HLAH

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Head like a Hole
Boogapriest.jpg
Booga Beazley in character at the video shoot for Glory Glory.
Background information
Origin Wellington, New Zealand
Genres Alternative rock, industrial metal
Years active

1992–2000,

2009–present
Labels Wildside Records
Associated acts Shihad
Members Booga Beazley
Nigel Regan
Michael Franklin-Browne
Andrew Ashton
Past members Mark Hamill
Tom Watson
Andrew Durno

HLAH (Head Like a Hole) is a rock band from Wellington, New Zealand. The group is named after the Nine Inch Nails song of the same name.

History[edit]

HLAH formed in Wellington, originally comprising Nigel Regan, Mark Hamill, Nigel Beazley and Andrew Durno. Previous to HLAH forming Regan and Hamill played in a covers band playing songs by artists such as early Masters of Reality, Black Sabbath, Faith No More, Nirvana, Butthole Surfers, Mudhoney and Fugazi. "It wasn't a cover band as such that we played gigs and got paid, more an excuse to get together jam and bash out songs we could play" says Regan.

Hlahbandphoto.jpg

At the end of 1990 Beazley returned to Wellington from art school in Auckland and was roped in as singer (even though he had never sung or been in a band in his life), as Regan and Hamill's latest singer and bass player had left and they wished to form an original band. The three of them went to their practice space at the 'Hopper Street Warehouse' in Wellington and after blasting though a rendition of "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath to see if Beazley could actually sing, the decision was made and the band was born, minus a name and a bass player which was soon rectified by the addition of Andrew 'Tall' Durno who Hamill had met at a party and invited along to a practice.

Not long after the band was fully formed, for a bottle of Whiskey and $100, they recorded their first self-penned songs on an 8 track at (now defunct) Tongue studios in Wellington above the pool hall on Manners Street. This became their first self released cassette titled Shitnoise. Only 100 copies of this were made and these are now sought after.

Around this time Head Like a Hole shared a run down practice room at the old Empire Spice warehouse on Hopper Street with local act Shihad. After an off the cuff remark from Jon Toogood that HLAH should support Shihad on their up and coming Devolve tour Regan rang Gerald Dwyer (Shihad's then manager) and said "Hi, I'm Nigel from Head Like a Hole and we're coming on tour with Shihad" to which Dwyer replied "Is that right?". Toogood had neglected to actually inform Dwyer of this. However, seeing the benefits in it, Dwyer stopped in to see HLAH playing upstairs at the Empire Warehouse and the idea was put into play, and it was on this tour that Regan for lack of a suitable 'rock wardrobe' hit upon the idea of playing naked.

They started off playing small gigs at the Hopper Street warehouse, The Carpark, and Rocky's pub and soon started touring the university circuit. Having taken the name Head Like a Hole the band gained a following with outrageous gigs, performing naked and caked with mud, or with complete face and body paint. With a strong and dedicated following, HLAH got signed to Wildside Records, who at around the same time signed another Wellington act, Shihad.

'13[edit]

In 1992, they recorded their first album, 13, at Writhe Studio. The band produced it themselves with the assistance of Brent McLaughlin. One of the singles off the album, Fish Across Face made the New Zealand Top 10, however the video was pulled off air because of a scene where orange juice streamed from Nigel's mouth into Booga's mouth (there happened to be a meningitis outbreak at the time). 13 remains a fan favorite to this day while the band look at it as a learning curve as they were not really ready to record a full length album and their only previous recording experience was the 4 track cassette Shitnoise. It is a good representation of the band at the time who wore their influences on their sleeve's loudly and proudly.


Flik Y'Self off Y'Self[edit]

HLAH continued touring the university orientation circuit and in 1993 returned to the studio to record material for a new album. The new album was recorded and given the title, Flik Y'Self Off Y'Self. It was released in 1994 with two singles. "Faster Hooves" was released, along with a video which featured Mark and Booga having a western style shoot out with finger guns. The other single was "Spanish Goat Dancer".


Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health and Lengthen Your Life[edit]

HLAH continued touring the country (including playing at the Big Day Out festival) and tragically in early 1996 their manager, Gerald Barry Dwyer (who also managed Shihad) died suddenly. They returned to the studio later in the year, this time at Sing Sing Studios in Australia with producer Robbie Rowlands to record their third album, Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health, & Lengthen Your Life. "Crying Shame" (otherwise known as "The Trumpet Song") while not having any chart success became a popular song in the band's set which they still perform, often using ring in Trumpeters and/or other brass as Watson who originally played the trumpet is no longer a member of the band.

The first single off the album, "Cornbag" was released in November 1996, and received some limited chart success. This was followed by the release of the album and more singles including "A Crying Shame", "Keith" and "Hootnanny". HLAH performed at the 1997 Big Day Out as the final act after the headliners Soundgarden, and had a huge crowd in The Supertop. HLAH also released a video for their cover of "I'm on Fire", a Bruce Springsteen song.

Are ya Gonna Kiss It or Shoot It[edit]

Around this time (1997–98) some confusion over the band's name was created by a record company rep accidentally releasing a statement saying the band had changed their name to HLAH. This was not actually the case as Head Like a Hole had been using the abbreviation HLAH for many years. In November 1998, the band released its final original album, HLAH:IV - Are You Gonna Kiss It Or Shoot It?, along with accompanying singles, "Wet Rubber" and "Juicy Lucy".

Blood On The Honky Tonk Floor[edit]

Sometime in 2000, the band disbanded. A 'Best of' album was released in November, entitled Blood On the Honky Tonk Floor. Blood On the Honkey Tonk Floor featured two discs, the first covering the band's best and most recognised songs, while the second included all of the cover songs the band had recorded over their career.

Reformation[edit]

In late 2008, HLAH were asked if they would consider reforming for the Vodafone Homegrown music festival in March 2009.[1] As they had previously discussed reforming a couple of years earlier (which never came to fruition) they decided that before making any decisions that they would get together to have a jam and run over some of the old material. After a few hours of playing together they decided immediately that they would play Homegrown and the decision was made to play a couple of low key gigs in small venues to warm up before playing Homegrown. Afterwards as the experience had been enjoyable HLAH decided to embark on a winter tour over June July. Although playing to packed venues (including the largest crowd at the Powerstation since re-opening) up and down the country the tour was not successful financially, however after seeing the crowd reaction and realizing that they actually got on better than when they were together in the nineties the decision was made to head back to the rehearsal rooms and start working on an album for 2011. Although asked if he would like to be a part of the band again Tom Watson declined to participate and Mike Franklin-Browne who took over the drums from Mark Hamill continued as the band's drummer.[2]

Blood Will Out[edit]

Nigel and Andrew clash guitars at Vodafone Homegrown, Wellington. Photo by Erin Collier

In 2010 Head Like A Hole started working on new material for their first album in a decade. After deciding to work with Andrew Buckton (Midnight youth, The D4) the drum tracks were laid down at York Street Studios with the rest of the tracking done at Studio 203. The first single from the album was 'Swagger of Thieves', released on 5 December 2010. It went to number one the 95bFM charts in December 2010. The second single, "Glory, Glory (Hallelujah)", was released on 29 May 2011. The album, titled Blood Will Out, was released on 4 July 2011, and was accompanied with a New Zealand tour.

2012-2013 Re-release of Debut album 13[edit]

Due to family circumstances, Head Like a Hole did not do many performances in 2012 instead concentrating on projects such as remastering their debut alum 13 to be released on the 20th anniversary in 2013 followed by a tour in which the band plan to play the entire album 13 with various tracks of the other albums. HLAH also released a track "Sometimes the Wolf" which was a track that was not completed at the time of compiling the album Blood Will Out

End of 2012, start of 2013[edit]

With gigging not being an option in that time period Nigel Regan, Booga Beazley and Andrew Ashton started work on the follow up to Blood Will Out as of February 2013 two new tracks have been recorded with plans to continue recording with the goal to release the next album mid-way through the year, or sooner, as the bulk of the material is written and the timing is down to recording schedules.

Discography[edit]

Year Title Details Peak chart
positions
NZ
1991 Shitnoise
  • Released: August 1991
  • Format: Cassette
  • Label: Self-released
1993 13
  • Released: 1 March 1992
  • Label: Wildside Records
17
1994 Spanish Goat Dancer
  • Released: August 1994
  • Label: Wildside Records
1994 Flik Y'Self Off Y'Self
  • Released: 1 March 1994
  • Label: Wildside Records
13
1996 The Berlin Stench
  • Released: August 1996
  • Format: Cassette
  • Label: Self-released
1995 Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health, & Lengthen Your Life
  • Released: 1 July 1995
  • Label: Wildside Records
33
1998 Are You Gonna Kiss It Or Shoot It?
  • Released: November 1998
  • Label: Wildside Records
25
2000 Blood On the Honky Tonk Floor
  • Released: 26 October 2000
  • Label: Wildside Records
29
2009 The Devil Makes Work For Idle Hands
  • Released: 29 June 2009
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • Label: Head Like a Hole
2011 Blood Will Out
  • Released: 4 July 2011
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • Label: Head Like a Hole
3
EPs
1995 Happy Families Tour
1995 ''The Not Nicomjool EP
  • Label: Wildside Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Featured appearances[edit]

The group have appeared on many compilations and soundtracks in New Zealand. The following is a list of these albums that have featured tracks by the Head Like A Hole.

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
NZ
1992 "Fish Across Face" 9 13
"Never Mind Today" 30
1994 "Faster Hooves" 23 Flik Y'Self Off Y'Self
"Spanish Goat Dancer" 14
"Chalkface"
1996 "Cornbag" Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health, & Lengthen Your Life
1997 "A Crying Shame"
"Hootenanny"
"Keith"
"Beatnik" God Save The Clean
1998 "I'm on Fire" 'Non-album single'
"Comfortably Shagged" Are You Gonna Kiss It or Shoot It?
"Wet Rubber" 27
1999 "Juicy Lucy" 30
"Good Advice"
"Hot Sexy Lusty"
"Maharahja"
2010 "Swagger of Thieves" Blood Will Out
2011 "Glory Glory (Hallelujah)"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

References[edit]

External links[edit]