Submotion Orchestra interview Sept ’13
As a major gig at Koko approaches I caught up again with Submotion Orchestra. Previous interview.
DB: How has it been this year, and when did the latest music start to appear?
SO: We’ve been pretty busy thanks. We had a little rest after finishing touring last year, since we were at it pretty constantly from March through to November. But in January, we went out to a little cottage in Wales to write new material, and since then we’ve been juggling select gigs – we mostly went to Europe this summer instead of doing UK festivals – with more writing and recording.
DB: What are you guys going to be showcasing at this gig at Koko in terms of staging and new tunes? or a new sound?
SO: We’ll have a new EP in time for the November tour, so we’ll be playing all of that, as well as a few obvious tunes and hopefully a couple of surprises. We’ve not got together yet to plan the tour, so as to what exactly will happen, we’re not too sure. But there should be some interesting and different things for people who know us well.
DB: Got more details about the new material?
SO: Well, we’ve recorded a bunch of tracks in one of our favourite studios in Leeds – Greenmount. There’s five for the EP, then a few more spare, and then a bunch of stuff that we wrote and recorded on our Wales trip that’s waiting to be finished off. We always try to keep up the momentum when it comes to getting new material, so there’s a bit of a backlog, but I guess it’s better to have more stuff than not enough.
DB: The ‘dubstep’ question: N Type fairly recently said to me that the genre was past the ‘hype’ period and it seems that the industry has gone elsewhere for kicks. Would you agree? I personally think it just leaves the driven, artistic, interesting hardcore to get on with it.
SO: Dubstep started off as a variety of approaches at dub and garage-influenced music at 140bpm. The ‘hype’ was when people – perpetuated by lazy journalism and teenage-centric media – started to think it was a genre that was defined by routing a low-pass filter to an LFO and high-impact rock-like drum samples. The exact same thing happened in D&B a couple of years before that. Now that the term has been soiled by countless wobbly pop remixes and low quality gimmicky productions, the hype-followers/media/bandwagon-jumpers have called it ‘dead’. Either way it can come back.
DB: Back to what you guys do live, do you switch songs around as you play? Can you be flexible in terms of changing arrangements live?
SO: At the moment, we don’t have a fixed setlist. One of the nicer things about getting more material as time goes on is that it gets easier to keep things fresh on the gig by calling out tunes that maybe we’ve not done for a while, or that will suit a particular place or crowd. Since we play at a lot of different types of gigs – from jazz festivals to club nights and so on – we need to be able to call upon a bunch of stuff in order to suit the crowd. The more jazzier gigs are nice since they give us the chance to stretch things out a little more, and we don’t have to be as worried about keeping it up. No pun intended.
DB: Lastly where’s a dream place you’d love to play or visit as artists?
SO: Steve Reich’s garage.