INTERVIEW: Connor Hickman (HEADWRECK)
They say good things come in threes, but for Brissie's Headwreck, good things have continued to flourish, adding a fourth member to the fray alongside their recent heavy-hitting track Good Grief.
Having sprung to life just last year, Headwreck aren't beating around the proverbial bush with their crushing brand of uncompromising riffage and dissonant arrangements. Debuting with fellow-Brisbanite (and She Cries Wolf frontman) Luke Harriss with the scorching tune As Is, Headwreck are continuing into the latter half of 2020 like a ferocious wrecking ball, adding Callen Batson (aka Days Like These frontman) to bass duties, and continuing to assert their blistering intensity while toying with cogent narratives.
And while there's undoubtedly so much more to come from this lot before the end of the year rolls around, today we grabbed Headwreck vocalist Connor Hickman to chat all things new tunes, video antics and beyond!
TIANA SPETER: Hey, thanks so much for the chat today! And it’s especially exciting not just because music is finally finding its way back into the world, but Headwreck are also riding high off your latest single ‘Good Grief’ which roared to life a few weeks ago. How has the reception been to the track now that the dust has settled from the release?
CONNOR HICKMAN: The reception to Good Grief has been awesome! The views are slowly but surely ticking up on our video and so are the Spotify listens which is always nice to see. We've had so many messages from our friends with positive feedback so it feels amazing to release something that people are enjoying.
TIANA: And ‘Good Grief’ also marks a pretty significant shift for Headwreck, not so much sound-wise but literally in numbers with Callen joining the band on bass duties too! How did the process go with expanding the group and having Callen officially onboard, was it a seamless addition to proceedings?
CONNOR: It was something that I think was always going to happen. Callen has been a part of Headwreck since before we released our first single. He's always lending a hand with writing and he offered to fill in on bass for live shows. It's been awesome having one of our best friends be a part of something so important to us.
TIANA: And back to ‘Good Grief’ for a moment…the track quite fittingly covers a lot of life’s lows, which seems particularly timely with what’s been going on in the world right now. Did the lyrical concepts impact the overall result as you guys were writing? Or did the themes just evolve as the writing progressed?
CONNOR: I think realistically everyone is always writing lyrics and songs about those sorts of themes. The song really just came together with lots of phone notes written overtime. Jamo wrote the instrumental and sent it to us for a listen, and as soon as I heard it I knew instantly that it was going to be a track that encapsulated these negative feelings.
TIANA: Sound-wise, you guys as a band have certainly expanded readily into the hardcore vibes we were first introduced to with ‘As Is’…are these two singles pretty indicative of the sound and direction you all are hoping Headwreck will take down the line? Or are there a few sonic surprises potentially up your sleeves?
CONNOR: Well I think the first two tracks we have released are quite different. They are still that 'heavy' sound but a very different 'sub-genre' to each other. I think people will be very surprised with what we release next. We have started to really take inspiration from a lot of electronic music, so hopefully we can keep mixing it up and make something cool!
TIANA: For a band who debuted just last year, you’ve certainly been busy with these singles, and you’ve also busted out a video for ‘Good Grief’ as well. How was that video process for you all, I know you guys have mentioned it was intended to capture the madness of facing your inner demons…and shit gets real (and messy)! Did you all have a pretty clear idea of what you wanted the end result wanted to be going into it, or did it kind of evolve as you went?
CONNOR: We had a pretty good idea on how the video was going to go, but we didn't think it was going to get nearly as messy. Emily (the girl in the video) was super into the shoot so she really went for it when it came to covering herself in the slime. Andrew (our videographer) is amazing and really helped bring our scattered ideas into one video. The whole clip turned out way better than we ever imagined and we are really excited to work with Andrew in the future.
TIANA: As a Brissie band, you guys are definitely in a pretty awesome city for heavy music and bands in general. But from an insider’s perspective, how do you find Brisbane for a band such as yourselves, do you find it to be a supporting community? Do you feel there are enough opportunities for heavy bands to thrive?
CONNOR: Brisbane is the best! We have such a good local music scene here where everyone knows everyone. There's no ego and everyone is so supportive of each other. I think it's something that's really unique to our city. We have so many friends in other bands so it really helps knowing so many people have our back. There are so many local shows here too so it really does give smaller bands like ours opportunities to develop and grow.
TIANA: And while live music is only just starting to spark back to life, have you got any grand live show plans in the pipeline?
CONNOR: We do! Obviously with the way the world is, everything we have planned is penciled in and awaiting confirmation but we are really excited to announce the rescheduled shows from earlier in the year and a couple new ones! Fingers crossed restrictions continue to subside and we can start playing again.
TIANA: On the topic of live shows, who are some Aussie bands or artists you’d love to tour with once the live shows kick in? Any local bands on your bucket list?
CONNOR: I mean having our first two shows with She Cries Wolf and then Stepson is a dream come true. Growing up in Brisbane idolising those guys to then having them become our friends is unreal. We really want to at one point tour with Days Like These which Callen (Our Bassist) and Jamo (Our Guitarist) play in. We are best friends with that band so touring with them is a super achievable dream!
TIANA: As someone playing in a badass hardcore band…what bands or artists do you listen to in your downtime, are you purely into the heavier stuff these days, or are there perhaps some unexpected things on your playlists that dip outside those genres? Who’s your current musical crush??
CONNOR: Oh man. I listen to a lot of indie stuff, rap, pop and of course a lot of heavy music. I'm super into artists like The Smith Street Band, Semantics, Oliver Tree, Benee and Slowly Slowly. On the heavier side of things, bands like Make Them Suffer, Alpha Wolf, Knocked Loose and Ambleside. I speak for the four of us when I say we have a very diverse taste in music.
TIANA: Before we wrap up, let’s jump into a parallel universe for a moment - if you could swap lives and instruments with anyone from any band in the world for a day – who are you picking and why?
CONNOR: I feel like playing maybe guitar for a band like Movements would be so cool. They have such a new unique sound and the guitar on all of their tracks is heaps of fun!
TIANA: And lastly – given that your latest track ‘Good Grief’ tackles the battle of facing your inner demons…what is something you do to help calm those moments of inner turbulence? Any secret zen tips you’re willing to share??
CONNOR: Definitely 'Netflix and Chill' with my dogs. Sitting at home watching movies with them is the best. Doing that for a day makes any situation so much better. Thanks heaps for chatting!
HEADWRECK'S LATEST TUNE GOOD GRIEF IS OUT AND ABOUT VIA ALL THE USUAL STREAMING SUSPECTS RIGHT NOW, FOR MORE INFO HEAD HERE.
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BY TIANA SPETER