What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Although I had already started writing songs, Headless Relatives as a project was born out of a night of drinking and spontaneous recording in 2011. I had one cheap mic plugged directly into my laptop and I just hit record and started strumming and singing. After that I started writing and recording much more frequently, and I put out my first album We Are Our Own Saviors in February of 2013.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Apocalyptic Hymns, which came out on March 5, is by far my most lyrically and musically diverse album so far, although there are threads of fate and impending doom that wend their way through the whole album. In addition to the usual acoustic guitar, there are more keys, as well as appearances from my banjo, xylophone, and accordion. On one song I recorded myself sloshing water around in a bottle.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I’m pretty omnivorous when it comes to music, so it can be hard for me to pin down influences as far as my sound, but it’s safe to say that the Mountain Goats have been one my biggest inspirations for a long time: John Darnielle’s early work was what made me realize this was something I could do, and everything he puts out is amazing. As far as songwriting, I’m also a big fan of Nick Cave and Tom Waits although I don’t think my songs really resemble theirs. On a non-musical front, I read a lot of “weird fiction.” There are too many writers to name, but as an example I’ll say Jeff VanderMeer, China Miéville, Clive Barker, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and John Langan.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I’ve always struggled with describing my music stylistically. Lyrically, my music is often stories about oddballs and outcasts: people who live on the fringes of society for one reason or another. I’ve been calling my music “weird folk,” but I think another way to describe it might be to say that my music is a blend of indie and folk (with a dash of blues) filtered through the aesthetics of metal and the DIY attitude of punk.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Note: All answers below subject to constant change
The Monitor – Titus Andronicus
Friend and Foe – Menomena
A Maze of Recycled Creeds – Gorod
John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness
Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (I would have to have at least one bad movie)
The Weird – anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Dirk Gently’s Holisitic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I get different things out of them. I’ve been very limited in my ability to play live, although I enjoy it. I like the studio because I can experiment .
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
After playing live once, I had another musician come up and tell me that my voice was older than my face. It’s still my favorite comment I’ve received on my music.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
On the new album I’d have to say probably “Sorcerer at Sundown.” It’s guitar-driven, but it also includes synths and a stretched-out field recording loop. And it’s also just a little different melodically. That being said, if you asked me the same question five different times, I’d probably give you five different answers.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
I almost always have a backlog of songs that I’ve written, so I’m already planning out future releases. Right now I have two very different albums in mind.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
What is your biggest hurdle to overcome when recording your music?
Trying to get decent takes without my dogs barking too much or my cats trying to break into my “studio.” On “Sacred Words III” (the last track from The Lost Grimoire) one of my cats contributed some percussion by knocking into something while I was recording my guitar track.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Headless Relatives:
- Website: http://headlessrelatives.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeadlessRelatives/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/hrelatives
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/headlessrelatives
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPNliUFKEijKzD1wq-Zj0Mw
- SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/headless-relatives
- Bandcamp: https://headlessrelatives.bandcamp.com/
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1druTPDmCkyTwAkF03h8JT