Heads Up Display
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Heads Up Display

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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"Stethoscope EP"

AS/IS Record Description from CD Baby: Twangy Stories about antidotes, getting ready for the 'big time', triangulation, getting sick on airplanes, and of course overindulging; all backed by swirly guitars and over-driven bass and drums. Reviews of our last effort, Stethoscope EP; "On their debut EP Stethoscope, New York City 's Heads Up Display juxtapose quirky slacker rock with shimmering power pop. Their sound meshes Pre-Emo and Canadian indie, occupying a space somewhere between Pinkerton and the post-You Forgot it in People landscape of eclectic modern rock. You can hear the band's vigorous dynamics in the urgent "Stunt Double" and the shrieking "Sailboat." The highlight of the record is the sparse yet masterful closing track, "The Long Ride Home." It's a soulful 5AM comedown with Kat Lee as chanteuse hauntingly lamenting over and over again 'you won't come home tonight.'"

-John Darcy, Sugarspun Records, Inc. - Sugarspun Records


"Stethoscope EP Review"

"Ya know that mini-movement where two bands record a few tracks each, but release all the material together on one EP? You'd swear from the distinctively different male and female lead vocal styles that it happened in this Heads Up Display CD. Interesting choice. There is one tip-off, however: a dark and heavy 80s thread running throughout the actual music. With moody, looming and sometimes explosive indie-rock melodies, they've inspired me to reach for my Afghan Whigs and Sonic Youth records yet again. They aren't replicas or anything - just reminiscent. This kind of nostalgia is damn good for the soul." - Denise Miller - Deli Magazine


"videotipp | heads up display - formula vs. perfume"

Die frühen 90er Jahre läuteten neben dem Grungehype auch die Hochphase des befindlichkeitsorientierten Indierock ein. Heads Up Display huldigen nicht nur musikalisch dieser Ära (Pavement, Built To Spill, Guided by Voices), sondern lassen sich von den Regisseuren Kushner und Molina als sesamstraßentypische Handpuppen durch den öden Alltag führen. Allerdings sind die schnoddrigen Lyrics und deren aufgeworfene fragen zeitlos. - Elbo.ws/Rote Raupe


"Puppet Rockers in Brooklyn: Formula vs. Perfume Music Vid"

Awesome video featuring muppet-like puppets commuting on the subway, working and hanging out while rocking out. Heads Up Display are based in Brooklyn, NY. - digg.com


"Heads Up Display (H.U.D.) - Formula vs. Perfume"

Song of the day... - Largehearted Boy


"Talking Comics with Tim: Kevin Colden"

O'Shea: How did the idea to use puppets come about in the Heads Up Display video of Formula vs. Perfume? Were you involved in the design of the puppets?

Colden: The idea for the video came about because our singer/guitarist Josh Dillard used to intern at Sesame Workshop. We all have a fascination with the muppets going back to childhood, so I drew up a band flyer with us as muppets for fun. We talked idly about how great it would be to do a video like that until we finally started making the puppets, which took a almost a year. I did the initial concept art and helped sew them, but Josh is the man with the real building skills.

O'Shea: The video was directed by Seth Kushner, but you also have directed some videos (if I'm not mistaken). Were you involved in making the video?

Colden: I've done production design and art direction for a few films, and wrote the script and storyboarded the video, but Seth and Carlos Molina did the hard work of executing the filmmaking. I did gofering and some puppeteering; there's a great shot of me on facebook with my arm in a toilet and my hand up my own (puppet) ass.

O'Shea: Some of the locations where the video was made were interesting. Did the crew have to get a permit to shoot on the subway? What comic book store was used for the video?

Colden: We went gonzo for the whole shoot. In New York you have about 10,000 film students every day shooting something on the street so people just took photos or ignored us. We shot at Bergen Street Comics in Park Slope, which seems to be a hotspot for filming lately. We're blessed with a number of great shops in the NYC, and when one of our locations fell through, we put in an emergency call to owners Tom and Amy Adams and they let us come in and take over the store for an hour. They even hosted a premiere party for us.

O'Shea: As both a musician and an artist, I'm curious--which medium comes closest to giving you some form of (almost) instant gratification in terms of allowing you to express yourself?

Colden: Honestly, the music is a lot more instant because there's an audience physically in front of your face reacting. It's more immediate, and it's more of a shared experience. Any form of art is communication, and sometimes it's more gratifying to do that face to face. Sometimes. - Robot 6/Comic Book Resources


"Heads Up Display on NME"

NME.com feature on heads-up-display including news, reviews, biography, youtube video, audio, concerts, tour dates, photos, pictures, commentary, album reviews and live reviews and cool facts. - NME


"Jezebel Showcase Review"

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT NYC
From lovesick teenaged punk, to drums akin to a battering ram, to some self-proclaimed “emo” female harmonies; from benefits with Nada Surf, to puppetry, to Cyndi Lauper mixing sessions; Joshua, Steve, and Kevin of Heads Up Display have seen or done just about everything. They’ve explored many incarnations, but with their extremely productive frontman and well-oiled 3-piece machine, Heads Up Display’s latest EP As/Is could very well usher them into the “bigtime.” I sat down with them Monday night to discuss their current undertakings, the JezebelMusic.com Feature Show they’re playing this Thursday (tomorrow!), and the perpetual quest for originality in the face of rock’s canon.

JM.com: Heads Up Display. Interesting band name. Are you aviators or video game enthusiasts?

Steve: I think it’s born more out of aviation. It actually came the night of our first show. We had a list of some possibilities, and I was reading them out to Josh over the phone, and we chose this one. Not very exciting, but we liked it.

Josh: My dad was a pilot.

Steve: We knew what the term meant.

Josh: I’ve spent a lot of time around airplanes.

Kevin: I came into the picture later.

JM.com: The song “Abbey” really draws on straightforward rock ’n’ roll, the time-old theme of pining after a stranger, and early Weezer. It sounds almost as if you’ve been playing together since high school, in a good way. Have you been playing together for a long time?

Kevin: These two have, I’ve been in the band for a year and a half now, but I think we’re all cut from a similar cloth. We’ve been playing in various places for 15 years. Forever. We party like it’s 1995, that’s where it all comes from.

JM.com: So how did you, Josh and Steve, start playing together?

Steve: I put up a flyer at SUNY Purchase. Don’t remember what it said, don’t want to. Josh showed up; he already had a demo, and it snowballed from there.

JM.com: In “Tomorrow’s Gonna Pay” there’s a lot of strong individual instrumentation, each part is distinct, and there’s a nice guitar solo, if I may say so. It was, for me, a real throwback to Promise Ring in particular. Is this the direction you’re moving into? More pop? More hooks?

Kevin: We’re going into a pseudo-metal, pop metal direction right now.

Steve: A little heavier, not to discount the hooks.

Kevin: It’s like catchy hooks wrapped in sandpaper, to put it colorfully.

Steve: The poppy hook part is naturally ingrained in all of us. We’d like to find more complex instrumentations without getting too wanky about it.

Kevin: Finding the balance between complex arrangements and listenability. We don’t want to go too far in one direction, so that people don’t want to listen to it. Basically, we want to speak to a lot of people without compromising what we do.

Steve: Well worded.

Kevin: You don’t want walls of guitars, notes, and drums, doing different things, too much. You want to find a balance between that and straight-up riffing.

Josh: Just because something is dense doesn’t discount its merits. One of the things that makes it work – with our earlier work – is that anyone can play it. But it still has the sensibility of entertaining your imagination, and it has a purity of sound. Those are the basics, and you can go anywhere with that.

JM.com: Do you ever foray, in your own compositions, into the extreme avant garde?

Josh: Somewhat. I went to school for jazz and I ended up doing that. It’s always about boiling stuff down to what it really is, you know? You probably won’t see me lugging a pipe organ onstage for a show. Not because I don’t love pipe organ. But you also won’t see me playing something that you can’t even understand how I played it. I applaud musicianship, I know a lot of people that are amazing musicians, but for me, I like stuff that I can sing, stuff that I can remember.

JM.com: Most of the songs that I’ve listened to have two concurrent voices. The lead guitar and vocals, or the song “Stunt Double,” for example, with female harmonies. Are you going to incorporate more voices in the future?

Josh: That’s actually where we’re going.

Steve: We were a four-piece for a few years. We had two lead singers for awhile, a female singer/guitarist and Josh. And then it got pared down when Kevin joined.

Josh: It was kind of an experiment.

Steve: We went back to what we started out as, and we’re incorporating what we did then with what we do now. We’re expanding on the three-piece mold in several different variations.

Josh: Kevin tends to do all the female vocals live.

Kevin: I have a really low speaking voice but I have a high singing voice. I tend to cover all of her old harmonies. It’s my old Broadway training.

JM.com: On the slower jams, your voice, Josh, is very emotive, and reminiscent of Colin Meloy of The Decemberists.

Josh: I’ve heard that.

JM.com: Are the lyrics autobiographical? What’s your writing process, and what comes first?

Josh: For the most part, everything is pretty much autobiographical. I do sometimes tend to make things up when I can’t remember what happened, which is any writer’s staple. But ninety percent of the material that we do is all at the same time; melody first, it’s like a bolt of lightning, and I just try to run and get it down somehow. It’s a weird thing; I can’t remember my car keys, but I can remember song ideas for years. We have been playing together for a long time, and the amount of material we have to choose from is great.

Kevin: Every now and then, Josh will send us fifty demos at a time, and we’ll just have to pick one and go with it. We develop at lot of arrangements together.

Josh: That’s definitely the way the band works, I shoot a bunch of stuff at them, and whatever makes it through is what we do. They’re my editors.

Kevin: Crack editorial team. That’s us.

JM.com: So you recently released the EP As/Is. What’s next?

Steve: In the studio, we just recorded a six-minute single, because we can, and we’re going to release that in the next month or two. We also have five or six songs for the next EP, which should be out late winter/early spring, but we’re still promoting the current EP.

Kevin: And we’re shooting a video actually, for “Formula vs. Perfume,” next week. When it hits the internet, it’ll be interesting to see what people say.

JM.com: What does the video entail?

Kevin: It actually involves puppetry. We have a team of video editors working on the project. You’ll see it soon, hopefully, if they edit it quickly.

JM.com: Where do you guys record?

Steve: We record currently in Douglaston, Queens, at a place called General Studios. I used to intern there and the owner is a friend of mine. He’s my recording mentor. We recorded our original EP with him there and we’ve been going back ever since. I think he’s closing down unfortunately, but we’ll follow him wherever he goes, because he knows how to make us work.

Josh: He’s worked periodically as an engineer at Pie Studios in Long Island.

Kevin: He’s produced a lot of pop projects.

Steve: Cyndi Lauper.

Josh: He’s really into the hardcore scene in Long Island.

Kevin: He actually did a record with Taking Back Sunday.

JM.com: Cyndi Lauper?

Steve: I got to meet her. I answered phones during the mixing of one of her albums. She’s off the wall, in a good way.

JM.com: I love those Van Gogh shoes… So what is your involvement with Ponyboat Records?

Steve: That’s just us.

Josh: We’ve periodically recorded things with other people.

Steve: If we had more money to do more, we would.

Josh: We have a couple of projects in the pipelines that people want us to work on, but finishing the EP will probably be our primary focus for the next couple of months. It’s been good so far, because we want things to happen organically. And at this rate, we feel like it’s entirely possible to book shows, book tours, and play out; so far it’s worked well for us.

JM.com: Do you like to play clean or dirty live?

Steve: We practice a lot so we don’t have to concentrate that hard on playing clean.

Kevin: We don’t even think about it. If we get really high adrenaline, that usually works best for us. When we go full out and get up in tempo, everything be damned. Mechanics be damned.

Josh: This brings to mind the show at Art Bar, where you backed people into the corner with your drumming.

Kevin: Yeah, I play kind of hard.

Kevin: We play some of our best shows in venues with bad sound.

JM.com: What’s your dream tour lineup?

Kevin: I can’t even… have that sort of disconnect where I can even think about that.

JM.com: Birthday show in your backyard?

Steve: I’ll just blue sky this one. I definitely want Nick Cave to headline, and then Supergrass. I’d be fine with that.

JM.com: Should I just ask rhetorical questions?

Kevin: I would want Ben Folds Five to get back together one more time, just for me.

Josh: I actually saw an amazing show last week. Nada Surf. It’s so funny, I got their European release of The Proximity Effect when I was in college, and they’re a great band. They’re really nice people, too, we played a benefit show with them a few years back. They do things like that a lot.

by Drew Citron - Jezebel Music.com


"Sugar Sours Blog"

I got a nice email about Heads Up Display a while ago and hadn't had
time to post about their new EP. AS/IS is like a rift in the space time
continuum where 1990s college rock is seeping through into 2009 and
mingling with musicians brainwaves. Think Weezer before they started
sucking. Or The Pixies if they had formed 15 years later.Head over to
their site to give the whole EP a listen! I'm partial to "Formula vs.
Perfume" myself.
And here's an old bootleg of the Pixies live at Newcastle Poly in 1989.
Now I'm not saying Heads Up Display are ripping off the Pixies, but I
thought the two were a nice one-two, old-modern,"hey-this-ispretty-
good, now-I'm-in-the-mood-for-this" lunch special. - Sugar Sours Blog


"Formula vs. Perfume Video PR"

Heads Up Display Music Video Fuses Music, Comics and Muppets

Debuting Friday, February 12th, Brooklyn-based indie rock band Heads Up Display's FORMULA VS. PERFUME, the latest music video from the directing team of Kushner + Molina, features puppets designed and built by acclaimed cartoonist and graphic novelist Kevin Colden (Fishtown, I Rule the Night), and band frontman Josh Dillard (formerly of the Sesame Workshop). Co-director Seth Kushner is an award-winning photographer for such publications as The New York Times, Newsweek, L’Uomo Vogue and is also the co-author of the photo book, The Brooklynites.

Bergen Street Comics in Park Slope, Brooklyn is hosting a premiere party Friday, February 12th at 8PM. The band will perform a short acoustic set followed by a screening of the video.


FORMULA VS. PERFUME is the latest music video collaboration by the directing team of Kushner+Molina of Culture Pop Productions (www.culturepopproductions.com).


Seth Kushner directed his first music video, GET IT TOGETHER by Maya Azucena, in early 2009. For his second directorial effort, JOHN HUGHES by Q*Ball, Kushner teamed with fellow photographer/filmmaker Carlos Molina, under the banner of Culture Pop Productions.

The team then produced and directed ON THE FRINGE WITH PAUL POPE, an interview-based documentary on the artist/comic book creator. They followed that with the music video HOW I PLEAD with hip-hop artist Rezen, and the webcomics documentary, THE ACT-I-VATE EXPERIENCE.

Heads Up Display are uncovering songs that had been long lost deep in the oceans of time. Three adventurers Josh, Steve and Kevin, in their mini-sub 'Abbey' skim the mid-Atlantic shelf for remnants of what had begun with such groups as the Wipers, the Pixies, the Promise Ring and Television. Their ongoing mission, to bring to light the sounds that made people sing out loud and dance as if 'Tomorrow' did not matter, continues to this day. Find out about their progress at venues in the metropolitan tri-state region at www.headsupdisplay.net

'AS/IS is like a rift in the space time continuum where 1990s college rock is seeping through into 2009 and mingling with musicians brainwaves. Think Weezer before they started sucking. Or The Pixies if they had formed 15 years later.' Blake from Sugar Sours

'From lovesick teenaged punk, to drums akin to a battering ram, to some self-proclaimed “emo” female harmonies; Joshua, Steve, and Kevin of Heads Up Display have seen or done just about everything.'

-Drew Citron for Jezebel Music





Seth Kushner (www.sethkushner.com) is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in many publications and in exhibitions around the world. His first book, THE BROOKLYNITES was published by powerHouse Books in 2007. He is also the co-creator of the comics journalism site, Graphic NYC (www.nycgraphicnovelists.com).

Carlos Molina was born, raised and will most likely be buried in Brooklyn. Cultivating film and still images is how he spends the better part of his day. He is currently the Director of the photography program at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, where, as student, he was first exposed to the potency of the visual medium.

Kevin Colden is the author of Eisner Award-nominated, Xeric award-winning graphic novel FISHTOWN. He is a veteran of the ACT-I-VATE and Chemistry Set webcomics collectives, and his work has been published by such notable publishers as IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Alternative Comics and Top Shelf Productions. He currently writes and draws I RULE THE NIGHT for Zuda (www.zudacomics.com) and is the drummer in HEADS UP DISPLAY. - Bergen Street Comics


Discography

BC Records Westchester Compilation, 'Red Tape' EP. Stethoscope EP, AS/IS EP, Self Titled LP

Photos

Bio

Heads Up Display are uncovering songs that had been long lost deep in the oceans of time. Three adventurers Josh, Steve and Kevin, in their mini-sub 'Abbey' skim the mid-Atlantic shelf for remnants of what had begun with such groups as the Wipers, the Pixies, the Promise Ring and Television. Their ongoing mission, to bring to light the sounds that made people sing out loud and dance as if 'Tomorrow' did not matter, continues to this day. Find out about their progress at www.headsupdisplay.net

Full Length record now available at headsupdisplay.bandcamp.com