The head & The heart

Falling Into Place

I think the material shows hope for a better future, you can't lose sight of that because otherwise they have already won.

Tyler Williams of The Head & The Heart

Firstly congratulations on your performance over the weekend at Sydney City Limits festival, it was a great set. When you perform at festivals such as this one, do you tend alter your set lists and play a few more crowd stoppers compared to the intimacy of small room venues?

Oh yeah for sure. I feel like every set we do is tailored to the situation, whether it be a festival or gigs back in the states, they have different energy sets. We tend to play some deeper cuts at our own headline shows, especially in the states where I feel like people know a bit more of our catalogue. Over here you could tell that our first and third records were the ones that people know. The second kind of got overlooked but it would be great to come down here more often and slip those in the sets.

Performing with and meeting so many other artists, have there been any instances where some words of wisdom were spoken to you that really resonated with and altered the way you approach your craft?

Yeah I can pin point one example. We were on tour with My Morning Jacket back in 2011 and just having a late night sit down with the band over some drinks and I was like “this is a crazy lifestyle, how do you keep it up as touring musicians?” and I was told not to lose your head and get over yourself, just focus on the things you love and the people you care about and everything else just falls into place.

Signed to Sub Pop records, one of indie music’s finest labels. How did this relationship start for The Head And The Heart?

Well we were Seattle based as our home town so it was pretty easy. When we were introduced to them they said that they had heard a lot about us and it took off pretty quickly so we felt like they were the right people.

In terms of your group dynamic and formulating material, can you give us a little insight to your creative processes and how you piece your tracks together?

The band will work on things and bring it to the rest of us. There are the arrangers if you will and the rest is driven by the melodies and the vocals.

Merging classical instruments such as the violin and modern instruments like the electric guitar as you do, does this make it easier or harder in terms of fusing sounds into one cohesive style?

I never thought it was difficult, we all have different musical backgrounds and it was just a natural approach we have and the way we wanted to do everything. It has never been something we have thought about or practised, just a natural growth or dynamic. A natural extension of how we already perceive music. I try not to think about making music too much or you can ruin some of the magic.

There is a real energy in your stage shows and aside from your own intrinsic liveliness, is there elements that you take away from watching other bands and thinking of how that can be improved upon with your own live performances?

Always. I think every band does that when they go see a live show. It’s a bit hard at this stage not to analyse it. You think, what are we doing right, what feels weird here, what are they are doing wrong, what could we improve on? I mean sometimes it can be a bit tedious like you are doing research and you can’t just go along with the moment but it is good to see stuff that isn’t even really in your realm. The stuff that you wouldn’t listen to one a day to day basis as there is inspiration to be had from all over the place. That’s not just music but life in general.

What does your current material say about your lives and world view right now considering certain albums mark a definitive time and place in one’s life and it is intriguing to hear about what your current work reflects and why?

Well it is like that with all of our albums as a reflection of our personal lives together and it is kind of a mash up six different individual lives. The last record we put out was about a year and a half ago and really it is funny because that record came out two months before the elections in the states and it was a very optimistic record and we felt that back in the states with lot of our friends and family we kind of beat back some of the bastards if you will like we were starting to win a war but two months later it felt like the end of an era. It was really weird to feel that the day after the election, we played a show and these songs had different meanings. They took on different interpretations for us and for the audience. That has been something that we have been working on over the last year, feeling the moment, feeling the battle.

We did a little writing last month in Joshua Tree as we were recording for our fourth record so I think we are taking some of those larger battles to the world and to America and trying to break it down to what it means in our personal lives. I think if that is a lack of irony or more emphasis on sincerity or humility, I think that is where we are kind of headed.

In terms of reconciling your own lives and how your music reflects that as well as the current political climate, does it make it hard or perhaps even redundant at time performing some of your earlier material considering our things are across the world and particularly in the states?

No I think because the material shows hope for a better future you can’t lose sight of that because otherwise they have already won. You have to be optimistic and you have got to try hard to make a difference and change the world for the better. I think luckily the majority of the world knows what the better is, what the truth is, and what justice means. The thread through all of our albums is hope and no matter what you have done wrong in life, there is always something to strive for.

On that positive note of hope, what does the rest of 2018 have install for The Head And The Heart?

Well hopefully we get back down to Australia again, we absolutely love it down here. We don’t come here enough and it is a shame but it is high on the list of priorities. Other than that we have a bunch of giant tours in the states which are always exciting. We have been playing a lot of headline shows but this year we are going to be opening for some of our heroes. I can’t mention more than that but you will find out soon enough.

Catch The Head & The Heart Global Tour