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Interview: Thomas Headon on his new 'Victoria' EP.

Interview: Thomas Headon on his new 'Victoria' EP.

"We're making out on your sofa / I've been single for like two days," opens Thomas Headon on his latest EP, 'Victoria', which he released earlier this past March. This record is his most personal yet, and when creating it, Headon set out to prove to himself that he could write music on his own from his personal experiences. Across the five tracks, the listener is plunged into the tumultuous journey of growing up, first-times, and the sense of feeling like life is a spiral of never-ending chaos when you're coming of age.

Having just finished touring across America with a big year of shows, travelling, and performing ahead of him, Headon confesses that it is his favourite part of what he does: "Above songwriting, above being in the studio - ugh I fucking hate being in a studio. Meeting fans and just being in a different city every day is so sick. I am in America right now and that's like, "Who are these people? And how do you know who I am?" I grew up in Melbourne, what the hell?!"

We chatted to Headon via Zoom about all things love languages, Harry Styles, and reaching your peak...

COUP DE MAIN: How are we feeling about the Harry announcement?
THOMAS HEADON: Stop, I know! Oh my god! I was not prepared. I was half asleep in a van and I woke up and my phone was blowing up. All my friends were asking, "Have you seen what's happening?" and just directly texting me. I was like, "What the fuck? is someone injured or something?" and they were like, "It's a Harry announcement." I was still panicked, but yeah, crazy.

CDM: With such a personal title for your new EP, and the music feeling like its closely following quite a cinematic story of a relationship, was making sure that the music was wholly personal to you an important factor when you first set out to make the EP? 
THOMAS: Yeah, totally. After my second EP, I really wanted to prove to myself that I knew how to write music on my own and from my own personal experiences. Everything on this EP is basically a true story to a point; I mean obviously it's embellished in moments for the song's sake. It's definitely really personal stuff that has happened to me and I think that's the biggest thing about this EP for me, is that it's written entirely by myself. There's no co-writes on it at all. It was definitely at the forefront of my mind, and then when I put the EP together, it worked even better. 

CDM: What would you say your love language is? 
THOMAS: Oh, that's crazy, the person I'm talking to at the moment is so intertwined with that, but I just don't really know. I don't want to take the test and find out.
CDM: Ignorance is bliss. 
THOMAS: Yeah, I don't really wanna know. I think it's words of affirmation, I would assume, just because I feel like you just have to tell me I'm pretty once every month or so, and then I'll be fine. I don't really need a lot of love in order to be loved. I feel like I'm like a puppy; you give me a little ounce of attention and I'm like, 'AGH!' I think that's it, although I do have a song about making out on a sofa, so I don't know. Let's stick to words of affirmation. What's yours, Lola? 
CDM: I think mine's the same. I feel like the gift-receiving one is a bit of a red flag, if that someone's number one. 
THOMAS: Yeah, "I love presents!"
CDM: "I love free stuff!"
THOMAS: "Phones, watches, everything!"

CDM: There is a quote in the novel 'The Secret History' by Donna Tartt in which she writes: "There is a certain crucial interval in everyone's life when character is fixed forever." Do you think you've reached the point in your life yet where your character is fixed forever?
THOMAS: No, totally not. If I reached that point at 21, that's so sad. I think I know creatively where I want to go and what I want to do at least for the next few years, but I think personally, I don't think I can really say that "yeah, I know exactly who I am, what my values are and this and that and everything," when I haven't seen so much of the world and there are many different people I still need to meet. Sorry I'm about to sound so media-trained, I'm not at all, but that's also what I think so much of this EP is about. That was my, "Oh look at me!" I didn't mean it to be like that, but that's what a lot of this EP was about and the process of that as well, because it's very much about coming to terms with understanding that and realising that you are going to fall in and out of love 100 times before the age of 25, you are going to find yourself at parties and going on dates and surrounded by a lot of things that you probably didn't think you were when you were nine years old. I think that's part of it. I don't know, I don't think I am... I hope not. I think I'm too young to be like that and I'll probably say the same at 25 as well, but no, I don't think so. Not yet. Fuck that, that sucks.

CDM: There are really vivid memories throughout the EP - when writing the songs, do you play them back like a film in your mind? Is it quite cinematic, songwriting?
THOMAS: Some songs off this EP came out really fast and I think it's not so much [cinematic songwriting]. I can't really remember writing them being like, the moment, or the experience was playing in my head while writing it; it was more just a blur of writing a diary or a diary entry. When writing 'Victoria', I remember just writing a whole verse probably within a minute, because it just came out so naturally. I didn't really know what was going on in my head at the time. I think it's more just a blur of your brain just going, instead of being like, "Oh, I remember that time when I did this." Especially listening back to it and playing it live, songs like 'Victoria' are quite... it sounds a bit weird, but are quite emotional for me because it does make you think of the actual experience.

CDM: With the EP now having been out in the world for a little while, do you find that you have a different relationship with it than before it was released?
THOMAS: Kind of. What I experienced while writing this EP is I want people to have the same experiences while listening to it; not specifically the exact same experiences, but you know, if someone goes to a party and makes out with their best friend, hell yeah. I hope 'Nobody Has To Know' is the soundtrack to them doing that, or even if it's not, I hope on the bus ride they're going on the next day, they listen to it and they think of that; that would be sick. I hope it's a shared thing. I still think the personal connection to the song is still there. I don't really listen to them after it's out, but especially playing it live, it still feels quite personal to me.

CDM: What was running through your mind when you were writing 'Strawberry Kisses'?
THOMAS: Bleugh. I wrote that in Berlin. I don't really remember to be honest. The main thing I remember writing about that track is I wanted it to sound like 'Adore You' by Harry Styles, really tom drum heavy, bass drum heavy, and quite dark. I wrote it like that and then I did a demo of it. I don't actually remember writing it, but did that, and then I sent it to Max [Von Ameln] and Ben [Parker] who produced it. They produced the demo of it which basically sounds as it does now and they were like, "Here's a demo of the song. We changed the style from what you wanted a bunch," and I was like, "Oh, it's pretty cool though." After like two months of it sitting just like that, ['Strawberry Kisses'] just stayed like that and we got a mix and it sounded sick. It was definitely different to how I expected it to originally sound, but it was fun. A fun song.

CDM: You've also just started tour - what has it been like getting on the road?
THOMAS: Oh tired, Lola, so tired all the time. It's great. I love touring so much, also after the year of hell in 2020 where no one did anything. Touring is amazing and I'm very lucky that I get to do it; but it's just so tiring, it's a very tiring thing. I'm so tired but it is so much fun. It's my favourite part of what I do absolutely, above songwriting, above being in the studio - ugh, I fucking hate being in a studio. Meeting fans and just being in a different city every day is so sick. I am in America right now and that's like, "Who are these people? And how do you know who I am?" I grew up in Melbourne, what the hell?! Anyway, so it's great. I love it. Having fun. New Zealand next! 

CDM: You said you get emotional when you perform 'Victoria' - do you have a song that has been your favourite to perform live so far?
THOMAS: Off this EP, 'Victoria' is one of my favourites to play live, but in my whole set, 'Nobody Has To Know', it's just the most fun to play live - also just because it's really easy for me to sing. I get to play guitar so I feel like a rockstar and the crowd usually loves it, so it's just such a party. 'Nobody Has To Know' is definitely the fave. 

CDM: The visuals and videos for the EP are super sick and I especially love the video for 'Victoria' - how involved are you in the process of creating and coming up with the visuals?
THOMAS: Massively. With this EP, we got along the dearest Amelia Studios, which is my creative director Jamie [Glydon]. He's been literally a dream come true. Before every music video we need to do or before we started doing the artwork, the creative for the physical and the vinyls and all that, we usually sit down for what starts as a coffee and then turns into beers, but it's usually a six hour long chat. He's the best because he's the most patient with me in the world. I'll be an absolute scatterbrain and wander around the room and word vomit out a million thoughts at him. He's just got to sit there and piece them all together and keeps me on track. He's been an absolute dream to have on the whole EP. On the video front as well, Jordan Curtis Hughes and him make everything look insane, and is the best. In the actual video process, Jordan is the director on the day because I'm in front of the camera, and he's behind the camera, usually. His creative eye I trust more than basically anyone's in the world. He's just mad talented, so I'm so lucky. I am quite involved, sorry that was the answer to your question, and I just started being really grateful for my friends, but yeah, I am quite involved in the idea of the process but then once it gets towards the day and what-not, Jamie and Jordan just absolutely kill it for me. 

CDM: My final question for you today is... what's next?
THOMAS: Ah ha ha ha. Oh god, I don't know. I'm releasing more music. I don't know when, and I don't know how, but I am doing that at some point. Right now, I'm really excited to tour Australia. This tour finishes in the States and then I've got two weeks of writing in LA, which is going to be... <rolls eyes> but then I'm going to Australia, and I get to tour Australia and I get to play Groovin the Moo - it's going to be wild. I've got a week in Sydney with one guy who I've worked with before, Taka Perry, and that is going to be the most fun thing ever. We're gonna make so much music and then I've got festivals here, and a tour in October in the UK. So much touring, so much music, big year. Lots to do. A lot of crying in-between. 
CDM: The year of Thomas Headon.
THOMAS: And Harry Styles. 'Harry's House', May 20th everyone. Instead of putting the bit at the bottom, you know, "Thomas Headon's 'Victoria' EP is out now," can we put like: 'Harry's House' out May 20th?
CDM: Just for you, I will.
THOMAS: Thanks Lola.

Thomas Headon's 'Victoria' EP is out now - watch the video for 'Victoria' below:

And at Thomas' request: Harry Styles' new album 'Harry's House' is out May 20th. 


A post shared by @harrystyles

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