HEALTH: a bit odd

HEALTH/Captain’s Rest, Glasgow/20.04.10

You’re playing at the Captain’s Rest in Glasgow tonight. What should the crowd expect and will they get their money’s worth?

(Jupiter Keyes): You can expect a very loud and intense experience. Four very sweaty and unhappy looking guys playing their asses off for you. You’re losing money by not coming to our show.

Does Scotland hold many memories for you or is it just another stop-off on the tour?

We’ve had great experiences here. The people in Scotland are incredible and they have one of the coolest accents in the world. Our first time out here we came with the preconception that Glaswegians were kinda gnarly. Then we almost got our asses kicked by a crew of Scott-bros outside a convenience store while just trying to buy sandwiches. After the show the promoter took us into his home, offered us acid and fed us hash and whiskey until we could handle no more. We love Scotland.

Why the name HEALTH, and why is it all in capitals? Do you like shouting at people?

The name is terse and stark. When we were deciding on names it fit the aesthetic that we were going for. The all caps thing looks good and helps it standout. Personally I don’t like shouting, I don’t like talking at all very much anymore. John is a loud talker though. We can thank him for the all caps.

Your sound seems pretty wide ranging – if you were trying to describe your sound to an imaginative kid, how would you go about it?

Sad and/or angry music for lovers in a really fucked up post-apocalyptic world. Like you’re under a dilapidated freeway underpass hiding from the terror machines that have become our ultimate technological revenge factor. HEALTH is music for love-making.

Do you have a big rider on tour or is it more of a modest affair?

Pretty simple. Just some pita bread and hummus, some fruit and veggies, bottled water and as much beer as they’ll give us. BJ keeps trying to demand cubed ham in a champagne glass, but nobody’s listening.

Your ‘Crystal Castles v HEALTH’ single did pretty well in the charts. How did that all come about?

We got turned onto their music way early in the game. Like before anyone even knew who they were. They started getting some attention and were doing these really good remixes, so we were like, ‘Why don’t we just ask them if they’ll do a remix for us?’ I still remember when we got the crimewave remix in our inbox and listened to it for the first time. We were all piled around John’s iMac in his tiny room and just kept listening to the thing over and over, like ‘wow, this is catchy as fuck!’

How important is image and brand to HEALTH?

Brand and image are all a part of aesthetic, and aesthetic is at the very core of HEALTH – from the sound to the live show to the art to remixes and videos. Every decision that we make is about cultivating the aesthetic, the brand that is HEALTH.  What we are as a band can be very confusing to some people. At least it often seems that way. But I’d like to think that HEALTH is a kind of emergent property that grows out of many seemingly disparate characteristics.

Finally, if you were threatened with death and the only way out of it was to duet with either the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus, who would you pick?

None of us are huge fans of the Jonas Brothers – their whole promise ring thing is a hunk of shit. We all know what goes on backstage. But you wouldn’t have to threaten death to get us to collaborate with Miley Cyrus. I would imagine it would be the reverse. We’re actually all pretty impressed with a good handful of her tracks. If I told you ‘Party In The USA’ had heavy rotation in our tour van when it first came out would you be surprised? So Hannah…if you want to take it to the next level, hit me up on the low. I’ll have you on some shit like you never heard before.


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