WATCH TRAILER FOR NOISEHEADS’ DEBUT ALBUM 1994
Here is the trailer for Noiseheads’ upcoming debut album 1994, featuring the lead single “Expectations.” Noiseheads is a new rock band from Florida featuring Nick Gray on lead vocals/guitar, Greg Nicholas on drums, and Joe Gray on bass. Here is a Q&A with frontman Nick Gray regarding the album. Go to Noiseheads’ Facebook for more.
What sets you apart from the other bands influenced by Grunge that have come out in the last decade? What makes your band unique and fresh, rather than a retread?
Many rock bands from the 2000s seemed to me like they were capitalizing on the idea of grunge. Exploiting the look but processing it through this bubble-gum pop filter, like Nickelback, and then there were bands that spawned out of that idea but were meant to be taken more seriously I suppose.
The thing about Noiseheads is we grew up listening to rock bands that just happened to be from the 90s. I didn’t even know what “grunge” was when I was 12, I just liked Soundgarden because of the way they sounded. The same goes for any other band from that era. So naturally we’re influenced by these groups, but I don’t think we really sound like any of them. We’re just a representation of our generation. Generation Y or whatever.
What are some of your other primary influences on the album besides Grunge?
I got my first guitar when I was 5 and the first song I learned was Paperback Writer. My brother Joe, our bassist, got me into the Beatles around then and I probably had most of their catalogue memorized by the time I was 8.
I also have this obsession with 90s R&B and dance music. Seal, C+C Music Factory, Tag Team…
Why is the album titled 1994? I get that it was a pivotal year for Grunge, but why choose that as the title? Also what is the song 1994 about?
I gave serious consideration to the idea of making it a self-titled album. Then I thought if I was someone who just arbitrarily came across our album and had nothing but the front cover with our name on it, I probably wouldn’t pick it up. Calling it something like “1994″ makes you question why we did it and what it’s about. Not to say there isn’t significant meaning behind it, but there doesn’t have to be if it catches your attention.
The song “1994″ is not your typical rock album opener. I think it really sets the tone of the album and the group. It wasn’t even called “1994″ until after I convinced myself I needed to call it something, and now I couldn’t think of a better name for it.
What songs on the album do you see as being breakout songs that could get you into the mainstream, or at the very least establish a following?
I feel like this is an album full of really strong songs, it would be hard to pinpoint one or two that I think people would like the most. We have a music video coming out for Expectations, and then plan on releasing either Annie or Nowhere Somewhere. Whatever happens after that will be dictated by the fans, really.
What is your songwriting process? Is it usually a riff first, or the melody?
It’s usually a combination of many different things. Sometimes I get inspired by a word or phrase, or the hum that the freezer section makes in Walmart. Once, I wrote a song that’s chords were based on a fan in one of my high school’s bathrooms. The music always comes first, then I mumble a melody with random words that sometimes turn out to be the actual lyrics. It’s really all about getting in the right mindset, I take songwriting very seriously but I don’t overthink it.
How long did it take to write the songs for the album and record it in total? Any leftovers that didn’t make the cut?
This album has been a 2 year haul in terms of writing it. The timing just had to be right. Some songs I wrote very quickly, others not so much. Part of Nowhere Somewhere I wrote in 2010, part of it I wrote while I lived in Seattle, the rest of it I wrote in about 5 minutes a few months ago.
Recording has been an on-going process as well. At first, we thought we were going to do it completely limited on a minimal 4-track cassette recorder. More than halfway through, we were unsatisfied with the results. So, we opted to get an 8-track monster that we knew would have a regal sound – the Tascam 688 – which before I bought didn’t even know was used by Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan, and Rivers Cuomo among others. Once we got our sound dialed in, it’s been pretty nice.
There are actually enough songs leftover to make another complete album. The only reason why I chose the tracklisting that appears on “1994″ was because I thought these songs best fit with each other, the vibe of the record, and best represented the band upon first listening.
What is your game plan in promoting the album and touring behind it? Are you going to sign with a label of some sort?
Right now, we’re discussing exactly what we want to do. Touring is definitely apart of our basic plan. As of now, we are currently unsigned but are open to any opportunities that may arise from this. I know it’d be exciting to me if we were able to release “1994″ in major markets, as well as a follow-up, and be able to do this full-time. I’d drop anything for the chance.
Nick, what did you learn from your time living in Seattle recently?
Seattle was a great experience. It was less about music and more about living. I met some great musicians while I was there, but it’s certainly not the same place it was roughly 20 years ago. I wasn’t ignorant enough to think as much, but I thought maybe I would’ve found at least a few more people my age with similar interests. But if I still lived there, Noiseheads wouldn’t be doing what it’s doing right now, and I couldn’t be more excited about that.
How long do you think it will take for a new rock movement to take place in the 2010’s? Why aren’t there young rock bands out there writing big sounding songs? It’s really just a sea of mediocrity right now, you’re one of the few unsigned bands I’ve found that write memorable songs with hooks.
Here’s what I think. Either we are all too lazy, or we are all too confused on what to do. I want to say it’s the latter.
20 or even 10 years ago, it seemed so simple:
1. You start a band.
2. You record a demo CD.
3. You tour/play shows.
4. You meet the right people, or hope you get noticed at a show.
Back then, I think more financially wealthy people would consider investing in a group to make sure they get heard in all the right places. Now, it seems too big of a risk with the economy I guess. Fortunately, we can do many things on our own. Unfortunately, we have to do many things on our own. The internet has become the main arena for entertainment, and whoever wins the internet becomes successful.
I think there are a plethora of talented musicians out there, but they either have lack of focus or they just aren’t sure how to “make it”. One thing it always comes back to is the music. What Noiseheads is trying to do is create viable music that people can grab a hold of, something that has substance. Something that you can just understand it for what it is or explore the depth behind it. I think for great rock music to be in the mainstream again, it has to say something the mainstream wants to say but can’t say. Something they want to do but can’t do.
Once the path is laid out for a rock movement to take place, it’ll happen.
And to wrap things up, Billy Corgan. Great musician, or greatest musician?
Only you would ask this question. I love Smashing Pumpkins and Billy Corgan is brilliant. Mozart is the greatest musician.
Here is a demo version of the track “This Kind of Life” released last year.