Don’t Keep the Scrapbook Minds of Head North to Yourself
By Carly Wedding
Although the band has existed for less than two years, Buffalo, NY’s Head North (link) have already made quite a dent in the cheese pizza known as the pop punk world. In December 2014, the band signed to Bad Timing Records, the label responsible for putting out music by Knuckle Puck, Sorority Noise, Somos, and Mansions. Later that month, they played the Glamour Kills Holiday Show alongside Light Years, State Champs, The Wonder Years, Man Overboard, and Transit, the band whose song “Please Head North” is responsible for the young act’s namesake. In the spring of 2015, Head North will be touring with California veterans Weatherbox (link) as well as Baltimore-bred Have Mercy (link) and You, Me, and Everyone We Know (link).
It’s clear to see that the band are quickly gaining popularity and have achieved more in two years than some bands achieve in a lifetime. But guitarist and singer Brent Martone doesn’t think of ‘success’ in terms of a label contract or full U.S. tour; instead, he gauges success by the experiences he’s had and friends he’s made through his band.
“We’re super fortunate for the opportunities we’ve had,” he explained. “It’s cool to have a team of people that work hard for our band, and it’s cool that anyone gives a shit about our music.”
There are indeed many people who give a shit about Head North’s music. The endless support from dedicated fans has helped Head North to play shows with big names like Ceremony, Citizen, Crime in Stereo, Handguns, and Real Friends. But it’s not just the loyal fans that have been there for them; Martone says his family has encouraged him to pursue his dream nearly every step of the way.
“I knew from the first time I picked up a guitar that I wanted to make music,” he explained. “I know that sounds lame, but that’s how it went. I’m lucky enough to have a super supportive mom, stepdad, and other family members who – with some convincing – made it possible for me and my band to tour.”
But there have been various member changes throughout Head North’s short life, resulting in a much different sound. Before the current lineup of Martone, guitarist Ryan Harris, bassist Alex Matos, and drummer Ben Lieber was solidified, Head North was essentially a different band.
“When Head North started, it was me and a bunch of my friends from high school who never really took it that seriously. But after I brought up the idea of hitting the road after high school, they all decided to give it a shot,” he explained. “But it wasn’t for them. At the time I was really bitter, but I’ve since gotten over it.”
To quote Marilyn Monroe, Martone said the situation made him realize that everything happens for a reason.
“I’m much happier creatively making the music we now make as Head North,” he said. “I recently started talking to the old guys again and I’m happy about it. They’re all happy doing their own thing, which is great.”
With the talent, positivity, and dedication that the young men of Head North possess, their future is looking even brighter than the smile on 1990s kids’ faces when they learned General Mills was reintroducing their French Toast Crunch cereal. For more on the band’s music, news, and upcoming shows, visit their Facebook page.
Photos by Rachel Cooper