We got the chance to speak with Belleruche’s DJ Modest ahead of their upcoming Rollerchain album release which you can read below.
VH: How are you?
B: Very well thanks… missing coffee though…
VH: What have you been up to today?
B: As it’s far to early to have done anything interesting I’ve been standing outside the damn postoffice queuing to collect a package of guitar leads. It’s a glamourous life we lead.
VH: Talk us through your new single, ‘Stormbird’.
B: I guess it’s the result of what happens when you try an write a song with compressed guitar feedback, a looped bass line from a sinewave PA test record and have a different vocal line in the left and right channel. I have no idea what we were doing really, but it was fun to try. It seems to have resulted in quite a dark sound, everyone says.
VH: Where did the name come from?
B: We’re not very good at naming things, songs and ideas tend to named after coffee cups, crisp packets or someone who came to the door whilst we were working on the idea. This tends to lead to panicked renaming just before it gets mastered. ‘Stormbird’ was a result of this scientific and rigorous process, that seemed to suit the sound of the song.
VH: What was it like making your new album ‘Rollerchain’?
B: For the first time we had 24 hour access to our own studio space, previously we were sharing, or making things in basements of houses or spare rooms. So we could record vocals at 4am, and do 12hour days of mixing without too many complaints. It’s been excellent to have the space where we can turn up the maps and monitors and really hear the sounds.
VH: What made you want to put the album together?
B: I think we all have different motivations, for me, I just love sound and to have the freedom to spend time playing with instruments, music and sound is an incredible privilege. I just like chasing ideas around, sometimes they turn out alright.
VH: What was different about the process this time around?
B: We had more time, basically – we could really do what we wanted with this album, whereas before it’s always been a rush because we had a tour coming up, or we were running out of time in a studio. This time we actually planned it right and made time away from the distraction of touring, which has meant it was a lot easier to get the ideas to where we wanted them.
VH: A lot of your music sounds like it could be classified under post-Dubstep (The XX, James Blake, etc). Do you think that’s a fair description?
B: I think it’s pretty hard to define what ‘dubstep’ is or was, let alone what’s ‘post dubstep’. I think if you have been listening to any of the more interesting music to come out of the UK over the last 10 years, then there’s a bass music influence that’s going to come through. Bass and drums has been the heartbeat of all western music since early blues, and I’ve always liked music that lets the low frequencies push the idea and sit at the front of the mix.
VH: You mentioned in a previous interview that you like to dig up “old obscure records”. What music are you listening to these days?
B: Over the weekend I bought a compilation of old chicago blues, like Howlin’ Wolf, and Bo Diddley, and listened to a load of stuff from Donky Pitch records, which I like a lot. And on Thursday I went to see Pulled Apart by Horses at the Electric ballroom. So I think that’s a pretty diverse set of music to take in over the last few days…
VH: What does the future hold for you guys?
B: Stormbird single is released on the 26th March, then the new album Rollerchain will be out on the 7th May. And from the 3rd May we are off on a tour of Germany, Switzerland, France and the UK, before doing some festival shows in the summer. Currently we’re trying to work out how we can play the new album live, we seem to spend our time buying and breaking effects pedals at the moment, but I’m sure it’ll turn out fine…
The single ‘Stormbird’ is out now and album ‘Rollerchain’ 6th May out on Tru Thoughts label. For the latest news and tour info visit www.belleruche.com