Singer Kerry Bomb – The Headlines
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Stephan Burmeister at Flying Dolphin Entertainment UG for help setting up the interview
Thanks to Metalville Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Promo pictures taken by: Jörgen Rasmusson
Additional live pictures taken from the archives of Anders Sandvall
WARPAINT is the name of the fifth album released by the Malmo, Sweden, based punk rock act The Headlines. I had a shorter chat with singer Kerry Bomb where we spoke the work behind and with WARPAINT and the experience of working together with the legendary producer/musician Chips K from the Swedish act Sator. Straight after the release of the album the bands bass player Cim Dahlle left and the search of a new bass player began. The band recently signed a deal with well known German metal label Metalville Records and of course I had to sneak in a few question about what the band think of being linked with a major record label. And since the COVID-19 virus is still here, we spoke about if the virus had any affect on the band and the future plans. Enjoy..
Hi Kerry, hope you’re doing well in these COVID-19 days. Are you ready to kick off the interview?
How long did it take to write material to the bands brand new album WARPAINT?
The process started already 1,5 year ago. I think that was when we tried the first fragment of what was going to be our new album. I think it was the song “Never Stop” actually. Then one song after another got created in our old rehearsal space in Copenhagen which we shared with D-A-D. When we were ready to contact our new producer Chips Kiesbye we had about 19 songs which we then reduced down to what we now call WARPAINT! 😉
Who in the band does what, who writes the music and the material?
Lead guitarist Jake writes all songs. Jake shows us his idea in our rehearsal space and we work together to arrange it into a finished song. Texts are written by Jake and Kerry.
The bands previous album IN THE END came 2017, why has it taken you quite a long time to release a new one?
When a new album is released it’s usually followed by lots of touring and promotion. It’s full focus on that album and the joy you have with it. We let that joy last for at least a year before we start to think about maybe doing a new album. Some seem to think you have some sort of master plan that you are to release new material with an even flow. This is not how it works. Sure you can push yourself to produce new songs like some automized factory, then you get quantity. We don’t want quantity, we want quality. And good quality takes time! 😉
After every new album we are never really sure there’s gonna be a next one. I also have to add that most of our texts are autobiographical. We live what we write. Experiences from life. Though some texts seem simple, they are not. There’s a lot of thought behind them if you read between the lines.
What have the band been up to in between the releases?
As I mentioned before we have been touring, touring, touring! Since the release of “In The End” we toured Canada, East Europe including Russia, Japan, and of course Europe. In this time our label shut down. We were without label for about 2-3 months before our new label Metalville contacted us. We also spent a lot of time on “Happy Street” which is what we call the address in Malmö where Jake has his apartment. Happy Street is where the magic happens, haha!
The bio states that WARPAINT is a record filled with riots, rebellion, feminism and love. What do you think of that statement, is it true?
It’s 100% true. When we have something to say, we say it. And we always have a lot to say. Especially on WARPAINT. The main topics are the lack of equality between man and woman, race and culture. Also the feeling of alienation from a world taken over by materialistic, commercial megalomania. Where’s the heart and thought? All you see these days is surface. The texts are also autobiographic and the record contains dark topics about addiction, lost friendship and self destructive life choices, but also how the band and the music keeps the blood pumping in us, keeps us going, keeps us alive! It’s a positive album after all, positive mental attitude for everyone! 😊
Does the title of the album WARPAINT have any special meaning for you and the band?
To put your WARPAINT on is symbolic to us. It’s time for people to stop going with the flow and and quit accepting injustice in this world such as sexism, racism, homophobia. It’s time to stand up and do something and make a statement. The word WARPAINT means this is serious now, it’s radical, no more bullshit. This is not makeup – It’s WARPAINT!
How many of the members lives in Malmo Sweden today? I know you’re scattered around the world.
Jake is the only one left, actually living in Malmö. Kerry moved to Italy 3,5 years ago. Our drummer Peter is Danish and lives in Copenhagen. Our bassist on “In The End” and “WARPAINT” lives on Åland, Finland, but she quit shortly after the recording.
Our new bassist Sofie Ward lives in Hässleholm and Peter#2 who plays rhythm guitar lives on Österlen in south of Sweden. So Kerry is the only one living really far away. Her second home is however “Happy Street” in Malmö and she tries to spend as much time there as possible with her best friend Jake. When we first understood that there was a pandemic coming over us in Europe, it was in the beginning of March and Kerry was at home in Italy. She packed her bags really quick and took the next flight to Sweden. We had music videos to make and lots of other band related stuff so there was no time to waste. There are no possibilities anymore to go back and forth between Italy and Sweden every other week so she is staying in Sweden until all urgent business with the band is done.
Despite the fact you are signed to a label you chose to fund WARPAINT through a fund-raising campaign, why?
A label isn’t some rich mom or dad who gives you money. All money a label spends on a band has to be paid back somehow. Our previous records have not been very expensive, we always tried to keep the costs down. When we discussed what we wanted to do with WARPAINT, we all agreed on to work with a really good producer, Chips Kiesbye and his companion Henryk Lipp. We recorded in Music-A-Matic studio in Göteborg and in Chips studio in Limmared. The result is fantastic to our ears, but it also cost a lot of money. Thanks to Kickstarter and our amazing fans we could cover a small part of these costs. The awards from the campaign, like signed CD and a limited T-shirt, were also appreciated.
The band received quite a lot of money in fact you got a lot more than you needed in order to make the album, how does it feel to have such a loyal fanbase?
First of all THANK YOU to everyone who supported the pledge! A part of the cost for the new album was covered, but far from all. It’s true we got more than we pledged for, and that is fantastic! We are amazed about how loyal our fans are and also very happy to see that they are as excited about the new album as we are! We like to have a “personal” relation to our fans as much as we can. I think this kickstarter campaign helped us get even closer to our fans… I mean, now we have all their addresses. We know where you live! Haha!
The album contains 12 songs and clocks in on about 40 minutes, what are the the longest songs “Warpaint/Authority” (4.47) and “Spirits” (4.04) about?
Warpaint/Authority – It’s a big middlefinger to the establishment, saying “enough is enough”! You did this to yourselves, if you don’t listen to us, we’re gonna MAKE you listen!
Spirits is about distancing yourself from the real society. It’s about your invisible friends. The ones in your head and in the walls.
How come bass player Cim Dahlle left the band after the this album? Was her departure expected?
We did not expect her departure. Cim is a very private person who keep most thoughts unspoken. However, it had nothing to do with our relation. She lives on Åland in Finland and it was too stressful for her with all the travels. She likes her home. She also wanted to focus on her solo project and couldn’t really get all pieces together having two bands. We are now friends and we support each other.
Pretty fast you found Sofie Ward to fill the vacant spot after Dahlle, what have Ward been up to before she joined forces with The Headlines?
We were very lucky that Sofie found us so quickly. No one in the band knew her from before. She just replied to an ad we posted on FB in the search for a new member. Sofie Ward has been playing different instruments in different bands before The Headlines. She plays drums, keyboard, bass… And she is a sound technician. Above all she is a really cool and interesting person! We can’t wait for all our fans to get to know her! They’re gonna love her!
The album was produced by the very well known Swedish producer/guitarist Chips Kiesby (Sator) along with Henryk Lipp, in which studio was WARPAINT recorded and how long did the process of recording take?
The pre-production was actually made over distance. We recorded all 19 songs with a mobile phone in our rehearsal space and sent them to Chips. He then made changes and gave us input and ideas to make the most out of each song. He also reduced 19 songs to 12 songs. Picking the out the gold! When pre-production was all done we needed 3 days to record drums, bass and guitars in Music-A-Matic recording studio in Göteborg. 3 very very long days. 😉 All additional guitars and vocals were recorded over 7 days in Chips home studio in Limmared. All in all it took us 10 days to record everything. Then everything was sent to Henryk for mixing and mastering. The pre-production was acutally made over distance. We recorded all songs with a mobile phone in our rehearsal
How was it to work with Kiesby and what’s his strongest feature as producer?
It was a new experience to us, but a good one! You have to let go of control and be open-minded. Some ideas he had, we first though ”Ehm…What??”, but then we tried it and the result always turned out much better. It’s hard to say what makes a great producer. He just has it. He just knows. We guess it’s all the experience he has as a musician and also his work producing great acts such as Millencolin, Backyard Babibes and The Hellacopters.
He is very hardworking, a bit of a quiet type, magician with his long hair and a great musician which makes it easier to understand what he means in his guidance.
BLOWN TO BITS (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Did you learn anything from Kiesby or did he give you some advices?
We did, but that’s all classified information. 😉
I think WARPAINT is a brilliant album, are you happy with the outcome of the album or do you feel the band should or could have done anything different in retrospect?
Thank you! We are very happy with the outcome! It’s “next-level” The Headlines definitely. There will always be things you can do different, but what’s done is done. And who says different is better? We could not be more happy with the album, that’s for sure!
To which kind of fans do the album turn to, to punkers, rockers or hardrockers or everyone of them?
Everyone! Good music is good music, and attitude knows no genres.
You recently signed a deal with German label Metalville Records, are you happy with the work the label have put into the band and the album so far?
We have released albums on 4 different labels so far and you learn that you have to do most things yourself regardless of label. But to our surprise, Metalville has actually worked pretty hard on promoting WARPAINT. We get the feeling they really believe in this album and us, even if they have many many other bands on their rooster. They are great guys and it’s pretty easy to communicate with them. It’s a great advantage also that Kerry, who manage almost all contact to the label speak fluent german. This avoids misunderstandings, even if the guys on Metalville speak English.
WARPAINT is being released on CD and digipack but what about vinyl?
It was the label’s decision to only release CD. It’s cheaper than Vinyl and we think this is a german way of thinking, since people still buy CD’s in Germany. The record will however be released on Vinyl too, but it’s not yet clear on which label and when.
It’s a bit hard to get a hold of items released by Metalville Records here in Sweden, is WARPAINT physically being released in stores?
Will there be anymore physical stores after the pandemic, is the question… You can buy WARPAINT on the big online platforms in Sweden such as CDON and EMP. After the release you can also order the Album and other merch direct in our store on theheadlinesband.com
Who own the legal right to your past albums? Any plans on re-release some of the albums that are out of print?
Actually we own all the rights to our past albums. First we will focus on promoting WARPAINT and then we will see what we will do with past releases. Most likely they will all be sold through our own webshop.
WARPAINT/AUTHORITY – PART 1 (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
The band was about out touring in Germany during April together with the Japanese act Fungus, but the tour got canceled due to the covid 19 virus, do you have any idea if and when the tour is going to take place again?
We are currently working on new dates. But it’s hard to plan because no one knows what will be in say 2 months. For now we are planning on doing the tour in September this year. This however, can all change depending on the spread of the virus and the control and restrictions in different countries.
That means Ward haven’t performed live yet with the band?
That’s right. Her first real show will be on Saturday 23rd May, where we will do a release show live stream from a club in south Sweden.
What are your thoughts on the pandemic that hold the world in a solid nasty grip at the moment?
We are in Sweden and feeling OK, the rules here are a bit different (as you might know) – we are not sure it’s right but time will tell what country did the right choice. Situation is confused and most of all BORING.
A while ago a few of you hosted a live stream on Facebook while you were cooking and last night you performed live, is the streaming-thing something you like to do and a way to reach out to fans in these days of quarantine?
It’s the ONLY way to reach out to fans these days, like it or not. Of course we would rather be on the road playing shows and meeting our fans. Live-stream is the next best thing, if you actually do it LIVE. Unfortunately many bands have been starting to send “live-streams”, promoted as live that aren’t actually live, but pre-recorded and edited. This is just sad. Why would you want to lie to your fans?
And due to the pandemic the release of WARPAINT is postponed to May the 22nd, how does that feel?
This is a good thing, and actually what we wanted as band. We would have postponed it even longer to be able to connect it with a real tour. But this was not possible for the label.
How eager are you to get out on the road and play the new songs for the fans?
Like a child on Christmas eve!
WARPAINT/AUTHORITY PART 2 (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy WARPAINT?
No need to. Spend 16 EUR and find out for yourselves. 😉
Well my time is up, thanks for taking the time making this shorter interview with me and metal-rules.com 🙂 I wish you and the band all the best, stay healthy and safe!!
THANK YOU ! TACK SÅ MYCKET! (in swedish the same as the first)