Firstly, we love Ores and Minerals. How did the recording and writing process differ for this LP?
Jack: It couldn't really have been any more different. We were a member lighter and we recorded in bedrooms and backrooms rather than a studio. The writing process again was completely different. All the songs on the first record were written in a very traditional way, either springing from a guitar part or a vocal melody. I think I'd just gotten bored with that approach so we switched things up. I think in my head I wanted us to make a record that was both totally original, which of course is impossible and something that wasn't influenced by anything but influenced by everything. I think in that respect, it's successful. So yeah, instead of guitar art of vocal melody, the song would be built up around whatever sparked off an idea...a sample, a drum loop or a repetitive rhythm.
The record has lots of loops and kraut-infused grooves, what bands were you listening to at the time of making the album?
Jack: Nothing vastly different from when we were making the first record. The first one is very much indebted to a lot of guitar music from the nineties. Tone wise. I'm contradicting myself slightly but we tried to incorporate a lot of the less straight music we like into this record. But then yeah, the things we've always liked as a band, Lungfish, Stereolab, Arthur Russell and definitely The Fall. I tried personally to steer clear of any american music during the recording, to give any 12 bar leather jacket cliches a wide birth
Why is the record called Ores and Minerals?
Conan: I think we were shooting ideas around for artwork for the record Me, Jack and Sophy who did all the art, we came across one of those old posters you'd find in class rooms depicting minerals and what they're called. As i remember the poster just said Ores & Minerals in the middle and it seemed to fit perfectly with how the sound of the record was coming together.
When you released A Thousand Heys it was very much at the time the DIY London scene was emerging. What do you make of the current music scene?
Jack: I don't feel particularly involved with any scene really any more. A lot of the bands we used to play with have split up, bands like Teen Sheihks, Graffiti Island, Pens. It's great to see Veronica Falls doing really well because they write great songs and they've worked incredibly hard. That whole east-London scene felt great 3/4 years ago... it really was very inclusive and everyone was extremely supportive of each other. The lo-fi/DIY/grunge tag was just that, but there was a sense of camaraderie and fun and 'doing it yourself'. I suppose a criticism is that it was all quite backwards thinking, but in fairness nowadays bands have no time to carve their own path before they're judged. There are a lot of talented people in those bands and I'm sure many great records will come. There was a piece in the Quietus recently that chastised bands like ours and Male Bonding for only caring about having our photos taken with beer. I suppose it's an easy target for the prefects over at the Quietus but I found myself agreeing with bits of the article.
How do you think the new songs will work in a live environment and alongside tracks from the first record?
Conan: Obviously there's certain tracks on the first LP which would stand out like a sore thumb sandwiched in between some of the new ones. Not that that's a bad thing, i think it's great to see a band with a diverse sound live. But i think on that first album there were some tracks which maybe got overlooked a little and in those tracks id say are definite elements of what were doing now.
Will we see you guys at any festivals this summer?
If we're asked then definitely but between you, me and everyone who reads this article, I think a lot of bands find the whole process a little bit soul destroying. There are ones that stand out... festivals that are pretty perfect like MIDI in France, Primavera, maybe even some of the city ones in the UK like Sounds From The Other City but in general they're not much fun to play. You don't get a soundcheck, you don't get to use your own equipment and I think it's fair to say in the UK a lot of festival goers are more concerned with getting wasted. So yeah if we get asked but we won't be crying if we don't play Secret Garden Party.
Finally, a bit of fun – every time I watch the ‘Summer Hits’ video I want to jump on my bike. Do you cycle lots or was that just for the video? Are you fans of Sir Bradley?
Jack: I think I'm wary of him because he's a mod
Conan: Yeah i think the greatest thing you can do when living in a city is to cycle. The sense of exploration, adventure and forward motion from your own efforts really helps break up the sometimes claustrophobic and monotonous repetition of city life.