IT has been great speaking with One-Way Song…
about their formation and what we might expect from their forthcoming E.P., Passionate Leave. I was keen to know what inspired the E.P. and how the band got together; what Manchester is like as a base and which rising artists we need to get involved with.
The guys discuss their music tastes and reveal whether they will hit the road; if they have a particular album they all love and what their plans are for 2019 – they end the interview by selecting a rather good song.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We’re good, thank you. We’ve been preparing for our album release so a busy week!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We formed out of a theatre group named Finn Youth Productions that we set up after turning down university a few years ago to start it. In early-2017, we’d written some songs for a future production but decided they’d be good to record and release in their own right - this soon snowballed into live gigs and then into a fully-fledged project, hence ‘One-Way Song’. Now, our debut E.P. Passionate Leave, is coming out this November.
How did One-Way Song find one another? Was it an instant bond?
The initial members met through working together on theatre, so it was seamless going on to start One-Way Song. I should say, though, that we operate more as a collective than a traditional band now: we don’t have fixed members, so to speak. Mat and Keiron at Hilltown Studios completely transformed the songs in production and Jay Stansfield, the lead singer from All Hail Hyena, does vocals on Billy Fisher Fitzgerald. It is the idea of One-Way Song that is the main thing; more than who is involved at any given moment.
You are based in Manchester. Is there a varied and busy scene there now?!
We’re based in Manchester but have actually been in Budapest a lot of this year, so it’s a bit disorientating. The stuff in Manchester that’s not being pushed is quite cool; The White Hotel seems a good venue (though that’s Salford really) and the Imperial War Museums had this exhibition about Wyndham Lewis - which we mention later on - that was great, so that’s very varied. You go to the stuff that is self-consciously the ‘Manchester scene’, though, and it’s like the Apathetics from that film, Zardoz. Ultimately…it depends what you are looking for.
Passionate Leave is your upcoming E.P. Are there particular themes that inspired the E.P.?
As the title might suggest; a lot of it is inspired by travel. Mark Twain said something like Napoleon was once the only man in Europe who could really be called a traveller; he was the only man who had devoted his attention to it, but now everybody goes everywhere - this rings even truer today with everlasting gap-years and Airbnb and so on. It’s like a democracy of vitality: everyone is in love with too many things. It’s something we wanted to examine a bit.
One track is about Marseille, one is about Germany; one is about the travelling through the U.K. class system, but all from different perspectives.
Which artists did you all grow up around? Do you have any personal musical idols?
A lot of film soundtracks, like the Bond music from John Barry and the Dollars trilogy music by Ennio Morricone. And things like Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash. We can’t really say we have any idols, so to speak; just people like the above whose work we really respect.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Right now, we are dedicated to the release of Passionate Leave. Then, our next aim is to get even newer songs recorded before the end 2019. We’ve written a follow-up album entitled Dark God’s Latter Holidays, with two new singles ready to record and release.
In that same vein; do you have plans for 2019 in terms of what you want to accomplish?
It’s ambitious, but we’re doing a play about Wilhelm Reich that involves original tracks by One-Way Song and we hope to stage it in 2019. Reich invented the orgone box and the cloudbuster (which Hawkwind and Kate Bush sang about, respectively) but it will be a historical play also covering events around his life from the assassination in Sarajevo to MI6 and Rasputin. It’ll be rewarding and we hope to bring together both our music and theatre work.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Probably, for each of us, it’s our Imperial War Museums showcase. Our group is named after a poem by Wyndham Lewis, so to do our debut performance at the first major exhibit of his work in sixty years was a good memory. We got to see the whole exhibition afterwards and there was this portrait there donated from the private collection of Bryan Ferry, which was cool. Lewis is still ahead of his time, even minor books like Doom of Youth, which is nearly ninety years old. Says more about what is going on today than most contemporary works.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
By unanimous choice it’s Lulu by Lou Reed and Metallica. It’s like Metal Machine Music: it will take years for everyone to catch on (if they ever do). The opening lines to Brandenburg Gate alone are enough to make this a masterpiece.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Ennio Morricone, I guess! He’s still making great music. As for the rider; a sole glass of Caveman True Paleo Formula.
Can we see you on the road this year at all?
We’re working on it is all I can say right now. News will be coming very soon, though, so stay tuned.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Get good people around you; read books that aren’t on the syllabus; stick to art as opposed to ‘the arts’.
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
This is a tough question.
I guess we don’t really see music as something to relax from! We enjoy working on new stuff all the time. The only problem we have is finding time to fit it in. We agree with that Bernard Shaw quote: “A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell”. Must be the Catholic work ethic.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
We’re going to choose unanimously again! Laibach - Opus Dei (Life Is Life)
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