Today we had a lively conversation about music with Z the Headcase, who just released his album Uglypop onto the unsuspecting denizens of the Interwebs, not to mention IRL, where attendees of his upcoming shows can possibly procure a copy of his new album which comes from an extremely limited run of about 8 physical copies that Z spray-painted himself. No, you don’t pay extra for the fumes.
For a headcase, Z makes a surprising amount of coherent sense when you actually speak to him personally, especially when he talks about music. Being someone who has played in a variety of bands over the years, Uglypop is the first album that Z has actually taken the time to assemble in a solo fashion. And, completely different from anything he’s done before, as he tells YTMS.
Coming from a musical background of playing mainly guitar in previous projects, Z’s Uglypop record is a mainly electronic affair, with loads of synths, midi f/x, gritty vocals that sound like they are being sung up at you out of a sewer drain somewhere, and other distorted “ugly” sounds that grind away in the distance like some oil rig from a Mad Max movie.
So, overall you get a nice balance of somewhat terrifying noises and pleasing ear candy in the form of wandering synth parts, blips, bleeps, children giggling (followed by a lone gunshot) and hardcore vocals that sound kinda angry but still fun. Hence the name, Uglypop, fits this record like an Izod shirt fits your dad – rather well.
What did it take to make an album like this…so dark, so ghastly? As Z told YTMS during our male hetero friendship outing (it wasn’t a date, ok!), not a whole lot in terms of gear. In fact, it was a lack of certain gear that made the album what it is. With basically just a dented Shure 58, a copy of Logic, and his computer’s keyboard, Z set about crafting the album that became Uglypop. Given a few months to fuck around and be left to his own devices, it didn’t take him long before the tracks he was compiling as an experiment in DIY song composition started to develop their own distinct appeal, pushing Z to craft an entire album of original songs that – holy shit – he actually liked!
Now, with the album in the can and physical and non-physical copies to promote, the time is coming for Z the Headcase to get out there and do some shows, which he loves to do. Two things that Z told us he absolutely loves are playing for people and touring, which he has done in the past and plans to do more of very soon. Because he likes doing both small and large shows, we really don’t know where Z is going to pop up next, so you had better be on guard!
Listen to our entire interview with Z the Headcase below and get the scoop on what the fuck is up.