Aylesbury noise duo Glockenspiel returned to our ears last month with their sublime second album ‘Dupleix’. SubSiren caught up one half of the band, guitarist Adrian Dollemore (pictured below), for an exclusive interview
It’s been five long years since the release of your debut ‘Enspiel’ so why has the follow-up taken so long?
It has been a while. I suppose partly because we recorded and mixed it ourselves, which was fairly laborious. Recording the drum tracks took time to hone and the guitars are very layered up. Originally we had more pieces, but we had to shorten it to fit on vinyl. There were complications finding someone to release it, also. Plus we both had broken bones at different times for several months, so that got in the way too.
‘Dupleix’ seems to capture your raw, distorted live sound more than your debut?
‘Enspiel’ was/is difficult to play live. It’s basically us sampling and processing ourselves, and doing a kind of cut and paste idea with the results. We both like that we can apply a more electronic approach to what we do, but we wanted to make a record that was consistent with how we usually play live.
Although I can’t imagine you will be releasing any singles from the album, what is your personal favourite track and why?
It changes….I quite like ‘Bellville’ at the moment. It’s pretty different to anything we’ve done before. It’s quite upbeat, which I would say is unusual for us. I still really like the drone elements to the album though.
Have you ever considered making a video for any of your tracks? Your music strikes me as ripe for a visual companion
Yeah we’d love to. It would be great to get other people involved, get some outside influences etc. We’re working on some projections to use live, but again, it’s takes us ages.
Where do you find inspiration for your music and how do you begin to write it? Is there a large element of improvisation?
We just enjoy playing music together, have similar tastes and enough differences for it to work. It normally starts from a sound, a melody or a ryhthmic idea. Then we record it, very roughly, listen back to it, sometime afterwards and if there’s anything we like we try and remember how we did it, and chip away at improving it. It’s pretty organic though.
The improvisation question comes up a lot. But we don’t do it as much as people think. Years ago we did. We would turn up to gigs not knowing what we were going to play, which does give you a certain thrill. But it seemed to become more and more difficult to do that and be pleased with the end result. So we fell into a way of writing recognisable pieces that had all the compositional ingredients we like, but in such a way that we had some room for movement within them. So they’re the same each time, but slightly different, if you see what I mean.
Have the tracks on the new record been performed live before and if not are you looking forward to playing them?
Yeah we’ve played them all live before and look forward to playing them again.
The new release has been put out by jazz label ‘Babel’. How did you hook up with them and what are they like to work with?
It was going to be released by another label, but it didn’t happen for various reasons. Anyway, one of the guys involved in that went on to become the label manager at Babel and it all came about from there. We wouldn’t have thought of approaching a Jazz label if they hadn’t offered.
They’re good to work with, well connected etc. Apparently Stewart Lee is a big fan of their output. Hopefully we’ll get to play in Europe again and do some festivals. We’ll see how it goes.
Steve (d’Enton – drummer) and I are not very organised people and self-releasing music needs a fair bit of money and resources, which we don’t have. So I think we benefit from taking the more traditional route of being on a record label.
Glockenspiel seem to be every local bands experimental support act of choice. Do you enjoy these cameo appearances in Aylesbury town or do you prefer playing to crowds more familiar with your work?
It’s always good to play live. It’s the most enjoyable part of making music I reckon, wherever it is. I think the only difference is that locally perhaps we (are) maybe thought of by some as being more experimental than we actually are.
What bands or artists in general are you liking at the moment?
I really like D_Rradio/Deathrow Radio. They used to make programmed beat driven music, now they produce very haunting, beautiful modern classical/ambient stuff. Might sound dreadful put like that but it’s really earthy and humble music I think. ‘Seasons’ & ‘Forecast’ are great.
Finally, where can SubSiren blog readers next check out the band live?
We’re playing at The Union Chapel in London on Saturday 17th November with The Trans Siberian March Band.
‘Dupleix’ is out now on vinyl, CD and download and can be purchased via the Babel Label