Suedehead ready to soul rock New England

, Contributing Writer

Suedehead are taking “soul pop” to new heights with a dash of punk, a dose of Mod, and a fistful of rock and roll. Davey Warsop, known to most as the vocalist/guitarist for U.K. pop-punk band Beat Union, started Suedehead as a sort of second love. When the band got the attention of Social Distortion’s Mike Ness, things really started to take off for the group. They have a new EP titled The Constant, a new national tour with Social Distortion (with a stop at the Hampton Beach Casino on Friday) and a live show that’s been making waves nationwide. We got to chat with Warsop about the band, the resurgence of soul music and why the Mod scene endures after nearly 50 years.

Boston Music Spotlight (BMS): You guys have quite a buzz around you in Southern California. What is Suedehead bringing to New England?

Davey Warsop (DW): We seem to be getting told we have a buzz loads recently. An expression I keep coming back to when playing in bands is, “It’s so hard to see the car you’re driving when you’re the one in it.” We do this band because it’s what we love doing, and we believe in it more than anyone else does. Still, it’s nice to be liked and we’re very excited and honored that people are into what we’re doing.

BMS: “Soul Pop” has been popular for almost 50 years, but is seeing a resurgence lately with bands like Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and artists like Raphael Saadiq. How are you guys standing out from the pack?

DW: I think we stand out from the pack because we bring a lot more energy. We are not a punk band, but we are all punk influenced. Our DIY spirit is kinda the core of the band. So we’re definitely an indie/soul/rock band or whatever you want to label it as, but I think we’ve got some more edge than the rest, maybe because we run our own label, the energy in the live show and the way we dress… I think all this stuff makes us slightly different than the artists you mentioned. But I still think we share a common ground with those artists too. We would love to play with those bands!

BMS: Mod/skin culture has a stronghold in Los Angeles and in a few other cities around the US — like New York and Boston. Why do you think it has persisted for as long as it has?

DW: I’m not sure I’m the most qualified to answer this question, having not lived in L.A. forever. But being from England, I always comment on how shocked I was first realizing how big the L.A. Mod scene is. There’s some real die-hard followers and growing up in the U.K. I would have never known there’s people in other countries flying the flag for what was originally a Brit movement.

BMS: You’ve just released a new EP, The Constant, a few weeks ago. Will you guys be back in the studio again after the tour?

DW: Yeah. We wanna constantly be making music. I used to be really picky in old bands of mine over what songs would get released and I would want everything to be top notch. With Suedehead I would rather be prolific. We’re a band. We should play shows and put out music – end of story. We have some studio time booked over Christmas, so hopefully that will turn into an EP or something for early next year. We’re also gonna record a couple of cover songs for fun. You gotta keep it fun!

BMS: What are the musical backgrounds of everyone in the band?

DW: We’ve all played for years in lots of different bands. Korey (horns, drums) came from The Aggrolites. I met him when I was touring with them in Beat Union. Chris was in a lot of punk bands and also ran a label a while back, so he definitely cut his teeth with DIY punk rock. Greg (keyboards) has the coolest history of anyone though. I met him because he plays for TSOL. He also played in Berlin back in the ’80s. He played in The Church and toured with Bob Dylan. I always make fun of him because he doesn’t talk about it much and we constantly hear new stories of all these big names he was a part of [laughs]. Mike (bass) and the guys who play horns for us sometimes (trumpeter Marques Crewsand saxophonist Dave Sakover) are known L.A. players too.

BMS: Describe your live show to anyone who hasn’t seen Suedehead in concert. What can they expect? Why should they come out?

DW: It’s fun! Like I said before, we do this to make us happy. But we’re serious players, we wanna play with energy and passion every time. If you don’t give 100 percent of yourself when doing the things you love, then what’s the point? We wanna play a great show and feel good, we wanna have fun and make the crowd feel good and want to move and dance. People usually do. So it’s a good vibe!


Suedehead will be performing with Social Distortion at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on Friday, November 18. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $27.

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