Friday, 19 June 2015

INTERVIEW - Pale Heads' Rui Perreira

One of my favourite albums of the year, even though it's fresh outta the blocks, is Headless, the debut belter from Melbourne drongos Pale Heads. Featuring guys that spread all four corners of the Melbourne music scene (current and ex members of The Nation Blue, Harmony, Batpiss, The Drones and Bang!Bang!Aids!), these dudes have cobbled together an album that is relentless, throwaway, acerbic, abrasive and a hell of a lot of fun, all done off a handful of practices. The cobbled together nature of the record is what gives it its heft, and with this calibre of clientele this nuclear fusion is only going to get deadlier (whether they get tighter or looser though remains to be seen...) 

I spoke to Rui Pereira briefly as he stumbled around Sydney before Pale Heads' Blackwire Records show alongside Burlap, Dispolar and Roland Major.

SONIC MASALA - Headless was recorded in a series of blitzkrieg recordings at The Tote. Before these took place, how did Pale Heads come to pass?

RUI PEREIRA - Xiao Zhong, whose identity shall remain secret, lived in China for a good part of the 2000's. There he found a life for himself learning the ancient ways of making origami drum kits for the locals. A few years ago he came back to the Melbourne world, looking for excitement in the form of some boom boom, while in the midst of furnishing his abode. Tom Lyngcoln asked him to play percussion and Thomy Sloane, who straps the bass, joined soon after. I have been friends with both Thomy and Tom for yonks. They asked. I was thrilled to join.

SM - What has been the purpose of the band? Five or so practices and then recording and releasing an entire album is pretty solid going after all!

RP - I find there is this urgent sound to the album, raw as fuck, thousand miles an hour beats. Perhaps the main purpose was to keep the juices flowing. We were all taking breaks from our primary bands at the time so we thought it was a good idea to form another. 


SM - How much of the songwriting was/is shared around?

RP - Tom and Thomy pretty much wrote all the lyrics. They bring structure to the songs. We all put in musically.

SM - How do the different personalities glue together as a band? You have some loose units there... 

RP - Alright, alright... who have you been talking to? I've done my share of stupid shit while touring. Even lost my mental health one time looking at ginger bread houses in Switzerland. But as a band we all thrive on humour so that keeps us unified.  At the end of the day our similar tastes in music is the Araldite.

SM - Where does the name Pale Heads come from? Or the infatuation with heads (and the cutting off of them) for that matter? Especially with Tom's constant negative comments about his own mug, bringing it more attention seems counter-productive...

RP - It's interesting what other people's interpretation of someone else's lyrics are. For instance, I thought most of the content on the album was about peace, love and scoring lots of weed... with the occasional head chop. The beheading element is perhaps a metaphor for most humans. They are either in a day dream daze with their heads in another state or trying to chop one off to get ahead.

SM - How have the live components of the show gone so far? I heard that your first show was a bit of a balls-up...

RP - Yep. First show was at the Old Bar in Melbourne. Was a fairly noisy affair. By the end Thomy's pedals didn't work as they got drenched in beer, accidentally poured by someone who shall remain nameless. Since then we've naturally progressed live. The ins and outs of what works on stage can only be refined on the road.  Like Paul Kelly once said, 'venues are my universities'.

SM - You have lined yourselves up with Poison City to release Headless - what was the attraction to joining up with Andrew and co?

RP - Andrew was attracted to us. He and Tom had dealings in the past with Harmony and pretty soon the second Batpiss record will also be under their wing. Keeping it in the family I guess.

SM - Any particular gigs lined up that you are pumped for?

RP - Yes. 16th July 2015 @ The Convent in Abbotsford Melbourne. Playing with Flour, The Meanies and Screamfeeder. See you there.

SM - What does the future hold for Pale Heads? Will there be other releases? Will it follow the same rushed MO?

RP - We already started writing/recording the second LP. It will take a little longer to put together mainly due to Thomy touring with his other group and Tom about to be a Dad! So from this August on, till next year there will be no Pale Heads shows. Just lots of nappies.

SM - What have you been up to in particular Rui? Is Pale Heads a major ongoing concern, or are there other irons in the fire/fingers in pies?

RP - I'll be concentrating with Pale Heads in the next few months. I also work at Bakehouse studios in Richmond, 12 rehearsal spaces with one zen courtyard. That's kept me fairly fit the last five years. I dig working there. A real productive environment. My band other band 'RIGHT!' is in the process of mixing and mastering our first record. I also draw and paint in my spare time, often with my head buried in paper and ink. That will keep me busy for life.

Headless is out now - buy it here - it's an imperative.

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