Bristol-based Home Counties (FKA Haze) recently announced their signing to Alcopop! with new single, ‘Dad Bod’. The second taster from their upcoming ‘Redevelopment’ EP, and arriving today (Wednesday, 1st July) with a cassette release that also features five remixes (‘Will Bod’, ‘Dan Bod’, ‘Sam Bod’, ‘Boon Bod’, and ‘Con Bod’), it’s a deadpan takedown of dodgy middle-aged men that’ll somehow make you reconsider your love for cast iron pans. What’s that about, lads?
Songwriter and vocalist Will Harrison explains: “‘Dad Bod’ explores modern middle-class masculinity, with a particular focus upon the ‘progressive’ metropolitan man. The song initially takes a light-hearted standpoint listing the aesthetic traits and status symbols of modern men before moving on to address a darker side which is hidden behind the comfortability and respectfulness of a ‘Dad Bod’.”
Conor Kearney (guitar/vocals) tells us more about their band.
Hi Conor, how are you doing?
Hi Dork, yeah things are going pretty well. Like everyone else at the minute, I’m hauled up at home reminiscing about a time when going outside was normal.
What first sparked your interest in music? Have you always wanted to be a musician?
My family always played music together, so it was good to join in with them, even if it was on the triangle… I then met the boys aged 11 and joined the band unable to play a note (their mistake). I instantly loved it, so I guess it was meeting the boys and our first band practice that really sparked everything for me.
How did you guys meet and get together?
Most of us went to school together and have been in some sort of band together ever since. We met Sam when Will went to Bristol Uni, and he joined the band at the start of the year when we formed Home Counties.
What have you been up to with Home Counties so far? You’ve had a single out, been on a few tours?
We formed Home Counties in December and managed to get out on two tour runs before lockdown hit. It was all going so well… We recorded the debut EP and then toured up North with Hotel Lux and down South with Alcopop label-mates Ditz which was a great way to test run the new material. We released our debut single ‘Redevelopment’ just as the world went into lockdown and we’ve been performing live streams in our dressing gowns ever since…
Tell us about this upcoming EP, what’s it about and how did you pull it together?
The EP centres around the title-track ‘Redevelopment’, which sort of sets the tone musically and lyrically for the rest of the record. The songs, although varied, have a consistency in a prolonged social commentary which doesn’t take itself too seriously. I think there’s an overarching discussion of different aspects of Middle England, in varying degrees of critique. The songs came about quite naturally, and it felt they just fitted together well from that moment in our writing.
Where do you look for writing inspiration?
A lot of the inspiration for lyrics has roots in academic work; especially modern history and sociologies of the recent past, but simplified and delivered with an emotional response.
Musically, Television has always been a big influence on our guitar work – the thoughtful interweaving of melodies is something we’ve strived to mimic. Talking Heads are another key inspiration, particularly as we move into more dancy and upbeat territory. The synth playing of Bernie Worrell has also been something we’ve wanted to get near, but it’s rather unattainable.
What would you most like to achieve during your music career?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to play shows to thousands of people, headline Glastonbury, tour the world, the general dreams every musician has. However, for me, the band has always been about having some fun with my mates and doing the things we all love the most – writing songs and playing shows.
It’s such a great feeling to know that people out there are responding to our project positively and want to be involved.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
Honestly, not really (this question has really made me question my life choices). I’m a sound engineer, so my life quite heavily revolves around music. I like carpentry too, and I make musical instruments… does that count!?
What do you do for fun?
I’m a bit of a workaholic. Will and I spend hours and hours writing and demoing new material for Home Counties. That’s been a silver lining of lockdown for us. We’ve got so much new music to record and share once this is over. Can’t wait to get back in the practice room with the guys.
What’s your favourite thing about being a musician?
I love getting to know other musicians and forming relationships with bands. It’s always interesting to hear about what people have been getting up to where they have been playing, who with, what they’ve been listening to and what they’re working on at the minute. There’s a real sense of community amongst the bands we often play with.
I also really like the fact that people we’ve never met before get in touch to see what’s coming next from us. It’s really flattering to know people are into it and eager to hear more.
Who do you think is the most exciting band or musician around right now?
I think I would have to go with Sports Team – they have just absolutely blown up! Their chart battle with Gaga was a highlight of the year, and I’m digging the album. Sadly they narrowly lost out on the Number One spot, but they’re my winner – ‘Kutcher’ is a banger.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I’m a silenced whistleblower. None of this coronavirus shenanigans happened before those 5G towers started cropping up. Coincidence? I think not.
Home Counties’ debut EP ‘Redevelopment’ is out 4th September.