If you haven't noticed yet, our new album Head Off is comprised of songs we didn't write ourselves. But before you scream "oh no, a cover album!", let's just clear a few things up.
The idea for this record dates back about two years. We thought it'd be great to record an album of more or less contemporary songs that are too good to be left unheard. We know that the state of rock 'n' roll have seen better days but the fact is that there are shitloads of great bands with equally great songs out there. Guess you just have to dig a little. Songs that could and SHOULD be on the charts all over the world. But as you all know, the world is far from a perfect place. We're not saying that by recording these songs we'll put them on any charts or anything but maybe, just maybe, a few more people will get to know these gems and their origins.
Anyway, we selected about 50 tunes that we think kick ass and eventually and carefully narrowed 'em down to about 20. We wound up chosing the songs that sounded like they were written for us ?by us even ?and ended up with an album that's one hundred percent The Hellacopters. In other words, it's not a case of "hey, we don't have any songs - let's just record a bunch of covers and get it over with".
The decision to break up the band was obviously made after we recorded and mixed the album. That decision has nothing to do with the "concept" of Head Off. It just happened to be our last studio album and we hope you'll like it.
Why the secrecy? Well, by not announcing that we're releasing a "cover album", rather than just a new album ?which is how we see it ?we're trying to avoid any preconceived ideas people might get about it. We basically want people to listen to the album for what it really is: our new album. Period.
If you DO like it you might wanna check out the originals so here's a list, song by song:
ELECTROCUTE ?originally performed by "Demons"
A great punk rock band from Stockholm that's been around forever. Our version of the song differs quite a bit from theirs. Mainly because we put a slight Status Quo touch to it. Off the single by the same name. It's also available on the "Demonology" compilation on Gearhead Records. They have a new album coming out soon.
MIDNIGHT ANGELS ?originally performed by The Peepshows
From Örebro, Sweden, this band put out some rocking albums on Burning Heart Records before calling it quits some time ago. This song is off their last full length "Refuge For Degenerates", which is also their best. When I first heard it I was blown away ?it felt as if I forgot to write the song myself. (Nicke)
(I'M) WATCHING YOU ?originally performed by The Humpers
Punk rock band from Los Angeles who started off as Suicide Kings but changed the name to The Humpers in the early ?0s. (I’m) Watching You is taken from the album ”Journey To The Centre Of Your Wallet?on Sympathy For The Record Industry (1994). This tune was on all of our mix tapes around '95/'96 and served as a big inspiration for writing (Gotta Get Some Action) Now!
NO SALVATION ?originally performed by The Turpentines
The Turpentines were our labelmates back when we were on White Jazz Records. No Salvation was released as a single off their record ”American Music For American People?(1998). They also released the album "By Popular Demand" before disbanding in 1993. The Turpentines were something else! When these guys were good (which was most of the time), they were really freaking good.
IN THE SIGN OF THE OCTOPUS ?originally performed by The Robots
Together with bands like The Turpentines, Kids Are Sick and "Demons", The Robots were one of Stockholms' younger bands kicking around as The Hellacopters got started. All these bands did shows together & provided a sense of inspiration & healthy competition in those early days. The song is to be found on their excellent 2004 album "The Robots Are Everywhere" (Idle Hands Records).
VERONICA LAKE ?originally performed by New Bomb Turks
Awesome band from Columbus, Ohio. Their debut LP "Destroy-Oh-Boy!" from '92, is probably the biggest source of inspiration for getting The Hellacopters started. Veronica Lake can be found on their ”At Rope’s End?album, released by Epitaph in 1998.
ANOTHER TURN ?originally performed by The Maharajas
Another great band from Örebro, Sweden, The Maharajas was formed by ex-members of The Strollers & The Maggots. Another Turn is taken from their album ”Unrelated Statements?(Low Impact Records 2004).
I JUST DON'T KNOW ABOUT GIRLS ?originally performed by Asteroid B-612
I guess we always felt some kind of connection to a lot of Australian bands. It seemed like we shared a similar approach to rock 'n' roll. It was real inspiring to know that bands on the other side of the world were doing pretty much the same thing as we did. Asteroid B-612 was a great band and we had the opportunity to play with them a few times. Johnny Casino have a solo thing going on now ?check that out too.
RESCUE ?originally performed by Dead Moon
I should hope that these iconoclastic road rats out of Oregon need no further introduction. They were around for ages, touring, recording & setting an example to others before the split-up in '06. They were one of the most important bands in contemporary music. You can find Rescue on the album "Destination X" or their best of compilation "Echoes Of The Past". Founding members Fred & Toody have a new band called Pierced Arrows and drummer Andrew also has a new band, The Shiny Things.
THROTTLE BOTTOM ?originally performed by Gaza Strippers
Gaza Strippers were a kick ass Chicago band formed by Rick Sims who used to front The Didjits. This song is off their Man's Ruin debut "Laced Candy". They were truly unique live. There's rumours going around that Rick has a new band called San Francisco Sperm Trolley.
MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME ?originally performed by The BellRays
The BellRays are really a one of a kind type band. At times they almost sound as if Millie Jackson was fronting Black Flag. This song is off their 2003 album "The Red, White & Black" and it's one of their more classic Southern Soul sounding songs. If they play anywhere near you, you really ought to go see 'em. They recently put out a new album.
DARLING DARLING ?originally performed by The Royal Cream
The core of The Royal Cream is The Sewergrooves' Kurt & Mattias Värmby (of F.O.F. & Dom Där & Hux Flux fame). The tune has been released in two versions, as a 7?single (2000) and as a different album version on "Death Is Not A Destination ?It's A State Of Mind" (Big Bongo Records 2005). I've stood in on bass on occasion with these guys and consider them to be one of the top acts around town. (Kenny)
STRAIGHT UNTIL MORNING ?originally performed by Powder Monkeys
From Melbourne, Australia comes one of the hardest rocking outfits ever. Straight Until Morning was released on a five track EP in 1995 and was also on their album ”Time Wounds All Heels?(Dog Meat) from the same year. A very hard song to do justice to, but at least we tried.
ACID REIGN ?originally performed by The Yes-Men
Another great Australian band. We intended to include our version of this song on the album but we just couldn't match the intensity of the original, so it ended up as a flipside for the single release of In The Sign Of The Octopus.