Heads & Tales
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Heads & Tales

Durham, New Hampshire, United States | SELF

Durham, New Hampshire, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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Jun
27
Heads & Tales @ The Stone Church

Newmarket, New Hampshire, United States

Newmarket, New Hampshire, United States

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"The Sam King Band entertains at Wildcatessen"

Many students choose to spend their Friday and Saturday nights partying with friends. Others would rather spend their weekend nights in neighboring towns like Portsmouth and Newington.
But for the past month, The Sam King Band, a new student band, has been gaining the attention of hundreds of partygoers in front of Wildcatessen every weekend.
Charles Weinmann (drummer), Corey Persson (guitarist), Alex Philbrick (bassist), Sam King (singer), and Ian Sleeper (guitarist), make up this new aspiring band.
Beginning as jam sessions between Weinmann, Persson, and Sleeper, the group eventually met King at the University of New Hampshire’s The Grind, an open mic night presented by Campus Activities Board (CAB), and decided to form a band. Philbrick, who was friends with Weinmann since the beginning of the fall semester, joined the band soon after it was formed.
The band’s title may share the same name as its lead singer, but all of the members stressed that it does not mean King is the main player in the band. The inspiration for the name, as well as for their music, came from bands like the Dave Matthews Band and the John Mayer Trio.
“They’re all classy and simple, but it’s a collaborative effort named after one guy,” Weinmann said. “It’s not just one person writing the songs. We all contribute.”
The Sam King Band began playing outside of Wildcatessen after they performed at the UNH Prom. Having not yet satisfied their thirst for playing, they sat in front of the convenient-store and 20 to 30 people suddenly flocked to their location. They have been playing outside of Wildcatessen every weekend since their first experiment.
“We were just expecting a few people to walk by and throw us a quarter, but more people kept coming,” Sleeper said.
Since the band’s first outing, more than 50 people stop by and sit to watch them play. They estimate that more than 100 people stop by during the night, and they often see familiar faces as they play outside more and more.
With Wildcatessen located right next to Stoke Hall, the group has received a number of noise complaints due to their loud music, but their have fans stood by and supported the band.
“Somebody in Stoke goes, ‘Be quiet!’ And everybody goes, ‘Shut up,’” Sleeper said. “It’s good to have loyal followers.”
The unique location also offers its fair share of strange encounters. One girl asked to have her arm signed, and instead of cash in the donation case they found a marijuana cigarette.
The group is currently scheduled to play at Saturday’s May Day carnival, and is opening for hip-hop/rap artist Moufy on May 6 at Tilton School in Tilton, N.H.
While the outside sessions have given them a strong following on campus, the members have much higher goals in mind: they plan to take The Sam King Band much farther than UNH.
“The goal is to not get practical jobs in our lives and live as musicians. All of us,” King said. - The New Hampshire


"WUNH Presents Nightmare Air, Boom Said Thunder and Heads & Tales this Friday"

On Friday, March 29, WUNH is set to host a concert in the Strafford Room of the MUB. Nightmare Air, Boom Said Thunder and Heads & Tales will play at the event.
With each of the bands coming from a different state, and having different sounds, the show should produce an eclectic crowd.
Because WUNH will not be having its Hi-Fi Festival this year, members are looking for a big turnout this Friday at the MUB.
“We have decided to switch gears and put on a more intimate show this year,” WUNH Promotions Director Alicia Jacobs said. “Hosting campus events is one way we try to give back to UNH and the surrounding community for their continued support.”
Nightmare Air is a Los Angeles-based rock band that has held its place on the Top 10 for college radio playlists in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The band went on tour this past summer in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, playing festivals with bands such as The Buzzcocks, Ice Age and The Duke Spirit.
Boom Said Thunder is a fuzz rock band out of Boston. Last.fm described the trio as being able to create “original rock songs with a unique, guitar-less sound and a give-it-all-you-got mentality.”
Their rock sound can be compared to bands such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kills and PJ Harvey.
The indie rock UNH-based band Heads & Tales, originally the Sam King Band, should ring a bell for UNH students. Having related themselves to such sounds as Young the Giant and Coldplay, the band members incorporate individuality into their songs.
“There’s a possibility we’ll do one more small show – but the idea is to give the smaller shows a chance this year,” Jacobs said.
WUNH’s event is this Friday, with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the MUB. Tickets are $3 for students or $5 for non-students. - The New Hampshire


"Student band continues to make noise in local music scene"

The Thirsty Moose Bar in Portsmouth was at capacity on a cold night in January, as the band Heads & Tales, made up entirely of UNH students, took the stage. Nerves were at an all-time high for the five men as they stepped into the blinding spotlight.
Head & Tales enjoyed playing at the Portsmouth bar, as it was one of the larger crowds they have played for. The band thought that the show went great, which was verified by the immense amount of applause after their set.
The Thirsty Moose show was one of many shows that the band, which some describe as an indie-rock group, has played recently. Yet classifying them as indie-rock doesn’t do the band justice.
“They perform all sorts of genres from classic to alternative, so they’re very easy listening for most people,” Josh Mele, a sophomore UNH student, said.
“The great thing about being in a band is finding a sound,” lead singer Sam Johnson said. “We are still trying to navigate our way through practices and failures at gigs to discovering who we want to be.”
This band is made up of five UNH students: Johnson, Ian Sleeper, Tom Sattler, Charlie Weinmann and Corey Persson. Weinmann is currently studying abroad in London.
Heads & Tales ultimately aims to practice as much as possible, but balancing practice with a college workload is difficult. Heads & Tales, however, is determined to be successful.
“Our goal is to make a living off of music and I just want a triple platinum album, Lamborghini, you know,” Johnson said.
“Originally we were known as the Sam King Band, but we wanted a change,” Sleeper said. “Now we are Heads & Tales.”
A Coldplay song, flipping a coin and story tales led to the band’s current name. Heads & Tales recently made their debut on iTunes with seven songs.
“The coolest thing about being on iTunes is having friends coming up to tell me how great we did,” guitarist Persson said. “Just seeing something we worked so hard on turn into typing our names into iTunes.”
Their debut on iTunes has already started to expand their audience.
“The most satisfying thing for me was seeing our first review from someone we didn’t know; they said it was awesome,” Johnson said.
“Just seeing yourself on something so big as iTunes is very accomplishing,” Sleeper said.
Another accomplishment for the band is how many shows they have played together.
“We have played roughly between 20-30 gigs as a band so far, which as far as we know is more than any other UNH band on campus, comprised entirely of full time students,” Sleeper said. “If there were a band that played out as much as we do, I would hope that we would have gotten to know them by now.”
One of the band’s favorite shows took place last year in an apartment on campus.
“The living room was the floor and we were performing in the kitchen,” Sleeper said. “The entire audience was in such a happy mood, we couldn’t help but have an amazing time. The place was packed. You could feel the sweat in the air.”
Of course shows vary depending on the venue and how many people are present, but Head & Tales always puts on their best performance.
“I like them because I think they have raw talent,” sophomore Lauren Husson said. “The first time I heard them was last year outside of Wildcatessen when they were completely acoustic and covering popular songs.”
Heads & Tales plays covers, but they also write many of their own songs. The two main lyric writers are Johnson and Sleeper.
“The process of lyric writing for me and Ian is very different, which is good because we come up with different songs,” Johnson said. “I get my inspiration through stuff like pictures… Recently I wrote a song about this picture of me and my dad playing chess and I just have a smirk on my face. I really base it off my experiences.”
Heads & Tales will put their talent on display at the May Day Carnival, Saturday, April 27, starting at 1 p.m. in C-Lot. The event is free with a UNH ID. Also check out their CD carousel at www.headsandtalesband.com/music.html or on iTunes. - The New Hampshire


"Local musicians rely on off-campus venues"

Heads and Tales is a local indie-rock band comprised of UNH students that dreams of someday making a career out of its music. Its members, Ian Sleeper (guitarist), Tom Sattler (bassist), Cory Persson (guitarist), Charlie Weinmann (drummer) and Sam Johnson (singer), are all dedicated musicians who have played instruments since they were young.

Garret Finn, an electronic musician who calls himself Rhyot on stage, has similar goals. Finn has only been playing electronic music for a little over year, but he already knows that he wants to pursue a career in music.

Despite the differences in genre, Finn and Heads and Tales share the same ambitions. However, they also share the same roadblock: finding venues on campus to play their music.

Neighboring towns like Portsmouth and Newmarket offer plenty of options for bands to perform live and showcase their new music. The Press Room and The Rusty Hammer in Portsmouth, and The Stone Church in Newmarket, are just a few of the venues that offer live shows regularly.

But playing in towns outside of Durham prohibits artists and bands like Finn and Heads and Tales from reaching their primary target audience: college students.

Each year, UNH offers two large events for bands to play. At the end of each academic year, WUNH hosts its annual Hi-Fi Music Festival, where bands are welcome to perform live on the Thompson Hall lawn. The university also arranges the May Day Parade, which sets up a small stage for musicians to perform in the middle of the carnival.

The Campus Activity Board (CAB) organizes The Grind, a concert series designed for local musicians to play in front of students.

Aside from these organized events, most of which take place at the end of academic semesters, there are few alternative options.

“We’ve tried all the bars in downtown [Durham], and they all said no,” Johnson said. “As far as downtown Durham and this campus, the music scene is limited to none.”
Heads and Tales has played over 10 different shows since its creation, but most of the venues have been off campus. In fact, one of its most recent performances was even out of state: the Wicked Music Festival in Worcester, Mass.

Sattler said he believes that UNH over-advertises for other campus events and doesn’t advertise enough for music events like The Grind. All of the members in Heads and Tales agree that the musical awareness in the Durham area is extremely low.

“I think people have different priorities,” Sattler said. “People want to go to a frat or an apartment instead of listening to music.”
Ironically, the fraternities and many of the apartments on campus often ask Finn to DJ their house parties.

Finn, who plays a very distinct style of music, said that he can find plenty of venues to DJ, but finding a venue that asks specifically for electronic music can be challenging.

DJing, which only requires the artist to mix songs and tracks that the audience knows, is very different from composing original electronic music. Even though Finn is able to perform regularly, he said that he has not gotten many chances to strictly play electronic music.

Some believe that the campus’ low musical awareness isn’t just restricted to local music. Sean Riley, the music director of WUNH, thinks that UNH students lack any musical awareness in general, therefore affecting the number of events that the school hosts and the number of attendees at performances.

“We help the local music as much as we can. The problem is the overall music taste at UNH frankly sucks,” Riley said. “It’s a real challenge. We’ve had to focus our efforts to off-campus things.”
WUNH currently works with The Stone Church in broadcasting live music. When the church has live performances, the radio station has permission to play that band’s music. Sometimes those bands come from UNH, but the fact of the matter is that they aren’t playing on campus.

Riley said that WUNH’s relationship with The Stone Church has been successful, but he still wishes that there were more opportunities for local bands and artists to play on campus.

In addition to low awareness, he thinks that student interest in music is severely lacking.

“I have no idea why nobody on this campus wants to go do anything. It’s something we’ve discussed in trying to create shows of our own,” Riley said. “It’s a swing and a miss overall doing things on campus because no one is really interested in it, unfortunately.”
WUNH has been trying to listen to what students want in hopes of increasing both awareness and interest. DJs were added to last year’s Hi-Fi roster, but, according to Riley, the attendance level did not increase in the way he had hoped.

Heads and Tales has recognized that this is an issue that has to be resolved. The band hopes to form a student organization with other local groups that promotes and puts together different performances for local musicians.

“We are fairly disappointed with the local music scene at UNH,” Johnson said. “We would like to see it changed during our tenure here.” - The New Hampshire


Discography

Carousel - EP (2013)

Photos

Bio

Heads & Tales was formed at the University of New Hampshire in early 2012. Originally the Sam King Band, the band has quickly evolved into Heads & Tales, a powerful and versatile group with influences in Rock, Indie, Folk, Blues and Americana.
We are all currently students at UNH, and so we are as active as we can be in the local music scene. We have formed relationships with other student bands on our campus, and we strive to play in as many local venues as we can. We are in the process of putting together a college tour in which we will travel throughout New England and play at several college campuses.
We have extremely high hopes for this band, and we all share the same big dreams. We wish to become the best band we can be, while entertaining our audience with our unique sound and energetic vibes.

Band Members