HEALTH Talk UK Shows, Third Album

Jake Duzsik and co. play two shows at London, Birthdays tonight.

If your hobbies extend to music and nothing else, you could perceive HEALTH as a band that have retreated from the spotlight since several years back. Their ‘Get Color’ record still sounds vital and of-its-time today, but it came out in 2009. There’s no doubt that a follow-up has been weighing on the mind of its makers, but it’s not like they haven’t been keeping busy.

In 2012 out came ‘TEARS’, a score for the videogame ‘Max Payne 3’. Initially Jake Duzsik and co. were prompted by the Rockstar company to provide a few bits and pieces, largely for the more intense segments of the game, which HEALTH’s sound - abrasive, occasionally piercing but often melodic noise - was fully catered towards.

“It was a passing glance - we thought the work was going to take 3 or 4 months,” explains Jake a couple of weeks before the follow-up to ‘Get Color’ is unveiled through some low-key, intimate dates in the UK. The soundtrack actually ended up being produced in 15 months. “It’s procrastination,” says Duzsik. “Where you know you have a certain task that you have to accomplish, so you have to take on a different task in order to put off the other one. [‘Max Payne’] happened to be a much larger task.”

HEALTH are now a fuller force than the one bursting forth with ‘Get Color’. Jake cites a huge learning process over the past few years, adding various elements to the group’s “sound pallette.” It might only be album number three, but the LA five-piece are long gone from the days of their debut. “I don’t wanna use the word veteran because it makes me feel depressed,” says Jake on the band’s relative experience. But they’re certainly not novices.

This new album is all about retaining the sheer force of its predecessor, the way in which it exploded as a standalone work virtually without peer. “I find that certain things might date faster, or people will move on when they’re part of a specific scene…[’Get Color’] didn’t feel like it was part of a movement - it might’ve taken longer to gestate.”

Jake describes a more “accessible”, “less cerebral”, “less atonal” follow-up, though he’s hesitant to throw around any potentially alienating terms. “I think we have certain fans that would love it if we made another record that was just as crazy as the first, but we’ve changed,” he declares, before adding: “If we tried to replicate [the debut] I don’t think we’d necessarily do as good a job.”

After dates in Leeds and Dublin, from June 3rd London-rooted fans will get a chance to see just how melodic and potentially all-encompassing this new album truly is. It begins with two dates in one day at London’s Birthdays; one late-night and one, for want of a better phrase, ‘matinee’. Or as Jake puts it, a gig with an “old-school club comedy vibe.”

On the London dates, Jake cites a fired-up Facebook commenter giving stick when the shows were announced. “They were saying ‘this is bullshit, because the superfans who bought the tickets when they could, they get you all used up. And for the early show, everyone’s sober’!”

But it’s HEALTH, back where they belong, playing shows in tank-tops. When Duszik states “I think it’s gonna be fun,” he’s surely making quite the understatement.

HEALTH play the following dates:

03 London, Birthdays w/ Doldrums (Matinee & Late-night Shows)
05 Berlin, Berghain
06 Munich, Kong
07 Bratislava, Wilsonic Festival

Interview taken from the new edition of DIY Weekly, available from iTunes now.

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