Interview : HEADLESS KROSS… Posted: 30/09/2015 by John O'Brien


HEADLESS KROSS – Live @ The Limelight 2, Belfast (01/08/2015)

Glasgow’s Psychedelic Sludge/Doom trio HEADLESS KROSS recently played a couple of shows over this side of the water. One of which we reviewed a while back…

We also caught up with Tommy Duffin, the bands guitarist, for a few words.
Check it below…


  Q1: So! Why don’t we start with a quick background/introduction to HEADLESS KROSS? Who’s in the band and how did it all start?

We are Derek (Bass /Vocals), Tommy (Guitar) and Jonny (Drums). The band arose from Jonny using my recording studio to practice in and me being on the lookout for band members to form a heavy rock band of some sort. We had a couple of jams and recorded some riffs, met Derek at a KYLESA gig around February 2011 I think and asked him to join us. I knew Derek from his previous band, ULTIMO DRAGON which also featured Tobin from Ommadon. I was also a stunt drummer for a period in the NEVERLAND SLEEPOVERS in which Derek sang. Anyway, I knew he’d fit right in. Within 3 months we’d written our first album.

  Q2: You’re no strangers to playing over this side of the Irish Sea. And only recently played a couple of shows here, in Dublin and Belfast.
How did these gigs go for you? And how did the Irish punters treat HEADLESS KROSS?

Ireland has been very good to us. We just completed our fourth trip there in 3 years and every time we go the response gets better. We’re always well looked after there too. If HEADLESS KROSS had to move for tax reasons I dare say we’d wind up in Drogheda. It would be a good touring base.

  Q3: You had both SLOMATICS and VENUS SLEEPS play both shows you. There are a lot of similar elements shared between HEADLESS KROSS and those two bands. Particularly SLOMATICS who you seem to have a long lasting friendship with! Was this shared aesthetic the reason, or one of the reasons, you asked them to play these show with you?

Basically SLOMATICS make us come over every year. There’s no getting out of it. I can’t actually remember why we know them, it’s something about Scottish and Irish bands naturally gravitating towards each other. Same with Wild Rocket. There’s connections through former bands and people who organise DIY gigs and festivals over the years and certain lines are maintained. As far as SLOMATICS goes, we were fans first, then friends. We played with VENUS SLEEPS in Cork and Dublin in 2014 and stayed in touch. Their new album is excellent.

  Q4: And a couple of years ago you shared a split 7″ with another Belfast band, and one of the heaviest bands I’ve ever witness on stage, the excellent WAR IRON. How did that joint venture come about?

Again, it’s hazy. We helped sort out shows for WAR IRON in Glasgow and Elgin maybe about 2012? I’ve no idea how the split came about but it must have been their idea because I don’t remember having to do any work… And I agree, they are very heavy.

  Q5: Your new album “Volumes” has just come out recently through Black Bow and Burning world Records. How has it been received so far?

It’s been great. Mostly positive as far as reviews go and Black Bow have done a good job of making sure people know it’s out there. Also, Jon has it for sale on Conan tours which in itself helps with distribution.

  Q6: Was there anything different or new on this album that you did compared to previous recordings? Styles, techniques, equipment, etc…?

We used a different studio for Volumes. All our previous recordings were done at 16 Ohm Studio in Glasgow which is run by myself and my brother but we wanted to get away from Glasgow and focus just on the recording for a few days. We’d spent a long time putting the material together and by the time we got to the recording stage I felt more comfortable handing particularly the mixing but also the engineering over to Chris Fielding. He’s got a proven track record of recording and mixing heavy bands and it worked out great. Skyhammer is a great setting and we were made to feel very welcome.

  Q7: There’s only three tracks on this album with one clocking in past the twenty minute mark. Is there a common theme running through it?

Nature taking it’s revenge against humankind through the bird population. Obviously. Whether they will actually build wooden robots to inflict the violence remains to be seen but it’s only a matter of time before they kick off.

  Q8: Your sound and style has been slowly progressing through the years. Apart from your first album, all your other releases have been shorter, or splits with other bands. But yet your individual compositions are getting longer, except the 7″ obviously. Is this intentional or just a simple case of it being how the cards fell for the band at the time?

It’s the way it’s naturally progressing. I think we’re now getting into a way of working which encourages longer compositions. We just play what we want to play and I don’t feel particularly bound to one thing musically. The longer songs are good for working out how to keep the listener interested. We’re very conscious of that.

  Q9: Do you have any plans to tour further afield outside of the UK and Ireland to support of the album?

We play where people offer us shows. We have a limited amount of opportunities to get away from our personal lives and play with the band so we don’t go looking for gigs. If there’s a demand we’ll do our best to make it happen and we’re easy to contact.

  Q10: That’s about it, really! Any parting words of wisdom that you’d like to share.

Check out!

Questions by John O’Brien & Wes Morrisey