Sunday, 6 December 2009

A Grave With No Name




FREE MP3: Open Water

The cream of the UK lo-fi crop; A Grave with no name, nurtured by the consistently awesome No pain in pop label, have blossomed into a maturity that surpasses their humble origins as mere example of passing musical trend. Their new album ‘Mountain Debris’ is a demonstration of their staying power, the kind of album one plays to arouse a state of emotional and spiritual contemplation. It’s hardly accessible and certainly not as disposable as much of the content associated with the lo-fi riff raff on both sides of the Atlantic. Singer and guitarist Alex Shields, approaches Christmas with a sense of optimism and accomplishment, defending his self confessed egoism as Yule see in the following interview.

How do you feel about Mountain Debris, what do you think people will
make of it?

Alex Shields:I have a cool relationship with the record - it's a pretty accurate
representation of me as a person, so I both like and am frustrated by it in equal measure - at the same time, I am going to ensure the next LP is even better; I want it to be a total masterpiece.

'Mountain Debris' is kind of all-over-the-place, but that makes perfect
sense to me. Some people really seem to get the record, others really
don't - I read one review of it that said it was "conceptual art" as
opposed to music, when actually I intended the opposite - it's supposed
to be pure music.


What drives you as a band?

Nothing really. I just make music when I feel like it, and it will
probably reflect my mind-state at the time of recording. I'm not gonna
say something for the sake of it, like some post-punk bank trying to
sound intellectual, quoting modernist architecture or some bullshit as
their primary influence. That's exactly why I hate post-punk so much.

How do you see yourselves in relation to the increasingly popular lo-fi
music scene in the USA?

Well, I don't really want to be associated with any bands who record
their music badly in order to be part of some scene - what's more, I
really can't stand garage rock, it's mindless, meaningless and boring,
so I don't feel a whole lot in common with them at all. Believe me, if I
had some more money I would make the most hi-fi sounding record you've
ever heard.


If you could change any law what would it be?

None of them seem to intrude on my life too much, and people seem to
find ways to get around the ones that do - I guess growing up as a young
kid, it kind of bummed me out that I couldn't rent some horror movies
because I wasn't old enough, but that's about it.


If there is one thing that to you most symbolises the nature of your
music, what is it?

I am going to sound like an egotist, which I probably am, but I'd have to
say myself - the whole record is either me writing about myself, or
trying to react against myself. I'm super-inward looking, and don't have
much time for anything occurring outside my own world-view.


What are your plans for next year?
Go to the cinema; hang out on my balcony; finish off the second record;
play some shows; hang out with friends; have take-out pizza every
Sunday.


Published: P.i.X magazine: issue # 39, December 2009

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