By the final week of their tour with Trophy Eyes, Free Throw, and Greyscale, Head North’s latest album, The Last Living Man Alive Ever in the History of the World, had already been out for a couple of months. Because the band had remained silent for most of 2016, whilst also splitting from their record label, this release was deemed as a sort of comeback for Head North.
This ‘comeback,’ so to say, was not the return of the Head North that most had come to know. Instead, it introduced a new version of the band to the world. This evolution occurred throughout their silence, during which the band was able to pinpoint exactly why they were drawn to music in the first place. “We were at this point, with regards to the band, where certain things hadn’t played out as we expected them to. We found ourselves in a spot where we realized that there was nothing really riding on this record. We could literally do whatever we wanted,” drummer Ben Lieber admits.
The Last Living Man Alive Ever in the History of the World, however, began a long, long time before it was finally released. “Brent (Martone, vocals/guitar) had the basic concept–the skeleton, I guess–for a while,” Ben explains as he toys with the glasses on the table. “Throughout 2015, towards the end, we were touring a lot. He was building on it during that time, and, after that, he started writing the record and really developed it,” Ben continues.
The album was well-received, with many claiming it was their best work to date, but there wasn’t immediate approval within the band itself. “I was definitely skeptical, especially over the name of the record,” Ben confesses. “It’s kind of meant to be redundant. That’s the whole point of it… The idea of the story came first. The name just kind of came along. At first, I thought he was joking, but I’ve grown to love it,” he adds.
The creation of the album was very hands-on, with several people outside of the band playing a role. While Brett Romnes oversaw the overall endeavor, he was working on other projects at the same time. “He would pop in and out, you know, and then he mixed and engineered the record,” Ben details. “Kevin Kumetz was also involved, and he was assisted by Gary Cioni” Ben continues. “There were three heads working on it at all times, which was cool… Frustrating at times, but cool. Everyone wanted something different, but the general consensus was that everyone felt like this project was a great backbone to expand on, and that we could do very weird sonic things that we’ve never done before.”
Check out the rest of the feature in our upcoming issue–coming soon!
WORDS: KELLY FADDEN