“Pulp ska-surf “music has now found itself a niche to hang it’s coat on. From Nottingham England beginning in 2011 a brilliant band simply calling themselves Heavyball have actually created this simple new genre that you’d expect to have been born in Southern California. From the spirits of The Beach Boys and Bikini movies comes a group that can really pick up traction here on the “Best” Coast capturing one’s attempt to grasp for the California dream. Since the 60’s the “brass ring” has become harder and harder to garner while the dream has unfortunately become dimmer. In a simpler time the fear and loathing in Los Angeles was where people would come for a better life and live out the Hollywood manifesto. I’m one of the lucky outcasts; I am a second generation Los Angeleno’ and while I’m critical of my town its still the best city to live in. Thankfully music is what keeps all of us from going insane.
We are insane for Heavyball! Drummer, Habs reached out about the whole “surf” vibe, “We love surf music, despite growing up in Nottingham (which is about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK) In fact, it was listening to surf music as a kid that got me into surfing….although I surf in Ireland rather than Southern California. Surf music has influenced a lot of British bands from the 1960s onwards and we’re no different. The harmonies, that guitar sound, the way its both upbeat and melancholic, like the summer is already over…yeah surf music is one of your greatest exports.”
This Is England a 2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows. The story centers on young skinheads of England in 1983. The film illustrates how their subculture, which has its roots in 1960’s West Indian culture, especially ska,soul and reggae music, became adopted by white nationalist, which led to divisions within the skinhead scene. Heavyball’s track Black Eye Friday with it’s Confucius platitude, “I should have been listening instead of talking” sings about how one’s lost love is like a kitty litter box; where the “pussy cat” just shits in it and walks away. Heavyball’s singer/guitarist simply known as Bigface told rock Bands of L.A. com about how “Black Eye Friday” came about, “I stole that quote from a Corporal I worked with in the Army. When the lads turned up for first parade on Monday morning, at least one would always have a black eye. He’d taunt them in a broad Sunderland accent “Ah! You was talking when you should have been listening eh?!” Never forgot that! They say stupid people learn from their own mistakes, smart people learn from the mistakes of others. I’m obviously pretty stupid cos I’ve always done it the first way. I’m not preaching cos I’m still learning lessons the hard way.”
Surf Music’s new Journeymen..Heavyball
Toots and the Maytals..54-46 That’s My Number
Toots and the Maytals The Good Ladies of “This is England”
Bigface expressed a lot of praise when asked about reggae legend Toots and the Maytals, “Toots & the Maytals are one of my favourite outfits. Massively influential and hugely underrated. I’ve got Funky Kingston on Vinyl and it’s a masterpiece. I will never get bored of that album.”
Heavyballs has taken their ordained new sound and focused on the peoples of the West Indies and Jamaica with their quasi political song resounding the inadequacies of indigenous England. A musical generation earlier The Clash were righteous in defending the cause of the working proletariat. With their new release they absolutely nail this same mirrored sentiment with “Another Country”…Their new release
Another Country by Heavyball
Again Habs put Heavyball’s political agenda in interesting terms, “I wouldn’t say it’s a political agenda but we do like to write songs that mean something and we try and put a bit of effort into our lyrics. Another Country was originally about the difference between London and most of the UK during the economic downturn, because we could see that a lot of towns were suffering while many parts of the capital didn’t seem to be impacted at all. We didn’t want the video to be too literal though so we deliberately gave the director Sameer Patel free reign to do what he wanted. What I love about what he’s produced is that he took the whole concept literally to a different place and, gave it a whole new look and feel. It’s up to everyone else how they want to interpret what we do.”
Thirty years ago the world witnessed divine intervention with the Live Aid concert that was centered by the famine in Ethiopia and thirty years since the country is still besieged with corruption, hunger and disease. Heavyball are a band that serves wisdom behind their infectious tunes. They don’t necessarily have the attitude of the militant left but they are not afraid to speak their mind. Probably their finest pearl of sensibility is the line, “You got what you wanted but you forgot who you are” which is featured in their festive video of “Wanted”. Just remember next time you are going to the beach for a day of frolic there will be a choice opportunity to listen to Heavyball! We would be derilict if Rock Bands of L.A. com wants to thank Peter Higgins of Magnetic North Records and the good lads of Heavyball for their time and positive thoughts.
Do write the good blokes of Heavyball..