Interview by Ed Stuart
Who’s answering the questions?
Chris Bradley – Lead Guitar, Suedehead
Where is the band from?
Southern California Region, we are spread over the greater LA basin region. Korey lives in San Diego, Greg and Mike live in LA, Davey and I live in Orange County, and the horns live out in the Inland Empire area. We meet in Orange County at the Hurley recording studios to rehearse. We consider that our home base. Davey runs the studio there and I used to work for Hurley for 3 years as well.
Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Davey Warsop – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Chris Bradley – Lead Guitar, Harmonies
Korey Horn – Drums
Greg Keuhn – Keyboards
Mike Bisch – Bass, Harmonies
Marques Crews – Trumpet
Kip Wirtzfeld - Sax
How did the band start?
Davey and I met whilst working at Hurley and had a lot in common musically. Davey had previously been in the band Beat Union in England and had wanted for a while to do a more soul based power pop thing. We both mutually knew Korey and Davey and started writing some really good songs. We rehearsed a few times and just couldn’t really get any members to stick and we sort of lost drive to do it. Then one day Social Distortion were in the Hurley studios doing some demos for their new record and Davey was at the helm. Mike Ness was asking Davey what he was up to musically and Davey played him a few rough demos. Mike and his management were really into it and said; hey when you get a band together we’ll have you out for some shows. We all thought “Oh, that was nice of them to offer…” but didn’t think they were serious. So, fast forward 2 months- no rehearsals, no members yet- and Relentless Artist Management calls up and says hey Mike wants your band to play a few shows in a month can you do it? Davey calls me up and we decide to try to put something together just for these shows, not thinking that it would be anything serious beyond a few shows. We called up some friends and put a band together. We rehearsed about 5 times and played these two shows with Social D in Anaheim at House of Blues and another in Tempe, AZ at this really big venue. On the way home from the AZ show we were all just sort of looking at each other in the van going, that was kind of magical and fun guys, do we want to do this as more than a temporary one thing. We were all stoked on it, so we set some goals, and within a week were in the studio recording the first EP. It has just sort of snowballed from there.
How does it feel to a northern soul mod/pop band in such a county known for punk rock? Even getting played on Surf & Destroy podcast, which is dedicated to OC punk.
For us man, we are kind of older dudes and we’ve all played in lot’s of different kinds of bands from Reggae and Ska, to straight up old school hardcore and punk, New wave, and everything in between. It was not our goal in this band to be associated with any particular genre or scene. We are just doing what feels good for us. We see it as transcending genre and hope other people do as well. We want this to be a very inclusive thing rather than exclusive. It’s about good music not scenes or labels.
Suedehead has some degree of success right out of the gate. Coachella and two mini-tours. Care to explain how?
We have been really lucky right out the gate to get the attention of some really great influential people such as Mike Ness of Social D, and gotten some really good opportunities from it. We were lucky enough very early on to sign with great management and booking agencies, which is really hard to do these days. We consider ourselves lucky to be where we are but also work our asses off at the same time to deserve and utilize every opportunity afforded to us. We are a very hard working DIY band. We have funded and recorded 3 x four song EP’s in the past year, which we released on our own imprint – International Soul Rebel Society. We record, Produce, manufacture and distribute everything ourselves. We have been able to build a very healthy mail order online on our website which sells internationally, which really helps support our touring efforts because whilst we have a great management and booking team we don’t have any publicity agent, label, or distribution network yet.
Is I.S.R.S. just a label for Suedehead releases or will it develop into a label that puts out non-Suedehead releases?
When Davey and I started the Imprint the idea was that it would act as a platform for all things Suedehead. Record Label, Fan club, and anything else that might come along. The original idea was that we might eventually release records of side project bands that we are doing or maybe even other bands that we play with and really dig. It’s sort of wide open at this point. We shall see what happens. We don’t put any sort of expectations on it at the moment beyond just Suedehead stuff. We really want to build it organically, and slowly.
Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
I think music will always be a force. The way music is made, distributed, and viewed live is ever changing, but I think it’s a healthy thing. People will always be passionate about music. It’s in everything. It can provide you such an array of emotions. It evokes every kind of emotion there is. Music is definitely different these days than in the past and whether you feel good or bad about that is irrelevant, if you don’t like the state it, then go start a band and change the world in your own way. I still strongly believe that this is possible probably more so than ever with the ease and rate of information exchange on the interwebs today. Ha, ha, ha!
Where can people hear the band?
What’s next?We have some good dates coming up between now and the end of the year. We have toured quite a bit out the gate in our short 1.5 year career as a band and we are concentrating on playing a bit more in our own back yard over the next 6 months to year, as so far we have done it kind of backwards and played a lot more on the road than at home. Check our website for dates. I know we’ve got some coming up in San Diego in September, LA and SF with Tiger Army in October, and we are doing a free in store performance in Long Beach at Fingerprints Records on September 27th.