INTERVIEW: Headshrinkers

In conversation with Midlands finest, Headshrinkers. 

Recently we were lucky enough to chat with post-punk newbies, Headshrinkers ahead of their new release ‘Caught Between Two Stools’ an urgent track that answers a lot of the questions asked in their prior single ‘6:41 Sapien’. Overwhelmed and logging onto Zoom – Garran was sat there washing some noodles down and gulping a glass of red. I also feel obligated to put it out there if Debenhams are reading this Garran would like to talk about a sponsorship.

When the track was written? Do we have a Lockdown tune on our hands?

Yeah ‘Caught Between Two Stools’ was written during lockdown. It was really important for us to continue writing although we couldn’t meet up as a band. Obviously, the songwriting process had to be quite different, and there was a lot of sending lyrics and music back and forth over WhatsApp, but I think this approach has still worked for us. We’ve written almost an entirely new set list during lockdown ready for when we can start gigging again and had a few chances to be able to play the new tracks together when the lockdown was first eased. The new tracks are sounding better than anything we’ve done before and we’re so excited for people to finally be able to hear them! As for ‘Caught Between Two Stools’, we feel it’s our best track yet and is a really fun one to play!

Has it felt similar to releasing 6:41 Sapien?

Quite similar yes, both tracks were recorded and released during lockdown so it has been different to a normal release, however, we’ve still been able to promote the tracks quite a bit. ‘6:41 Sapien’ really helped us to reach a new audience and we got so much support on it which was amazing, we’re hoping for ‘Caught Between Two Stools’ to do the same, and reach even more people! The main thing for us is to get our music out to as many people as possible, which can be difficult at the moment when gigging isn’t something we can do, but that also makes us look forward to next year, even more, when we can hopefully get back out there!

Was ‘Caught Between Two Stools’ inspired by experience or something else?

Yes, it’s a very personal track. It’s about learning to look at life in a different, more positive way, even through the difficult times. It was written almost like a guidebook and answers some of the questions raised in ‘6:41 Sapien’, though it does still come from a similar place.

Why the decision to change direction?

It wasn’t so much of a decision as it was a natural progression. If you saw our early live shows we did have a heavier sound right from the start, though the singles we released were slightly different. Garran was writing a lot of poetry during lockdown and then we’d put it to music afterwards. The spoken word style really suited the lyrics Garran was writing, and it developed from there. We feel it’s more of an authentic sound for us and are really enjoying the direction we’re going in. It’s also come a lot from the music we’ve been listening to, though we are trying to do our own thing and stand out in our own way.

Where did the inspiration for the music video come from?

I think the location itself inspired the video a lot. We’d been into the church before and thought that an antique shop inside a church was a really interesting thing, and as soon as we saw it we knew we wanted to film a video in there. When it came to filming, we wanted to show as much of the building as possible as we thought it looked great. We didn’t go into filming this video with much of a plan, but the ideas started coming when we were ready to shoot it.

What do you guys want to achieve from this release?

We’d love to reach more people with this release and for it to start getting our name out there more. ‘6:41 Sapien’ started to do that for us and we’re hoping ‘Caught Between Two Stools’ will add to this. Aside from that, we hope people listening can relate to what we’re saying as that’s something that’s important to us. We put a lot of emphasis on the lyrics, and our songs mean a lot to us and we hope they do to others too. It’s one of the best things for us as a band when other people can relate to what we’re saying.

I feel like you’re leading the way for small post-punk bands in the midlands, especially as of late. Do you wish there were more bands of the type on the midlands circuit at the minute?

Thank you! There are some great local bands such as The Novus and Modern Literature that we love that make similar music. I think at the moment it’s been difficult for us to get together with other bands due to the lack of gigs; however, it would be great if we could put something on next year to celebrate the genre locally.

Obviously, bringing Scarlett in on drums has altered the sound of your music but has it changed how you work or feel as a band?

Yeah bringing in Scarlett has really helped to elevate our sound to the next level, she’s brought new life to our existing songs and the process of writing new songs has felt a lot more natural. I don’t think it’s changed how we work as a band, but everything feels right moment which is great.

What has been the most challenging aspect of this release and the making of the song itself?

For us, the most challenging aspect is not being able to play it live. Playing live is what we love to do and it’s also how we get our music out to new people. Having said that, it makes us even more excited to be able to get back at it next year and to go bigger and better with the live shows. Hopefully, we’ll see you there!


Jack McGill
Deputy Editor

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