What is the best verse you ever wrote?
Thats like asking Van Gogh what his favourite painting was. Joking aside maybe something from Extended Dance Mix.
‘Pumping an electric current through the leg of a dead frog, just to see the muscle kick, sort of reminded me of,
the last ten years and what thats consisted of, just pumping an electric current through the leg of a dead frog
as the kick drum flexes its metaphorical muscles my acid reflux flares up through my esophagus and bubbles…’
How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
I used to write with a guitar and a notebook but i found after a while the results were a little sterile and it felt like too much of a formula.
I still take lots of notes, mainly on my phone, of overheard conversations on buses or phrases from magazines or books, but now I like to let an idea percolate whilst walking round for an hour or so.
Our song ‘Solitaire’ started life like that. You are then more driven by the vocal pattern and end up with more interesting structures.
It also helps me be more melodic which has never been my strength.
What is the most important learning of your career?
That no matter how much you think people are interested in what you do, in the grand scheme of things they aren’t.
You have to justify your existence by making better records every time you release something and keep trying new ways of working.
Although I wish we were more financially comfortable from an artistic point of view I’m thankful for never being that popular as it makes you push yourself further and sidesteps complacency.
What inspired “Sucker Punch”?
It was probably inspired by rejection and a love of Sly & the Family Stone. It was quite a long time ago and I can’t fully remember.
My dad you to say ‘ i’ve got a bone to pick with you’ when i was younger and it always filled me with dread.
It was nice to reclaim it and put it in another context.
I was reading about synesthesia where the senses get muddled and thought that would be a nice way to describe your feelings for someone with ‘she heard colours’ and phrases like that.
Musically its very minimal and just supports the lyrics.
At the end the girl has the same star sign as me so the ‘I read your star sign before i read mine’ bit isn’t actually 100 percent true, but songs don’t have to be and thats one of the reasons I find them so attractive.
I’m into that whole Nabokovian unreliable narrator thing when I write.
I think many of our more positive songs are more in hope than in reality.
Why have you decided to reissue the album “Transparent Things”?
I’m not one for nostalgia but its never been issued on vinyl and now seems as good as time as any to do that.
Fans of the group seem fond of that record in particular so hopefully it makes a few people happy.
I’ve always wanted it on vinyl from a selfish point of view. We have our own label now too called ‘Impossible Objects of Desire’.
We released our self titled album earlier this year and this will be the second full release on it.
Thats always been an ambition of mine to have our own record label and now seems the perfect landscape to do it.
Where your fans will have the opportunity to see you in tour?
We hope to make it back to the States next year.
We are touring all over Europe this side of christmas so hopefully we’ll go further afield afterwards.
What does music mean for you?
Thats quite a big question.
I started my obsession with music when i was very young listening to the John Peel radio show in the UK. Music can accentuate how you feel, provide companionship, make you move and provide a sense of belonging as well as a million other things.
My relationship with music now is different than it was before i started making records. When you write songs and make records its hard not to deconstruct everything you hear.
When I was a kid it felt magical and the not knowing how you wrote a song or how you put it together created a real mystique.
I still get that occasionally but i tend to hear similarities with older records or familiar structures in new records and sometimes I wish I could reset my brain to being 13 again.
Despite this it means so much to me and feels as much a part of me as my left leg does, if not more so. Its all consuming.
I feel sorry for people who don’t feel that way about music.
I have a constant thirst to discover records i’ve yet to hear which I don’t think will ever change which means I always have something to look forward too.
What was your biggest achievement musically speaking?
Its a little hard to talk about yourself in such terms.
I don’t feel in competition with anyone else, I feel we exist in our own world. I feel we are independent and can carry on despite fluctuating trends or changes in how music is consumed.
So, our biggest achievement is that we are still going and creating new music independently.