It was 2011, and punk-influenced Canadian rockers Headstones had been defunct for nearly a decade. But then Hugh Dillion—the animated frontman of Headstones—received a phone call from friend and former bandmate, Ryan Kwan: Kwan was dying of cancer.
At the time, Dillon had transitioned into a professional actor, with lead roles on AMC's The Killing amongst others, but he knew something needed to be done: Almost immediately, Dillon and the rest of the Headstones reunited for a benefit concert, which resulted in a handful of sold-out shows in Ontario. Inspired by the response, the Headstones re-captured the camaraderie that originally drew them together.
Today, Headstones are celebrating the United States release of their sixth studio album, Love + Fury. Stream it above and follow along below as Trent Carr and Tim White share their exclusive track commentary:
Tim: Starts out cool, end up smokin’ hot. This song will validate whatever thoughts you’re having at the moment. Trent: The ending is us laughing at Hugh shouting, “Let’s go!” right as the song ends. Then we kept overdubbing it, and it became funnier. Also known as studio mania.
Trent: Started out as a mindless riff ‘til Hugh noticed it and began singing over it. I like how it feels like a four-act play in three-minutes.
Tim: If you want to know the no. one rock song in Canada for most of 2013, here ya go.
Tim: Like a love song to California punk rock.
Trent: Definitely a little Social Distortion influence here. For most of the songs on this CD we tried to keep a live feel. One guitar, bass and drums. Classic.
Trent: Became obsessed with this riff when I came with it. Didn’t have a chorus ‘til Tim went to the G. Tim’s always good for a G now and again.
Tim: The keys to your future.
Tim: Great times and one of the first Headstones songs ever written, unrecorded ‘til now.
Trent: One of the first songs Hugh and I worked on together, ever.
Tim: A cinematic journey, cool, colourful.
Trent: The version you hear on the CD is the demo Chris and Hugh recorded with Osa, who plays the main guitar part. I added the solos after. Tim and Dale added bass and drums. Really wanted to maintain the original vibe of the demo, so we just used it.
Tim: Huge raw power rock riffs.
Trent: An onslaught. A real workout to play this song.
Tim: If ABBA were really really really fuckin pissed off
Trent: A staple from the live show. Fuck it, record it. Rock it.
Tim: The song that led to the making of Love + Fury.
Trent: You always read about people getting back together after so many years and spouting off clichés like, “It felt like time hadn’t passed.” Or “Right where we left off,” etc., etc. We jumped all over that cliché.
Trent: Fun recording. Everyone in the room shouting into one mic. Hugh “the butcher” Dillon was good with editing this arrangement down to the bare bones. I, surprisingly, totally agreed.
Tim: For sports fans and hooligans only!
Tim: Haunting and gorgeous—move ahead at the point of no return.
Trent: Another song that went through a lot of arrangements and styles before ending up with this hypnotic piece. Maybe the ska version wouldn’t have been the best after all.