Sun Kil Moon – Interview – 2015

Sun Kill Moon - Interview 2015

Sometimes I feel a little sad for those born, say, 1995 onwards. They've been brought up in the age of the internet, mobile communications, computing, social media, and super-fast instant gratification. They hardly know what a landline is, have never had much use for the post office, and little need for notebooks or personal organiser, or things like cassettes… In this day and age (at least as far as the communication rich West is concerned) where almost everything is almost everywhere, the notion that you had to spend much time searching out the things you wanted and/or liked is a little quaint, perhaps even hard to fathom…

 
According to the founder of legendary UK label 4AD, Ivo-Watts Russell: "Journalist Martin Aston passed on a tape that Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club) had given to him. Every morning and evening, driving to and from work, I would start at the beginning, '24' (I know, I know, what more do you need to hear, right? What a song.), but only get about half way through that and whatever the second song on the tape was before arriving home/at 4AD. When I finally did listen to the full 90 minutes I called young Mark K. and left him a message. I learned later he was sitting in the bath listening to me talk. It was a perfect time for me to hear that brilliant band."

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Everything Everything – Interview 2015

 

The New Complexity they call it. And the aptly named Everything Everything have it in spades. While their sound has been called 'a riot in a melody factory' and been compared to 'Timbaland if he cocked an oblique ear to Yes' , the band prefers to see themselves as simply a pop one, albeit one that does so much more than simply trade verses with choruses, instead preferring to deliver a technicoloured and multifaceted sound palette that speaks of sophistication and invention, whilst remaining very accessible, often joyous, and often sublime

 
Certainly, EE are a remarkably intelligent band, made up of members who are deep thinkers. Indeed, original member Alex Niven – who played guitar on a few of the early singles – left the band to become a full-time writer and poet, and is currently working at New Left Review, the highly regarded bi-monthly politics magazine. He, along with Jonathan Higgs and Michael Spearman are all from Northumbria, and met at school in Hexham where they played music together. Another Alex – Robertshaw – took over guitar duties in 2009. But, it wasn't until they went their separate university ways that the idea for EE took shape. Like similarly musically complex minded bands such as alt-j, Foals and Django Django, the members of Everything Everything went to university with ideas of making music, deciding perhaps wisely that some kind of education would be needed as a priority in this present-day world, where safety/welfare nets are fast disappearing. Gone, it seems, are the days when particularly creative and talented people could develop their craft while drawing on the dole… But music has an almighty pull for some, and eventually it took over this foursome…

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Brighton Music Conference – 2015

Electronic Music has been one of the biggest things to influence the music world in recent times, with everybody dipping their toe in the genre (even Coldplay). The once underground sounds of Electronic Music have now become big business and understandably there has been a growing amount of music conferences popping up all over the world to provoke networking and innovation in the genre; Electronic Music Conference in Australia, Winter Music Conference in USA, Amsterdam Dance Event in Netherlands, and the International Music Summit which takes place in Ibiza, China, Singapore and USA. With the UK being a main hub for the development and progression of the electronic genre as well as the birthplace of some of the most celebrated electronic artists in the world (including The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin, Pete Tong, Four Tet, , Massive Attack, Shy FX, Orbital, Richie Hawtin, Jamie XX, Underworld, Judge Jules, London Elektricity, Leftfield, Goldie, Skream, High Contrast, Carl Cox, Squarepusher, Burial, The Orb, Calvin Harris, Sacha, Rusko…. it could go on and on) it was only a matter of time before UK had its very own conference for the genres glitterati to converge.

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Love Supreme – 2015 – Interviews

One of the great jazz (nay, music) albums of all time, John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' is the perfect title for this three day festival, now in its third year, that takes place in the grounds of Glynde Place, just a few miles east of Brighton. Filling a long overdue gap for an actual outdoor/camping jazz festival. The first two years featured the likes of Jamie Cullum, De La Soul, Bryan Ferry and Chic, establishing itself as a quality event that attracts music lovers from all over the UK and even abroad. Jazz is just the anchor though, for Love Supreme covers funk, soul, R'nB, hip hop and loads of other associated genres and many of the acts are making their debut UK festival appearance. When the weather is fine, it's a glorious place to be…

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The Great Escape 2015 Interviews

Amazing to think that this annual showcase for music from around the globe is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Firmly established, it has grown to become one of the premier events of its kind, anywhere in the world, with over 450 acts performing in 30 venues across the city, from midday to the early hours. And, as always, it will feature loads of new music, some old favourites, and tonnes of secret shows and street gigs, which won't be announced until the festival actually kicks off.

A new feature for this year is the pop-up restaurant, The Plate Escape (geddit?), taking place in One Church Brighton for Friday night supper and Saturday morning brunch, where refuelling will be at a premium… Other highlights include Great Day Out, a mini multi-venue festival for ages 14+ on the Saturday, Brighton's first International Record Label Market, the new artist and delegate hangout space in Jubilee Gardens, open to all festival-goers from 7pm each evening, and of course, the The Alternative Escape, which features an additional 200 artists.

Brighton's Finest asked a number of this year's acts to be so kind as to answer some questions, and here are their obliging answers…

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Public Service Broadcasting – Interview – 2015

Two geeky looking technicians called Willgoose and Wrigglesworth, looking uncannily like the current Q in the Bond franchise – Ben Whishaw – but hopefully without his irritatingly arrogant disdain for 'field agents', have risen from the anonymity of their musical laboratory experiments to become unlikely minor pop stars, usurping the more telegenic and youthful looking amongst the vogueish indie brigade. Well, that's how it looks… In practice, mssrs J Willgoose Esq and Wrigglesworth are both musicians and audio technicians, and since their formation seven years ago, have released two highly distinct albums, that fuse together film and audio of the past with beats, live instrumentation and electronica of the present, producing an end result that works equally well via their studio recordings, and on the live stage.
 
While their debut album Inform-Educate-Entertain was successfully conceptualised around British and American propaganda and public safety film and audio of the 30s-70s, the follow up album The Race For Space employed a mix of the propagandist and 'live' audio captured in the control room of Houston, as it attempted to trace this historic 'race', conducted at the height of the Cold War, between the arch enemies of the USA and USSR. "It was the result of working on The War Room EP (the precursor to their debut album) and wondering where to go next after that," say J Willgoose from the back of a van, as PSB and crew traverse Europe on a tour, promoting said album. "The space race suggested itself for a number of reasons, not least the fact that I’m very interested in it.

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Wolf Alice – Interview – 2015

"We had a proper late night in the studio last night," says a sleepy Joff Oddie, lead guitarist with the band, "getting some tracking done. My girlfriend woke me up when she went to work at 7am, and I went back to bed. And you woke me up!" he laughs. "But, that's OK… I got in at 3am; we'd been going at it since nine in the morning. Pretty tiring. It's mix time at the moment, ready for release to the public. We recorded the album in just under two months, before Xmas, with a guy called Mike Crossley, in a studio in Wood Green.

Despite not having yet released an album, the London based four piece have already achieved a tremendous amount in their short time together. From playing the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury, to touring with Alt-J, and headlining various UK tours including easily selling out Concorde 2 recently ("Brighton is a beautiful place, we always have such a nice time in Brighton. It's got a Londony vibe, but just seems so much more relaxed."), they are eagerly riding this bull, and looking forward to another jam-packed year of touring and festivals, along with the release of the album, My Love is Cool, in June.

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The Specials – The Specials

The Specials are one of Britain’s most iconic groups whose hits are still filling dance-floors to this day. This Spring the group’s albums have been given the reissue treatment, all three of their pioneering studio albums re-released, collected together with extensive bonus tracks including all the non-album singles, live concert versions, radio sessions and more; collected together with the blessing of the bands founder and main song-writer Jerry Dammers. Despite having been a big fan of the era, and having always been keen on those classic songs we’ve all heard like ‘Ghost Town’, ‘Too Much Too Young’, ‘Monkey Man’, ‘A Message To You Rudy’ and ‘Nelson Mandela’; I’d never listened through the albums themselves so I was keen to take this opportunity to immerse myself in their catalogue and learn more about the history of the band.

The Specials were formed in the 1970’s, originally known as The Coventry Automatics, the brainchild of keyboard player Jerry Dammers, who hand picked the group to realise his vision of a multi-cultural band who could fuse the two tones of punk and reggae to rock against racism and Thatcherite Britain. Terry Hall’s unique vocals often took centre stage paired with reggae MC vocals from Neville Staple. That same dual approach was taken with the choice of guitarists; Lynval Golding, playing the authentic reggae chops, and Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers on lead-guitar, adding some punk and classic rock’n’roll to the mix. John Bradbury on drums and Horace Panter on bass were both sensational players whose skills gave The Specials a far more solid groove than many other popular bands at the time.

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The Go Team – Interview – 2015

 

Following the releases of Rolling Blackouts in 2011, Ian Parton, founder and the main creative force behind The Go! Team, speculated that it may be the last album. Of course, in the heat of the moment things often get said that aren't quite meant, and lo and behold, The Go! Team are back with a new album, The Scene Between, and it seems a new impetus, as Parton sets about organising their first lives shows for a couple of years.

 
It's the fourth album for this one-of-a-kind band, an idea that germinated itself within the mind of Parton, culminating in the release of the debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, back in 2004, an album that was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, thrusting Ian and co. into the limelight… "Yeah, it was super lo-fi," says Ian, who has been based in Brighton for 20 years. "It was literally recorded in my Mum and Dad's kitchen, three mics on the drum kit, just thrown together. Quite painstaking, but quite spontaneous sounding, and deliberately really lo-fi. The ambitions weren't grand at all. It definitely steamrollered, everything that came from it, supporting the Flaming Lips, Kevin Shields (of My Bloody Valentine) remixing it, Chuck D on a song, all these things I couldn't have dreamed of. Travelling the world; China, Brazil, Australia, blah, blah."

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The Unthanks – Interview 2015

“We always enjoy coming to Brighton so much, the audiences are so warm and supportive, and also because there are such great shops! We need time to go shopping between soundchecks!” laughs Rachel Unthank, who along with her younger sister Becky, have been enjoying the fruits of a tremendous surge in interest in recent years for all things folk; for the unadorned, unadulterated pure essence of music that these two singers impart, who along with Rachel’s husband, Adrian McNally, the sister’s producer, arranger and composer, are the core of the band. Their music is released on a label Adrian set up, Rabblerouser.

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