Nigel Regan didn’t always like Kickstarter – he was dubious about “those people that raise money to take their kids to Disneyland or whatever” but then he saw that if Head Like A Hole was going to get another record out, their new one, the one they’re working on now, they would need some help. They’d need to ask the fans for support – actual financial support.
“And”, he tells me, “it’s really hard to do that, especially the younger ones, there’s this generation now that’s just raised expecting everything for free, they don’t want to pay”. But Kickstarter – and Head Like A Hole has its own Kickstarter campaign going, they’re just over half-way toward their $10k target with less than a month to go – is really just “getting people to pre-order the album, to pay in advance; we’re grateful for the support – any – but once you get your head around the fact that you’re just asking people to buy the album in advance you can start to feel comfortable asking”. You have to feel comfortable asking. That’s what Regan has learned.
Head Like A Hole reformed half a decade ago now – what seemed, at the time, like it might just be one or two shows, or a round-the-country jaunt on the back of those early shows – is now a second career for New Zealand’s great sweaty beast of rock’n’roll. They’ve even picked up a bunch of those younger fans (“I look around the audience and think some of these kids woulda just been swimming in their daddy’s ballsack when we were first out doing it”) but there are plenty of the old faithful too. Regan is appealing on behalf of the band for both sets of fans – for all fans of Head Like A Hole – to help the band out.
He feels they’ve pushed this campaign hard on social media and admits to being a bit frustrated at the constant battle in converting ticked-likes to dollars, but he also knows this is what he and Booga Beazley and the band want to be doing.
“It is a bit like banging your head against a wall really, sometimes, but it’s in our blood, it’s what we want to do. We don’t have a label, we don’t have representation so we’re out there doing it ourselves and because we’re scattered around the country it means a lot of coordinating, a lot of flying back and forth and a lot of hope. We’re really appealing to fans now – saying ‘you like this band, you like rock music so just give us some cash towards the new album and in exchange you’ll get the album, you’ll get some cool other stuff too’..”
One area of the Kickstarter thing that HLAH has got right – and it’s a crucial part I believe – is the rewards for donations. For your $30 you’ll not only get the new album but you’ll get your name printed in the liner notes, and it’ll arrive signed by the band. When you pledge $50 you’ll get that and a tour poster also signed and band patch. As you go up a level in the pledge brackets you always get the basic deal – the signed album – but the rewards continue to grow. For $100 you’ll get the signed album, signed poster, a t-shirt (new album design) and a cassette copy of SHITNOISE – the first ever 4-song released by Head Like A Hole. These, I think, are cool rewards for fans.
The band is also offering a $4000 deal – where for that almighty donation (it would see the band achieve its goal) you receive everything already mentioned and a framed A1 signed tour poster, VIP entry to any/all NZ tour dates including the album release party and a white Ibanez Iceman guitar decked out in the band’s ‘Glory Glory’ insignia.
Sure, you might have to be the biggest HLAH fan in the world – and possibly the richest – but you can’t argue that there isn’t a decent kickback from the band for kickstarting their project.
Regan says if they don’t achieve their goal, if they don’t reach the target (how Kickstarter works is you need to get the whole sum to receive any of the money) they’ll have to work out a way to self-fund the project entirely. They’re already putting their own money into it – they have the songs already written, and they have nearly half the album recorded. They are committed to making a second new album happen.
Since that first reunion show HLAH has released Blood Will Out (all new songs, one of the band’s best albums) and a new Best Of collection; they’ve played some huge shows as support for international acts, as part of festivals and around the country always doing what they do best.
“We’re a great live band”, Regan says. “That’s what it’s about – ultimately. Playing live. And we do that well but we still have new songs to get out, we still want to write and to keep the band moving forward. None of us have thought about this reunion as such – it’s just made sense to carry on, to keep pushing. And it’s been important for us to keep putting out new songs and new work. We’re getting fans now that like the new songs just as much as the old stuff and though we’ll always play those old songs in live shows it’s just great to have new material. We want to put out an album for the fans – so they have something to take home from the show. And we want to have it finished before the end of this year”.
The band’s back catalogue is available via Bandcamp.
And check out the band’s Facebook page to stay up to date with events and album details and for links to the music and to support the Kickstarter campaign. Here again is the link to the HLAH Kickstarter campaign.