Hey guys! My first interview is with Head Check, a hardcore/youth crew band from Whitby, Ontario. Head Check consists of Jacob Hellas on vocals, Scott Downes on guitar, Brandon Oake on bass, and Derek Worden on drums. They’re influenced by bands such as Ceremony, Trapped Under Ice, Easy Way Out, Bad Seed, Stick Together and others like that, so check them out if you’re into that style! This interview consists of Scott, Jacob, and Brandon and shows their individual responses.
#1: First of all, can you give us an initial rundown of the history of the band?
Scott: It really just came down to Jacob messaging me on facebook and saying, “Hey wanna start a band called Head Check?” Originally Bad Seed and Ceremony influenced what we wanted to play, but our preferences changed over time.
Jacob: It was like at the end of april and I wanted to start an early nyhc influenced band, so I messaged scott and we jammed a bit. Luckily i was kicked out of falling forward about 2 weeks later so i could focus on head check more. We wrote like 5 songs in 2 weeks or some shit.
#2: You released a new demo a few weeks back, how do you feel about the outcome of that? And how do you feel about the feedback that you’ve been getting from it?
Scott: Personally, I like the demo a lot more than the first one, it has a lot more groove to it. The feedback on the demo has been pretty cool, not many negative things have been said about it (publicly at least). But yeah, I like the demo, it’s cool.
Jacob: I think we really lucked out with the studio that we went to, and the guy who recorded us really understood what we wanted to put out. I really liked how it sounds, and the songs that we decided to record all really show what we’re about. The Underdog cover was really fun to do too. So far I’ve heard all positive feedback, and that people like it a lot more than the first demo (because the first demo is a lot worse). The record is even on page one for popularity on the “youth crew” tag on bandcamp, so that’s cool.
#3: Individually, what are all of your primary influences when it comes to writing and playing music?
Scott: My influences for writing is just the scene itself, I really like when someone walks up to us and says, “Hey, great set, you guys ruled!” or something along those lines, it gives me the motivation to write more.
Jacob: Musically, the only big influence would be the music that I like. Honestly, what other influences do people have?
Brandon: For me, bass-wise. I like the technical players (Dan Briggs), plus I like stage presence (KC from ex-The Chariot). Jean-Michel from Gojira rules too.
#4: If you could choose one thing that you love the most about playing in Head Check, what would it be?
Scott: I love hanging with the band at practices and shows. We’re all pretty good friends, and there’s no beef which is cool. Also, the occasional practice when Cordell comes to hang out with us, he’s the funniest.
Jacob: I really like how we keep it fun. And I think when we play, the fact that we’re having a good time radiates onto the people watching, and makes them have fun too. Thats always cool. Oh and, these guys are my best friends, so hanging out with them rules. Oh, and Mental.
Brandon: I get to hang with rad people and play fun music. Yeah.
#5: Who is your favourite local you’ve played with, and your favourite band that isn’t local that you’ve played with?
Jacob: My favourite local band to play with would probably be Easy Way Out, they’re nice dudes, and always cool to see. As far as non local bands goes, Stick Together was awesome to play with.
#6: If you could play with any band, who would it be?
Scott: Killswitch Engage…. or Ceremony.
Jacob: Active band: Odd Future. Yeahhh. For a non active band, it would totally be Mental. I dont even care.
Brandon: The Chariot
#7: Out of every show you’ve played, or anything you’ve done as a band, what would you say is the most memorable? I mean the funniest thing, or just what you thought was the most fun.
Scott: Anytime Wailing Way has played a show before Head Check is the funniest. One time in Pontypool we got a ton of people to sit down and we all gathered around each other. Also, the time when Wailing Way covered the intro off of Walls Closing In by Agitator at our first show and told everyone in Pontypool it was our song. So funny. For Head Check it was definitely the Siesta show in February.
Jacob: Our first show is probably one of the most memorable. The vibes were great that night. As far as humour goes, any time wailing way plays with us would probably be the funniest thing ever.
Brandon: Playing Siesta before it closed down was rad. That was probably the best show we played as a band.
#8: Favourite/least favourite venue you’ve played at?
Scott: Siesta was the best, for sure. Worst place was probably 19 on the Park. The show was cool, but we couldn’t even hear ourselves, it sucked.
Jacob: Favourite venue: Siesta. Least Favourite: The top shelf.
Brandon: Siesta, or the Pontypool Hall. For a small place in the middle of nowhere, it’s super fun.
#9: Any plans for the rest of 2012? Any plans for a tour, or a full length any time soon?
Scott: We’re thinking of going to record an EP with the two songs off our demo and 4 more after that. Hopefully that will be out early next year. We’re all poor.
#10: Any last words you’d like to say to any of your fans, or anyone reading this blog?
Scott: Start a band. Have fun. Don’t take it too seriously though. Also anyone who’s listened to us or have downloaded our demos. Thanks, it means a lot.
Jacob: Kill people, burn shit, fuck school. Yolo swag.
I’d like to thank Head Check for allowing me to use them for my first interview, I highly suggest that any fans of hardcore check them out! If anyone has any comments regarding tips for future interviews and reviews, please feel free to comment on here, I won’t take offence to anything!