Turin Brakes: Umbrellas Can Be A Problem
If you are into music I strongly assume that Turin Brakes have crossed your path somewhere, somehow. Did you say, “No”? Really? South Londoners Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian are childhood friends, formed the band in the late 90´s and are completed by longterm collaborators Eddie Myer and Rob Allum. Turin Brakes have been part of Band Aid 20 in 2004 recording next to Paul McCartney, Bono and Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) just to name a few. Respect.
Turin Brakes 6th studio album “We Here Here“ came out on September 30th 2013 and the second single “Guess You Heard“ off the record has been released only a couple of months ago on April 6th. They’ve taken an already great sonic style and smoothed the edges and carved out a great trademark sound for themselves and I will promise that you are going to enjoy it and push repeat. If you’re not already.
“Gale and I spent much of our teens getting stoned listening to old blues records in our bedrooms. That informs Turin Brakes as much as my personal love of Laurel Canyon singer/songwriters – we’re hugely inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell and more recently people like Laura Marling; brave female soul singers aren’t afraid to leap into their own wells and come up spluttering, making something beautiful with what they find. With this record, the four of us brought in our own very different influences – everything from jazz to hip hop to ambient music and things like Pink Floyd. Their records have been there right since the Door, the first single off the Optimist. The records of the early ’70s, they’re like extra limbs to us.” (Olly Knights – Official Bio Turin Brakes)
I cannot wait for no. seven.
And now please have a marvelous read as Gale Paridjanian and I conversate together:
First of all I would like to thank you all for talking to us today.
Its always a pleasure to talk to someone with your impeccable taste
How are you doing today? At the moment you´re taking a little break from touring. Are you giving yourselves a few moments of rest or are you doing other kinds of work?
We pretty much always have a gig lined up… gigs can be very fulfilling its the best bit really . We have started to do writing / jamming sessions with other upcoming artists. We used to always say no but these days I think of it as being a builder building a wall – you get to look back at the end of the day and see something that didn’t exist this morning , you might love it or not, it might be a very important wall that could end up building a house or it could just be a wall but mainly it didn’t exist this morning and you could only have built it with those people there.
Let me ask you straight are you in the state of planning, writing or recording something new already?
I guess we’re planning. We pretty much know when and how. There’s always stuff being written. We just have to pinpoint a final destination to aim at .
With 6 studio albums under your belt and many years of existence do you have a song(s) from one of your albums that you would never omit live or that is impossible to play live?
We tend to always play a few songs from each album that people want to hear and introduce any new stuff , generally Underdog , Painkiller, Long Distance , Fishing For A Dream, something from Dark On Fire. We’re not that interested in testing or pushing the audience into watching us go through a load of B sides or whatever . We’re in the audience as fans of other acts and its a simple transaction really – we want to hear you play , we want to share it.
Does your attitude change every time you start to record a new album? Where do you even begin? Are there some simple songwriting rules or do you go with the flow?
We might well discuss what it is we are aiming at – With the first album we had a load of songs and a pretty hardcore attitude to the sound we were going to make – we often react against whatever we just did and then do the opposite . These days we’ve worked out that it can actually be the thing you find simplest is the most honest and rewarding to hear .
From when you started the band up to now how have your personal musical influences changed, if so?
Honestly our tastes are kind of the same, its like x amount of classic stuff with a big eye open for anything that grabs us from the now. I’ve always thought it was a strength of ours to grab a bit from Public Enemy say , stew it with some Joni Mitchell and wrap it up with The XX -We seem to know what we’re making when its right for us all.
You have a pretty large fanbase. Do you attach a great importance to keep in touch with your fans?
Yes new fangled computer gadgets have made communication more direct. Its pretty much the only source of promotion these days . There’s an amount I feel people care to know about an artist and an amount they probably don’t care about , but it seems to be working for everyone at the moment .
Could you tell us 5 things about the Turin Brakes that were never published before?
- We’re not big on classic guitars.
- We are a very influential band .
- We are only just beginning
- We travel light – generally a guitar and a tuner each .
- Olly and Gale sang on the original Mr Bean theme tune
Name 3 things on your bucket or say whatever, list.
- UMBRELLAS – like mind my eye man !
- Nu-Faux Folk – cant you see its a trick ? A trick
- Craft Beer – Its been in every pub in most countries for centuries and you didn’t go near it until some ex banker convinced you it was new . HMPF!
Name 3 songs that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
- “Round and Round” – Neil Young
- “Wake Up Sleeping” – Woodbine
- “Alameda” – by Elliot Smith
The worst venue/ city you´ve ever played in.
There’s never been a bad one , honest
What was the most unusual interview question you ever had to answer?
Whats your least favourite sound? I think about it all the time since. Mine is the flush on airplane toilets…