Interview with SMF Live Birmingham

It’s hard living in Birmingham and going to a show that doesn’t have the best turn out, especially seeing it if it’s making a first impression with someone or a group, but I’ll be damned if I won’t be there to make them feel like there’s hope still left for us here. There’s a seemingly endless supply of talented musicians with equally enthusiastic supporters, but somehow in the mix, it turns into this fight like pulling a tooth out of a tigers mouth to get people to come out to a show! I can’t begin to tell you about the wonderful memories and even more wonderful relationships that have blossomed from showing up to a $5 show of mostly of bands I’ve never heard before, and I probably will never be able to wrap my head around why someone wouldn’t spend $5-7 in order to hear raw, heartfelt, music like I heard tonight.

Previous to this night at The High Note I had never heard of The Colossal Heads, a three piece punk/grunge band from New Orleans, but when they began to play the entire room was captivated. Mind you, I came to the show with every intention of simply being able to sit back and take it all in for what it was, but that was before the realization of how strong of a group this was and that I’d always be kicking myself if I let them slip through my fingers. So, as “unprepared” as I may have been, I somehow managed to get them to stay with me for a short interview before everyone called it a night. Much thanks to my wing-man of the night, Rachel Thornton, with the iPhone that saved me and the interview. Like I said, I was unprepared, but my stubborn ass wasn’t about to settle for any other interview other than the old fashioned face-to-face way of doing things, something SMF Live has yet to compromise.


SMF Live: What’s a little history behind the band, are you all the original members? 

Tony Italiano (Lead Vocals and Guitar): We are the original members and probably the only members that will ever be in the band.

Danny Lester (Bass and Backing Vocals): We’ve all agreed if anything happens to where one of us is leaving, this whole thing is done.

SMF Live: How long have you been together now? 

Kyle Carroll (Drums): Almost two years since we started playing.

SMF Live: So what was going on previously to the band? 

DL: We were all doing pointless stuff.

TI: I was in a few bands at home, doing session work, sitting in a lot of situations in New Orleans. New Orleans is kinda give and take, everybody knows everybody, it’s a small city. Me and Danny had played in a band a year or two prior to this one for a very brief time called Grenade Man, a band he had started, and I had come in playing bass and I did some guitar but our heads were just in different places so it really didn’t work. I met Kyle through a bar owner I knew from this place called Banks Street Bar. We had tried to get something off of the ground with the owner, but it didn’t work out. Again everyone’s head wasn’t in the right place. But fate, so to speak, brought us back together in one band.

SMF: What inspires your sound? 

DL: Marijuana

KC: Porno

TI: Hunger…old Xanax.

KC: We all listen to different types of music and that’s kind of why it’s hard to put a label on our sound, but that may be because we’re on the inside of it.

DL: I think we’ve finally come down to desert punk grunge.

KC: That’s what we settled on. We all listen to different types of music and we all come from completely different backgrounds. Sometimes Danny can put something on and Tony and I will hate it or I can put it on and Danny and Tony will hate it-

TI: Either way I usually hate it.

DL: If it’s not Oasis Tony hates it!

TI: If it’s not British then…fuck it.



SMF: What was your first big [impression] in music? 

DL: Well the first show I ever went to was Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dog at the New Orleans arena and that changed my life. Ever since then I said “Fuck it, I need to play music.” So I had a guitar and I learned all of John Fruscianti’s parts from Chili Peppers and built my own sound out of that. I taught myself how to play so I can’t read a shit lick of music. I think all of us are self taught honestly-

KC: Well, I took lessons for a couple of years to [learn] to read music and stuff like that. I can still read it, but if you can’t read drum music then you can’t read anything else! Drum music if the easiest to read out there. I used to sit in my room and play a bunch of upbeat punk music but later I tried to throw some finesse in there once I got older and started listening to some funk music.

TI: When I was younger in grammar school I soon discovered The Beatles and soon there after discovered drugs. Somehow I managed to learn to play guitar in that blur.

SMF: Any memorable moments on stage? 

TI: Fuck no!

KC: I actually have one! We were on the stage and during our last song Tony goes like he’s about to start taking his pants off. He pulled his belt off and started beating his guitar with it! That was memorable because nobody knew what he was going to do! The crowd stood there in awe because they probably thought he was about to pull out his junk or take a crap on the floor. It worked out for the best though, he just started beating up his guitar.

SMF: What do you think you’d be doing now if music hadn’t come into play? 

TI: I’d be doing not a god damn thing because that’s the only thing I’m good at outside of music. It’s like asking what would a bird do if it didn’t fly. It would cease to exist.

DL: I don’t know, penguins seem to have it figured out!

SMF: We’ve covered a little bit of the past, so what are goals right now? 

DL: To tour forever!

TI: I’d love a sandwich.

KC: Well, yeah, a sandwich and a bed is the goal right now but as for long term goals we definitely want to be touring as much as possible, get to every state, and put ourselves out there as much as possible. 

Rachel and I stay around for a little while longer and discuss the upcoming full length album recently recorded in Houston, Mammoths, until we leave them to go find their bed and sandwich before heading back onto the road. The Colossal Heads is the first band from NOLA I’ve had the pleasure to meet, and they certainly know how to set the standard.

“Here’s to our first and last show in Birmingham…but you were lovely.”

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