Four years since they released last album Respect, Dublin Junk pop trio Squarehead insist they’re the same as they’ve always been – minus the hurry.
The band’s frontman Roy Duffy put it this way: “I’d say the only way in which we’ve changed is that we take it a little easier on ourselves and don’t push the band to be operational 24/7 which can kill the fun pretty quick.
“We all have other bands/day jobs that keep us busy outside of Squarehead. Also we’re old, old wooden men at this stage.
“Ruan’s been doing great things with his illustration and design work, I got engaged and Ian finally got a smartphone.”
And it seems like Ian made good use of his new smartphone after the band tweeted news of their new album being on the way.
This is the first new music in over a year for the band, but they’re taking their time this time around – Respect burnt them out.
They were going at it hammer and tongs before their second album was quietly unveilled.
Their label Richter Collective folded and the band toured heavily for over a year and spent their down time writing.
They released split album Out of Season with So Cow but were under pressure to record in a whirlwind.
Roy said: “The frustration of not having a label led to us recording Respect in three days and self releasing it a month later just so we had something new out.
“I was pretty burnt out with it all after that point and we did no promotion for the record so it kind of just came and went. We did the video for 2025 a long time after it had come out.
[Listen to the interview I did with Roy at the time below.]
“We kind of just floated about for a year after that. I didn’t start writing for this one until about a year ago or so.
“We’re definitely taking our time with this one so we don’t get burnt out again and have to disappear for a year straight after it comes out.”
Some things haven’t changed for their new album, though.
They’re sticking with producer Les Keye, who already worked with them in Respect.
Keye struck gold with Squarehead in Arad Studios in D-Light Studios last time around and they’re eager for a repeat dose.
Roy said: “We hit on a pretty magical formula with him that we couldn’t think of anyone else we would rather work with.
“He’s just a totally positive guy to be around and really gets us to where we need to be fast!”
Their methodology may have been turned down a few notches – but it largely hasn’t changed either.
“We’ve been pretty much doing what we’ve always done. Practising, writing songs, playing shows.”
There is lots still to be decided on this album for Squarehead, including the name, which Roy says is still in the melting pot.
He said:”If the last two are anything to go by i’d guess something like No Bueno or 50 Quid”
Roy also claimed he had “no idea” how the album would turn out as of yet.
Their first album Yeah Nothing had surf-pip vibes reminiscent of the fifties with catchy hooks, which Nialler9 called an album of singles.
Their second album veered into junk-pop. The improved production beefed it up without making it bloat.
On the new record Roy said: “I always think I have a plan for what the next record will sound like but I write all kinds of songs all the time and it just depends on what I think is good and then what the guys like out of what I play for them.
“So far I think the new stuff sounds just like a natural continuation of our sound.
“There’s still some hooks, heavy guitars, pretty guitars, shouty vocals, pretty vocals but I think if anything it feels a bit more relaxed and less impatient.
“Also our good friend Ruadhan O’Meara from No Spill Blood provided keyboards on all the songs which adds a lot of atmosphere.”
If you did happen to go to any of their gigs and wanted to check them out online afterwards, Squarehead can prove tricky to grab a hold of on Spotify.
According to Roy: “There’s an older Australian (I think) DJ Squarehead and also a younger producer (as they call themselves now) from Leeds.”
The creaky “old wooden men”, as they so graciously dubbed themselves have also had some confusion on the domestic scene.
He said: “There’s also the Irish band Hare Squead which probably causes the most confusion.
“I heard they called themselves that because Squarehead as taken. I dunno.”
After a quick google, Hare Squead are another trio based in Dublin – but in R&B. They dub themselves as “three black Irish kids making waves.”
There’s no bad blood between the two groups, and the old lads might even learn a thing or two.
“Ian has met them and assures us they are ‘sound lads’ Maybe one day we can all ‘collab’ on ‘track’ such is the times we live in.”