Weird Shapes – Interview

Posted: November 11, 2011 in Weird Shapes

In a short space of time they have secured BBC Introducing play from Tom Robinson & Bob Fischer, national radio play from Q Radio & Amazing Radio, as well as being featured on the influential BBC Introducing & Sentric Music Podcasts. They are playing a string of shows over the back end of 2011 to satisfy their growing online fan base. Ladies and Gentleman I give you Weird Shapes:

Dan Spooner on Lead Vocals and Bass (also answering these questions)
Michael Spooner on Synths and Soundscapes
Matt Cole on Guitar and Graphic design
Ben Curry on Guitar and Vocals
Jonny Snowball on Drums and Samples

Can you take us back to what first got you into music, and what inspired you to start writing your own songs.
My dad has 1000s upon 1000s of Vinyl and every time me and Mike would go to his house we’d listen to different styles and genres. I always liked the rude covers Roxy Music used to have on their records. I have wondered that if Madness had featured scantily clad women on their albums would we now sound like a Ska band?

For anyone who hasn’t heard your music how would you describe it?
Chill Indie is one of the latest monikers doing the rounds in the music press and I suppose that describes half of what we do. The other half is upbeat Guitar Indie, a bit Prog/Math with an Ambient edge? *Blushes* (I hate this self assessment stuff!).

What made you go for the name Weird Shapes?
Being a Teesside based industrial worker I spend a lot of time on Night Shift staring at the vast array of illuminated cooling towers and flare stacks that Teesside has to offer. In the instant that you look away from the lights and flames you still have these weird shaped images imprinted on your retina.

You’ve had a good year so far, what have been the highlights and what are you looking forward to for later in the year?
Recording at Courtyard Studios was pretty awesome. We’re all industrialized mutant children of Teesside so to go somewhere as nice as Oxford for a couple of days was very nice. We’re very much looking forward to releasing more material, we have around 30 demos on our studio computer that we’re itching to get out there.

Tell us about your new single?
It’s a double A side featuring ‘Blue Sky at Night’ and ‘Weird Shapes Light’. It was produced by a guy called Graeme Stewart who has a long association with Radiohead a band we admire.

Music from the North East is attracting a lot of attention at the moment with the help of organizations like Generator and Amazing Radio based in Newcastle. How much do you feel a part of the North East music scene? Which bands would you recommend checking out?
I think the North East scene has never been as healthy. I’ve always been very envious of bands in cities like Liverpool and Manchester who have these huge musical dynasties to tap into. I think bands in the North East are getting themselves out there and making their own history, it’s not all about Jimmy Nail and Chris Rea anymore.

What influences have helped shape your music?
I think mood and atmosphere in music are more influential to us than any particular style. I’m quite into film soundtracks, Matt is really into 70’s prog. It’s all got to be a bit leftfield to get us going, although we do partake in the occasional drunken Simply Red sing along on the way home from gigs…

With the growth of music sharing on the internet it’s much easier to discover new music through platforms such as Soundcloud or Spotify. Have you made any new musical discoveries you can recommend?
3 Trapped Tigers was the last thing I got ‘really into’ as a result of a Facebook share. I’m quite old fashioned in that I prefer to see a band live first and then fall in love with their music afterwards. Probably due to some drunken nostalgic itch for the night before. There’s more to music than being sat behind a laptop!

What’s next for Weird Shapes ?

Nov 29th we’re playing at The MacBeth in London and we’re off back down to Oxford to record the next single which will be released early next year.

Anything else to declare?
I once stole a mars bar and a bag of space raiders from a shop when I was 10.

Give Weird Shapes a “Like” on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/weirdshapes

Follow them on Twitter @weird_shapes

Check their website http://www.weirdshapes.co.uk

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