Incendiary Magazine speak to Michael Head from Shack

You could say that about Arthur Lee and his music, but he still put a knife to me throat.



Incendiary Magazine speak to Michael Head from Shack


Recently we got a chance to ask Michael Head, the legendary song-writer with Shack and the late lamented Pale Fountains a couple of questions. Here's what Mick had to say.



IN: Has it always been a case of Shack (and Pale Fountains) versus the world?


Mick: Not really, no.


IN: Is it weird that now Shack is "lauded" or is that nice?


Mick: It's very nice to tell you the truth...


IN: What is it with Shack's writing process, is it the songs that inform or the sound in your heads? The reason I ask that is that there is always a yearning feel to everything you write, it's as if you've not captured everything you set out to document in a song; despite your songs being like vignettes...


Mick: It all comes in one little package and it's down to me to decipher it and get the right people to do it.


IN: A friend of mine, she said that Shack's music is very, very feminine; in its rhythms and approach. Would you agree?


Mick: You could say that about Arthur Lee and his music, but he still put a knife to me throat. If that is the case though, it's a good thing anyway.


IN: I know you are all big Arthur Lee – heads. Regarding his music, what would your recommendations be and why to those who aren't familiar with his work?


Mick: Always frisk him when he comes into the hotel room. And buy everything.


IN: Anything else to recommend to the young shaver, musically?


Mick: Buy some John Coltrane if you're a bass player, one or two Doors albums if you're a drummer, The Byrds if you're a guitarist and for budding lyricists: The Kinks


IN: Your work is intimately associated with Liverpool and places that are connected with the sea, and tracks like Cornish Town, Streets of Kenny etc, etc. Do you think you could write about, or in a place that wasn't either the Pool or connected with the sea with the same feel and sound?


Mick: Not really because I've always liked the sea. You can always have the feeling that you can get off whenever. Couldn't live in Birmingham, cos I'd freak out, be running forever. Maybe a claustrophobic thing, dunno.


IN: No electronic LPs in Berlin or Warsaw planned...


Mick: It's always a possibility...


IN: And finally... What is the biscuit of choice, chez Shack?


Mick: Malted Milk


Words: Richard Foster