Interview: Trash Heads
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We were all music fans from an early age – AJ, Mark and Tone were all at secondary school together and got into rock and metal at the same time and were inspired by those bands to start playing our own instruments. Most of our friends naturally started bands and have been in bands ever since – it’s just something we can’t stop and we’ve just always had the desire to create our own music particularly. Unfortunately, we’ve never made it ‘big’ enough to make a career out of music so have always had day jobs – AJ works for Warner Music in merchandise production, Tone works for a solicitor’s office and Mark and Mike are in IT!
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
AJ is a big vinyl collector and works in the music industry so is constantly soaking up influences around him, it certainly has an effect on his songwriting. Tone finds he comes up with a lot of ideas while out running or relaxing playing video games.
How long has your band been around?
We’ve been together since 2014
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re all from Dartford, North West Kent – home of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (AJ, Mark & Tone all went to Mick’s school – Dartford Grammar School). There’s always been a strong local music scene since our school days, particularly rock and metal bands. Sadly there’s not many venues to play in Kent unless you’re a covers band, but most bands know each other and it’s healthy to keep up with your peers musically!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
We were previously called ‘Trash the Set’ and had written a song called ‘Trash Heads’ as an ode to our fans – it struck us that this was a much more punchy and understandable band name so made the change!
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Best show was just before the pandemic – a small and packed pub show in Herne Bay, Kent playing in front of an unfamiliar crowd. Within a couple of songs, they were singing our choruses back at us despite only hearing them for the first time, which gave us a big buzz! Worst show was at Kings Cross Water Rats – AJ twisted his knee on stage just before playing, tearing the cartilage and unable to stand on that leg. He got through the show sat on a bar stool (if only Dave Grohl’s throne had been available!), and had to be carried off stage and be driven to hospital. On top of that, the following band thought they were Oasis and bullied us off the stage in a big rush despite the injury, and later on AJ found his bass knocked over backstage and the strings cut. Wonder who that was!
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend is our local and favourite – we have a lot of history with the venue and always has great bands and a good vibe. We’re also playing there on Saturday 12th June for the first time since the pandemic so that’s a good excuse for a plug! Would absolutely love to play Brixton Academy, and Tunbridge Wells Forum as a more local legendary venue.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Queens of the Stone Age, Faith No More, Metallica, The Wildhearts
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Listen to each other, split everything equally and be a gang
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Get a better job and buy better equipment! Have more confidence in yourselfs.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
‘Trash Heads’ was the song that was our first single, signaled a new musical direction for the band and the chorus was inspired by a good friend who died shortly before.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Most people who come to see us tend to request ‘Sweet Vitriol’ and ‘Skull TV’ which were both early singles, the former has a home-made video we’re particularly proud of. We love to play all our songs so too hard to pick a favourite, although we tend to gravitate to whatever we’ve just written and most excited about.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
For most songs, AJ will come up with a demo with vocals, bass and drum loops with the skeleton of a song. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, Mark and Tone are able to add their guitar ideas to the demos at home and once we all agree the song is worth pursuing we all get together and work on the arrangement and our parts in a rehearsal studio with live drums. Mike has an uncanny knack of listening to a demo at home and then getting into the studio and nailing it first time!
Inspiration tends to just come out of nowhere – a lyric here, a riff there which get smashed together on a laptop and on we go! Recently it’s been impossible not to be inspired by current events and the pandemic, but hopefully we’re reflecting these lyrically in a subtle way. We prefer to let people interpret our songs how they like.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
As our lyrics tend to be a bit more abstract/open to interpretation we don’t really try to convey any particular messages, although you could say we’re left-leaning liberal types so make of that what you will!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Not really - maybe occasionally a slight disagreement on a song part but we try to not be too precious, and more often than not the new idea is a better one. We at least try something out rather than dismissing an idea outright – at least then we know if we need to bin an idea for certain!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
We’re currently putting the finishing touches to our second album ‘Vandalism’ which will be out this autumn but in the meantime, we’re releasing a single from it ‘Set It Right’ on 11th June. We’re playing a show at Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend to launch the single and there will also be a cool animated lyric video to go with it.
All our past and future releases are available on our Bandcamp page here: www.trashheadsband.com
If streaming is your thing, we’re also on Spotify, Apple Music and all other platforms worldwide.