Head Automatica

Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw) Speaks On The Shelved Head Automatica Album “Swan Damage”


Glassjaw frontman Daryl Palumbo spoke recently with about the fate of the final Head Automatica album “Swan Damage“, which despite Palumbo‘s best efforts, never managed to see a release. Palumbo had been actively working on the effort around 2009, but the souring of his relationship with his then label Warner Bros. Records spelled the end for the outing.

While it seems he was given the rights to the masters for the largely completed album as part of his release from the label, lingering complications prevented it from seeing the light of day. When asked by the above-mentioned publication as to what happened with the album, he stated:

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“I don’t know. I feel like it was insinuated that things weren’t great at the label. ‘Do you want to make hits? Are we going to put a bunch of hits on it?’ Shit like that. That was part of it. And I was like, ‘That’s not where I am. That’s not what I’m about. Look, I’m not trying to make 10 [versions of] ‘Beating Heart Baby.’’

And I think it was just [the label saying], ‘You know what? You can have your masters, and you can split from the label if you want.’ I think that part of it was Glassjaw getting off the label, too. I think that was all one moment where we were parting ways in every capacity. And if I could get that record, then that was great. And if Glassjaw could get away, that was great, too. I just feel like all that at once, you know? And that was it.

I think it would’ve been worse than not coming out, had the Head Automatica record come out on Warner [Records]. It was getting to the point where I couldn’t even get tracks. It was not happening. So I don’t even have files. Glassjaw you can’t get any information about. We couldn’t get any information about our history at the label. There was nobody to talk to. It’s just like a fantasy. There’s no way to work with a label in that capacity.

You couldn’t get masters. Maybe I have wav files of all these Head Automatica tunes, but they’re not… I feel like it’s mixed, but they’re like there’s still things that I feel like we’re gonna be changed. Everything was very up in the air when we parted ways. And that was it.”

When asked about whether or not he could potentially release the versions of the material of the album he has at this point, he said:

“You could put out a fucking record of MP3s that you had into the world. A lot of people maybe would never know that. Maybe, I guess I could. I don’t think I’m on their radar enough for anybody to be like ‘Those are those magical songs we thought we could have made 1 billion.’ If they thought they were gonna make a billion dollars, they would have begged me to put out with them over a decade ago.

It might come out at some point. I don’t know. But it feels old at this point. Maybe that’s just because I’m familiar with it. Feels like it’s from a couple of lifetimes ago.”

As for what his current status is with the band, he offered:

“I haven’t really talked to those guys in a minute. I’m just the type of guy that always wants to wash the slate clean. It’s not necessarily that I outgrow anything. I’m not pompous. I just think sometimes you get that taste in your mouth. Like, it’s time.

And toward the end of the Head Automatica zone, I think it was right as ‘Swan Damage‘ got finished and [we] were playing some more shows. I really started playing a lot with my buddy Rick Penzone. We started playing together full time. And then we were writing so much together that we were like, “Well, it’s not Head Automatica.” This is the next thing, Color Film.

When I’m over something, I guess I’m just over it. You just get that hair up your ass that does something else. I’m not saying that in any weird pointed ways. And then that was the end of Head Automatica.”

You can find more from Palumbo on the album, his struggles with Warner Bros. and more over at

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