Planet Notion caught up with our Band Of The Week about their new EP, their sci-fi influences, and (of course) the Olympics.
I’ve just watched the video for ‘Glass House’ for the first time and I am in a slightly scared state of awe. Was that the intended side effect?
Ha, well it’s certainly not meant to scare the living daylights out of you, but I guess it is a love story within a nightmare of sorts.
How did you find working with Tobias Stretch?
We were hugely excited to be working with Tobias in the first place as we’d been following his work for sometime, but working with him genuinely exceeded expectations. He’s a fascinating personality with a great deal to say about film, animation and music, and undoubtedly has a unique talent for creating surreal worlds of his own. He’s been totally open to our ideas but the final product is largely his interpretation of our songs. The artwork he did for this EP was incredible as well.
Why release an EP now? Is this intended as a sort of run-up to a second album or do you want Glass House to stand as its own entity?
Glass House will feature on the album, but we had a surplus of songs from the album sessions that we wanted everyone to hear. This EP, while maybe not 100% cohesive, felt like a good opportunity to show people the different flavours to our music. It wasn’t that the rest of the songs on the EP weren’t strong enough for the album, but the tracks for the album just feel like they hold together better as a body of work. Also we have been off the map for a little while, so we did want to gradually re-engage with our audience rather than hit people with the album straight away.
Did it feel different working on a shorter record?
All the songs for the album were recorded in two sessions, so it wasn’t initially the plan to create stand-alone EPs. I suppose we were just really excited and proud of the music we’d made, so if some of the songs weren’t going to make the album then we still wanted them to be heard.
How do you feel all the touring since the last album has changed the band’s sound?
I’d say touring Europe towards of the end of the last album campaign definitely had a significant impact on our music. We found ourselves on the same bills as people like Daedalus, Nosaj Thing, Panther Du Prince and playing Melt and Sonar – it was basically an intensive course in how to make and perform electronic music. There’s some exceptional music coming out of Germany and L.A. at the moment and it’s definitely helped to shape parts of our record.
‘Brazil’ feels like it’s was created so you could watch people dance to it. Do you want your gigs to be huge dance parties?
It’d be great if parts of our shows were dance parties, but there are also slower, more intimate moments on the album. I saw James Blake play a couple of times last year and he has beautiful downbeat moments that he’ll follow up with a stomping dance track. You’re taken on a bit of journey, which is something we’d like to aspire to.
You recently played with Matthew Dear – are you fans of his?
We’re big fans of his solo work and his work as Audion. Strongly recommend listening to the Headcage EP if you haven’t listened to that this year yet. That guy is the epitome of cool.
Did any books/bands/films/art directly inspire this record?
Music-wise, the list of musical influences is too long to mention, but our producer James Rutledge introduced us to a huge number of artists we’d never really listened to before. Through him and our own exploration we became reasonably obsessed with the likes of Arthur Russell, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Eno and Moderat, to name but a few.
We’re all quite obsessed with Sci-fi and it’s safe to say Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack was referenced on a few occasions, as well as Terminator 2. Tobias Stretch has certainly helped to facilitate our Lynchian aspirations in the videos.
I can’t honestly say that there are too many literary references on the record. Most of the songs are based on personal experiences or those of others.
If you could create a country (a hypothetical one not born out of the ruins of Europe of course), what would you name it?
Jurassic Islands. We’d employ a small team of geneticists to clone only the most exotic dinosaurs and then invite a small colony of humans to co-inhabit the island with them. Ideally we’d then get a well-known director to document the development of the dino-human relationship over a 10-year period.
You’re Londoners – are you cynical or excited about the city this summer?
I get the feeling that no one really knows what to expect from the Olympics. We probably lean towards cynical, but there’s no way of avoiding it now so I guess the only way forward is to embrace it. It was quite heart-warming to see everyone partying it up on the streets for the torch the other day. A welcome contrast to the events of last summer, right?
Do you feel we’re in a good period for London music?
Absolutely. I think the London music scene has been strong since we’ve been here and continues to unleash great acts. With the likes of James Yuill, Fiction, Kwes, Laurel Collective and Boxed In, it’s an exciting place to wake up to.
What’s next for Post War Years?
There’ll be another single called ‘The Bell’ and an EP of the same name out in October. In the meantime we’ll be doing some remixing and working out how the hell to perform the rest of our album.
In a fantasy world what would be next for Post War Years?
An impromptu invite to Prince’s Paisley Park.