26 Sep 2022

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The Headless Chickens - The Headless Chickens Newsletter Interview

05 Oct 2008 // An interview by Shade
What is the best gig/event you have ever performed at, and why?

You mean out of literally hundreds and hundreds of different gigs? Man, there are a whole lot of gigs I can't even remember and then there are loads of others that were great for a whole bunch of different reasons. There was one gig we did in a jam-packed bar in the early '90s in Napier or Hawkes Bay or somewhere, when this rather lovely and interesting-looking young woman sat on the front of the stage and mouthed every single word of every single song in the set at me as I sang them, which quite frankly impressed the hell out of me. I actually tried to find her afterwards because I wanted to talk to her and find out what sort of a person would be so obsessive about my lyrics but she'd obviously disappeared into the night never to return. Must have been a fan, for sure.

There was another night early in the Headless Chickens' career, in 1986 at the Rising Sun Tavern on K'Rd in Auckland, when Chris Knox infamously threw himself backwards through a plate glass window while we were playing 'Do The Headless Chicken' and we ended up taking him to the hospital after the gig to get his cuts stitched up. That was a pretty cool night, too.

What is your favourite NZ venue?

Mmmmmmm.... probably the Powerstation in Auckland just because it's a brilliant room to see a band in and we played so many good shows there - and obviously we're doing our 1st reunion gig there in November - and also because I saw dozens and dozens of other local and overseas bands play absolutely blindingly great gigs there too.

The old Gluepot in Ponsonby was also a bloody good and legendary place to see bands but there have been loads of great venues round the country - Sammy's in Dunedin, Bar Bodega in Wellington, the Dux de Lux in Christchurch, etc - that've supported local music over the years, some of them long gone and some of them still hanging in there.

What can we expect to see from the Headless Chickens over the next year?

Well, us playing songs off our old albums for as long as people still want to come out and see us resurrecting our recent musical past, hopefully with a good deal of class and dignity and musical firepower. We might even decide to write some new stuff some time too, but who knows?

What other NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

You mean the ones that are going now? Well, I never got to see The Fanatics play live, who're probably my favourite local band of recent years, but I don't think they're really doing stuff anymore. I'm trying to get them to do a support slot with the Headless Chickens at the Powerstation just so that I can see them play at least once. I'm also very happy that Weta have reformed because they split up way before they'd worn out their welcome.

Oh, and Stefanimal from Dunedin is the best damn thing that's come out of this town since I've been living here: previously the bassplayer in the criminally ignored Mestar, I saw Stef play purely by accident about a month ago but I'll definitely be going to see her next time she performs. Go and check out Stefanimal's songs on MySpace. Very cool.

If you could, what rumour would you start about the Headless Chickens?

If you know anything about the Headless Chickens then you'd know we don't need to start any new rumours about ourselves because everything you might have heard over the years is probably true.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

Get a proper job, you loser.

About The Headless Chickens

The Headless Chickens were formed in 1985, and were originally known as the International Headless Chickens, as a special project to perform at the multi-media event 'The Nitpickers Picnic'. Their first release was a track on the 1986 student radio compilation album Outnumbered By Sheep.

In 1987 The Headless Chickens won the Rheineck Rock Award. In the 1995 NZ Music Awards they were voted 'Top International Performer' and vocalist for some of their songs, Fiona McDonald won the 'Top Female Vocalist' category.

Cruise Control reached #8 in the New Zealand singles chart. It was a trailer for Body Blow, the momentous album that followed.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Headless Chickens


Stunt Clown (Re-issue)
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Body Blow (Re-issue)
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Chickenshits (2CD)
Year: 2002
Type: Album
Year: 1998
Type: Album
Body Blow
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Stunt Clown
Year: 1988
Type: Album

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