Projector – Interview 2018

The Brighton-based post-punk grunge trio Projector have been making some serious waves of late, and are upping the ante again with the release of their debut EP How Does It Feel? which was helped funded by the PRS Foundation’s ReBalance programme, aimed at giving women more of a chance in the music making industry. They’ve also lined-up a cracking gig at The Haunt for a launch that also features the recently IDLES name-checked Ditz, and Libra Libra, led by the fantastic voice of Beth Cannon. As well as touring Europe, they performed at this year’s The Great Escape and Latitude festivals, along with supporting Daniel Wakeford on a number of dates. We caught up with two of the three, bassist and singer Lucy Sheehan, and drummer Demelza Mather.

Hi! Thanks for taking the time.
Thank you very much for making the time!

You’re about to launch an EP, with a gig at The Haunt. Exciting times!
Lucy: Really exciting! This one’s a bit of a gamble. We’re control freaks about most things, so just going ‘Yeah let’s have a go at The Haunt, see what happens’ is… unusual.

Demelza: I’ve always wanted to headline The Haunt for some reason. Feels exciting for sure!

Tell me about the beginnings of the band, and the line-up?
Lucy: Ed (the third member of the band, who plays guitars and also sings) and I have been writing together for a few years and we had a succession of drummers and extra guitarists. Demelza came aboard, the other guitarist went and did some folk, and here we are.

And your individual/collective influences?
Lucy: I think the only collective influence we have is the Pixies and Radiohead. I’m enjoying King Krule and The Breeders a lot at the moment. What else guys?

Demelza: I’m currently enjoying Boy Azooga and Idles a lot. I’d say we all also like Joy Division, Nirvana and Sonic Youth.

The blurb on your Facebook says, “Brighton trio Projector occupy the heavy space between brooding 80s darkwave and My Bloody Valentine’s wall-of-sound pop; a combination tone of Goo era Sonic Youth and Pixies pulled together with an industrial Joy Division pulse.” Does that about sum it up?
Lucy: Nah, not really. Bios are a bit difficult, aren’t they? I feel like you can say what you want people to hear in your music.

Demelza: Yeah, I’d say we have been compared to those bands a lot after writing that bio.

Two of you write and sing, right? How do songs come to the table, as it were?
Lucy; Ha! An inability to back down over who writes better tunes. But those writing skirmishes kind of make us, I think. Demelza is also integral to writing because her strange beats often guide us, especially when we write together, which is what happened for ‘Full Circle’.

Demelza: I do enjoy a strange beat or two. For me it all depends who I’m listening to at the time. I inadvertently absorb what the drummer is playing and try and do the same. It never comes out the same though as I imagine it in my head. So yeah, sometimes I come with a beat and a lot of the time the songs are already half written by Lucy or Ed when we get to practice and then we work from there.

‘Full Circle’ is already out. What’s it about?
Lucy: Two things. I had a terrible dream, where I was marooned on the side of a rock floating through space that was so incomprehensibly vast, with so many valleys and caves, that I would probably be lost for all of time. That, and the experience of writing, where you dig at yourself to produce something worth saying, and then you sick it up and you sell it to Spotify.

Demelza: Agreed. Personally I was pushing myself to change my drumming up a bit and I came to practice with a new thing that we then built on. But I like Lucy’s description better, so let’s go with that.

The EP is being released on Roadkill Records. Tell me about them and how you hooked up? Lucy: Josh from Roadkill is our immortal master and governor of our fortunes, we thank god every day he put us on one night with Dolls, and later said ‘would you like to release a song together?’

You produce your own fanzine, also called How Does It Feel? Tell me about that, and why you decided to do this?
Lucy: I love zines, and physical print, and interviews. So it’s a bit of a vanity project on my part.

Demelza: It’s also a good memento of where we are with our music and art at a particular time.

What do you think of the Brighton scene, still healthy?
Lucy: Hmmm… A few highly immoral promoters and some venue closures have caused set backs I think, but there’s still some fantastic people lurking about, as the Alt Escape shows us every year!

Anyone you would like to namecheck?
Lucy: Hi to our friend in Murmur, Ben Jordan, who stepped up to become a fourth member of Projector for our Halloween show with Tigercub. We played a set of Pixies songs and it was the best night of our lives.

You played with Daniel Wakeford recently, how was that? Any other juicy gigs you want to mention?
Lucy: Fantastic, but quite strange, I’m not sure whether the people there would have willingly exposed themselves to our music, but it was cool playing such lovely venues. DW himself is an absolute showman, what a performer.

Demelza: It was great to play bigger venues. We’ve been doing runs of bigger shows recently and it’s a pretty surreal feeling. Then we played an art gallery in Milton Keynes, the night after a DW show which was the complete opposite but just as great.

Anything you would like to complain about? Really, it could be anything!
Lucy: So much, so, so much, but you’d find us dead in a ditch if we said ‘out.

Demelza: Brexit and Donald Trump. I won’t expand as we would be here a while but sometimes I have to pinch myself to check that I’m still real and these things are happening in the world. Will I be found in a ditch now, Lucy?

Lucy: I was just talking about Brighton!

Dead or alive, who would you see tonight if offered tickets?
Lucy: Nirvana, 100%. I know that’s not cool, but anyone who says some obscure band and sagely nods, is lying.

Demelza: I’d like to see Fugazi. I’d also take Nirvana.

Plans for 2019?
Lucy: We can’t say, but we are really, really excited. PS: thank you to everyone who’s come along for the ride this year, there’s some people who come to literally every gig, buy every release, they’re amazing.

Jeff Hemmings


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