After a year off from playing shows in Vancouver, and from doing much else other than slaving away over a brand new record, Head of the Herd are back in town and headlining the Red Truck Brewery Parking Lot Concert Series this weekend. They've had their share of jetsetting after recording Birds on the Roof in the middle of the countryside in Wales, in Georgia, and at home. More than just a the music, the record is interwoven with memories, strange stories and challenges.
"We did the drums in Wales," Neu Mannnas explained to me over the phone. "We had this guy we were working with. We did 5 songs with Ian Davenport. We had the drum set from OK Computer, so I was like 'I want to use these!' The studio is in the middle of the countryside in Wales, they had the goddamn piano that Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded on. You just walked into the room and that piano had a presence. But right outside there were Welsh cows walking around."
There's definitely something about being far away from home that heightens the senses and makes every day a surreal experience. Mannas elaborated, "We were in the middle nowhere. No distractions. You're in the moment. You just wouldn't approach things the same way at home." The trekking around and chasing down producers paid off, in Manna's opinion. "We didn't do what was easy or cheap - we did expensive and difficult. So many bands get caught in the grans system... figure out what you want to do first, and make that. Beg, borrow, steal, light fires! We were so committed that we would do whatever it took to get it right."
If you're a fan of the band or just want to have a good time, come on down on Saturday to Red Truck. Don't expect the HOTH of past albums though, or you'll be dissappointed. "We went out of our way to make this sound different - shake it up," tells Mannas. Besides the pre-order, very few people have actually heard the music. "We kept it under tight wraps because we wanted people to hear it how we wanted them to hear it," elaborates Mannas. If a beautiful Saturday outdoor festival in an East van parking lot with lots of fresh beer is how the band wanted fans to hear the music, then they picked the right event.
Birds on the Roof is available on iTunes or you can wait for the in-store release on September 25. Check out the debut single, "Live for Love", on Soundcloub.
Tickets for the Red Truck Parking Lot Concert Series are available here for $35.