Last Updated on 2023-12-04 by a-indie
Death of Heather is a four-piece dream pop / shoegaze band formed in Bangkok, Thailand.
They have bands like My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, and Turnover as their roots, and they are a young band that attracts attention from overseas while resonating with other bands that are active in Thailand, such as Safeplanet, Folk9, and YONLAPA.
The Asian indie scene has been especially active in the past few years, showing local excitement while connecting dots and lines, and it has started to be picked up outside of Asia, becoming a hotspot that rivals the US and UK.
The new album “Forever” by Death of Heather, which was released the other day, is exactly the result that pushes that excitement, and it is an album that I, as a listener living in Asia, welcome with both hands.
This time, I interviewed Death of Heather, and while checking their affinity with the Japanese indie scene from the Thai music scene that I’m curious about, I interviewed them to recommend their new album.
Death Of Heather Interview
Artist: Interviewer: Yuuki Takita Translator: A-indie Editorial Department
How the members met
– I listened to your new album “Forever”. I can feel the color and emotion from your music, and I think that is one of the attractions. This is the first interview, so I would be happy to know your background in detail, and what is the source of that charm. You formed the band in Thailand in 2017 and have been active, can you tell me where each member was born and raised, and how you met?
Death of Heather started in 2017 when I wanted to start a project exploring the style of music that I liked—dream pop, and shoegaze. I started the demo from my bedroom, and then asked friends, Non, Nine and Thong, from my old bands to join.
I met Non in high school around 2010 and we were in a band together. I met Nine and Thong at university, we were in the same punk band around 2013.
I played the demo, and we just got together. We played our first live show in 2018.
Music scene in Thailand
– In Thailand, you and other bands such as Safeplanet, Folk9, and YONLAPA are active and attracting attention in Japan. I also want to know more about the Thai music situation and environment. What kind of music is popular in Thailand? Also, in Bangkok, there are the largest music festivals in Southeast Asia, such as “Big Mountain Music Festival” and “Maho Rasop Festival” where IDLES and Alvvyas were headliners in the past, and I think that young people have many opportunities to touch not only domestic but also international music. I also want to know what kind of music is popular among people of your generation.
Tay(Vo./Gt.): Popular music genres right now are rock or indie pop which are kinda mainstream. It’s understandable as they are easier to reach wider groups of people. Death of Heather might have specific sounds and our audience might not be large. Thailand has international festivals and that also helps expand the fanbase and introduce new bands.
Band scene in Thailand
– As I mentioned in the previous question, the new generation band scene is lively and international music festivals are also held. Do you get stimulated or inspired by the domestic band scene?
We are more inspired by international bands. Thai music scenes are very diverse, and we have a lot of amazing artists. Our style of music may not be too mainstream, so I guess we are more influenced by bands from abroad.
Collab with For Tracy Hyde
– You have released a split 7-inch single record “Milkshake / Pretty Things” with the Japanese band For Tracy Hyde, and Safeplanet has released a collaboration song with ROTH BART BARON, and you have a connection and affinity with Japanese bands. First of all, please tell me how you came to release the split 7-inch single record with For Tracy Hyde and your impression of Japanese bands.
Kento (to’morrow music) contacted us via Twitter that For Tracy Hyde was interested in releasing a split 7 inch with us. We were so happy. We love For Tracy Hyde. We went to see them when they performed in Thailand. It was a collaboration that we were just so happy about. We also got to play with them before they disbanded.
We love Japanese bands. I feel that music from Japan is unique in terms of musicality and melodies. Even if I don’t understand Japanese, I get into it because of how interesting it is. Japanese artists sing in Japanese, but their music can travel around the world because they are very good.
Death Of Heather – Pretty Things [Official MV]
Position in the Asian band scene
– I am very happy to see the situation where the wonderful Thai bands and Japanese bands are interacting and resonating with each other while boosting the Asian band scene. Your music is attracting attention from both domestic and foreign countries, and you have also performed at a music festival in Singapore. So I ask you, is your goal to expand your international activities? Or is it domestic activities? I would be happy if you could tell me the reason for either answer.
It’s beyond our expectations from day one. We never imagined our music would work across borders. When we play abroad, we get to meet our listeners. We talk to some of them online and on social media. The internet is a big help for us. We have a goal to play in countries that we haven’t done before.
Reason for singing in English
– The lyrics are sung in English, and the sound is influenced by the foreign dream pop and shoegaze bands from the 90s. You have established your own music with your sensibility and idea. There are many bands in Japan that sing in English, but do you have a reason why you sing in English instead of your native language? Also, when you look at it from the perspective of a Thai band, how do you think that identity affects your music? If you have anything in mind, please tell me.
I just feel that for our kind of music, English would be better understood as we can communicate even more clearly. With a lot of people using English and listening to English language music, we think that the results can be more wide-reaching.
Death of Heather – “Hard to Cure” [Official MV]
The albums that influenced them
– In the artist photos and live artwork, each member wears T-shirts of My Bloody Valentine, Morrissey, Joy Division, The Cure, etc. If you were to name three albums that influenced your music, what would they be? Also, please tell me how each album influenced you and if you have any episodes. If it is difficult, please tell me one album of your favorite artist for each member.
We all listen to a lot of music. We have diverse tastes, but we also have shared passion. I can give you some samples of music that we all love and have influenced us greatly.
– My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless: This album forever influences how we make music.
– The Cure’s Wish: We listened to this album a lot when we made our self-tilted album. For us, the guitar parts play a big role.
– Turnover’s Peripheral Vision: When they released this album in 2017, it changed the way we wanted to make music. We were a punk band before, and this album pushed us to explore shoegaze.
Turnover – “Dizzy On The Comedown” (Official Audio)
Origin of the band name
– Please tell me about the name “Death Of Heather”. Why did you choose the name “Death Of Heather” and what does it mean when you started your band activities?
I am a fan of Heather Baron-Gracie from Pale Waves and Death of Lovers so I just combined the names to make my IG(short for Instagram) handle. When I first started this project, we needed a name, so we just took it from my IG.
Pale Waves – Unwanted (Official Video)
Concept of the latest work
– From here, I will ask you about the latest work “Forever”. The previous work “Death Of Heather” was an album with a charming sound scape with a meticulous band ensemble. “Forever” does not lose that charm, but it has a more aggressive sound than the previous one. Especially, the guitar approach has a layered sound that focuses more on the thickness of the sound than the depth. How did you produce this work with what kind of idea and direction? I would also be happy if you could tell me the difference from the previous work.
“Forever” makes us want to become kids again. Many still associate us with “Self-Titled” (2020) which was a dream pop/shoegaze outing. For “Forever”, we have also thrown in things we liked when we were younger like emo and grunge. We feel that the music parts are tougher but still infused with our brand of beauty. We are quite happy with the results as we could be as direct as we wanted without changing who we are.
Collab with bdrmm
– The songs “Pretty Things” and “Head In The Sand” on this work are remixed versions by the British shoegaze band, bdrmm. First of all, please tell me how you came to collaborate with bdrmm.
We only had 6 songs when we planned this EP so our label, Smallroom, suggested this idea for remixes. After brainstorming, we agreed on bdrmm as we really liked them. We reached out, and they also liked us. Everyone had fun in the process.
– Also, “Pretty Things” and “Head In The Sand”. The arrangement is approached by dance music, and I was surprised by the compatibility of the dance beat and your songs. Please tell me your impression when you listened to the completed songs that you requested for remix.
11: The collaborations were much more than we expected. They re-interpreted our songs in such new ways that we never thought before. We love these remixes very much.
Death Of Heather – Pretty Things | Remixed by bdrmm [Official Visualizer Video]
Song that became a breakthrough
– Which song is the breakthrough or the most changed or evolved song for you in this work?
“Pretty Things” was our turning point. It was the first song that we worked on. I started the songs. For this song, it was so different when it was a demo. It was very, very heavy. So we decided to just jam in the recording studio. We added in new dynamics mixing heavy and light to get the best combination. This song set the direction for this album.
Reason for shooting the MV in Shibuya
– The MV of “Gaze At The Ceiling” was shot in Shibuya, Japan. Why did you decide to shoot in Shibuya? Please tell me the reason and the episode at the time of shooting.
We toured Japan in March 2023 and we wanted to shoot an MV in Japan. We hadn’t finished the song at that point. We found Japanese actors and just shot it without a finished song. The storyline is about a relationship between two people that happens around Shibuya.
“Gaze at the Ceiling” is very connected to Shibuya. I completed the song with what happened there. I also have a personal connection with Shibuya.
Death Of Heather – Gaze At The Ceiling [Music Video]
People who want to listen
– In what kind of person or situation do you want to listen to “Forever”?
“Forever” is how I’ve been this past year. Every single song is culled from what has happened to me. I captured my feelings and put them in the songs. Every time I listen to the songs, they take me back to how I had felt then. The songs are rather gloomy and melancholic, but it feels good to revisit the old stories.
People change every day. These days, I look at those things that have happened differently.
To the listeners in Japan
– You are also scheduled to tour Japan in December. Can you give a message to the Japanese listeners at the end?
This is our schedule in Japan:
12 December at Moonromantic (Tokyo)
13 December at Compass (Osaka)
14 December at Club Quattro (Hiroshima)
This is our second tour in Japan for this year. We’re coming back with a new EP. We would like everyone to come see us and see our changes. It will not be the same as last time. We hope you’ll gain new experiences with us.
We love Japan very much!
Death Of Heather Album Release
2nd Album “Forever”
Release date: Available now
2. Endless Emotions
3. Pretty Things
4. Head In The Sand
6. Gaze At The Ceiling
7. Pretty Things (bdrmm Remix)
8. Head In The Sand (bdrmm Remix)
Format: Mp3, CD, Vinyl
View on Amazon
Death Of Heather Japan Tour Details
Death Of Heather 2nd album “FOREVER” release JAPAN tour
- Tokyo show
- Osaka show
- Hiroshima show
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2023 OPEN 18:30 / START 19:00
Venue: Tokyo Aoyama Moonromantic Aoyama
Price: ADV. ￥4,500 / DOOR ￥5,000 (each 1D separately)
Performers: Death of Heather / Living Rita / ん・フェニ
Ticket details: Peatix
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2023 OPEN 18:30 / START 19:00
Venue: Osaka Shinsaibashi CONPASS
Price: ADV. ￥4,500 / DOOR ￥5,000 (each 1D separately)
Performers: Death of Heather / YUNOWA / MoritaSaki in the pool
Ticket details: Peatix
“BIG ROMANTIC X STEREO RECORDS X HIROSHIMA QUATTRO presents
Death Of Heather “Forever” release party”
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2023 OPEN 18:00 / START 18:30
Venue: Hiroshima CLUB QUATTRO
Price: ADV. ￥4,500 / DOOR ￥5,000 (each 1D separately)
Performers: Death of Heather / 人体工学 / Barbara
*Tickets: To be announced later from STEREO RECORDS SNS account
Death Of Heather Band Profile
“A four-piece alternative, shoegaze and dream pop band from Bangkok, Thailand formed in 2017 Death of Heather consists of Tay (lead vocals and guitar), Nine (lead guitar), Thong (bass) and Non (drums).
Writer: Yuuki Takita
A freelance writer born in 1991 and from Tomakomai, Hokkaido. After graduating from the same university as TEAM NACS, he enrolled in a music school and majored in the writer course.
There, he produced three music free papers and conducted interviews with artists and editing.
He used his experience to join a cross-music media company that has free papers and web media, where he wrote and edited review articles and experienced sales.
After resigning, he changed jobs to a clerk at a large record shop and also wrote disk review articles for his own media.
That was the trigger for him to start working as a freelance music writer. He is currently a salaryman and music writer who dreams of holding an outdoor music festival in his hometown Tomakomai.
He likes cats, watching movies, and reading books. Nana Komatsu and curry & biryani exploration are his lifestyle.