Headache City

Spend five minutes with Eric Lastname...

Headache City are one of the few bands in Chicago who are instantly fun and catchy -- and still somewhat underappreciated. A shame, too, 'cause their quirky synth-creamed pop r'n'r is undeniably great and beats the piss outta just about anything this city has to offer. After releasing a great 45 on Norah's (keyboards) Shit Sandwich Records, and opening the first night of the Blackout some months back, they've mostly been playing around home with the likes of Viva L'American Death Ray Music, Operation S and others. If you're anything like me, you'll wanna know what they're up to next...

Eric: OK, we're recording now.
Dave: It's on the record?
Eric: It's on the record. So if everyone wants to say their names so I can tell who does what...
Norah: Norah.
Eric: And you...?
Norah: Keyboards.
Dave: Dave. I play bass and sing.
Lisa: Lisa. Drums.
Mike: Mike. Guitar, singing.
Eric: OK. Alright. That was really good!
Norah: Great! Hooray!
Eric: So how long have you guys been around anyway?
Mike: Uh...How long have we been around?
Norah: Our first show was November 12th of 2003.
Eric: How'd you get together?
Mike: Well, me and Dave played in the White-Outs, and Norah put our record out, and...actually, it was supposed to be Norah and the No-Nos, wasn't it? Or something like that?
Norah: Hahaha.
Dave: Chop Chop.
Norah: We had like eight different names.
Mike: Yes, Chop Chop.
Norah: Mike horned in. It was supposed to be me and Dave and some other people.
(All laugh)
Norah: But Mike decided he wanted to be in it, so we had to kick all of those other people out. Then this girl Darcie played drums for us, but she just moved to Memphis, so Lisa stepped in.
Eric: Are you fittin' in pretty well then?
Lisa: Eh... It depends on who you ask.
(All laugh)
Eric: I saw your first show with 'em. It was pretty good.
Lisa: Yeah, actually it went pretty well.
Norah: That was her first show drumming ever!
Eric: Really?
Lisa: Yeah. I'm new to, ah, y'know, drumming.
EL: Well, that's cool.
Lisa: Yeah, I guess. I like it.
Eric: So, you guys've been around for about a year now. Other than the single that came out a while ago, do you have anything else...
(Norah shakes head.)
Eric: ...planned?
Norah: Oh, planned?
Eric: Yeah.
Dave: I meant to tell you, Toby (Marsh) asked if we wanted to do a record on Mortville. So we could do that.
Norah: Is this the time or the place for that?
(All laugh)
Dave: That's also a plug for Toby.
Mike: I guess this is the planning stages for our single...
Norah: Well, that would be cool. So I we're gonna do a 7" with Mortville. And I think probably a full-length within, I dunno, a month from now.
Mike: On Shit Sandwich.
Eric: Buy Shit Sandwich, right?
Norah: Yeah. Oh, that reminds me...
(Norah gives Eric a Shit Sandwich pin.)
Eric: Oh, thanks.
Dave: So Norah just presented him with...uh...
Eric: Yeah, go ahead. Give the play-by-play.
Norah: The golden amulet of Shit Sandwich.
EL: Does Headache City play out of town a lot?
Dave: We've been playing out of town a little bit. We just bought a van, actually, from Easter Seals of Milwaukee. So we're gonna be playin' around a little more.
Norah: We played Green Bay last weekend.
Eric: How'd that go?
Norah: It was awesome. Mullets galore!
Eric: The Main Stage?
Norah: Yes.
EL: Ah-ha.
Norah: I got really drunk and mooned a guy in a Hard Rock Cafe jean jacket.
Lisa: There were several people in jackets who saw that.
Eric: When in Rome...
(All laugh)
Dave: We stayed with Todd Trickknee of Trickknee Records.
Eric: Wow, we're going to make a lot of money with all of the plugs we're handing out with this interview. Do you have a U.S. tour or an East Coast tour or anything like that planned?
Norah: Um, no.
Mike: We did an East Coast tour, though. We've went to Pittsburgh, New York...
Dave: I think we're going to Austin to play at Beerland. The South by Southwest daytime showcase. Hopefully.
Eric: Cool.
(All laugh)
Eric: You don't say.
Norah: But, really, nothing like...We've all got jobs, life partners...
Mike: But now we've got wheels!
Lisa: As long as it coincides with handicapped people, we have to go.
Norah: Yeah, our new van has a wheelchair lift.
Mike: For Norah.
Eric: Have you guys seen any shitty reviews for your single? I haven't.
Norah: No.
Lisa: I haven't really seen many reviews for it.
Mike: Um... No.
Eric: That means you guys are perfect!
Dave: Exactly. Perfectly retarded.
Eric: How do people describe the way you sound? Actually, how would you describe the way you sound? I don't know how I would.
Norah: Um... Am I supposed to be the one talking? Is this my function in the band?
Mike: We've been compared to bands like, well, people've said the Pixies. In New York, everyone was like "the Pixies!"
Norah: We occasionally get the Lost Sounds, which no one agrees with.
Lisa: (to Mike) We probably get the Pixies because you kinda look like...
Mike: Well, I guess. I don't know.
Norah: We get the Modern Lovers a lot.
Mike: That guy from Plastic Crimewave said we sounded like the Velvet Underground.
Dave: Yeah, he said we sounded like the line-up of the first record playing the songs on the fourth record.
Norah: DOT-COM.
Eric: That's kinda fucked up.
Lisa: He said it was like the band of the first record was playing the songs from the second record or something.
Mike: Right.
Norah: We get the Misfits, Suicide... Wait, no. Crime.
Mike: Crime!?
Norah: That's what Todd Whats-his-name said.
Mike: Oh.
Norah: Strike that outta there.
Eric: Alright. I'll just type another "SHIT SANDWICH RECORDS" in place of that.
Norah: DOT-COM.
Eric: Sure. Do people seem to like you around here? Or do you get ignored, like most of my favorite bands from Chicago?
Norah: You should probably ask somebody NOT IN THE BAND.
Eric: I did. I almost got my ass kicked.
Lisa: As a former fan NOT in the band, I'd say, yeah, people like us.
Dave: We usually do OK.


If you haven't already, make sure to send Norah at SHIT SANDWICH RECORDS your hardly-earned bux for a copy of Headache City's debut 45. And save those pennies for the upcoming full-length. And make sure not to accidentally record over the last minute or two of their interview with drunk banter between you and a few others outside of Cal's while Camaro Rouge is playing inside. (I'm a professional.)

Interview by Eric Lastname
Pics by Canderson