By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
As grizzled fight veterans and bullying victims will both confirm, the knockout blow is most often the one you don’t see coming. And so it proves. We had no idea there was a new album from Pale Heads on the way, and it quickly reduced us to internet-thug-acronymism – we were KTFO!
After debuting with the excellent and underappreciated Headless LP in 2015, this band of men with dense resumes and not much spare time did a little bit of the Australian independent rock version of “touring” and that was it. Only it wasn’t. And thank fuck. Their new album, Don’t Wait Outside The Heart, is one of most arrestingly honest and unselfconsciously unique rock records you’ll hear this decade.
UB is proud to hereby premiere Don’t Wait Outside The Heart, and present a little Q&A with guitarist/vocalist Tom Lyngcoln on its creation.
Wasn’t sure if there’d be any more from Pale Heads. So glad there is. We’d imagine through necessity this material must come together quickly?
Yeah, this stuff has been sitting around since just after we put out the first record, Headless. After we wrote Headless we just kept going. Instead of jamming we’d each write a song and meet at rehearsal and I’d lug in an inordinate amount of shit to record it with each time. Same way we did the first record, really. I like the first couple times a song is played and then from that point on I find it doesn’t improve it just gets worse. So why not record it at that stage? That’s how every band I’m in operates. There’s something to be said for bands who hammer out songs in rehearsal for years on end but they aren’t kind words. Pale Heads only need four rehearsals to release a record so we’ll probably go again next year too.
Where did you record Don’t Wait Outside The Heart and how did it all go down?
Don’t Wait Outside The Heart was recorded at our rehearsal studio Bakehouse in Richmond down here in Melbourne. Our guitarist Rui [Pereira] works there so it’s the only way to ensure that he’ll definitely be there. It’s a great place run by two legends Helen and Quincy who do a substantial amount of work to keep Melbourne fun to play. Quincy used to play in Blue Ruin. Judas Priest rehearsed in the same room that we recorded the vocals in. As far as the songs we stand there and when everyone has finished juggling or tapping out or bonging on we blaze a riff and string it to another one and then all try to play it without fucking up and then repeat that process until the album is complete.
What is the idea behind titling the album Don’t Wait Outside The Heart?
After putting out a record that was primarily about decapitation we decided that there is isn’t a lot of conceptual real estate out past that. We all play in negative bands and I reckon we’ll all sick of whinging when there really isn’t much to complain about. We wanted to write a bit more positively. I’ve fucking hit the wall with that style of self-deprecating mope core. It’s such a predictable default position. It’s so much harder to write positively without sounding ridiculous. So therein lies the challenge…whether we have succeeded I doubt, but it’s early days in correcting our descent. The title itself came from a close friend of Thomy [Sloane, bass]’s family up in Goulburn who passed away. There was a good urgency to it and we used it as the template for what we were trying to say with each song.
Wasn’t sure if there’d be any more from Solar/Sonar Records. So glad there is. We’d imagine through necessity you are self-releasing this album?
There’s been a few records that I’ve seen end up homeless and it really frustrated me that people couldn’t find home for them. Sarah Hardiman from Deaf Wish has a solo record under the moniker Moon Rituals that is pure grinding pop perfection. That was definitely a catalyst to look at releasing other peoples’ music. I have a few solo records almost good to go that I will also do but I started to cast an eye around and have already found a bunch of stuff that I want to put out, money and time permitting. There’s some more Tassie reissue stuff from the 1990s still sitting there that hasn’t already been released by Goulburn Street Records. They did a much better job than I did and have a really comprehensive list of great non-releases from a golden age of Tasmanian music. I’m keen to keep the label ticking over from this point and do two-four releases a year. It’s a nice hobby. I have a day job and I’m not aspirational. All the cash from the digital sales of the old stuff I’m donating to the Family Violence Prevention Legal Service here in Melbourne.
Will Pale Heads play much live now that the album is out?
We’ve got nothing booked after the launch show, which is at the Gasometer Hotel on September 21 with special secret guests Compliments To The Chef and the excellent Protection. I am having surgery on a jacked wrist that has been giving me the shits for about four years now. I can’t really play guitar with it so it’s probably time to address it before I slide into the “you’re too old, live with it” category of corrective surgery. I’ve also refuckulated my hernia, so am in for another round of that surgery as well. I got crushed on the [jiu-jitsu] mats by an old Russian dude named Vlad and I just can’t recover. It only hurts when I sing…so yeah, those adjustments would be great for my continued enjoyment of music.
Don’t Wait Outside The Heart, silly:
Pale Heads launch Don’t Wait Outside The Heart at The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood, on September 21 w/ Compliments To The Chef and Protection