65daysofstatic. More specifically, Paul, one quarter of that band.
- Why did you choose this pseudonym?
It's not a pseudonym, it's our real name!
-Why do you make music and what does it mean for you?
There's a poem by Charles Bukowski called 'So You Want to be a Writer?' I'm not really very good with poetry, but that one is spectacular. Basically, it says that, probably, if there is anyway you can avoid becoming a writer, then strive for that instead. Unless there's absolutely nothing you can do other than write, then don't do it.
It's the same for music, I think. I can't not-make-music. There is no other way, and there never was.
-Your album “The Fall of Math“ has meant a revolution in the music
scene . What’s the story behind it?
Well, it's very nice of you to say so, but I'm not sure if we remember any revolution happening. It wasn't even going to be an album, to begin with. We were 65daysofstatic, and working on our first proper material with a live drummer. We had four or five songs, which we thought we had finally recorded to a pretty good standard. We decided to call it an E.P, and came up with the title The Fall of Math. Not long after this we met Monotreme Records who said, 'Do you have any more songs? Albums are much easier to release than e.ps'. We had a few more songs, so we went back into the studio for a couple more days and turned it into a record. There was no master plan bigger than that. We wanted to finally make an album, and then we wanted to go on tour with it, so that's what we did. We ended up touring pretty much constantly for about six years.
-Is There a link between it and your last album “We Were Exploding
Anyway/ Heavy Sky (EP)”?
Yes, there is. Apart from Guitar Cascades, all of those tracks were written and recorded at the same time. We still love the idea of an 'album' and the kind of things you can communicate with that medium as opposed to individual songs. Therefore, even though there were songs that we really liked, they didn't necessarily work in the context of WWEA; we wanted that to work as an album first and foremost - something greater than simply the sum of its songs. Once we had finally nailed that, we had all these things left over, and so because we still thought they were of a high enough standard, they became the Heavy Sky e.p.
-Talking about the compositions of your songs: how and where they born?
On laptops and in rehearsal rooms. They are mapped and remapped in a million different ways. We definitely go with quantity over quality to begin with, filling up hard drive with gigabytes of badly-thought-through sketches of melody, cheesy chord progressions, unhelpful riffs, loads of noise… Over the course of 12-18months, we mercilessly discard all the rubbish and ever-so-slowly things start to become a little more tangible. We eventually realise that a few ideas have been around for a few weeks and we haven't gotten fed up with them yet. Give it another year or so of beating those ideas into shape, and if we're lucky, we might have a few songs at the end of it.
-Talking about your traks ,what is your favourite?
Impossible to say. Don't really listen to 65 at home, just when we're playing live. So usually whichever one we happen to be playing when that thought occurs to me. (which isn't very often!)
- How would you define your sound? It's almost unique your ability to
combine electronic instruments with real instruments, do you agree?
I wouldn't say unique, but again, that's very flattering, thanks. Probably my biggest influence is New Order - I grew up listening to Substance by them over and over again and that's a record that combines electronic and real instruments in an absolutely perfect way and it's been around for more than twenty years. What's more surprising is that it took so long for everyone else to catch up.
I really don't want 65 to be remember simply as 'the band that had electronics and real instruments' because if you listen to ANY pop music these days, that's exactly what they do. Like, Katy Perry or K$sha or any of them… you'll get guitars and programmed beats sat alongside one another… I'm not saying that it makes those songs good, but the past ten-fifteen years of progress in digital technology means that this is how music is built now. I believe that 'electronic' music has finally reached a plateau - the first in its history. What's important now is how you use it.
-What genres and artists influenced your music the most?
Like I said earlier, for me it's probably New Order, but the great thing about 65 is that we all came from slightly different backgrounds, so you can throw in bands like Nirvana and people like Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, Rachmaninov into that mix.
To be honest though, all of the other things that happen in live influence my music much more than other music does.
-You come from Sheffield, England . What do you think about the music
coming from your country and how how do you see yourself in relation
I actually come from Manchester, although the band is based in Sheffield and that's where I am typing this to you right now.
I think the music coming from England is pretty much the same as music coming from anywhere. Some of it is great, more of it is good, a lot of it is bad. The great thing about how the internet has changed in the decade we have been in a band is that geography has become a lot less relevant. There are pockets of people all over the world listening to our music, and there are also bands who might never meet who exist in the same space, the same scene, in different hemispheres. That's pretty cool.
-Would you talk us about the “Silent Running” project?
It began as Glasgow Film Festival asking us to re-score a film live. We chose Silent Running and wrote 90 minutes of brand new music to accompany it. Originally it was only going to be performed twice at the festival, but it was really well received and so we ended up touring that show for a while around Europe and then ultimately released it as a soundtrack record on our Dustpunk Records label.
The whole thing was a happy accident that spiralled because of the wonderful 65 fans who took such a huge interest in what we were doing. It was fun.
-What's your favourite artist and song?
Right now it's New Order and 'Leave Me Alone'.
-Who do you think are the most relevant musicians nowadays and who are
you listening to the most?
No idea. Honestly. At the moment I've been listening to a lot of classical and jazz, but I think that's because we are writing our new record and after a day of that, I prefer to listen to music that's a bit too complicated for my mind to try and dissect. It's relaxing.
-How much does the live element matter in your music?
Greatly. We're extremely proud of our live show. If only we could capture that fleeting feeling and put it on a record...
-You have been on tour in almost all over the world (Europe, America,
Asia, Australia), what what is the place from which you have been most
There was one month a few years ago when we were in Tokyo and Moscow in the same couple of weeks, and seeing those two cities juxtaposed in front of all your senses was very powerful.
We recently came back from China and the polluted air we breathed in Beijing is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. My throat tasted like metal for a week afterwards.
-If you could pick an artist or a band to play with on a stage, who
would you choose?
New Order. Or Underworld.
-What do you think about the music industry nowadays?
I try and think about it as little as possible. It's falling apart. It'll be a shame for some people, but in the end music is gonna survive, isn't it? And that's the important thing.
-What is the message that you'd like to express to the people who
listen to your music?
There are no words to describe that message accurately. That's why we write the music.
-There is something you'd like to say to all the 65kids?
Thank you very much.
-What is your favourite book and movie?
Right now, The Count of Monte Cristo and Citizen Kane, but those will have changed by this afternoon.
-How and where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
I have absolutely no idea. Anybody who answers that question confidently probably has no idea of what appears to be actually happening with our troubled civilisation.