Behind the Scenes x This Is Head

This Saturday This Is Head entered one of the stages at Hultsfred Festival and swept us off our feet with their magnificent music. Before their show we met up with them to talk about their latest album and the future of the music festivals.

Their music has been described as post punk and balearic stadium rock. But if you ask Adam Jacobsson, Henric Claesson, Björn Wiking and Tom Malmros themselves they describe it as magnificent, beautiful and edgy. This Is Head was formed in Malmö in 2008 and two years later they released their debut album called 0001. It was celebrated both by critics and at music awards. After a few years of touring and time in the studio they finally released their second album The Album ID earlier this spring. When we met them before their show at Hultsfred this weekend, they just came from the music festival Psykjunta in Alvesta, where they had played the night before. Psykjunta is a newly found festival for psychedelic music and This Is Head were accompanied by bands like Dungen, Fläsket Brinner and Natten.

– There were a lot of these psychedelic, woolly people in caftans there, says Henric. It was fantastic. We do have a tiny foot in that kind of music, so for us it was a big bonus to be able to play there.

Tell me about your latest album. Why did you decided to call it The Album ID?
– It is about identity, says Björn. Many of the songs is about identity. How you are as a person and how you perceive your own life. We usually don’t have pictures of ourselves on covers and posters. On the latest album cover you can see our bodies under water, but our heads are cut off above the surface. That’s a lot about identity.

– We also wanted to play with the title’s similarity to the word idea, says Henric. That this is our idea of an album. Our vision of an album.

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 How have the album been received?
– People either found it difficult to listen to or easy to listen to. There weren’t many reactions in between, says Henric.

– Some people thought it was weirder than the album before, and some thought it was simpler, says Tom. I think it depends on what you focus on as a listener. If you mainly focus on the singing I think you find it to be an easier album than if you focus on the music.

I found it a bit difficult the first time I heard it, but if you give it time it just gets better and better.

– True love starts with a fight, says Tom. Those albums are usually the best ones. The albums that are a bit unruly at the beginning. Those are usually the ones that become your best friends.

– It think you have to struggle a bit as a listener, says Henric. It is an intense album.

This year we have seen both newly founded festivals and festivals that had to cancel. What do you think the future of music festivals will be like?
– I believe that we will see more of these smaller, more niched festivals, like the one we played at yesterday, says Henric. You feel more involved in those festivals, both as an attendant and as a band. Then we will probably have dragons like Live Nation and FKP Scorpio, who can arrange several festivals without being dependent on each one of them.

Björn says he agrees.

– I think people are attracted to these smaller festivals as they feel more special. They feel like a fresh start.

This Is Head

What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
– We are playing at some other festivals, one at Åland called Island in the Sun, one that is not official yet, and one in Tranås where Adam and Björn went to school. It is a small, newly found festival called Pop i Gapet, says Henric.

– But we have also talked about writing some new stuff, says Björn. If we can find the time.

– It will be very different from the last time, says Tom. It took us so long to finish the latest album. But now the whole process of recording it is so recent, and we are kind of longing for it. We will continue to work with the latest album, but I hope that we can do some writing at the same time.

– It usually takes us a very long time to finish an album, says Henric. We haven’t been very good at writing while we are playing shows, which have forced us to write everything at once. Now we are planning to begin in time.

– It’s also nice to start writing because you want to, and not just because you have to.

Before the guys jump into their tour bus Henric also tells us that he happens to be one the designers behind Hultsfred’s graphic profile.

– We actually had much grander plans for the concept, but they had to make cuts in the budget.  Now I’m a bit nervous about seeing everything on spot.

Listen to This Is Heads latest album The Album ID here.