Kinna - vocals
Krass - guitars
Cohen - bass
Matthews - drums
As the name implies, headstrong pours out aggressive, cerebral music. Their songwriting spans many genres while eluding categorization. "We're not just another cookie cutter heavy band," insists vocalist, Kinna. "We go a lot deeper . . . it's more from the heart than what you might hear from bands we'll inevitably be compared to."
"There's a dynamic and a subtlety that is missing from so many of our contemporary hard rock acts." adds Krass, headstrong's guitar player. "We set out to make an album that represents who we are – four guys with four instruments exploring the outer limits of what we can do with them."
headstrong leapt onto the hard music scene in the summer of 2000 as Farmclub's first international guests with the song All of the Above after receiving over one million votes from fans on the popular television show's website. The band shared the stage with Kid Rock and Eminem during the taping and aired with performances by Everclear, Sisquo and NWA.
Following the broadcast of their energetic live show, word of the band spread quickly and a whirlwind of showcases ensued. Headstrong was thrilled to team up with RCA and A&R heavyweight, David Bendeth shortly thereafter. Says Cohen: "David totally gets it, and RCA takes such close care of their artists that the band is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a great company."
Recorded in London with new-on-the-scene producer Dan Brodbeck and mixed in Los Angeles with veteran mixing guru, Jack Joseph Puig (Green Day, No Doubt, Hole, Black Crowes), headstrong's eponymous RCA debut album was touched by the enthusiasm of all who have worked on it. "Dan has been with us since day one." explains Matthews. "He recorded our demos and we feel as though his understanding of the band is thorough, both musically and personally."
From the explosive kick off, All of the Above, an organic groove that showcases Kinna's astonishing vocal flexibility to the kinetic clip of Backlash until the machine gun assaults of Hoodies and Hoods and Open Season at the album's close, Headstrong delivers song after song with indefatigable endurance sure to leave their listeners breathless.
Other tracks include Adriana, the compelling first single, Inside Joke, a strange fantasy presented atop giant sized riffs, and Do What You Feel Like, a frantic hard rock song driven by an undeniable dance breakbeat. "We've been inspired by some great bands like Tool, Rage Against the Machine and the Stone Temple Pilots and learned a lot about making great music from them. A lot of care goes into each one of our songs. Nothing gets by us in the writing room – either every part of every song excites the whole band, or it doesn't become part of the composition." says Matthews.
"Equally important: everyone writes. There is no song on our album that isn't an equal contribution from each band member. We enjoy a special chemistry that is rare to find in other groups," offers Cohen. "Our democratic approach ensures that the whole group believes 100% in the songs, all the time."
The band has deep roots. Cohen's and Krass's friendship and Kinna's and Matthew's date back into the band members' early teens. Enthuses Kinna: "When we all met in college and became friends, the two halves became a whole. As a unit, we couldn't be stronger. Our relationship with one another may be the band's greatest strength." From their start at the University of Western Ontario (from which all members hold degrees) to their rise to independent success in Toronto, headstrong now plans to launch their full scale invasion in the States.
headstrong members are fans of music, making music for fans of music.