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dimanche 29 novembre 2015

Album de la Semaine : My Disco - Severe

My Disco

Interview de My Disco, par David Sullivan de Cyclic Defrost

Every album, live show, poster and piece of cover art associated with My Disco seems to be a flawless representation of whatever the hell it is they’re going through at that time. Their general themes can be somewhat impenetrable but for those who have stayed on board from album to album, their music becomes more of an atmospheric experience, a poignant entity that almost defies the need for analysis. I pored over some of the band’s history with drummer and gentleman Rohan Rebeiro.
David Sullivan: So you’re living back in Melbourne now?
Rohan Rebeiro: Yeah, I’m kind of the only one in the group who hasn’t gone anywhere.
David Sullivan: Really? What are the other guys up to?
Rohan Rebeiro: Liam I think has been living in Europe between London and Barcelona for about two years. I think we went on a European tour and he just sort of never came back. Ben’s been going back and forth from Melbourne to Indonesia.
David Sullivan: Wow, Indonesia, why there?
Rohan Rebeiro: I think he’s just into the culture and the food, and the weather. He’s got a few friends around there who he kind of met through touring Southeast Asia. So I think he can just set up camp and hang out there a while. But I think he’s back for a little bit now.
David Sullivan: You guys have some show coming up right?
Rohan Rebeiro: Yeah, we’ve got some shows and the album release… I think we might all be more or less in the same country for the next year although I haven’t actually really talked to them much recently.
David Sullivan: Do you think you’re drawn to Australia? Have you considered moving overseas?
Rohan Rebeiro: Well it would be awesome to move overseas and pick a place and set up, but I think Australia’s really good because you can find work and try out all sorts of musical things and it’s not as much of a stress. The world’s so connected, it’s so easy to send music overseas and get opportunities that way.
David Sullivan: I feel like all your albums, especially Paradise and Little Joy, feel intrinsically Australian, which is great because I sometimes have trouble finding how art and music connects to the notion of what being Australian is these days… I feel your music is in some way a good example of modern Australia.
Rohan Rebeiro: Hmm, I’ve never really heard an observation like that before but I feel like I can understand it… WithParadise, I guess the artwork and the ruggedness of the guitar, and the kind of deep droney twang and spacious drums had a desert vibe… And I could see how that could carry on with Little Joy.
David Sullivan: I get a different feeling from Severe, it feels quite detached.
Rohan Rebeiro: I think we were just thinking of a certain kind of emptiness, or blackness; space. We never really talked about what we were trying to achieve but I think we were all going for something apocalyptic and otherworldly; the darkness.
David Sullivan: I think you guys succeeded pretty well in that.
Rohan Rebeiro: It’s the first time ever we’ve all separately had an idea and it’s worked altogether. We’ve been together for so long but we all have such different influences, sometimes you can make a song and one person is imagining it one way and another person is imagining it another way and it can tie together but somehow doesn’t really gel as a body of sound. I feel like the new one is glued together, it blends into a whole unified sound.
David Sullivan: Mmm it does sound like a big wash of sound at times…
Rohan Rebeiro: Yeah and it feels good to play live as well. The hits are all together, the big washes all happen together and then the pauses and the sustain, when you hit the symbol and hear the overtones and it’s all blending with the guitar overtones and suddenly a big thundery sound comes in, it feels like it’s all coming from an individual.
David Sullivan: Yeah wow I saw your most recent show at GoodGod and I felt that it was one big wall of sound coming at me. You guys played all new material at that show, which is quite normal for My Disco, but I remember a few years ago I saw you, again at GoodGod, and you played a bunch of old stuff, includingPerfect Protection which seemed quite rare, what was the reasoning behind that?
Rohan Rebeiro: I think that was our ten year anniversary show. We’re not like strict about things like that, I think we had just rehearsed it and played some of our favourite songs for those shows. I think we’ve been together for about 13 years, sometimes it’s just fun to bust out a jam and not take it that seriously, just even to see if we can remember how to play it.
I think in general we all just want to keep making up new stuff and feeling like we’re going somewhere, it sucks to have the feeling of struggling to find new things, or rehashing old techniques.
David Sullivan: True. It was cool seeing you play that song though, I remember seeing you guys at a gallery space in Sydney called Black & Blue, it was around when Cancer came out and you didn’t even play it then! I was talking to a friend about it that show recently and she recalled it got broken up by the cops. Do you remember that?
Rohan Rebeiro: Yeah I remember that show was awesome and chaotic as well. I think we got through the set before it got broken up. So many things happened that night… Our regular sound engineer came to the show, and that day his first child was due to be born. So mid set he just bounced to the hospital. Then the cops were out the front, I think people were being a bit cheeky and there was a bit of a scuffle then people got arrested…
Then we went around to pick up the van to collect all our gear and the van had been busted into and a bunch of bags had been stolen. It sucked so we decided to gaffa tape the window and drive back to Melbourne overnight, then in the middle of the night we’re hooning down the highway – brakes screech and we hit this massive kangaroo and it put a huge dent in this 12 seater HiAce or whatever. We had to return the van and try and explain it all. It was intense.
It was an amazing show though, I remember the bands there would back onto big glass windows overlooking the city.

David Sullivan: Yeah you played with Dead Farmers if I remember correctly. Great show. From the start, it seems like you guys, as a band, your vision was so focused and strong. You’ve obviously progressed but there’s still this uncompromising, somewhat minimal aesthetic you’ve retained the whole way. Can you recollect what you were thinking right back at the start?
Rohan Rebeiro: Hmmm, I guess in the beginning we were kind of obsessed with tightness, I think that’s in our personalities, slightly perfectionist… Which definitely has its downsides as well. I think we just wanted to make everything as accurate as can be. Get everything to snap and be crisp and tight, I guess we were playing heaps of shows and it was all about nailing it live and being really intense. It was almost like the tightness was more important than anyone’s happiness.
Some sort of accuracy or punch through a sound system is something I think we all share an interest in.
David Sullivan: Would you agree that this vision you had continues now?
Rohan Rebeiro: I think so. I think with the new album, all of the spaces are just there for the moment when we all play a sound and come back in together, it really accentuates it. It’s not all operating at a million DB, it’s chopping the dynamics and trying to get more intense and suspenseful.
David Sullivan: Do you have a preferred crowd reaction? Another friend of mine was saying that he saw you in Melbourne and people were hooting and hollering, he thought this was almost unacceptable (laughs). Do you prefer kind of quiet reverence compared to loud appreciation?
Rohan Rebeiro: Well, I guess it would be nice if people waited until the end of the song to make noise. Especially back when we were obsessed with making a bunch of noise and then stopping and being silent, people would try and take that opportunity to yell out, even to be cheeky or whatever. Like maybe they’re not engaging completely with the music, it’s just their Friday night out. It can kind of soften the intensity. We’re in a pretty intense zone so it doesn’t affect us that much but maybe it would affect other audience members.
David Sullivan: Mmm I can think of something like Land off Paradise, which is a bit quieter, if people are yelling out through that it could really break the moment
Rohan Rebeiro: Totally. A silent audience is nice. The last few years I’ve gone off on tangents of drum solos, and people are cheering because you’re doing like a wild man drum solo, it’s kind of weird. It’s good to have that support, and it’s probably mostly my friends who are yelling but you kind of wanna do things really quietly as well, like just rubbing my hand across the snare or something, I love exploiting that dynamic, but if people are cheering it makes it harder.
But I mean really it’s not up to me to say.
David Sullivan: The new album is definitely dynamic, I thought your drums were mostly quite sparse on it.
Rohan Rebeiro: I don’t think about my drums on it, I really appreciate the whole sound. I don’t feel I have any ego attached to the drum performance, there’s no chopping out in there, it’s all very much just reinforcing all of the other instruments. I feel like it’s the worst when you can hear that that’s the way you play drums, kind of like hearing your own voice… On this album there’s different effects and echo though…
David Sullivan: How was the digital recording process?
Rohan Rebeiro: Yeah we did it with Cornel Wilczek, who’s more of a digital music producer, composer, so he’s got a bunch of ideas. He was easy to work with. So to get that kind atmosphere going, to make it a little bit more abstract, create that more otherworldly feeling, potentially digital is good for that because you’ve got access to processing… I guess the Albini recordings were super pure… I dunno what he’d think but I like the idea of messing with the reverb or changing the sound of a drum and the space that it’s in to create more of a mood and weirdness. It’s not necessarily a straight rock album.
David Sullivan: How were the Albini recordings comparatively?
Rohan Rebeiro: It was really fun playing drums in that room. All of the takes we’d basically just bash out the tracks and then that’s it. The microphones and Albini captures what you sounded like at that moment and that’s the sound for the whole album. What that floor tom sounded like on the first track is the exact same thing that it sounds like on the last track. If what a band wants is to have the most awesome representation of what they sounded like done then, that’s when tape is probably the best, it just does cool things. Whatever mistakes or things that happen on the tape, that’s always good. With Severe it’s going for more of an atmosphere and playing with the ambience.
David Sullivan: It even sounded a little soundtracky at times. This is kind of an odd comparison but there was a moment where it sounded like a part of Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack…?
Rohan Rebeiro: Hmm maybe that’s the only thing we really talked about as a band. At the time we were vibing on the John Carpenter kind of thing, we were going for almost sci-fi atmospherics… Big, distant drums… Definitely soundtracky though…
David Sullivan: Anything else you’re interested in musically at the moment?
Rohan Rebeiro: Umm, are you familiar with A Colourful Storm?
David Sullivan: No haven’t heard of it
Rohan Rebeiro: They’re a Melbourne group, they’re doing amazing parties, and their programming is awesome, you can listen to their mixes. They do a really good crossover of like punk/industrial and techno kind of stuff. It’s weird and it’s really good to go to a club, the night starts at 11 or so, they’ll have punk and techno, good electronic stuff, then have a live set at around 3 o’clock, where it’s not a typical live set, it’ll have elements of noise and just kind of seeing where it goes. A Colourful Storm are really good at programming really interesting sounds to listen to at 3am. I like being confronted with something that’s really challenging for like an hour when you’re either really tired or really wasted and you’re caught off guard. Just hearing things in really strange contexts. It’s really exciting.
Line up :
Rohan Rebeiro
Liam Andrews
Ben Andrews
Label :
Temporary Residence
Tracklist :
01 – Recede
02 – 1991
03 – Successive Pleasure
04 – King Sound
05 – Our Decade
06 – Named
07 – Severance
08 – Careless

dimanche 15 novembre 2015

Sonic City Festival

Emission Spéciale Sonic City Festival



/////// Doors at 13h00

13h30 _Cold Pumas
14h30 _Protomartyr
15h40 _Föllakzoid
16h50 _Metz
18h00 _Fidlar
19h25 _The Soft Moon
20h55 _Chelsea Wolfe
22h25 _The Pop Group
00h05 _Viet Cong


///// Doors at 13h00

13h30 _Shabazz Palaces
14h40 _Bo Ningen
15h50 _Disappears
17h00 _Ho99o9
18h15 _Total Control
19h40 _Suuns + Jerusalem in my Heart
21h10 _Lightning Bolt
22h40 _The Thurston Moore Band

dimanche 8 novembre 2015

Album de la Semaine : Dope Body - Kunk

Dope Body

Interview de Dope Body, par Alex Martinez de Alt Citizen

I saw you guys open for Fucked Up at LPR back in September, I think? Anyway, amazing live show! Does it bother you if you’re more energetic than the crowd is? I’m assuming you also get a lot of similarly intense or energetic responses from people at your shows… care to share the most memorable ones?
Thanks! That was a fun show.
I think generally it does get a little annoying when you are kind of pouring your heart out in front of people and they are just sipping their drinks and maybe obliging us with a very subtle head bob. However, most of the shows we have played over the course of our existence as a band have been like that so I think we are more or less used to it. In a lot of ways, I think a limp crowd make us go ever harder in order to highlight the awkwardness and the disconnect of the room at the time, kind of like a self deprecating improv sketch comedy set or something. That being said, when we actually play for a rowdy crowd, it’s a transcendental body high for us and as a result we go even harder. Kind of like how some bands or DJ’s reserve a certain volume for only their set and force the openers to play at a lower volume. If a crowd is feeling it, we will respond by going into headlining DJ volume mode… :)
I guess a few recent highlights would be the last time we played at Death by Audio in August. This girl was super drunk and got basically naked and started trying to fight Andrew and tear the drums apart. Andrew kind of ripped some of her hair out when he tried to pull her off the drums. She then proceeded to bite Andrew around his waist. There was a pile of beer and hair and maybe blood in the middle of the floor after we got done. It was a sloppy mess, but it made for a unique viewing experience for the audience and us alike. Two days after that we were in Poland at OFF Festival and we played probably the biggest show of our “career.” There were probably close to 2000 people there and they all seemed to know about our band. It was surreal. Poland is sick!
We’re pretty spoiled with a crazy amount of Brooklyn bands here. It’s easy to be lazy and not seek out bands from other places, like Baltimore. What are your favorite Baltimore bands that we should definitely check out?
Horse Lords is a great band from Baltimore. They have been touring a lot this year and starting to get a little higher profile. They definitely deserve any hype they get. Some of the most talented all around musicians in the city and any city for that matter.
Chiffon is a fairly new band that is very good. Its this like futuristic drippy sex R & B stuff. Think like Zapp and Roger meets Battlestar Gallactica or something.
Roomrunner is also good. They are good friends of ours. Like a ’90s noisy grungy thing that is also very endearing.
You got your name from that Lil J YouTube vid, which none of us at the office had ever heard of, to be honest. What are some other weird, slightly surreal Youtube vids we should check out?
Yeah, I wonder where Lil J is now. If she only knew what she started. I really like watching glitch videos of that game Skate 3 for X Box. I like to imagine all the things that happen in the game happening to real skaters as if its just a normal part of being a skater and all injuries are non life threatening.
This is a good one too. Really puts things in perspective:
I know Natural History came out not too long ago but can we expect any new music soon? What’s next for Dope Body?
We basically have an album written. We will probably be recording it over the Winter and hopefully have it ready to go by the Spring. Let’s say May or June 2014. We don’t really have any shows coming up. I think we needed to take a break for a few months to do something that actually involves each of us making some money, which the band never does haha.The next big thing is a festival show in New Zealand in February. I don’t want to get into any specifics about it other than that it will be very cool. We are trying to organize a show or two on the West Coast before we head over there. Keep your ears open for more info as it comes out!
Line Up :
David Jacober
John Jones
Andrew Laumann
Zachary Utz
Label :
Drag City
Tracklist :
01 – Casual
02 – Dad
03 – Goon Line
04 – Muddy Dune
05 – Old Grey
06 – Obey
07 – Ash Toke
08 – Down
09 – Pincher
10 – Void

dimanche 1 novembre 2015

Album de la Semaine : The Dead Weather - Dodge And Burn

The Dead Weather
Dodge And Burn

Interview de The Dead Weather, par Chris Payne de Billboard

Your first two albums came out over two years. This is your first album since 2010 and tracks like "Open Up (That's Enough)" have been out since 2013. So this one’s a long time coming, huh? 
Alison Mosshart: I think collectively if you put all the studio days and work days of making this record it’s about three, or three and a half weeks. That tells you how infrequently we’re in the same town together and can work on stuff as a band. So, basically we grabbed those moments when we could.
Dean Fertita: That’s right. There were some ideas that we had started in previous sessions, in 2009, 2010, but we didn’t look at them as potential for a song idea until more recently. But they existed. Whether it was just a snippet of a riff or something. When we decided, let’s take these couple weeks and see what we can do, we just brainstormed and looked at everything we had and that’s cool, run with that for a minute. 
What was it like recording this one at Third Man’s studio in Nashville? 
Jack Lawrence: The studio is definitely a fifth member of the band. You play off what you’re given. I don’t think a lot of people know about bleed in recording. So, we all record in one room together; most studios are separate. There are guitar amps in one room, there’s a bass amp in one room and the drums are in the middle. So, if you wanna pull down everything and leave the drums in, you can still hear guitar on it. So, when we’re recording and mixing you can’t just punch in. You have to use what’s there. This record has tons of mistakes on it. When you listen to music now, it’s perfect, because people are making it perfect.
Mosshart: You have a physical human reaction to something that another human being made. When you remove the human from it and you chop it up, make it all perfect, you have a different reaction. Something is not there. You can feel it when it’s there. 
It’s interesting that you call the studio an extra member, because you often hear bands say that about their producers. What is it like working with Jack White as both producer and drummer? 
Fertita: As a drummer he gets to have a different vantage point for what he does. For me that’s really comforting because I could probably play things all day and it’s good that he can see if things are working from the inside out. I think makes for a much easier and quicker recording process. He’s decisive. That’s the idea -- let’s go -- off to the races.
You guys aren’t touring behind the album. How come?
Fertita: Schedules. The Kills are working on a record, Queens of the Stone Age are starting up again. City and Colour is starting up soon. Jack’s just been going forever so he just needs a minute. We all would love to play. Obviously, it’s our favorite thing in the world to play together. Maybe some day, but immediate future, it’s not happening. 
So, it’s just a logistical thing? You guys wanna play this album live is what you’re saying.
Fertita: We’d love to. 
Mosshart: Do you know how many records we could write in a couple years? I’m glad this music’s out there; it’s very hard to plan far ahead. There’s much going on and we’re all so busy.
How come Jack White isn’t doing press this time around?
Mosshart: He’s just busy. 
Fertita: He’s doing a million other things right now. 
I’ve read his statements about how he doesn’t like trends in journalism about how clickbait-y things have gotten.
Fertita: Right now he’s concentrating on Third Man opening a store in Detroit and there’s a lot of things going on in his world. We’re just happy that he’s able to be here to do this stuff. 

  • Line Up :
  • Alison Mosshart
  • Dean Fertita
  • Jack Lawrence
  • Jack White

Label :
Third Man

Tracklist :
01 – I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)
02 – Buzzkill(er)
03 – Let Me Through
04 – Three Dollar Hat
05 – Lose The Right
06 – Rough Detective
07 – Open Up
08 – Be Still
09 – Mile Markers
10 – Cop and Go
11 – Too Bad
12 – Impossible Winner

dimanche 25 octobre 2015

Album de la Semaine : Lower - I'm a Lazy Son... But I'm The Only Son

I'm a Lazy Son... But I'm The Only Son

Interview de Lower, par Maria Sherman de Wondering Sound

On the shifting meaning of “punk”:
Adrian Toubro: It seems like in America they love the word “punk.” They use it for everything. You could hear the sweetest pop music, and they’ll call it punk. I saw the front page of a magazine with Skrillex on it and it said “Punk is not dead, just ask Skrillex.” Ridiculous!
Kristian Emdal: It’s punk if it’s fast, if it makes noise.
Toubro: And I’ve become way less aggressive. I’m less angry. It’s the difference between being in your early 20s and being in your mid 20s. You become more adult, happy. Our first EP was more punk-inspirer.

On eating disorders:
Anton Rothstein: We’ve developed a collective eating disorder. It’s like when women are together and their menstrual cycle aligns…
Emdal: That’s us with our digestion. Puking. Sometimes it’s good for you. In New York, the food is OK. Anywhere else [in America] you order a small salad and it’s huge. Then you just vomit.
Toubro: I vomited last night.
Rothstein: Our song “Lost Weight, Perfect Skin” isn’t about vomiting, though —
Toubro: “Lost Weight, Perfect Skin” is when you feel perfect in your body. You’ve trained, you’ve lost weight. Your mind is sharp. It’s a perfect feeling. That song is saying you can sweat out life’s problems. If you’ve lost weight, perfect skin, you’ll be satisfied with your exterior; you’ll be satisfied with your brain because you’re on level with everything. It’s a good thing. It’s the progress of going from one place that is bad to perfection. I would never write about bad things. I would never go down the dystopian path.
Emdal: It’s not about the ideals of society. It’s on a personal level.
Toubro: It’s a metaphor. The record is about progression. Seek Warmer Climes. If people get inspired, then that’s good. That’s not the goal. We are in no way a political band.

On their first music memories:
Toubro: I heard the Oasis record Be Here Now — that’s a record that I remember from when I was a kid that I got from my father. I was very focused on hating that particular band in my teens. But truly the first music I listened to was the music my parents listened to — Leonard Cohen and stuff like that. He has a lot of humor in his music. It’s very sardonic, but it’s also music that if you feel that it could be sad, [he reminds you that] it could be worse. I’m very inspired by that approach to writing — writing about real stuff, but being tongue in cheek sometimes. Not being deadly serious — having some sort of reflection on what you’re writing.
Rothstein: I started playing the violin when I was 4. Me and my brother, at a very early age, were really into Irish folk music. My brother wanted to play fiddle when he was 6 or something, but the closest thing [we could find] was the Philharmonic for children, because then you could get a violin. It would look like we’re playing Irish folk music, but really we were really playing Beethoven. Then I wanted to play cello, but there was no cello small enough for me, so I got a violin as well. I did that until I was 12, I think, then I started to do rock music. I grew my hair out long.
Simon Formann: My parents didn’t really listen to music with me, but I fell in love with Michael Jackson.
Toubro: Same with me. Michael Jackson, he was almost like magic.
Rothstein: I was on a bus [when I found out Michael Jackson died.] I was working at a kindergarten in the city, like a daycare. It was in the city, so we would take a bus out to a cabin in the woods. I found out when I was on the bus — I got a text message from my mom saying that Michael Jackson had died, and saying that my friend’s mom had died, too. It was a really weird day. The guy I worked with, he wouldn’t let me take a break or reflect on it. It was more like, “Take care of these kids now.” Those kids were horrible.

On getting robbed and losing their passports in San Francisco:
Rothstein: We were playing a show at [a club called] Hemlock. It was on a sketchy street — a lot of crack addicts. We made sure to take all of our personal bags into the venue. We were supposed to go to another bar after the show and we thought we were taking the van, so we put our stuff in the backseat, but we started walking and forgot all about it.
When we got to the bar, the counter was covered with porn collages and [there were] water beds everywhere. It wasn’t a sex club or anything. We were just lying on those water beds, not thinking about anything. When we got back to the car I saw that it was broken into. We discovered our passports and computers were stolen. Kristian’s mom’s golden bracelet was stolen.
Formann: Before we got there, I thought San Francisco was this nice place with shiny facades. After our car got broken into, all the crack addicts came out and wanted to know what had happened.
Rothstein: The next day, we went to the Danish consulate in Sacramento. That placed sucked. We went to this old, tiny village with people dressed up like 18th-century, stupid Newfoundlanders. It was a tourist trap. There were a lot of kids walking around there with matching caps. Stupid.

Line Up :
Kristian Emdal
Simon Formann
Adrian Alexander
Anton Rothstein

Label :
Matadore Records

Tracklist :
01 – At the Endless Party
02 – Keep Me In Mind
03 – The Rack
04 – Hot and Bothered
05 – Nasty Business

dimanche 18 octobre 2015

Album de la Semaine : The Underground Youth - Haunted

The Underground Youth

Interview de The Underground Youth, par Romain Rathert de It's Psychedelic Baby

Can you talk a little bit about how the band started as a one-man recording project?  Where did the initial idea come from and just how did it begin?  When was that?

I’d been writing rough amateurish poetry since the age of sixteen or seventeen.  When I heard Bob Dylan for the first time I realised that I didn’t need any more than a few guitar chords to turn these into songs.  In 2008 I started recording songs in my bedroom with some basic recording equipment; I guess it’s all grown from that.

You recruited band members for live performances in preparation for your tour in 2012 after signing with Fuzz Club Records, how did you go about choosing members or did you already have people in mind? 

I didn’t have anyone in mind from the start, it all just kind of fell into place.  I met our guitarist Tom through a mutual friend.  I’ve never felt more comfortable playing around another guitarist.  Our drummer Olya is my wife, so her entry into the live band was a little more natural.

Was the transition to a full band difficult for you or was it kind of a natural evolutionary process?

It started out easy but then got difficult.  I guess to call it an evolutionary process is the best way to describe it.  While it progresses it changes.  As a live band we will change in time, there’s room for more people and more instruments, it will never feel complete.  I like that about it.

What’s the band’s lineup?

Right now we just use a guitar, a bass and two drums which Olya plays standing up.  Sometimes we just play with two guitars.  It’s a stripped back sound, especially in the psychedelic scene where you can find other bands utilizing four or five guitarists.

Are any of you in any other bands?  Have you released any material with any other bands?  If so can you tell us about it?

Olya and I recorded an EP under the name Noise Exposure.  It was sort of a side project where she had more creative input.  Tom is constantly writing and recording under different names.  I’m not sure which one he’s using right now.

How and when did you all meet?

I guess it was 2011 I first met Tom.  He’s from Liverpool but we met up in Manchester.  We spent an evening drinking wine and discussing music, we’re very different people but we have a connection that really works.  As I said before, Olya is my wife, that’s all you need to know.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from a town in North-West England, Blackpool.  Olya is from Siberia and Tom is from Liverpool.

Where is the band located now?  How would you describe the local music scene there?

Manchester.  For me Manchester’s musical history is better than anywhere but unfortunately, there isn’t much excitement around any new “scene” right now, at least not for what we’re doing.  I think it is growing but in its’ current state there isn’t much to write about.

Are you very involved with the local scene?

No.  We’ve played a small handful of shows in Manchester for a small handful of people.

Has it played a large role in the history or evolution of The Underground Youth?

I would say no but it’s hard to have perspective on that from my position.  It’s been said that The Underground Youth “sound very Manchester”, which is probably just a way of saying we’re obviously influenced by Joy Division.

What does the name The Underground Youth mean or refer to?

One of the early poems I wrote, around the age of eighteen or nineteen, was called Underground Youth.  There’s actually a horribly rough recording of it on my first album of songs Morally Barren.  I just decided to name the project after that song.

Who are some of you major influences?  What about the band as a whole rather than as an individual?

I am hugely inspired by the work of Anton Newcombe and The Brian Jonestown Massacre but the sounds of other psychedelic groups are obvious in the music as well.  Olya’s drumming style is lifted from early Jesus and Mary Chain but she’s also one of the biggest Spacemen 3 fans there is.  My writing is inspired by Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, and there are flashes of post-punk in there while Tom brings a garage blues influence to the live show.

Can you describe The Underground Youth’s sound to our readers that might not have heard you before?

Something between psychedelic rock and post-punk.  It’s haunting and dark but with flashes of a melancholic lightness.  A word that often comes up is cinematic, I’m a huge fan of cinema and my music is hugely influenced by film. 

Can you talk about the songwriting process when you were still a one-man band?  How has The Underground Youth’s songwriting process changed since the addition of the live band?

The songwriting process is, and always has been the same, although a live band is now representing the music and I take this into account when recording.  The songs are all my own creation, for me writing alone is much freer.  The freedom of writing and recording alone is waking up in the middle of the night and creating something from nothing.  The danger is working your way into a corner with no one to bounce ideas off.  But my process is very much at my own pace.  With the right inspiration I can record a whole album in a week or two. 

You self-released five albums before signing with Fuzz Club records and reissuing the Delirium 12” and The Low Slow Needle 10”.  Can you tell us a little bit about the recording of those early albums as a one man project?  Where were they recorded?  Did you record the material yourself?  What kind of equipment was used?

Everything, including the new album, is recorded at home.  I do everything myself on my own cheap and simple equipment in my home.  Over the years I have improved the recording and production of my music, but essentially the equipment and process I go through is the same.  It’s only recently that I started entertaining the idea of working with someone else in the recording process.  There’s a chance the next album I record will feature someone else in a production role, but I definitely prefer to have control.

What were the names of those initial five albums?  How were those albums originally released?

Morally Barren and Voltage were released in 2009, Mademoiselle and Sadovaya in 2010 and then Delirium and the Low Slow Needle EP in 2011.  Back then I would just make copies of the albums on CD myself and send them out to people who got in touch online.  Eventually I uploaded everything online and made it available for anyone to download.  Through the following I built up with those albums I was approached by someone who was “thinking of setting up a record label”.  From there everything happened really fast for both the band and the label.

You compiled some of the tracks from those albums into the Delirium and Low Slow Needle releases, how much of the material from those early releases were compiled to make those two albums or are they straight reissues of the original albums?  Are there any plans to release the rest of that early material in physical or digital formats?

Delirium and Low Slow Needle were released on vinyl exactly as they were originally recorded.  The idea is to work our way through the back catalogue and release the early material on vinyl.

You also recently released a 7” through Fuzz Club Records, Morning Sun.  Are these tracks culled from that pool of older recordings or were they done for this release more recently?

Morning Sun and the B-side Art House Revisited were songs from the album I recorded in 2010 titled, Sadovaya.

You also released a split with a band I’ve been into for a long time at this point, Little Daggers.  How did you get hooked up with them?  Where did the track Juliette come from, was it recorded specifically for that release?

Jacob from Lil Daggers got in touch with me about arranging some shows together if they were ever to come over to Europe but our conversation ended up with us making a split 7” together.  I wanted to record a new track for it, so I wrote and recorded Juliette, which is also on our new album.

You have an upcoming album scheduled for release in the next few months.  I know the band was involved with recording for the first time, was it strange or difficult for anyone going into the studio this time?

August 2nd.  As I mentioned earlier the songs are all my creation.  I had my friend Daria, who lent her vocals to the Low Slow Needle EP, sing again on this record and Tom recorded guitars on a number of tracks.  There’s also a song that came from a bass part that Olya created.  I really do work best on my own, sat at home recording.  It’s much more effective for me than all the pressures that come with studio recording.

Can you tell us a little bit about recording the new album?  What can our readers expect?  Did you try anything radically different with songwriting or recording on this album?  Where was it recorded and who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?  What’s the name of the album going to be?

The album has a different feel to it for sure.  It’s my most mature work and has a much wider array of influences.  It’s a really dark and raw record.  We live in an apartment overlooking the outskirts of Manchester’s City Centre so I recorded the album looking out onto this.  I think some of the atmosphere was soaked up by the recording.  There are also some of the most fragile tracks I’ve ever recorded.  I think it’s the best of everything I’ve done rolled into one record.  The album is called The Perfect Enemy For God.

Other than the upcoming full-length do you have any other releases planned for this year?

I have a few new songs that I’ve been working on.  I might end up building them into an album or an EP but it’s too early to say, we’ll see how the new album is received before deciding on what to do next.  We had the idea of re-recording some of the older tracks, compiling a best-of and recording it in a studio with an established producer.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

With the insane recent postal increases here in the states where is the best place for US readers to purchase copies of your music?  What about international and overseas readers?

Fuzz Club Records ship worldwide and I know they try and keep the shipping costs as low as possible.  We have records in a number of independent record stores around the world.  I’d suggest people contact Fuzz Club and ask for more information.

What do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?

We’ve got a few shows in Europe around the release date of the new album.  The release party on August 2nd will be in Berlin.  Following that we have a tour of Russia, some dates in the UK and another European tour that’s currently being booked for October/November.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows that you’d like to share with our readers?

Well we have the usual band horror stories of terrible shows, guitars breaking, drums being knocked over; a monitor once fell on me during a gig.  I love that rawness of a live show though, I don’t go and watch a band play live to listen to an exact recreation of a record I have at home.  I want to see a raw and passionate representation of the music, snapped guitar strings and onstage disagreements included.

Where’s the best place for our readers to keep up on the latest news from The Underground Youth like upcoming album releases and shows at?

The best way is to follow our Facebook page.  I update news on there regularly.  We also have a Twitter account or you can sign up to a newsletter and find other updates on the Fuzz Club Records website.

I must admit to loving my digital albums.  Having the ability to take music wherever I want is really cool, but I just can’t shake my obsession with physically released product.  Having an album to hold in your hands, artwork to look at and liner notes to read all make the listening experience more complete; at least to me.  Do you have any such connection to physical releases?

Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more.  Having a digital copy of an album is great for the ease of listening to it anywhere, but for me you can’t beat listening to an album on vinyl.  For the obvious joys such as soaking up the artwork and the quality of sound, but I think appreciating a record from start to finish is so much easier when listening to vinyl.  With no easy way of skipping a track it’s much easier to appreciate a record as a piece of art.  I understand that this isn’t the most common approach to buying/listening to music, with that in mind all our records come with a digital download included.

While digital music might be undermining decades of infrastructure in the music industry and causing a lot of turmoil it’s also exposing a lot of bands that I otherwise would never have had the pleasure of discovering.  What’s your opinion on digital music and distribution as an artist during these turbulent times?

For me the simple fact is that without the option of creating digital files that could be sent to all corners of the world via the Internet, no one would have ever heard my music.  I certainly would never have been approached to create a physical release.  It’s great for musicians and fans alike that music is so accessible.  I hate most things about the commercial music industry so I try not to think about it too much. 

I try to keep up on as much music from around the world as is humanly possible, so I ask everyone I talk to this question.  Who should I be listening to from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of before? 

As I mentioned earlier Manchester isn’t really the home of a “scene” for us right now but the European psych scene is exploding with great bands!  If you check out The Reverb Conspiracy compilation record it’s full of hidden gems.  My favorite band didn’t get featured on that record though, The Blue Angel Lounge, I can’t speak highly enough of them.

Is there anything that I missed or you’d just like to talk about?

I can’t think of anything, thanks.  Let’s hope we can get over to the States soon to play some shows.

Line Up :

Label :
Fuzz Club Records

Tracklist :
01 – Collapsing Into Night
02 – Haunted
03 – Dreaming with Maya Deren
04 – Self Inflicted
05 – Drown In Me
06 – The Girl Behind
07 – Slave
08 – Deep Inside of Me
09 – Returning To Shadow