thankfully we have avoided that so far….our own description is Punk Roots Rock’n’Roll. We are a four piece band.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
H: The band were formed in 2012 and over the last few years particularly have forged a very decent reputation for passion infused live shows and recordings which have been well received within the bastions of folk/roots and punk rock/post punk. High profile festivals and support slots have seen the band’s fan base and reputation grow, and constant gigging, writing, and recording has now seen Headsticks release their fourth studio album, on top of two EP’s and a live album.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
H: The musical influences are very varied to say the least, but maybe the constants throughout the years have been bands such as New Model Army (whom we had the honour to play support to on their last tour), Dead Kennedys, Levellers, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, and The Clash, thought there really are many, many bands and artists from whom we have taken some inspiration. Non musically, I’d say we are influenced by what is happening around us. We are often referred to as being a political band, but we see it more as social commentary than politics.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
H: The current dreams and goals are simply to be back to performing live shows as soon as it is safe to do so…it has to be safe for everyone, the punters, the venue, the band/s….once we have reached this goal, then we can hopefully carry on where we left off…filling small venues with headline shows, and playing support to the bands that have been out biggest influences.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
H: The Songwriting process has pretty much remained the same…Andrew (vocals) writing the lyrics, and creating a very basic melody, then Doon (Guitars) embellishing the melody, and then the song, in its rawest form, is presented to the rest of the band to develop. In terms of what they are about, they are mainly reflections of the world around us, what is happening, why it is happening, and general commentary.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
H: We work tirelessly to promote the band using every conceivable avenue. Probably our most successful route is via Facebook but that is probably down to the age of our fanbase and prospective fan base.Although is there any better advertisement for a band than constant gigging….nothing captures a bands energy like a live show and we do pick up new fans where ever we play!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
H: Personally I like to own a physical copy of the music. CD for the optimum sound, vinyl almost for the nostalgia even; and I see download as purely for the convenience…we all expect everything at our fingertips these days!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
H: Well, here’s endless choices there, I can’t even think where to start on that one!
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
H: Within the music industry? Politics…..the ‘you scratch my back’ mentality which is very evident..it drives me to distraction!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
H: I think the first time I heard an audience sing one of my songs back at me…that will take some beating…and then to have the opportunity to play on the same bill as many of my heroes, I have to pinch myself!
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
H: We’ve just released a new album, ‘C.O.W.’, which is our first since signing to Chapter 22 Records….so at the moment, as restrictions lift, we can get working on actually gigging those songs…we’re not looking any further ahead just now, as there have been so many false dawns!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
H: All our albums and EP’s are available via our webstore ww.headsticks.co.uk/shop alongside all sorts of other merch.! All songs are also available from the usual sources to download and to stream. The new album is available on CD with vinyl a few weeks away as yet.
Band/Artist location – Stoke on Trent, England
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