Paul from Quiet Quiet Band
IN a musical world where few bands can make their music connect…
let alone their personalities: it is wonderful discovering an act that hit hard on both fronts. Quiet Quiet Band are an incredible London-based five-piece DeathCountryFolkArtRockMovieMusic band (the short description on their Facebook page) and have played everywhere from sweaty bars to barns – bringing their brilliant, beautiful music to the masses – sometimes, livestock and farm animals. In the Body is the latest single from the rousing, good-natured Quiet Quite Band boys. Not only an incredible song: it gives us a glimpse into their future works and what is to come. From the fine facial hairs of the quintet; I get to chat with Paul (from the band) and quiz him good. I ask him about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ new album – all the band is fans of his work – his plans for Christmas and what influenced their forthcoming E.P.’s final track – and why it is called Tony Robinson.
Hey. How are you? How has your week been?
Great, thanks. We have been on a tropical island conducting pagan rituals all to help with the release of COME HOME FROM THE WAR. Can't give too many details but chicken blood and shattered clay idols were involved.
For those new to your music, can you introduce yourself, please?
Quiet Quiet Band are purveyors of homemade-organic-artisan-murder-ballads with a side order of sing-along country and a liberal dash of folk story-telling
It is clear to hear, when discovering your music, how much of a bond the band has. How did you guys meet and what would you say is the reason behind the strong connection?
I trapped the rest of the band into a codependent pact of musically-assured destruction using a mixture of voodoo, guilt, blackmail and passive-aggressive disappointment.
Cleverly, this has been disguised as friendship for commercial gain.
I know Nick Cave is an influence of Quiet Quiet Band. Have you heard the new ‘Bad Seeds album, and if so, what do you reckon?
Jon (drummer) listened to the live stream of SKELETON TREE and described it is harrowing and incredible. I crashed my car when I heard JESUS ALONE for the first time ‘cause I was crying - so working up to a full listen under laboratory conditions.
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In the Body is your latest track and is, as you describe yourself, a departure in terms of sound and themes. What inspired the song and what was the reason for pushing yourselves in another direction?
The departure is really a natural growth for us. IN THE BODY is the 2nd of our front-man Tom’s songs that we've recorded (the 1st was SO LONG on our 1st album LOW NOON). He has a real talent for sensual, emotional writing; so we had to make sure the music conveyed that. Plus we have been listening to a LOT of Fela Kuti. The song is a celebration of our fleshy human vessels, which themselves, grow in their own unique way.
Come Home from the War, where the single appears, is out on November 4th . What can you tell us about the E.P.’s sounds and what was the recording process like?
COME HOME' is definitely the best thing we've done so far.
It builds on the singalong Country stomp that we've always had with deeper African & Gypsy rhythms. We were lucky enough to record with Sam Wheat (Metropolis/RekRoom) and he made everything so simple and relaxed. Plus, his skills on the mix are insane. We could not be happier with how the E.P. sounds.
The final track on the E.P. is called Tony Robinson. Are there lots of Baldrick quotes or a bit of Time Team elements? What brought about the decision to immortalise the comedy legend in song?
There is a little bit of Tony Robinson in all of us. Everyone has had at least one cunning plan at a Roman hill fort, so I hope people can relate to the song. And if you check out Tony Robinson reading Odysseus you can see what a great storyteller he is. It's really a fan letter from one storyteller to another.
I know the E.P. ruminates on conflict and the way we try to escape it. How have recent political and terrorist events gone into your lyrics or are your songs more ingrained in everyday turmoil and confrontation?
Yeah it's all pretty f***** right now. People that crave power are always crazy but seems that we have a golden generation at the moment. Lucky us.
As a band, we've always laughed, danced & sang in the face of death - so the more f***** it gets the more we all need to laugh and dance and sing. COME HOME is trying to process the explosions & invasions by focusing on what really matters the people.
Your music blends sea shanties and zombie riffs; wonderful hoedowns and everything in-between. Which artists are you boys inspired by and helped push you towards the Quiet Quiet Band sound?
We all love a lyric & a story so Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave are massive inspirations. Their ability to convey time, place and feeling with the stroke of a pen is something we aspire to.
Also, Modes Mouse & Violent Femmes for that misanthrope, party-time vibe. Plus, lots of Fela Kuti. He had it all: when we finally start our commune, it will be because of Fela.
You each have mighty fine facial hair in different stages of evolution and maturity. Which band member would you say how the best facial hair – or is it something subject to fierce debate?
Tom (front-man) has to win his is care and attention; the rest of ours are laziness.
Aside from your E.P. and new music, are there are dates or upcoming events you are really looking forward to?
The E.P. launch is going to be incredible (4 Nov @ The Finsbury in London). We've got a full-on Folk set coming up for Woodburner on 20th Oct in London that we’re excited about. Also, a Reading show in November that is going to be amazing -great lineup for that one.
Not to be depressing but it’s about three-and-a-half months until Christmas. What is on your wishlist for this year?
A mansion so we can start our commune; a statue of Cthulhu and Donald Trump to find the dharma.
Getting back to music, and I am interested to know about the creative process. How do songs come together and who usually leads the songwriting?
Songwriting comes first from myself & Tom. When we have something decent we present to the band who tear it down and build it back up.
Scott (bass) is the sarge when it comes to this play-and-vicious-edit process. Inspiration mostly comes through coded messages left at bus stops and whispers in the darkness.
Looking at your music and tour dates and you seem to be torn between the country and city. Where do you feel happiest and most inspired, or does a blend of the two provide a perfect balance?
I think it's safe to say the majority of these band are city-mice. It's only me that fears large settlements - too many people set off the voices in my head, like when Patrick Stewart puts on the Cerebro helmet in X Men.
Have you any advice for your bands coming through right now?
Channel as much pagan magic as possible. All else is folly
Finally and for being a good egg you can name any song you like (not one of yours as I’ll do that) and I’ll play it here...
Zombie by Fela Kuti (if you can fit it in). Ta.
Follow Quiet Quiet Band
Header Photo Credit: Silvia Cruz
See Quiet Quiet Band live
Friday 23 September: The Finsbury, London N4
Saturday 1 October: The Bell on the Green, Devizes
Friday 4 November: The Finsbury, London N4 (official E.P. launch)
Friday 25 November: Rising Sun Arts Centre, Reading