Off With Their Heads performs at Howlers Sun., Dec. 10 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Off With Their Heads performs at Howlers Sun., Dec. 10

“It can get really heavy, but that’s life.”

Off With Their Heads makes music that is honest and raw. The Minneapolis-based band’s high-octane punk has catchy riffs and gritting vocals that rip open old wounds, while sharing stories of constant battles in self-improvement and survival. 

Because the lyrics are so open about mental-health struggles, the brain behind the musical project and vocalist Ryan Young found it was a big topic of conversation with show-goers. 

“I get people coming up to me at every single show telling me that [our music] helps them, so that’s cool,” writes Young in an email to City Paper. “I used to get people coming up and begging for help or advice, and a show is really not the place for that. So I started a podcast where I talk to friends in the arts about their own struggles with life.” 

That podcast is Anxious and Angry, a name drawn from OWTH’s track “Nightlife” off 2013’s Home. With over 180 episodes recorded, Young is carving a space for people to write in and get advice from artists they admire, while also working through his own problems.

“In a way, [Anxious and Angry] is almost like a therapy session I try and do weekly. It’s a good way to keep in touch with people that need it,” says Young. “Sometimes the person that needs it most is me.” 

While the podcast and Off With Their Heads performances are designed to provide catharsis, each are also emotionally consuming.

“It can get really heavy, but that’s life. I’ve found shying away from the heavier things only gives them more power. I try not to be afraid of that.”