‘All That You Fear Is Gone’ (Click Here To Read Our Review) is another milestone in the journey of Headspace. The fort that they have set out to build in three different parts is starting to stand strong, with not a weak crevice that can jeopardize it even after it is fully done. Every Headspace fan wants to know how the trilogy will end, but they know it’ll be strongly emotional and mind-numbing. But before the last part gets released, this second part is highly recommended to all progressive metal fans.
Gearing up for the release, Metal Wani’s writer Shivam Kalra had a chat with Adam Wakeman of Progressive Metal wizards HEADSPACE. Here what Adam had to say about the album:
I’d like to start asking by where you got the idea of Headspace come from? You have been with Ozzy Osbourne band since 2004 and have been in and out of many other projects; and now Headspace. Where did it all start?
I’d been on a lot of really long tours, and thought it would be great to have a band with my best pals in, who are also fantastic musicians. Ironically, we probably see less of each other now than we did before we had the band! I’ve worked with Damian a lot in the past and always thought he’s the best front man and vocalist. The rest just fell into place with Lee and Rich Brook (and now Adam Falkner) and Pete Rinaldi.
You started this band 2 years after joining the Ozzy Osbourne band, in 2006 and released an EP the following year. Generally when a band releases their debut, EP it is tacitly understood that the band has found their own and is preparing for their debut album. But it took Headspace 5 years after the release of the EP to release their debut album. Why such a long gap?
A variety of reasons really. Firstly, I was in the middle of a long tour with Ozzy – 18 months pretty much for the Black Rain tour. So that took me up to early 2009. We didn’t want to just use the songs we had left over from the EP and wanted to do a concept album so started from scratch. We were all really busy with other artists we work with as we all need to make a living from music, so Headspace has to take 2nd place to more financially lucrative work for all of us. In 2010 I was in the studio a lot writing for Ozzy’s “Scream” album but we were well underway with the writing for I am anonymous then. The album was finished about 5 months before release date in 2012 as it then needs to be mixed, mastered, artwork finalized and then the record label need 3 months minimum from receipt of the album to plan the release so it all takes time.
Headspace has the music that slowly grows on you. At first listen, it’s okay, but the more you listen, the more you want to listen. And each time you discover something new in the band worth listening to. What is the approach and idea behind the band’s music?
We don’t think of it in any particular way. We just write the music that we would like to listen to. We are all fans of complex music but ultimately, we all value the melody and ‘the song’ so we hopefully reflect that in the writing. Damian puts his heart and soul into the lyrics and melodies and we all do with the writing of our parts. It all comes from a genuine place, which for me, is what music is all about.
Also, each instrument, especially in ‘All That You Fear Is Gone’ has a track or two where they stand out, giving each member to be expressive and be himself, and that’s one of the beautiful things about band. When you decided to form Headspace, how did you find all these gems? Of course, a band has ups and downs and often band members leave and new members join in, but to keep having one gem after another is another task. And even when a member or two departs, harder task to align the new members with the vision of the band, and only then a band can work as one entity. How did you find them, and what keeps band together?
I’ve known all the guys for a long time. I know what makes everyone tick, I know what pisses them off, I know they are all phenomenal musicians. Sure, we would probably kill each other if we were on a tour bus for 2 years earning £20 a week, but we’re not – we spend quite little time all together, so when we are, we have a great time and enjoy each others company. It’s like a marriage really, except you only see your wife a few times a year!
Damian Wilson is one of the best progressive metal singers we have in the metal music industry. Like you, he has also been in and out of many projects like you, has his own band Threshold. How did you come to the decision that Damian’s was the perfect voice you needed for Headspace
I think it’s good to note that Headspace is a band, always has been and not a ‘project’ . From the outset, it was formed as a band for everyone to have as a creative outlet and have pride in. We may only make 3 albums in 10 years, but they will be 3 albums that we have sweated over, not 8 albums we’ve ‘knocked out’. Damian is the singer for Threshold and to my knowledge, doesn’t write for them – he’s hired in like I am with Will Young, Ozzy, Annie Lennox, Travis etc. There’s a big difference. Headspace is Damian’s band, as much as it is Pete, or any of us guys. We sell a Headspace T-Shirt, we all benefit from that. We do a show where 3 people and a dog show up – then we are all responsible for that!
Keeping metal aside for an instance, whose idea was it to include a country and blues song (Polluted Alcohol) in a progressive metal album? Though, yes I agree, classifying in genres restricts an artist’s expression. But where did this idea come, how was it executed?
First of all, why not? ! Damian had suggested to Pete he wanted a Western / Americana type guitar track to go with his ideas for lyrics he was writing. Pete came up with that and although it was different to what Damian was expecting, it turned out great.
We might do a Michael Bolton style ballad on the next one, who knows. As soon as you start limiting what you come up with creatively, it’s not genuine. We’ll just keep doing whatever comes naturally and if that means an album with one 55 minute song on, or twelve 3 minute songs, then it will be what it will be.
Concept albums have been an evolution to the music, and slowly everyone is catching upto it. But a trilogy in concept albums is something none of us have heard. Would you like shine light on Headspace trilogy? What was the initial idea, how it started?
In a pub if I remember rightly after we all got together and turned down a record contract from a label that wanted to sign us “if we were more metal”. “What’s the point in compromising? – we will be whatever we want and make whatever music we want..” we all thought and Pete I think suggested doing a concept album, then Damian ran with it. We then wrote and recorded it on our terms, with our own money and then signed it once it was finished. We have found a great match with Inside Out as we retain our artistic integrity and have a label that know we’ll deliver the best album we are capable of making.
Headspace is sort of a supergroup with most of the members have their own bands and individual career. You have a trilogy in mind which will end when the next album releases. What are plans of the band after the release of last instalment of the trilogy?
That’s too far off! No idea! Let’s get the shows under our belt this year and write the final part of the trilogy and then we’ll see what’s next. Might be our ‘90125’ period, or we might write a collection of 4 concept albums….
It has been indecisive by the band as to when the next and last album of the instalment might be releasing, would you like say something on this? When can we expect a closure to this?
I can definitely say it will be after today, and before we all die of old age. Somewhere in that time period…