Interview, Y Not Festival 2013
added: 10 Aug 2013
interviewed by: Ian Pemberton
Music News caught up with Joe Shrewsbury before the band's excellent set at Y Not Festival 2013 for a chit chat about the band's ambitious live shows and what the future holds for 65daysofstatic.You recently signed a worldwide record deal with Superball Music, do you think that this will open a lot of doors for the band to perform in places that you have been wanting to play for a while, maybe somewhere you have never been before?Joe:
We've always been pretty lucky in international terms. We're not a particularly big band in England but we do have the luxury of travelling all over the world. We regularly do gigs in Japan, China, Russia and places like that, so the main thing that we're hoping is that it opens the door to go back to America. We've been twice before, once supporting a band called Fear Before The March Of Flames and another tour supporting a band called The Cure, but it's been difficult to get back there since. The real reason for signing the deal was just to sign a deal really, the record industry is pretty fractured right now and there's lots of different ways to record an album. Our last one was crowd funded but we wanted to really make this record in a proper studio and with people to mix and produce it beyond a standard of what we normally do, and one of the best ways to do that is to sign to a record label because they give you money to do that. We'll see how it works out, normally we end up falling out with record labels.Was signing a record deal something you were reluctant to do at the start?Joe:
I think our philosophy is to not think too far ahead. The bad thing about an old fashioned record deal is that the label owns all the masters you record for like 25 or 30 years, but with a licensing deal you own what you record and you have more freedom. So maybe some reluctance, but you can't think too far ahead with these things, you have to soldier on and get the music made and out to as many people as possible and worry about the rest later.What has been your stand-out tour so far as a band?Joe:
The first tour we did of Europe was incredibly exciting because we were maybe 24-25 years old, we'd spent 3 or 4 years writing music in a cellar where no one knew who we where and then we were travelling around Europe in the Spring meeting people and playing music. It's a great thing to do with your life, even playing tiny shows and sleeping on people's floors is pretty fun. I'll always remember touring with The Cure and playing Madison Square Garden and other arenas, it just gives you a completely different viewpoint. If you can take the energy and projection you need for a venue that size and transfer that to a 300 capacity room, you really learn a lot about playing live. Japan as well, if 65 didn't live in England, we'd probably go and live in Japan instead, it's an amazing place.Was the audiovisual experience show at Tramlines Festival something that you've done before or was it just a one-off?
We've done all sorts of things that don't fit into the typical band structure and we're trying to do more of those things. Sleepwalk City is probably the most ambitious one we've done so far because we made all of the visuals and the stage. It had like 16 speakers around the room that we could control. We've done some sound-checking for contemporary dance, we've done some for radio, we did a live film soundtrack that we made a record a record of. So we do some things like that to branch out and its a great thing to do.Did you have a specific theme in mind like from a book or a film when you were creating the visuals that you took inspiration from?Joe:
The visuals were the very visible idea that the world is falling apart and all over the world people are protesting against governments, governments in the hands of large corporations, the kind of very real disparity between the rich and the poor that's getting wider and wider and the reality we live in with the media. We kind of wanted to do that through the ripping of youtube videos, because so many people are receiving their realities through those channels. Very loosely that is what it was about, but it didn't really have one single message, that was for the viewer to interpret rather than us telling people what to think.Would you say that your upcoming album 'Wild Light' continues these themes?Joe:
That's hard to say because it's instrumental music, so it doesn't have any overt themes, but we aren't writing music about drugs and cars and money because those things don't interest us. We try to write music that articulates what it's like to live our lives in the world, which is what concerns everybody. The things I used to think were true, aren't really true. We are going through a massive period of change and it's quite scary. You wonder how relevant music is to these issues and it is about trying to make music relevant. In the 50s, 60s and 70s, music was all linked together with social change but I don't think it is anymore.If you could have unlimited money to get any crazy out of this world prop or theme for a stage show, what would you have and why?Joe:
I think the whole music industry is ridiculous for precisely that reason, if I had the money you could get something good for a quarter of the price and then spend the rest making records.Not a very rockstar answer!Joe:
Of course not! (laughs)As an instrumental band, you get covered mainly by rock press, but because you have an electronic element as well, do you find that you have a crossover with a more Dance kind of audience?Joe:
Yeah, we are very proud of the fact that we can play half an hour with a piano and string section and then we can do the whole dance thing aswell. We're a weird band, I don't know if we are embraced by a lot of people, but we lost concern with that a long time ago. We don't sell millions of records and I don't own a big house in the country but I've seen a lot of bands come and go since I've started doing this...we are the limpets of weird music, we refuse to let go!If your band had a motto, what would it be?Joe:
If you want sanity and security, don't start a weird band...There is no sanity or security so you may as well start a weird band. Something like that. If you're going through hell, keep going. Tom Waits said that.
Image courtesy of Bethany Turner
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