There are some great bands around the Norwich area at the moment, amongst them Fever Fever, Deers, Darwin and the Dinosuar and these lot Olympians. While the music industry tries to catch up with the times they’re are all doing their own thing, making great music and giving it to the people.
As we head into 2012 I caught up 3 of them to find out more.
How long have you been together?
Dan:We’ve been together for about 18 months now, although our first release, Foreign Language, was only a year ago, pretty much to the day.
Are you all from Norwich?
Dan: Me and Ed grew up around here, Chris and Ben came to study at UEA years ago and outstayed their welcome.
Do you listen to any bands around at the moment?
Dan: Around where? Out of the recent Norwich stuff I’m currently digging releases by Transept and Sam James Hill the best, both are ideal when collapsed on the sofa in a melted state.
If we widen that net to ‘everywhere’ then other current new music likes are the new(ish) Sufjan Stevens record, the Bleeding Heart Narrative EP, and Spring Offensive’s recent stuff. Tubelord’s new album is pretty ace too, but I can only listen to that in a car, driving really fast, which I obviously do a lot. If I’m laying on the sofa when it comes on, it startles me and I drop cocoa all over my crotch and that makes me cry a bit.
Ben: I only listen to pre-1600 choral music. Mostly German.
How often do you get together to rehearse and write new stuff?
Dan: As a whole band, every couple of weeks when we can. We rarely write whole songs together, although a lot of parts come from jamming together. Our more recent stuff is structured around the vocals rather than squeezing singing on top of the music, so me and Ben get together to write parts and demo stuff more often, before bringing it to the band. Most of our practice time is spent practising synchronised stage moves like scissor kicks and stuff anyway, so it’s not really a problem.
Where did you learn the trumpet?
Ben: Ideally here I would tell you the truth, which is that it was handed to me by the gods when I awoke one morning in the pastures (along with a sacred knowledge of how to play it) so that I might head down from the mountains and serenade the townsfolk beneath to appease their anger at the looming financial crisis. Alas I am sworn to secrecy over my heavenly privilege, so I must simply answer: ‘at school’.
I love your videos, who made them and how much involvement do you have with the ideas?
Dan: They’re made by Dave Matthams and Underground Husbands. With the Foreign Language video, we set up the lamps and all that stuff in Stew Galleries in Norwich, and Dave came down and filmed us going through the song 20 times, and edited it. When we went back to him to talk about doing the Wake Up Old video, he suggested Underground Husbands (of which he is one quarter) and they came up with the whole concept and built the little cardboard town and did everything. Except smash it to pieces, we did that.
Do you have plans to release an album next year?
Ben: We’ve got loads of plans for next year, and we’ve definitely got enough material for an album, so we’ll probably start working on one later in the year. But obviously it’s going to have to be released in some strange mega format gift set, so it’ll take a fair while for us to work through. Generally we’ll record stuff in a day and then take a year formulating screen prints and printed manuscripts. Plus we’ve got a set of singles to release first, you should see how we’re packaging them!
If you could pick anyone who would you want to produce your record?
Ben: Based on experience, I’d have to go with Dave Pye. He’s produced all our stuff so far and he’s a bloody champ. Couldn’t wish for better.
Ed: If Satan isn’t free on that particular weekend, Dave Pye would be my go-to man.
What is the best thing about living in Norwich?
Dan: The A11 (the one road in and out) is so shit that it stops people coming in and out unless they are really serious about it. That means Norwich basically lives in an insular bubble, slightly out of touch with everywhere else. Incidentally, this is also the answer to the question ‘What is the worst thing about living in Norwich?’. Actually, Norwich Arts Centre. That’s probably the best thing. Great reverb.
Ben: There are disproportionately many bands of all shapes and sizes for its size, and pubs. And there are markets practically every day of the week selling cupcakes and handmade buttons and cushions with moustachio’d bears on them.
Ed: The delicious organic pork pies that were sold in a shop near my old house. The organic label makes me feel better about the fact that it was definitely a real live cow, with plenty of space to frolic and play before being mashed to pieces and condensed into a tasty pastry based treat. There are also pubs.
I think it’s safe to say from his lack of knowledge as to what goes into a pork pie Ed won’t be entering into a career as a butcher or vet if things don’t work out with the band. Hopefully they will and he won’t have to worry.