All That You Fear Is Gone
Special Edition CD Digipak, Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold black 2LP+CD, Digital album
Supergroup? It's easy to get carried away and give Headspace this rather damming epithet. In one way, of course, that's the best description for this five man conglomerate. A glance at what these musicians have done in the past, and still continue to do, is dizzying and dazzling, The array of artists they have worked with is remarkable.
But the term 'supergoup' of itself suggests a melding of egos, and a coming together of individuals. Whereas on their 2012 debut album 'I Am Anonymous', Headspace proved they are a genuine band, where each of the talented people involved was part of a unique visionary flare. One that overruled any notion of seeing them as separate artists who have merely floated into the same crawlspace for a brief flicker. This is certainly a case of the whole picture being greater and more inspirational than the sum of the palettes would suggest.
Formed in 2006, Headspace features vocalist Damian Wilson, keyboard player Adam Wakeman, bassist Lee Pomeroy and guitarist Pete Rinaldi. They've now been joined by drummer Adam Falkner, who has only recently come in to replace Richard Brook.
“Richard felt that he couldn't give the band the sort of attention it deserves,” reveals Wilson. “He has commitments, such as a young family, and therefore he felt it was best all round we found another drummer.
“We discussed a few possibilities among ourselves, but Adam was put forward by the other guys. They all know him and believed he was the right choice. As this is a democracy I went along with their views and he's done a fine job on the new album.”
The second album is called 'All That You Fear Is Gone' and, as with the debut, it has a strong conceptual strand running throughout.“The concept is mine,” says Wilson. “On the first album we were focussing on the individual trying to fit into the group. This time, we are looking at the group's inability to control the individual. It's about governments, big business and religion but also the smaller social groups we form. They exist as a method of ensuring conformity, always with a pecking order.”
Wilson believes that a creative spark comes from people breaking out of those constraints put on them through being immersed in particular groupings.
“Creativity is never thought through, or predetermined. But it occurs spontaneously. The album deals with a whole range of different groups in society and the way we all relate to these. My aim isn't to be judgemental or critical. I am not being negative, but what I want to do, as with the previous album, is to make people think about what's going on.”
Because everyone in Headspace has so much else happening in their vibrant careers, this album was developed over a long period of time, with each member recording separately.
“We would work on song ideas when we had any time available,” recalls Wilson. “Then we'd go away and do other things, before returning to the project. What that did was give us time to assess what we had already come up with, and make any changes we felt necessary. It provided the band with objectivity.
“The way the recording worked was that the other guys came up with backing tracks, and then sent them to me, so that I could add the lyrics and the melody lines. My vocals were recorded over a few days at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey. But all of us were in constant communication while the musical part was being put together. For instance, there's a track called 'Polluted Alcohol', where Pete responded to an idea I had. He then took this thought and it stimulated him to come up with something very different, but it worked so well. That's the beauty of the way we interact. There's always room for manoeuvre, and nothing is set in stone.”
"We recorded the album in between many studios, as we did with 'I Am Anonymous',” adds Wakeman. “"That’s the great thing about recording these days. All of us have been busy working on other tours so the album has had time to be really thought about, which is one of the beauties about this band. You get to live with the ideas and songs, and any parts that we want to change can be altered a week or month later without thinking, 'I wish I'd changed that' once the album comes out. We're all really pleased with this record and hope the people who support us will think so to."
'All That Fear Is Gone' was produced by the band, and mixed by Jens Bogren, who also worked on 'I Am Anonymous'.
“When all the separate parts for this were first put together, I thought it sounded crazy,” laughs Wilson. “In fact, I'd go so far as to call it unlistenable. But then Jens worked his magic in the studio, and has made it all settle down and make sense.”
Wilson feels that this album is a continuation from what the band have done before.
“If you liked 'I Am Anonymous', then you will love this one. A lot of the same musical elements are present, although we have also progressed them.
'The albums use a lot of symbolism and are written to be listened to from numerous different perspectives. Our first album can be viewed from the eyes of a child, dealing with school and bunking off. Then the same songs can be interpreted from the stance of an aldult, a soldier returning from war dealing with civilian life and marriage, or an extremist fighting radical battles against governments and communities, all following the same simple patterns that make us human. It applies here too. What we have done is make an album that you can look at from many angles. The aim has never been to impose a particular view, but to make you think for yourself.”
'All That You Fear Is Gone' is the second part of a planned trilogy, and Wilson already has the blueprint for the final instalment in his mind. But that's still in the future. Right now, the band are concentrating on touring in 2016.
“That will definitely happen. We are working on the dates right now.”
So, what is the 'Fear' that has now 'Gone'?
“I think the more people realise they are being suppressed within different groupings, the more they can confront that situation,” concludes Wilson. “And when that happens, the fear that comes from being controlled and manipulated just falls away. You become a person in your own right.”
Malcolm Dome