The Rebellion Tapes: Headstone Horrors “Oh I’ll come up with something brilliant in about two hours.”

Joe, Nat, and Jimmy from Headstone Horrors play “Do You Feel Lucky Punk” the Devolution random question generator at Rebellion Festival and discuss their next album, the best music to escape the Apocalypse to and their love of all things Vincent Price.


You’re God for the day, with all the powers of Bruce Almighty, what do you do?
Joe “Oh wow, this will take a while. Obviously there’s world peace, but probably a bit of a selfish one, set up some pretty big gigs and a big stadium tour.”
Nat “Yeah.”
Joe “I’m probably done with that.”
Nat “Yeah, big gigs really.”

Is the concept album dead?
Nat “You’re better to answer this because you’re writing them. I hope not.”
This is based around the fact that music streaming, with Spotify, a lot of people listen to just one or two songs from an album.
Nat “I supposed a lot of things come onto shuffle so you could lose the concept.”
Jimmy “I don’t think that entirely matters for us. Each little song is a small little horror movie in itself, so if you just listen to one song you’re going to get what that song’s about. But then if you do buy the album and then listen to the songs consecutively through the album…”
Nat “You get characters pop up.”
Jimmy “You get characters reoccurring, then you get the main sort of theme and you get little side stories as well. But if you listen to one track and you go I like this I’m going to listen to the album.”
Nat “Each one’s its own story.”
Jimmy “So it’s not necessarily that you have to take it as a concept album.”
Joe “The concept album’s not dead, it’s just been rethought about how it’s written.”
Nat “It needs to not be played on shuffle.”
Joe “Write it so it can be taken track by track, it’s about how people listen to it.”
Jimmy “You can play them on shuffle because it’s not a solid A to B concept from start to finish.”

Describe the song writing process.
Jimmy “It normally starts with a title. Which normally I want it to be like an old school title of a Hammer Horror film, like the Curse Of Frankenstein or something like that. So I start with that idea and then maybe the music comes, maybe the lyrics come, I’ll just sit and write the lyrics out, or if I’m lazy I’ll write the songs and just go to Nat ‘write the lyrics for this please, this is what it’s going to be about can you write that?’ and then Nat’ll write it and then I’ll go no.”
Nat “This isn’t what you were thinking.”
Jimmy “And I’ll go no, can you do it again please.”
Nat “No, I’ve written it now.”
Jimmy “I’ll do it myself now, and then bring it to the guys and Luke, our drummer, he’s got more of an influence now.”
Nat “Yeah, he’s got good input.”
Jimmy “He’s got very good input writing the songs.”
Nat “He’s got a good ear for going I think we should just try and do this, and then we’ll go yeah we’ll give it a go.”
Jimmy “Plus now hopefully because Joe’s joined.”
Nat “Re-joined.”
Jimmy “Re-joined, so he’s going to have a bit more of an influence on the guitar bit better, because he’s a better guitarist, a better lead guitar player than me. So hopefully that’s going to add a nice edge or something. It’s going to add something.”
Nat “A bit of volume.”
Jimmy “A bit of volume, a bit of talent maybe.”
Nat “And a bit more struggle packing the car.”
Joe “There’s already too much pressure.”

Describe your latest album or EP.
Nat “We’re writing our second album. We’ve recorded just over half of it. I think it’s again with you for the music.”
Jimmy “This is, I think it’s going to be my favourite. It’s heavier.”
Nat “I feel like we’ve stepped up.”
Jimmy “It’s less camp than the first album. The first album was quite camp in that homage…”
Nat “It was quite tongue in cheek.”
Jimmy “Hammer Horror style. This is more…”
Nat “Much more street punk.”
Jimmy “Yeah, heavier, but it’s got a good story. It all revolves around being in this town and there’s little side stories to it. Essentially someone’s released a virus on this town and everyone’s turned to zombies. It’s a bit like the Crazies, Night Of The Living Dead.”
Nat “But it draws from the first album and the EP coming up to this album.
Jimmy “Yeah, they’re all linked.”
Nat “I think we know where we are now. Where we’re at now. We know our sound.”
Joe “I got sent this material weeks ago…”
Nat “About eleven days ago.”
Joe “From me being in the band, four years ago maybe I left…”
Nat “More yes.”
Joe “It’s punchier, it’s so catchy, it’s brilliant writing. I can say this and they can’t, but it is fantastic. It’s been really good learning it, to play onto it and come and do this, it’s been fantastic. The album’s going to be great.”

This is one for the video gamers.
Nat “It’s going to be you again.”
If you could take a classic video game, any of them, which would you remake and why?
Jimmy “Oh. Classic, what are we talking?”
Nat “Pokemon’s not old enough is it?”
Jimmy “Well, I think it would be old enough for some people.”
Nat “Could you collect monsters instead of Pokemon?”
Jimmy “I think they already do that don’t they. I don’t know, that’s a tough one.”
Joe “I wouldn’t remake them except to update graphics, maybe to update some of the story like Goldeneye or Metal Gear Solid.”
Nat “Oh Goldeneye was a brilliant game.”
Joe “Metal Gear Solid’s re-playability’s a bit bad because it’s so bad to look at now. Same story but some decent graphics and I’d get that.”
Nat “I don’t know.”
Jimmy “I can’t think, I can’t think on the spot about that one.”
Nat “Oh I’ll come up with something brilliant in about two hours.”
Jimmy “I mean Legend Of Zelda, but they keep doing that over the years anyway.”
Nat “Yeah, it’s the same with Fallout, it’s all happening. We haven’t done very well on that one.”

It’s the end of the world and the apocalypse has happened, what’s the first track on your driving playlist?
Jimmy “Oh, first track? That’s tough, that’s a tough question that is.
Nat “Do you know what song we both love that’s not punk at all really? Holy Diver.”
Jimmy “Yeah, Holy Diver by Dio, that might be good to try and get out the city to that. That might be good. Rattlesnake, Rancid, that might be a good one.”
Nat “Yeah. We like a lot of short songs, we’d have to get out fast.”
Jimmy “Yeah, I might want to put something a little bit happier on, I might want to put some NOFX on.”
Nat “Yeah. They’re not really happy.”
Jimmy “Well, alright NOFX, I’m an Alcoholic might be a good one. Because I’m thinking you’re trying to get away, I want to be a little bit cheery.”
Nat “A bit of na na, nananana, na na nananana.”.
Jimmy “Yeah, maybe that might be quite fun.”
Joe “Some chase music would go down quite well.”
Nat “Get a bit of country on.”
Jimmy “No, I’m saying Green Corn, NOFX. That would be what I want. Or Holy Diver.”
Nat “I think I would go Holy Diver.”
Joe “I’m glad we got that sorted in case it ever happens.”
So we’re not going with Benny Hill then?
Jimmy “Possibly.”
Nat “Second track.”
Jimmy “Track three.”

Favourite film.
Nat “Hmmm, I went straight to House On Haunted Hill but in reality probably Deadpool.”
Jimmy “Yeah, Deadpool’s good. House On Haunted Hill I think is my favourite film.”
Which one?
Jimmy “The first, the very first, Vincent Price.”
Nat “Black and white.”
Jimmy “We used that a lot on our first album. That was part of the inspiration for Tales From The Murder House. Oh, The Abominable Dr. Phibes.”
Nat “That’s a brilliant film.”
Jimmy “That’s up there as well, just put anything with Vincent Price in.”
Nat “Any Vincent Price really.”
Joe “Did we watch The Raven? Drunkenly, and I remember that film even though we were very drunk, it holds a place in my heart, because when we watched it, so that’s probably my film.”
Nat “I can’t remember that lot, I remember the night.”
Joe “I’ve been watching a lot of Tarantino, but I couldn’t pick one of those.”

What’s the dumbest thing that anyone’s ever done on stage?
Nat “I possibly did it yesterday. I tried to commit to doing a big jump because I thought it would look cool, and then I started to jump and didn’t commit and I thought that didn’t feel cool.”
Jimmy “The dumbest thing I’ve done, it wasn’t in this band, it was a long time ago, it was a band called Smurfs back in Oxford and me and the boys were drinking Special Brew in the park, we must have been about seventeen or eighteen, and we were playing with a band who were on the American Pie soundtrack album and we were annoyed that this American band were on the bill, and I got really drunk on Special Brew. I think I called them wankers and as I called them wankers stepped to the side and I fell off the stage. It kind of took away a bit of …”
Nat “That’s not what I thought you were going to say.”
Jimmy “But that was a long time ago.”
Nat “Shall I say what I thought you were going to say?”
Jimmy “Yeah, go on.”
Nat “I thought you were going to say when you jumped and you split your trousers.”
Jimmy “Ah yeah, I jumped up and I split my tight trousers. I carried on playing and everyone loved it, it’s fine. That’s not that embarrassing though.”
Nat “I did in a previous band go over the back of the drumkit drunk. That was embarrassing.”
Joe “My only one I can think of was me and Nat being in our very first band at a school gig when we were fourteen and other kids at school probably weren’t into the same type of music and they walked out so we did a lot of swearing and putting our fingers up and a few words. That’s probably about the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to me.”
Nat “That was our first gig as well.”
Joe “Our first gig, our first band. It was not a good night.”

Best practical joke on tour?
Nat “We used to have a pack of pheromones or weird condoms that we used to just stash in each other’s bags, that you’d find it and go I’m not having like your wife find it. We used to try and get Joe a lot.”
Joe “I used to try and get Paul back. We’d go into a service station and the little slips for erectile dysfunction, so I used to put them in Paul’s wallet, and his bag and stuck a few around. I’m not entirely sure what I thought would happen because…”
Nat “You weren’t there to see it.”
Joe “Or a bit of porn here and there, and maybe his girlfriend would come across it in his bag and a few questions would be asked.”
Nat “We’re not that mean to each other really.”
Joe “We need to up our game, I’ve just realised.”
Nat “We’ve got plenty of time over the weekend. I can’t think of anything else we’ve done, we just put stuff in each other’s bags.”
Jimmy “It sounds lame but we’re very conscious now of actually trying to play a good show rather than ruin someone’s weekend.”
Nat “We prat about, just nothing extreme.”
Joe “It is just taking the raw piss out of each other, to each other’s face.”
Nat “Paul’s our oldest member and he cannot get away from it.”
Joe “Call him Grandad. He loves that.”
Nat “All the time. We lost him five o’clock yesterday. We found out he’s alive before we did this so that’s a good start for today.”
Jimmy “We called all the old aged people’s homes to see if he was there, see if he’d been turned in.”
Nat “He’s turned up in hospital before.”
Joe “Yeah, he has turned up in hospital before.”
Nat “We’re not allowed Christmas parties anymore.”
Joe “We’re banned.”

Interview and photos by Mark Bestford