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65daysofstatic

16 September 13 words: Paul Klotschkow
"Last week one of our computer soundcards set on fire in our rehearsal room for no reason"

Hello Paul, what have you been up to today?
Coffee, heading to 65HQ, trying to get my head round the various midi-based systems we're about to start building in order to be able to play the new record, Wild Light, live.

Your last album was your score for the film Silent Running. For a band who’s music often sounds like it would fit perfectly on a soundtrack, what was it about that particular project that it felt like the right thing to do?
We often get called cinematic, but if you're actually writing a soundtrack then it's a totally different discipline. When we're making 'standalone' songs, then we need them to get in the way, to grab people's attention. With soundtrack work, it's more of a supporting role. Less obtrusive. Mostly, we wanted to prove to ourselves that we could do it.

Why did you decided to crowd-fund that record and is that a route you would consider again in the future?
It was a useful tool for that very specific circumstance. We had never intended to record and release that project as an album, but it seemed to us that there were a lot of people asking for it. Using a crowdfunding platform to float the idea to gauge interest was a good way of working out how many people were properly into it. Turned out there was loads, and we basically ran it as a super-advanced pre-order. I'm not sure how well it holds up for regular album releases. There's no support network, no distribution, I'm not convinced it's the future of releasing music by any means.

And how much did the approach you took to making that album influence the making of Wild Light?
I'm sure it did influence us, but I'd struggle to explain how. It wasn't very conscious, that's for sure. Silent Running was written in an intense 6 week period, to some very tangible subject matter. Wild Light took us close to two years and was about as intangible as it gets. Still... in terms of the music, we probably found ways of focussing intensity using less elements in Silent Running, which hopefully makes itself felt on Wild Light.

How does the songwriting work - is it a collaborative thing, do you each bring in individual ideas or does someone take the lead?
An idea comes from one of us. It's pulled apart by the four of us and then put back together in any number of different ways until we stumble on one that is better than any single person could have come up with by themselves.

How would you sell this album to someone who has never heard the band before?
Play it to them.

I saw the band supporting The Cure at Wembley back in ’08. What was it like getting to play with them every night on a massive world tour and what did you take from the experience?
Wonderful. They're a great band. And seeing them play for three hours every night made us realise exactly how good they really are. I think we learnt a huge amount from that experience. The Cure write music that is immediate, accessible pop music, and at the same time noisy, strange, sad and experimental. None of that needs to be mutually exclusive.

For us, hearing our music bouncing around huge arenas was a good lesson in scale and understanding how the context in which the music is played can affect the power and meaning of it in huge ways.

How difficult was it to persuade Robert Smith to sing on Come To Me?
Not difficult at all. We asked him, he said yes.

I think I once read that you would play football with The Cure backstage - is this true or is my memory playing tricks on me again?
It's not true. We played drinking and 'talking about Deftones'.

You play the Rescue Rooms soon and you’ve played Nottingham a few times in the past - do you have any standout memories from playing and visiting the city previously?
For one reason or another, Nottingham seems to be one of those cities where we rarely get chance to wander far from the venue, so most memories are of either the Rescue Rooms or Rock City. And memories made in places like that tend to be kinda fuzzy.

Can it be a bit of a headache trying to reproduce your sound live - are you forever tripping over foot switches and cables on stage?
Yes and yes. Last week one of our computer soundcards set on fire in our rehearsal room for no reason. Shortly afterwards our main midi controller broke. A new, different midi controller we hadn't gotten working properly to begin with. Live electronic music is a ridiculous idea. Guitars and drums are much more sensible.

Are you fed up to being referred to as a post-rock band?
Used to be. Don't care now.

What music other than your own are you currently listening to?
We've finished the record now so I'm pretty sure none of us are listening to our own music except when we're playing it. Once a record is done, need to spend a long time away from it. I am currently listening to a lot of William Basinski and Tangerine Dream and recently, belatedly discovered Pete Swanson, who is great.

Any final words for the LeftLion readers?
No one knows what is happening. There is a lot of danger out there, ok?

65daysofstatic play Rescue Rooms on Tuesday 24 September 2013.

Wild Light is out now on Superball Music.

65daysofstatic website

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