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interviews - 2011


 

The Horn the Hunt

Clare Carter and Jospeh Osbourne, of literary synth duo The Horn The Hunt share some of their inspirations and ideas with Tasty.
www.thehornthehunt.com

Free download of the track 'Raptor'

How did you choose the band name?
It wasn't a choice, it just came to me one day... and Joe liked it too. It means 'the thing' and 'trying to get the thing'. Whatever you're after, what floats your boat. Western fun.

Your influences: musical, literary, others?
I'd say David Lynch and Bjork continuously inspire us the most. We were teenagers in the 90's so alt.rock/grunge made a big impression- bands like Sonic Youth, The Jesus Lizard, Nirvana, Babes in Toyland- and then later The Knife, Mum and later Radiohead albums. Leonard Cohen and Rammstein too. As for the eyeballs, Peter Doig's paintings and Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Kubrick's films never fail to impress. Animals, Greenland, jungles.

Your influences don't really mention much in the way of electronic music, yet your album certainly sounds like a mostly synth based one. Who would you say are your biggest inspirations in that area?
Well, I mentioned Bjork as an influence and I think she's one of the pioneers of electronic music. And I would describe Mum and The Knife as electronic pop. We didn't really get into electronic music until our late teens, we both grew up on punk and alternative rock fodder, bar circa 1990 rap bands like the Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill. There are a lot of synth sounds on the debut and Depressur Jolie, that's what we wanted to play around with on these albums, I suppose because these instruments and sounds are relatively new to us so we wanted to have a go. But very little of our music is programmed. Most of the beats are played live then tweaked around, the bass is always played live and we bring a lot of other live instruments into the pot. In many way's our dynamic is more like the later Radiohead albums- rock and electronic infused pop songs. Right now it's quite synthy but we are primarily a pop band and will be using lots of different instruments and sounds in the future. The synth is not essential to us, it could be replaced with another instrument and the song would still live on. We want the rock and electronic elements to become more pure and alive in the next album.

Some of the songs on 'Depressur Jolie' make a lot of reference to animals, both wild and domesticated. Was there nearly a concept album about factory farming?
I'm not sure where this factory farming concept comes from, but I'll run with it. I find anthropomorphism fascinating- well, I even extend it to furniture and places!- so it comes into our songs just as one would describe the sky as weeping, or someone barking up the wrong tree. They're just props for poetic wanderings. Depressur Jolie is this character- the Chinese lion- journeying to lots of different places and environments. Sometimes she see's a raptor at the coliseum, then she spots a bear trap next to a powerstation on the M1 (my brother is the bear), then maybe bumps into the old town cow marching across Saddleworth moor. They're just abstract ideas made into stories; I like to make connections between things human, the environment and animals. It makes life more interesting for me but it's also a personal way of connecting with things outside myself.

So, can we ever expect to see you onstage wearing animal costumes?
No, that would be too obvious, and fairly dull. I think ideas that evoke nature or animals is more interesting. Just shapes, colours or forms that suggest or play with structures or sensations. Hybrid forms, new species or places. My current costume is inspired by the Chinese dragon, but I've just taken the colours and forms and made them drape off my shoulders and chest like intestines or red seaweed. Depressur Jolie is about journeying across oceans and going into battle, so it's a nod to the sea and exposing your guts in a violent way. Joe's outfit is made from lots of pieces of black and white silk, cut into lichen shapes...he's like a piece of limestone that's been flecked with tar from the industrial revolution. There's the odd bright orange patch, a nuclear splash that's brought him to life. It's not all about animals, in a way I find looking at landscapes a more emotional experience than watching people or animals. And that's where my thoughts and ideas are moving to right now, so I imagine our next album, costumes and imagery will embody more of an earthly, geological feeling.

'Depressur Jolie' is available on White Label Records

JG


Spotlight Kid

Spotlight Kid poke their heads above the recording studio trench parapet to talk to Tasty. Rory McGregor blats out the questions in machine gun fashion:

How did you come together?
This line up arrived after a night in a brothel in Madrid when six by seven where touring in Europe. They were playing a gig in the brothel and Rob and Chris M were in the city at the time. They met up with Chris D, got drunk and talked about getting a band together and when the time was right they started rehearsing. Within a couple of months we released the Crystal Dreams EP.

Whatís the story behind the name?
Itís a reference to Captain Beefheart; he was always someone who did things differently and against the grain. We didnít realise the problems though of naming your band after a seminal album by one of the great artists of his generation. Not good to Google.

Describe the dynamic of the band; is there a clear leadership or are democratic to the point of discussing everything?
We all play different parts. Chris and Chris are more involved in the recording side whereas Rob will sort out gigs and promo. Matt and Karl have strong opinions on how we want to sound and where we go forward. We argue all the time because of the importance of getting it right and we believe in what we are doing. We tend to have clear roles which make it easier to get on with stuff.

Who would you consider your idols?
Lester Bangs, Wes Anderson, Brian Clough and Creation

Who would you consider your contemporaries?
We've recently played with Esben & the Witch, Joy Formidable and Engineers, bands on Club AC30, like Ringo Deathstar, Exit Calm.

Describe your writing process?
At the end of the summer of last year we had a load of demos, some from rehearsing as a band others from individual ideas. We took them into the studio and just dismantled them and restructured them with guitar layers. When you have three guitarists it means you can do things differently. We like to experiment with dynamic and sounds.

Do you prefer playing live, or being the studio? And is live music there to complement the recording, or vice versa?
We are a live band. We make music to be played loud and in a big space. When we record we always record live, the album was recorded in two days. We went into the studio and they mic'ed it up and hit record; thatís what we wanted. Itís important to be able to produce it live, and many bands disappoint live, so we make sure we put on a good show and play well. We never understand when you hear about bands that prefer to be in the studio rather than tour - whatís the point?

Best gig ever/worst gig ever?
Last years Summer Sundae was special for us, we were the first band on and pretty much unheard of. We got to play in a massive room with a massive sound system and it felt like this is where we should always be playing, in front of 2000 people every night. Worst gig - we donít have any. We did travel to Berlin to find the venue had never heard of us and the promoter, who was supplying all of the equipment, turned up with a 10 watt practice amp and half a bass cab. We ended up having to hire out all the gear from some dodgy local pawnbroker. Gig was amazing though.

What are you listening to at the moment?
Warpaint, Soft Moon, Joy Formidable, PJ Harvey, Tron Soundtrack, Caribou

Whatís the band got planned for this year?
We are mixing the album as I type. We are currently in Norwich at Purple Studios getting the tracks together and we expect for a release later in the next few months. We will probably put a single out first but it depends on what happens with touring commitments. We want to play the festivals and get on some tours.

And finally, the best piece of advice youíve heard?
Donít follow the trend, be a big fish in a little pond. It just refers to bands that go running down south and yes it can be good for bands but if you are good then you will be noticed wherever you are.

Rory McGregor