Incendiary interview 65daysofstatic - part one

The whole way we live at the moment… I mean I hope we are typical of people our age. But you can't help but notice at present things like the media and politics and the environment; the whole way the upper echelons of the word works; its really scary to our generation and in some ways it seems to need fighting against, counter-defining for ourselves.

 

pic courtesy of Damo Fowkes

Incendiary interview 65daysofstatic - part one

 

Amsterdam's Tollhuis is a delightful venue, and it's always a pleasure to do an interview there. Especially when it's an interview with a band that genuinely has something to say. Joe and Paul from 65daysfofstatic were in town doing press for their wonderful new LP The Destruction of Small Ideas (review here), but being lads who, in the best Northern English tradition of "chinwag" were willing to chew the cud on most topics, chat soon veered towards other, less salubrious areas.


Gentle reader, read on...

 

 

IN: I've always wanted to ask you why do you have such long, Gnostic, maybe Gnomic song titles?

 

J: I think part of it is that nothing we do is ever throwaway, and we also love secrets, especially in music. We like people like Tom Waits, who have always alluded to things in their work, not really told the truth, but told a better version of the truth; which is way more interesting. It's also about people's own imagination; the meaning of a song title, if you will, is not what we think the titles are about but what they (the listeners) think a song is about. Even though we are an instrumental band we are all very interested in the power of language, I mean, we are all keen on writing articles. I'd love to write. We've also noticed with 65 and the way we work, that the title is something that is created very much after the event.

 

P: The meaning becomes clearer as we work on things.

 

J: They grow into themselves This was very much the case with our LP The Fall of Math, and with this one we were playing with ideas before the songs were written, and then we just forgot about it and when we had recorded the album we found we had all these titles, about fifty or so... I think.

 

The whole way we live at the moment... I mean I hope we are typical of people our age. But you can't help but notice at present things like the media and politics and the environment; the whole way the upper echelons of the word works; its really scary to our generation and in some ways it seems to need fighting against, counter-defining for ourselves. The accessibility we have via various technologies to speak to people thousands of miles away, yet no-one really seems to want to talk about the heavy stuff. In terms of mass consciousness it's not really talked about. It's what we talk about, and what defines us. It's why we tour so much I think; communication.

 

IN: On a slight tangent I was reading about the early Wessex kings, who had to be constantly on the move to keep communicating. There isn't really a stable court because he has to maintain personal contact with his people.

 

J: It's the same situation that bands find themselves in now, I mean you have to offset the guilt of carbon usage with an attempt to spread a positive alternative message.

 

IN: Don't you think the internet is a kind of massive gambling machine? You sit there and hope to get some hit from it, all the while thinking you are putting as little as yourself into it whereas in fact...

 

J: You know I think that's the quite depressing thing, here are some amazing things on the internet and television, but its so saturated now that as a "culture" we've become completely confused by stuff and the way that we filter stuff and the fact that we are so aware the media and are so fluent in that particular vocabulary but are unable to make a stand...

 

P: We've been tricked into this idea of a free open society (on the net) where all you are really doing is allowing yourself to be bombarded with a form of advertising space, whether personal or corporate.

 

J: We didn't feel that as a generation there was any pressure to go to university and being in a band was a viable option... but five years down the line and faced with your very own ever-increasing carbon emissions after your promotional tours to Japan, you feel like you've been duped. What you thought as the pursuit of a glorious goal is now perceived as a selfish thing. If you are going to be interviewed you have to talk about these things, otherwise if you just keep saying the usual, "yeah we're in a band 'cos we like to get fucked up". That kind of hedonism is really fashionable but...

 

P: If you're growing up reading NME and reading about all these goings on, it all sounds really good, but then you grow up and realise its all shit and this "rock and roll" world is a tiny insignificant.

 

IN: I think in this context maybe it is a case of blame the messenger...

 

P: People in that world truly believe that they can behave that way so other, more impressionable, vulnerable people can live their own lives vicariously through them...

 

J: It's also setting the wrong people as heroes. Setting feckless people up on a pedestal is just a stupid, lazy thing to do.

 

IN: It would have to be a refreshing, Lydon-esque Puritanism...

 

J: Yeah but he became so disillusioned with doing that that he just retreated. I mean punk started out I suppose as this purifying thing and then got successful, and now we are told by our peers and trend setters to copy these rebels because you too could be successful. And now many successful bands copy Led Zeppelin, but why? Why not just listen to Led Zeppelin? Or do something new? Repetition is successful but it's not interesting.

 

IN; there's a short story from EM Forster, I can't remember the name of it, written about 1905, where the earth is uninhabitable and people live in balloons and communicate through tube-like portals. No one meets physically. The conversation is mainly about esoteric subjects like "Australian music in the twentieth century". And it struck me that this is exactly the kind of stuff people do talk about on the internet, it's as if we are mothballing everything and re-evaluating it in terms of money.

 

P: You never have to be referencing your idols to make you feel that you're doing the right thing by being in a band.

 

J: It's a scary thing to do though, because it does feel as if you are constantly left out in the cold. It's not a party that we want to be invited to anyway. We try to exist without advertising or the like. Music is now just another reason; it's just an excuse to make money. But it should transcend that.

 

IN: Talking of your record, it is a very beautiful sounding record. It's an analogue recording...

 

P: Yeah we tried to live without pro-tools on this one. Make it less loud than all or other stuff!

 

Part two can be found here...