Interview: Birdhead

The Raccoon spoke to Edinburgh-based band Birdhead about their latest single and the upcoming album release on Gamma Proforma records.


We recently came across your stuff through the new video for ‘Silent is the Crow’. We think it’s fair to describe the video as squash meets PCP. Who came up with the idea?

We started making the video with Arpeggio Pictures, who are an amazing production company based in Edinburgh. We had a few meetings and threw some ideas around, some much wilder than what came out in the end. The squash match idea was put forward by Stuart Condy of Arpeggio who has since become something of a Spiritual guru to us. Neil Hartop directed it and Sara Forbes edited it, so it was a proper team effort, not to mention the smorgasbord of bruises we sustained over the weekend we shot it.

Do you think it’s a fair representation of both your sporting prowess?

I think it represents more than just our sporting prowess. We believe it is the ultimate encapsulation of masculinity, and the most intense three minutes of cinema ever produced.

‘Silent is the Crow’ is a pretty aggressive and dirty two minutes, compared to the looping hypnotic bass and synth of other tracks like ‘Tourist’. What made you choose to release this as a single?

I think with Tourist, we showed very much the side of us that is fascinated with rhythm and hypnotic, motorik style music, and we wanted to put something out there that showed the other side of Birdhead. We’re also pretty good at direct, propulsive aggression. We think it gives people a good idea of what they might expect to hear on the forthcoming album.

Do you think it’s easier to communicate and put together music when you are a two-piece compared to being a full band?

Well naturally it is easier to explain yourself to one person than it is to several, so in that respect it makes things a lot easier. We’ve both played in myriad other bands and this has definitely been the most productive relationship either of us has had. Saying that, it does impose quite strict limitations on us in terms of what we can do live etc, but I think that has just forced us to be more creative. I recommend it! Who needs bass players anyway?

What kind of things can we expect from your upcoming album?

You can expect a treasure trove of aural delights. It’s something we are really proud of and we are thrilled Gamma Proforma are giving it a release on vinyl, along with stunning artwork from Phil Ashcroft. It’s been a long time coming for us, and we really hope people dig it.

If our readers wanted to see you in the next few months, where could they catch a glimpse of you?

Currently we have shows at:

GoNorth festival, Inverness. June 6th, 9.45, market bar.

Sneaky Pete’s, Edinbugh, June 9th

Aberdeen, Drummond’s June 16th

Doune the Rabbit Hole festival, August 22nd, Neu Reekie tent.

Finally, which is better: bird heads or raccoon faces?

Well raccoons are a bit beardy, so we’re into that, but they wouldn’t last long against an onslaught of eagle beaks. So… Bird’s heads.

Listen to Silent Is The Crow below (guffaw look, that rhymes)


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