Plus One: To start with then man, you're pretty well into your U.K tour now, how's it been going, give me a few vibes as to how things have been so far?
Paul: It's been... Well, it's amazing to be on tour. For some reason the technical side of things have caused us a few problems. Yeah, it's been a bit crazy. Because with this new album, we wrote it in a different way, without playing any of it live and so we were worried about how we were going to recreate it and so since January, tragically, we've been working really really hard with getting the electronics to work and we had all these grand ideas. All kinds of interactive things going on, like Rob having electric kits and stuff. It's all kind of crashed down around us, which is kind of fitting in a way because it's added to it and kind of kept that chaos that we've always had present.
It's a pretty full tour as well, I was looking at the dates and you had like, one day off the day before yesterday?
Yeah, actually yesterday was the start of 20 shows in a row which is pretty crazy.
So, to the new album. [The Destruction Of Small Ideas]
It's been out for a little while now I got the sense with this one that you guys have pretty much everything into this one, and you wanted to try to make something pretty special. How would say it's turned out, are you proud of what you've done, and was it a challenge to record?
Oh yeah, it was the hardest thing we've had to do. I mean every band should put everything into every album I think. I mean, we're definitely proud of it. It's turned out the only way it could turn out and it took us a long time to kind of know if we even liked it or not. I mean the first two were recorded so quickly, 4 days and then 6 days, this one we had 4 weeks to do it. And we took time off the second half of last year to write it as well. So, yeah, we kind of put a lot or pressure on ourselves, and took a lot of responsibility.
Did it help then, to give you a drive to create the best that you can do and such?
Yeah, and, we kind of appear to have divided opinions from what the reviewers say. I haven't read any 'terrible' ones as such, fortunately. There's been some 'average' ones, but there's also been plenty of really, really good ones!
What's been the reactions to the new songs, I mean playing them live, has there been a bit of nervousness? You seem like a band that cares a lot for your fans, looking at the constant updates on your websites and such, so what's their reaction been like so far?
They're getting bigger cheers, the longer the album has been out. When we started the tour, we did one date, think we started out getting a reaction three weeks ago, and that was before the album was out, obviously it's been out on the internet for a little while so there was recognition of sorts, which was nice. We're getting more confident, I mean, even the stuff off of the first album, when we play it, there's still the subtlest of changes and only now, only after THAT much time to play it live, does it really kind of feel, you know, finished.
The new stuff is still kind of fresh, which is fine because we're always going to be best as a live band, that's how we represent ourselves in the best way. The fact that they can, as songs, still balance.
It's like, whatever you record, the recording is sort of the 'half way' point..
The single, 'Don't Go Down To Sorrow' was recently released, I checked out the video for it and I really like it. I think the constant camera angle changes and the dark lighting suits the chaotic 'feel' the song. How do you guys think it turned out?
To tell you the truth man, we were really worried about it. Yeah, one of the big things for us is that we know between the four of us we still have all the kind of urgency, the drive and reasons to be in a band. But, having to combine that with writing a third album which is not repeating yourself and trying to push yourself forward. So many of our favourite bands appear to kind of mature, or grow up and everything is smooth and slick. That video was kind of expensive and everything looks so clean. Combined with the type of song it was, it starts so slowly, the album as a whole, the production, we really wanted to represent the right side of 'us' I suppose, like we didn't really want to go for some kind of simple, mainstream approach.
Sticking with the video theme, would you say, in terms of a video, would there be more freedom within instrumental music to make a video about a song. Or more difficult without any lyrics to help paint a picture or story within it. Whereas with instrumental music you're free to go where you want with it..?
Maybe. I mean, I guess you can make a video about anything, I'm trying to think of some video's where the story follows the lyrics follow a story and I just can't think of any..
But certainly, the good thing about our music videos, most of them were made by the guys who do our visuals, called Medlo, who are good friends of ours and we kind of like, trust them to know how we want to be represented. I guess the same goes for any video, you can attach whatever meaning you want to anyway.
Now, I was introduced to you guys via the legendary Myspace. What are your thoughts of perhaps a loss of the more 'organic' way of gaining fans, performing live, word of mouth, rather than a simple 'add request'. Does it perhaps link to the internet as a whole, 'I can just download this rather than buy it' and such?
I think that there will always be a space for live music. It definitely gives us something that nothing else can. We've definitely made it this far, I don't know, we're on the tail end of something I can't work out exactly what it is. But after John Peel died, a lot of things changed. I mean we always found it really hard starting out as a band, looking almost jealously at bands which started five years before us because there seemed to be a little bit more of a supporting network, but compared to now it seems like we had it really lucky, that someone like John Peel helped us so much and it was so much easier for independent promoters to put on little shows up and down the country.
Nowadays you've got Carling Academy, and there's more and more of them cropping up over the country. And Clear Channel, who changed their name to Live Nation to disguise the fact that it's a giant U.S Multi-national. And Myspace, I mean it's owned by Rupert Murdoch now. I don't deny it's an incredibly useful tool, it's just so instant you can hear any band just like that. It's a shame because that's not 'unique' to Myspace is it? You can go to any bands website and do exactly the same thing but it's the way that it's built up into a whole community-based thing which kind of helps spread the word. It'd be interesting to see what happens about that, it's getting bigger, I presume Rupert Murdoch has much more 'sinister' plans, just the advertising on the site, their must be something I feel.
I don't know how it's going to go, just as long as people keep a healthy 'distrust' I guess.
Returning to the live shows, do you have a personal 'favourite' song to perform live, one you look forward to playing for whatever reasons?
I don't think I could you know. I mean, it changes all the time. At the moment, for this tour I really enjoy playing 'Radio Protector', it's earlier in the set, because we have enough songs now, it always used to be kind of a big thing but the fact that we can put it a bit earlier and take people by suprise. And I really like 'These Things We Can't Unlearn' off of the new album, because I think that translates really well live.
Are there any live shows where everything has come together, and at that moment everything feels perfect. Maybe something that made you think 'this is why I'm doing this'?
Recently,when we played Moscow. That's going to stay with us forever. And that's a really good example, because the show was awful! We hadn't had a chance to properly warm up and get back into the live shows, we were breaking new songs in so we were nervous. There were loads of mistakes made and a couple of technical problems. But the crowd, I mean, the Moscow crowd, no-one ever goes there, no-one ever plays. So when a band does go there I everyone goes mental. Just everyone getting so excited and cheering and chanting between every song. That makes it a stand out show, we were pretty awful but the crowd just carried us through. I mean last night [referring to their gig on May 13th at Nottingham's Basement] it was small, the lights were off and the projector blinding us all. Stuff like that, there's just this feeling of belief.
Returning to the new album then. How would you say the whole atmosphere of the band as a whole has changed since the early days of recording your debut album. [The Fall Of math] What's it all like now when you're recording and working through it all, would you say you guys have grown closer?
Definitely, yeah. I think that the thing we've learnt how to do, in 65, is to know the difference between us as friends and band mates. When we were writing it'd be really long days, 6 days a week. We'd get into, really 'impolite' arguments, [we're not very good at shouting at each other]. But we'd be disagreeing furiously all day about certain things but no-one would be backing down and everyone getting really stubborn but I mean three of us live in the same house and we couldn't 'live' like that. At the end of the day we'd get home and just talk about junk and whatever or go for drinks or sit in drinking red wine [which we did far too often!]
But it's like, I think we learnt how to cope, just because you disagree with each other doesn't mean that anyone's right or wrong, or that you have to argue.
So, even though you've just obviously released a new album, what do you hope for the future of the band, in terms of musical direction maybe, or perhaps just some not-so-distant dreams of what you want to accomplish.?
Well, I think the rest of this year will be touring, We got picked up a lot because of something between the writing of this album on the video diary. One of us said something along the lines of we were trying to create the “album to end all albums” and whoever mentioned it didn't think it was, and it's clearly not otherwise we'd stop and they'd be no more point. But that's not what we meant, it's just that every band should TRY and do that. Actually, for the first time, because I mean we all love touring so much and we still do, but we're already kind of wanting to write, which we're not actually going to be able to do for a long time, which is fine, so we'll be touring a lot and hopefully we'll get the chance to do it again. We're really proud of the fact that we've got this far on a really small independent label with no other kind of financial backing because there's not much money, well there's NO money around the band at all! Everyone around the band works for free or cut price wages and we're really kind of happy with that. And we're happy with how far we've come. It's kind of a humbling experience. If we manage to get even the chance to do it again, at this point, we think that's enough for us. We definitely feel like we've got more to say and we want to be the biggest band in the world, as every band should, but we just plan to take it as it comes.
To finish then, one single word to describe the music that IS 65DaysOfStatic?
Thanks for your time man, it's been a true pleasure to interview you and I'll catch you at the gig later. Good luck!
And so the interview ended. This band are one which clearly appreciate where they have risen to, and have many hopes to better even the level they have reached now. Down to earth and incredibly responsive to my questions, Paul helped to open up the world of 65. The most perfect of interviewee's for a band with much to say. The live performance that followed that evening showcasing why they more than deserve to be where they are.
Interview by Jim Hall