Top of the bill on the Lee Unsigned Bands Stage this year at Leeds Festival were the immense 65DAYSOFSTATIC who caught up with VF on the aftermath of their explosive Saturday night headlining slot.
Hi, this is Joe and Rob from the beat dance combo, 65DAYSOFSTATIC, backstage at Leeds Festival listening to Roots Manuva!
Virtual Festivals: How do you feel the gig went last night?
Rob: It’s the first time we’ve done an outdoor show. It’s a really hard thing to do as far as sounds concerned. It’s not very contained whereas within four walls, the sound is more malleable but we got a really good crowd.
VF: Is this one of the biggest shows you’ve done?
Joe: No, no, it’s not one of the biggest shows but in terms of the stage we were on and the other competition from all the other bands, it was really nice to see that many people turn out. The thing about that kind of show is, is that the sound wasn’t very ideal and there were some technical problems but when you get a crowd like that then it really makes the show. You come off stage disregarding any trouble that you had because the atmosphere we were getting off all the people down the front was just incredible.
VF: What was the response to the new material?
J: I think that because of the sound it was quite confusing for people. From speaking to people afterwards, we got some good feedback from some of the longer dancier stuff that we’re trying to do but anyway, I think that the new album’s going to equate a lot better live. It’s actually the record that people are going to have to get their heads round.
VF: What were your intentions with the new recording?
J: Well on the record: to make another really good record, to make something that we were proud of, to progress the sound that we did on ‘The Fall Of Math’ and see how far we can take it. Off the record: was to prove to ourselves that we had more than one record in us. The response to ‘Fall Of Math’ from the press and from the – I don’t like the word fans but a lot of people who support us and come to the shows, have left a lot for us to live up to so it was a record we needed to make to get over that pressure. We’ve left ourselves at a point where can make anything now because we’ve proved to ourselves we can make that second record. We’re going to make a pop record next – Justin Timerlake style! Without Justin obviously…
VF: When it comes to songwriting, how on earth do you go about starting because it all seems like a very complicated process?
J: It’s interesting because I actually think that this latest record has been Rob’s record. I think that a lot of the beats and signatures / time changes have come from Rob.
R: We don’t actually have any particular way that we write. It usually just starts almost by accident. There’ll be an idea and it’ll come from anywhere. We argue a lot – in a nice way!
J: The basic formula is that we come off tour, we sleep very little, we’re very poor, we find the smallest most uncomfortable rehearsal conditions possible, we fit as much stuff in it as possible, turn it up as loud as it will go and then see how much we can make each other hate ourselves. At the end of that we normally have a record and then we’re all friends again!
VF: What is it like going on tour and how do you cope with it?
J: It’s easier than real life. We came to this festival this weekend and my mum was doing the whole ‘don’t take any drugs, be careful, drink lots of water, make sure you eat something’.
VF: You haven’t done any of that have you(?!)
J: No! Not at all! Straight edge for 13 years! But anyway, I find it a lot easier than being at home. Especially touring, I mean this weekend’s a party weekend because it’s a one off show but when we go on tour, we really get into the swing of it with the whole work ethic. We take care of ourselves, we tour manage ourselves. It’s just simpler – no phone calls and no bills.
VF: What was the last record you bought?
J: I can’t afford to buy records! Ummm, we’re not speaking for the rest of the band but me and Rob are really diggin’ M.I.A record.
VF: Didn’t she play this weekend?
J: Yeah we saw her and she was great. She was ace – really good…really good!
R: The new Arcade Fire album too, everybody’s listening to that. I wouldn’t like to jump to assumptions but I think that we’re a band that people assume spend all our time listening to Drone bands with Japanese names but actually, we mainly listen to pop music. We listening everything! We saw Patrick Wolf at the Truck Festival and I really like folk music and personally, the new Cat Power record.
VF: Who would be on the bill for your ultimate festival line-up?
J: Tom Waits would headline on the Saturday night definitely.
J: In fact, he could just play for two days! And Sonic Youth.
VF: Out of anyone you could ever meet, who would make you lose all capability of stringing a sentence together?
J: I wish I’d met Hunter S Thompson. I think that man had a lot to say and I think he was with it.
VF: Really?! What would you say to Snoop?
R: I’d say – word up dog!
VF: Apparently he’s lost part of his name now and he’s just Snoop?
R: It’s because he got married so he can’t do any of the doggy dog anymore! (laughs)
VF: What’s the Sheffield music scene like?
J: The Sheffield what?!
VF: Music scene!
J: The what?! (laughs) There’s some great people in Sheffield and stalwarts of promoters who’ve been there for years…
VF: Where do you think you guys fit amongst it all?
R: We don’t really. We’ve never been a Sheffield band.
J: It’s not that we’re above it or anything. We’ve just never really set our sites on being ‘local gods’ or anything. We’re not really interested in that at all.
R: The whole point of being in a band is to get out of the city and to see the world!
Look out for the new recording ‘One Time For All Time’ by 65DAYSOFSTATIC, which will be released early October 2005.