Nope play with Grey Hairs and Kagoule at The Chameleon on Thursday 26 July 2012
I saw the band at The Bodega about two years ago at a Default-This all-dayer - what have you been up to since then?
I think we played that gig as part of a tour with shield your eyes and illness. Nope was in a more improvised, fluid state then. Since, we've firmed up the line-up, added vocals and synth as a regular feature and recorded and released our album 'revision'. We did another uk tour too and played a lot of one-off gigs in Leeds and Bradford.
What are you trying to achieve with Nope?
I do music to hang out with nice people, travel and meet other nice people. I think there's a social/political aspect to creating collectively and operating in a self-organised and non-capitalist manner too.
How does Nope differ from the other band that you are in, That Fucking Tank?
Sonically and stylistically it's different; more psychedelic, drawn out, repetitive and less manic. There's a lot of common ground there for me though; revisiting early classic and traditional rock sounds as well as the 'alternative rock' I loved as a teenager and channeling that in a (hopefully) non-revisionist way.
Why are you attracted to creating more 'instrumental' type music?
Nope has vocals and I see those as playing a key role as we write more stuff in the future. I guess I tend to focus on music over lyrics/singing when writing though because that's how I listen to music. I think music communicates affectively and viscerally better than it does as the carrier or vehicle for stories or primarily linguistic meaning.
You recently played the Gringo Records 15 Birthday gig with That Fucking Tank - how was that?
Great fun. The venue was a bit unusual for us - very big and boomy - but it was a cracking line-up with loads of ace people around and all in celebration of something I think is very worthy of a knees-up.
What does it mean to be part of the Gringo Records family?
I respect the way Matt (Newnham - Gringo Boss) does things. He manages to strike that rare balance between ethical principles and quality output that makes people trustful of the label both as 'consumers' and 'contributors'.
What have been the most memorable shows you've played in Nottingham?
I used to like playing at Bunkers Hill; I remember doing a fun gig with my old band Kill Yourself there playing with Chinese Stars. My memory is terrible though so I'm sure there's plenty more.
How's the current tour going?
Great. We've played non-conventional spaces often with very mixed and non-conventional line-ups; with a skiffle band in a house, a couple of performance art/experimental music crossover bands in a practice space and a gallery project space, in cafes and tonight as part of a subjective knowledge pub quiz. The downside of that is sometimes smaller audiences than might be drawn to a 'normal gig' and touring is becoming really pricey now so that's putting a strain on finances and affects the sustainability or doing it more often than we do.
Who is the most annoying in the van?
Ha. I'm going to sound like a true hippy here but everyone's great. I don't think we'd do the band if we didn't enjoy hanging out as friends.
What's going through your head when you are on stage?
Normally the songs and what effects pedal I have to hit next. In less pragmatic moments I might get to go off into a little psych-dream about walking up a mountain or training a kestrel; a bit like the cut-scenes in 'The Song Remains The Same'. Drinking ale on a tractor, that sort of thing.
Can you tell me a little bit about the Nope album...
It's about 45 minutes long, moves about from repetitive Krautrock, Smashing Pumpkins-esque shoegazy grunge, Fleetwood Mac folk rock, and Boredoms-ish noise rock. The underlying narrative is a reworking or Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker and imagines resistance to a second industrial revolution set in a post-apocalyptic future and played out on the Yorkshire moors and valleys.
What music coming out of Leeds at the moment should we be checking out?
I spend more time involved in music in Bradford. I'm a big fan of The Family Élan, Dean McPhee and Dolphins from there. In Leeds there's always good stuff coming out of the Leeds 6-based DIY scene: the new co-operatively run venue that has emerged from that, Wharf Chambers, is incredible and a sign that there's still interesting stuff going off despite all the media hype that's made Leeds quite boring.
Is there any music coming out of Nottingham that you like?
Kogumaza, Grey Hairs, Endless Grinning Skulls (if they're from Notts!) are a few I like. I got into Heresy recently but was perhaps a little late to the party there...
What is your earliest musical memory?
Probably a mix of Enya/Clannad, The Final Countdown by Europe and Local Hero by Dire Straits. It's still all buzzing around in there and polluting my guitar playing.
Any final words?
Thanks for taking an interest in what we do. Please come and have a trip out to see us when we play or come to Bradford to see some gigs; the falafel is amazing. Details at Just Say Nope and Obscene Baby Auction.
Nope play with Grey Hairs and Kagoule at The Chamleon on Thursday 26 July 2012. Facebook event.