quarta-feira, 17 de abril de 2019

Night Terror with A Dull Set - An Interview

Há pouco mais de um mês nasceu o primeiro single dos checos do A Dull Set.

Pós punk ríspido, cru e dançante. Dramaticidade conduzida por um baixo caracteristicamente oitentista.

Conexões com quase tudo que surgiu na vira dos 70´s para os 80´s, de Gang of Four a Cure, de A Certain Ratio a Bauhaus.

Apesar de soar nostálgico o A Dull Set sabe exatamente onde esta pisando, escute o lado b "Night Terror" e perceba.

Para dançar em inferninhos escuros e esfumaçados, claro, se eles ainda existirem.

***** Interview with A Dull Set *****

Q. When did A Dull Set begin? Tell us about the history...
Hayden: Nearly 1 year ago! We were colleagues, got chatting about music we liked and previous bands we'd been in. The more we got to know each other's tastes, the more we realised we should probably start a band. I don't think we'd met too many people in the city with similar musical ideas to us.

Sam: Yes, we started in the same job at the same company on the same day, sat next to each other. Two tall blond polite Englishmen with similar opinions about music. We knew we’d either go into niche fetish porn or have to start a band.

H: We chose the latter. My friend joined us on the drums and we practised together for about 6 months, so a lot of the drum ideas in the songs are based on his. Unfortunately he had to leave to pursue his own solo music commitments. We briefly looked for a new drummer but got frustrated not being able to play so I made some makeshift drum beats on my laptop. We both really liked it. Sounded like the 80's vibe we'd inadvertently been trying to capture.

Q: Who are your influences?
H: We both have a pretty broad music taste I think. But when we were first forming the band, we were both listening to The Sound and The Chameleons a lot, getting us through some hard times. We're huge fans of music from the late 70s and early 80s such as The Cure, Middle Class, Gang of Four, A Certain Ratio, Television etc...

S: As well as the albums, also watching and listening to live performances of The Sound and The Chameleons, the gigs and John Peel sessions. We got inspired by it.

H: Ooh yea, the John Peel sessions were hugely influential. Even if the music we made didn't sound very much like these bands, that's what got us going. I'm really into The Lines' compilation 'Flood Bank' at the moment. And I'm pretty crazy about the Avishai Cohen Trio.

S: I rely on Hayden to make sure I don’t settle into an easy routine of Dirty Beaches, TOPS and my New Wave, 80s revivalist obsession. He feeds me new music. Not just current things but also fresh discoveries from the past.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time
H: Neutral Milk Hotel - In an Aeroplane Over the Sea
Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain
Gang of Four - Entertainment
Scott Walker – Scott 2
Arthur Russell – Another Thought

S: The Strokes - Is This It
John Martyn – Solid Air
The Moldy Peaches - The Moldy Peaches
Love - Forever Changes
The Fall - This Nation’s Saving Grace

But ask again tomorrow and it might be a different answer.

Q. How do you feel playing live?
H: Fantastic. It's what it's all about. Wouldn't make music if we couldn't play it live!

S: We’re made for it, literally. Before we even started getting some momentum, we always talked about it. It’s what we want to do all the time.

Q. How do you describe A Dull Set´s sound?
H: Melodic, melancholic, energetic. A couple of people have said 'new romantic' which is kind of cool, and we hadn't considered. We had the idea when we started that we really wanted people to hear it and compulsively move to it.

S: Sort of like “dance-punk”, but definitely not that.

H: Haha, because those two words sound horrible together. We don't want to be associated with that genre if it exists. But those two ideas for sure.

S: We do have a weird mix. It is music that’s tough to define, doesn't fit very neatly into any specific genre. So maybe we’ll let it describe itself.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
H: It was pretty straightforward thankfully. We used to go to this nice studio at weekends to practice, which devastatingly has been knocked down to make way for expensive apartment buildings and a microbrewery. It was the perfect place to record, the room had great acoustics, and a beautiful courtyard outside to smoke and hang out in. It was very comfortable there. When Sam was doing the vocals for Policy, my friend and I were standing by the window and this gigantic fox appeared on the roof, from the other side of the glass, with the sun shining down on it like a spotlight. It just gazed at us through the window for a few minutes. It was a beautifully surreal experience. Anyway, then we sent the recordings to the very capable hands of our friend, with some stylistic pointers. He did a great job of mastering the sound.

S: Yes, but he managed to preserve some of the coarseness. It wasn’t recorded in a big studio with top-grade equipment. So better to embrace the lo-fi charm and make it central to the music’s honesty.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
S: My answer is “Ask Hayden”. I seem to like songs more than bands these days. I’m a playlist slut.

H: The Chats are doing punk well, they're kinda new. Hope they come to Europe soon. For Neo-classical, look no further than Theo Alexander.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
H: We had a couple of practice sessions where we'd fly around the room singing 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin, with that famed whispered lined ''...don't you dare close your eyes...''. Always wondered how we'd turn that into a post-punk song.

S: It’s simultaneously impressive and worrying how well we both know the lyrics to that song. Can we still like Michael Jackson? Is that allowed post-‘Leaving Neverland’? If so, I think we could do a good version of ‘Dirty Diana’.

H: Yea, we are (were?, so confusing now) huge Jackson fans (musically). Can't believe Sam saw him live. Otherwise, The Sound 'Can't Escape Myself', in the style of their BBC live version.

S: Yes!

Q: What are your plans for the future?
H: Play as many live shows as possible. Go on a little tour through a few European cities (or Brazil could work, hook us up!) Finish recording an album by the end of the year. Find a nice regular rehearsal space like the last one we had before it got demolished. Refine our live performances, add some visual elements. A lot of modern guitar music is pretty boring to watch live, even if the music sounds good. Maybe a smoke machine and a strobe light would do the trick, that'd be fun. Like a shit 90s disco.

S: There are only two of us so we have to make sure we leave a lasting impression. Causing an epileptic seizure in at least one audience member per gig might do it.

Q: Any parting words?
H: Sorry about your new president. Your blog is great, thanks for reaching out. How big is the post-punk scene in Brazil? If it's big, we're getting on a plane.

S: Take it easy, my brother Charles. You know what I mean.