VIRTUOSITY - Vancouver's Head of the Herd performs at the International Beer Haus on May 3.

Head of the Herd slides into City May 3

Vancouver band cresting wave of latest CD’s popularity

The Vancouver based band Head of the Heard released their most recent CD last fall and it’s clear they’ve certainly found their stride.

Harnessing the energy of their live shows, this record highlights the fired-up, melodic, storytelling prowess that is Head of the Herd. The guys kicked off a 22-city national headline tour in Kelowna on May 1st and they perform at the International Beer Haus on May 3.

By This Time Tomorrow takes bluesy rock traditions and blends them with the energy of rock, resulting in a nine-track album bursting with a southern edge, raw and expressive vocals and a slick touch of slide guitar. Things kick off with a blast of unrestrained energy with You Come, You Go which leads right into the equally intense and compelling title track By This Time Tomorrow.

We Could Get Together is the third single off By This Time Tomorrow; accessible with a sound quite unlike anything else at radio right now. It finds the guys back in the mix that suits them so well – blistering rock that regardless of its fierce sensibilities never loses its melodic nature.

“Right off the bat you get a funk throwback bass line that grooves its way into the storytelling prowess we’re known for,” says frontman/guitarist Neu Mannas. “The bridge has that heavy rock groove that only Gggarth can make. Reminds you that Gggarth made Rage Against the Machine’s first record, and he ain’t to be messed with.”

Rounding out the duo is Clayton Frank on vocals and guitar.

Mannas had a fairly early introduction to music, with his folks enrolling him in piano lessons as a kid. “But what really sparked my attention and got me obsessed was finding the bass when I was about 12,” he recalls.

“Pretty much when I started playing bass I didn’t have many thoughts beyond that for a while – I just got so hooked. I started a band early on and have been in groups ever since.

“There’s no better learning to do what I do than to be in a band.”

There really was no other plan in place in terms of carving out a career.

“I was pretty much set the minute I started playing in a band. I was on top of the world and remember thinking I don’t even know how you could call this a job.”

As to their latest project, it was created in two sessions. The first with one of rock’s most sought after producers Gggarth Richardson, the man behind Rage Against the Machine’s chart topping debut, Biffy Clyro’s 2013 UK number one CD Opposites and countless in between.

“We narrowed it down to the sound that we wanted – we are both big fans of the blues,” he explains of how the guys approach their artistry. “It was effortless compared to some groups I’ve been in and some of the stories I’ve heard. But it really did just kind of come out of thin air and work out.”

The second session was produced by Rick Jackett and James Black from the multi-platinum group Finger Eleven. From the outset, it was all about maintaining a powerful, ‘live’ sound as well. And between the collaborations, the project grew to become more than the guys could have hoped for.

“We knew we had something really special going on.”

Meanwhile, the project was named after the aforementioned title track and first single, a duet with Jasmin Parkin from Mother Mother.

The song has been used by the NHL and Hockey Night in Canada for a playoff montage, and as of late last June hit number one on the national rock charts. Little wonder, as it’s tough to imagine two singers who complement each other so well as the gritty tune unfolds in all its earthy glory.

Take Ten Steps takes a slightly different tone – leaning more on the rock side of things with engaging results, while the brisk, and comparatively breezy Ain’t My Day, the project’s second single, would fit nicely in on adult contemporary/pop radio. That’s not to say there isn’t a distinctive edge to the tune, which thunders along with a rich percussive foundation and exceptional vocal delivery.

In the time since the release of their debut CD On The House, back in 2011, Head of the Herd has gained plenty of momentum.

Being named Fox Seeds winners (previous winners include Nickelback, Matthew Good Bif Naked and More) was only the beginning. They’ve opened for Guns n’ Roses, Alice in Chains, The Sheepdogs, Monster Truck and the Trews. Their song Knock Me Down has taken them on and beyond the radio, being featured in Rip Curl and well as GT Bikes/Red Bull videos online.

The band was created over a trip to Boise, Idaho to watch a college football game. Hours spent showing each other demos on the drive and cowboy boots full of whiskey flasks at the game led to a fuzzy yet obviously memorable weekend that marked the genesis of the band.

And with an CD so distinctive, it’s no wonder the band received such accolades last year.

In addition to opening for Guns ‘n’ Roses, the guys have also shared the stage with both Alice in Chains, and The Sheepdogs and headlined their own national tour that included a slew of sold-out dates.

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