Couldn’t Ask for More – Birdhead interview

Friday’s Filthy Tongues show gives us the chance to settle a bit of a long term debt. A few years back Andy and I invited Edinburgh’s Birdhead to play a show at fairly short notice. They accepted then, almost immediately, the rest of the bands pulled out and the bill fell apart. (Nothing to do with Birdhead I should stress!) So it’s nice to be able to belatedly give them their Dundee debut on Friday.

I actually saw Birdhead for the first time supporting the Filthy Tongues so it’s a good match even if the duo operate in somewhat different territory, drawing on influences between the Fall and Giorgio Moroder.

To date the ‘Heid have released an excellent LP, ‘Pleasure Centre’, and several singles with the most recent being ‘Custom Muscle’ released at the back end of 2016. Ahead of Friday’s show MPT caught up with Dave Nicklen (drums) to find out about how Birdhead are finishing 2017. 

MPT: It’s been over 4 years since the debut LP. What you been up to since then?

DN: “Lots of gigs in Scotland and England and quite a few festivals over the last few summers, including a headlining slot at T in the Park. We also released a new single and video called ‘Custom Muscle’ and have been busy recording a new album which we hope to release in the next few months.

“We’ve also had a couple of new tracks included on a film soundtrack which I believe will be out pretty soon, but I’m not sure how much I can say about that at the moment.” 

What was the reaction to the ‘Custom Muscle’ single last year?

“Very positive. We worked with some very talented people to make the video which was very well received. The song itself was expertly produced by Marty Haley at Chamber Studios in Edinburgh and has seen some airplay by Vic Galloway on his BBC radio show which we greatly appreciate. My mum really liked it too, couldn’t ask for more. We hope the reaction to the next single will be just as positive.”

There was talk a few weeks ago about a new single – any ETA on that?

There was, there is and it’s coming soon! We’ll be shooting the video in the next few weeks so I guess we’re aiming to have it out by the end of the year but no solid date as yet but a Christmas release could be on the cards.”

How far along the road are you with a second LP?

“It’s been recorded and we started mixing it earlier this year. It’s proven to be a little more time consuming than we first anticipated but we have a few tracks finished, a couple of which are making up the first single releases. Again there is no definite release date but it is getting there and will hopefully be out early 2018. We’re very happy with the results so far and think it’s going to be a solid musical shift from our first LP Pleasure Centre.”

How do you go about trying to get new music heard in the era of Spotify/Apple Music?

While we’ve had our music on the likes of Spotify and Apple Music I think we’ve mostly excelled though playing shows and though word of mouth. Being played on the radio has also had a huge impact on the number of people who’ve heard of Birdhead and we have a few people to thank for that exposure.

“It’s never easy getting your music heard but if you can be enthusiastic about what you release, talk about it on social media and play as much as you can you’ll be doing your musical efforts a massive favour.”

As a taster for Birdhead’s set, here’s the aforementioned single from last year (video filmed by Ross Scott):

 Tickets for Friday’s show at Beat Generator Live! in Dundee (which also features VFLmbada) are available from Groucho’s  in the city or online from Tickets Scotland or We Got Tickets. Doors at 8.00 p.