Currently evolving in to the newer, trumpet-wielding five-piece rock band from their earlier four-piece incarnation, Cabezudos are a band full of surprises. Parading around the UK, their story started two years ago when they burst out of Liverpool to gain acclaim all over the unsigned indie circuit. Two years on, and with an outlook two years older, the band are rediscovering what it means to have success while staying up-to-date in an endless whirl of gigging, building a loyal fanbase and writing new material – surviving it all one song at a time.
Cabazudos, that’s an interesting name. Where does it come from?
Chris: So I have family who lives in Spain and they have a festival in Spain called Cabezudos and it’s where they parade around the place in all these big massive paper heads – Google it –so anyway I was just talking to my mum saying the band doesn’t have a name and she said, ‘You know what you lot can call yourselves? Cabezudos because you’ve all got massive heads!’ And I had a think about it and thought yeah, alright, I’ll have that and here we are two years later.
So how would you describe your sound?
Jack: I’d say it’s classic rock with bits of blues in occasionally.
So who were you all influenced by growing up?
Tom: We’re all pretty much influenced the same things obviously we all listen to other things but really we were influenced by Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, rock, non-stop.
So is this gig just a one-off or are you going to be touring?
Jack: We were a four-piece for a while and Sean, our trumpet player, was with us for a few songs but he plays keyboard and piano as well so we brought him in to the band which has been a help big time so we’ve been working on that.
Chris: The sound’s changed quite a bit as well and we’ve had to accommodate that so while we’re getting on top of that we’ve scaled the gigs right back.
How has it changed?
Tom: It’s matured a lot – it didn’t really have a direction and the songs were loose but now they seem to be fitting together nicely now.
And what would you say your inspirations are in terms of lyrics and content?
Jack: It’s a mixture really – I’ll come in with a half baked idea and we’ll knock it about for a while and lets say we get a demo of it and we’ll record it then after couple of weeks we keep revisiting it again. I mean, the process can take anything up to two months but that’s when all the best songs come about.
Growing up, what were you listening to?
Tom: Well, growing up, I don’t think any of our parents listened to stuff like Led Zeppelin – that was part of the appeal of us listening to it …
So what were your parents listening to?
Jack: My dad loves Dire Straits and my mum likes Robbie Williams, Shania Twain, Bananarama …
Sean: My ma and pa weren’t in to none of that – mine were proper big punk, new wave fans like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, my dad hates stuff that we can’t sound like, like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and it would just remind him of boring parties and stuff.
Chris: I’d probably say did used to listen to things more differently but since we’ve in a band we kind of listen to the same things more or less – probably because we’ve told each other to listen to stuff.
Tom: I was more in to the grunge side of things like Nirvana and then as soon as I met these, Chris was like ‘Listen to like Led Zepellin and TRex’ and things went from there.
Do you have any themes to your lyrics?
Tom: Death and love.
Chris: I think it’s so hard not to write about death though isn’t it?
Jack: Even though it’s a bit grim, we are quite fascinated to talk about death in lyrics we always touch on it, all the time.
Sean: It’s the one thing that’s certain to happen to us all. It’s more like close brushes with death rather than death – that’s what they seem to be about. We thought once it would be good to write a first hand account of death – but we can’t cos we’d be dead… (hahaha!)
Very true! And in terms of melody, how does that work with you guys, is it a collaborative effort?
Jack: To be honest, Chris is a bit of a genius – so he’ll come in and I’m singing something and he’ll be like, ‘Mmmm – no – this is what it needs to sound like,’ and then the melody will become something like something only he is hearing in his head, but because I can’t possibly hear what is in his head, it will be a variateion on that. That’s how it works.
Chris: And sometimes it’s better.
Jack: Sometimes? See Brian Wilson over there!
Do you feel that the fact you come from Liverpool, that reflects in your music?
Jack: Definitely – I mean we’ve written about the Mersey, the ferry, the ocean and that.
Sean: But to be honest, I don’t think we sound like a Liverpool band, there’s a definite sound with some bands coming out of Liverpool that is a definite Liverpool sound, sea shanties and that, a bit like The Coral and I don’t think we sound like that. But – well I think we do bit – we’re proud that we come from Liverpool, we love the Beatles and there’s so much pride there.
Jack: We’re loud and proud about our city.
What’s the scene like in Liverpool?
Chris: People don’t actively seek out new music or new bands like in Yorkshire where we have loads of new fans but in Liverpool there’s not loads of new fans. Everyone’s friends come and see them play so as soon as their band has finished then they get off straight away.
Jack: There are a lot of great bands, but people have their nights out. Liverpool’s heavily influenced by techno music and I bet half of these people would trek to Glastonbury for the big bands but they won’t go out to see small and new bands in small venue. They seem quite happy to wait until bands are big then go and see them in the big venues.
Sean: I think we have real genuine fans though – not just parents and fans – like in Sheffield and Leeds– we do have a following of people who come to see us and engage with us in posts and follow us.
So what’ happening for you this year?
Chris: We’re sitting on a single at the minute and just waiting for the right time to release it.
Are you playing it tonight?
Yes we are – it’s called – well it’s got a working title of Death Row’ but that might change.
Sean: Talking about death again.
Jack: I’d rather focus on internal things like writing and just becoming a better band and using this time, particularly with Christmas and the time has been quite quiet so it’s been nice to use this time to go to the practice room and mosh out and get the songs together.
Jack: I think last year we just got our set together and it was such a well worked out set and we took it all over the country and it worked out so well and we could think yes- I thought I can call myself a musician now and I’m a singer!
Tom: For us it’s really hard when you’ve got all these ideas but if then if you’re constantly gigging and touring you can’t sit down and do these things or improve.
Chris: It was all a bit Paul McCartney on St Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band when he wasn’t writing new songs.
Tom: We turned in to a cover band of ourselves.
Jack: We’d basically got a set list of songs we’d written a year ago.
Chris: And if you’re not improving and writing new songs that’s the death of you really as a band.
Death again. Yes – it’s all about growth and it’s important you move forward.
So in terms of 2018, what can we expect from you?
Tom That’s a tough one…
Sean: Because we haven’t really played much in Liverpool, we want to smash our own city and do gigs, get more of a local following and then venture out. Coz last year, we gigged all over then came home but never really did anything at home.
Sean: We just need a solid foundation first and we missed it first time round. It’s hard – and when people don’t really know you in your own city but people have heard of us out of Liverpool.
Jack: We have high standards and we want to do more.
Chris: We need to keep gigging but keep practising until we’re at a level we’re happy with to tour again.
Jack: We want to be a band that’s round for a very long time.
Chris: And you need longevity for that.
Sean: We have a few things planned but we can’t announce them yet!
Follow and listen at: