A few weeks back, former Drug Control vocalist Danny Lyerla reached out to me about a new band he's playing guitar in, Headcount. In addition to Danny, the San Diego-based hardcore unit is made up of musicians who have played in such groups as Meth Breath, xReignx, and Distressed. "Drug Control—collectively as a group—decided it was time," Danny told me. "We had done a lot stuff and accomplished what we could as a band. Could we have written another record and toured more? Maybe. But more than likely, it wouldn’t have been as impactful or meaningful as the self-titled records, Stabbed, or Clear Sight. Additionally, Aaron wanted to focus on Dare, Dylen wanted to focus on Spirited Away and Was. There’s no bad blood, we’re all still friends, we all still talk, but it was time."
The formation of Headcount is a direct result of the close-knit hardcore community the members are part of. "Yeah, we’ve all known each other for a while just from being involved in hardcore in San Diego," said drummer Matt Ants in an email to No Echo. "The band kind of existed as an idea between a few of us long before we ever acted on it. I think various circumstances just led to it being the perfect time to go for it."
Check out the brand-new Headcount demo below:
I asked Matt if they had a very clear vision of what they wanted Headcount to sound like going into the project, or if that developed over time? "We definitely had a clear vision of how it was going to sound. In fact, the demo was fully written before we had even solidified the lineup." Danny agreed: "Matt hit me up with the idea of the band after we had talked about trying to start something. He showed me his ideas for the demo and I was all about it. Musically speaking, I’d say we sound similar to The First Step, Carry On, Mindset, In My Eyes, and I’ve heard us compared to Hands Tied as well."
Matt breaks the Headcount mission down perfectly: "We set out to play straight forward, straight edge, Youth Crew-inspired hardcore. We all have a diversity of influences but we’re not trying to do anything inventive. We love this style of music and have fun playing it."
As seen in the flyer above, Headcount will be playing their first show in October with SECT, but I asked Danny about their live plans beyond that. "I would love to get touring in when we can. I just started graduate school and am a full-time student teacher, so what we’ll be able to do will be somewhat limited with everyone having full-time jobs, but we’ll definitely get out on the road whenever possible." Matt told me he's psyched to get busy in the studio again: "I’d like for us to be as active as possible. We’ll hopefully be ready to record a record in the not-too-distant future."
Follow Headcount on Instagram, and if you're in the Southern California area, hit up the shows listed below. If you use Spotify, you can find the demo on there as well.
Oct. 11 - La Jolla, CA @ Ché Café w/ SECT, Power Alone, Cauterize, xReignx
Dec. 5 - San Diego, CA @ Irenic Bar w/ Judge, Cro-Mags JM, PSO