Interview: Wild Beasts

Rob GarrattLeeds-based Wild Beasts were showered with acclaim for last year's debut Limbo, Panto. Fresh from recording it's follow up at Norfolk's Leeder's Farm and ahead of a gig in Norwich, ROB GARRATT chatted to frontman Hayden Thorpe.Further listening: Wild BeastsRob Garratt

Leeds-based Wild Beasts were showered with acclaim for last year's debut Limbo, Panto. Fresh from recording it's follow up at Norfolk's Leeder's Farm and ahead of a gig in Norwich, ROB GARRATT chatted to frontman Hayden Thorpe.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

t Are you ready for the tour?

'We're as ready as we can be. We just finished recording last week so we're trying to learn all the new songs and new tracks. It's a challenge because we were working outside of our comfort zone making something we didn't feel so comfortable doing.'

Most Read

t When will we get to hear these new tracks then?

'As soon as possible - we're playing a lot of new stuff on this upcoming tour and we want the new album out by the middle of the year. We've got to mix it still, but the raw materials are the there, it's just a case of putting the magic dust on it.'

t What's the new album like?

'Definitely more groovy than the last one… more beats, it's almost an electronic project. We've forced ourselves to play in an electronic way - as if we were robots. Technological elements with a human touch.'

t Like robots?!

'A lot of music nowadays is done with computers and you don't to good at an instrument to do it. We were trying to make music that sounded as if it had been done with computers but done by people. It's been a challenge that we've had to rise for. We're very happy with the album, we all think it's far better than the last.'

t Looking forward to it?

'We're looking forward to the tour, specially playing the new songs. It's a bit like we've got our groove back. We feel we've got something to offer people that they have never seen before. We definitely pride ourselves on being a band who work hard and try to sound as individual as possible.'

t Yeah, you're very acclaimed for being individual, where did that come from?

'I think it grew out of an abandonment of the majority of music around. We all felt unresponsive in a lot of ways by a lot of music that receives a lot of attention and page space. We're genuinely doing this for artistic reasons. Music seems to be repeating itself -it's stuck in a loop. A band won't be offered attention or credibility unless they have a pigeon hole to fit into. I don't know when it started but Oasis and the Beatles didn't help.'

t You guys started playing together when you were kids, have you got an tips for other aspiring musicians starting out?

'Always follow your gut instinct. Never feel like you are unsuccessful in comparison to your ideas of your heroes. It's always important to appreciate you're never going to be as good at them at what they do, but you'll be better than them at what you're doing.'

t Who were the heroes you realised you didn't have to beat?

'People like Marvin Gaye, his songs are just mind blowing. A band like the Smiths who came and went in five years and left behind all this magic - you feel quote vulnerable if you try and compare yourself to that.'

t You guys are all still quite young yourselves, 22?

'We've got an average age of 23. I feel very lucky to have that opportunity early on because there's a certain energy and naivety that's nice to capture. The first album is close to my heart because we did exactly what we wanted and we thought we should do. We worked hard for a good five years before it got to that stage. I just want to keep doing this, I love doing this. I don't know how age will affect us, I don't know if I'll be able to sing like I did then, but part of that development is what makes a band.'

t What was it like making the new one?

'We took our time. When we were young we were desperate to make a record and just fulfil our ambition, weeks and months felt like long periods of time. Now we can afford to take our time. I am proud of what we did, it's a unique release. So Many other things are involved in music nowadays and not necessarily ones that are for the good of the music itself.'

t Any memories of Norwich or Norfolk?

'We spent the whole of January in Norfolk recording the album at Leeder's Farm, Dan Hawkin's studio. We have very fond memories of the area, it's a very cool place, we liked it. There was a very positive mentally. Although we were so buried in our work we didn't get to see or do that much. I remember Wymondham well.'

t How was it?

'It was the first time I left the studio in two weeks. I got driven there and I bought a sandwich. It was an invigorating experience.'

t And Leeder's Farm?

'It was amazing. It's a beautiful place on a farm, obviously. The space, the freedom we were given was really quite unique. We felt lucky to be there. It was nice because we knew what we were doing - when we made the first one we didn't have any idea.'

t Wild Beasts play Norwich Arts Centre on February 20.

Further listening: Wild Beasts