PHOTO CREDIT: Jaydon Martin
THE boys of Silent Forum have been talking with me…
ARTWORK CREDIT: Jaydon Martin
about their new single, How I Faked the Moon Landing. Officially released on 10th August; it is a memorable and exceptional effort from the Welsh band. They discuss filming the music video and whether other material will arrive in the future – they talk about the Welsh music scene and the media’s perception of it.
I ask them whether there are any gigs coming and how they found one another; if there are any rising artists we need to get behind; what advice they would provide musicians coming through – the guys end the interview by each selecting a song.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Richard Wiggins: Pretty great, thanks! We’re gearing up for the release of our new single at the moment, so we have been doing a lot of promo for that. It’s our first release on a bona fide record label - it’s hugely gratifying to have that support for what we think is our best ever material.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Oli Richards: We have been dubbed ‘Indie-Noir’, which I think sums us up well. Although, our new single possibly fits more firmly in the ‘Dance-Punk’ category. Over the last year, we’ve been taking our introspective Post-Punk sound and developing it into something a little more vibrant.
How I Faked the Moon Landing is your debut single on Libertino Records. Can you reveal the story behind it and how it came together?
Elliott Samphier: How I Faked the Moon Landing was our original band name under a different line-up. We were fun Indie-Pop band in the beginning; so it seemed apt to name this new, more uplifting song after our old moniker.
RW: In terms of the meaning of the song, lines like “Music’s not business – we’re destined to be a local band not on the local radio” jump out to me now. Ironically (and thankfully) this song has actually had four plays on BBC Radio over the last week. We were using this song as a platform to prove what we were made of; I think it sounds driven and purposeful.
Are you thinking ahead to other material - or keen to let the single get out there and bed-in?
Dario Ordi: We have another single, A Pop Act, finished and ready to go. It’s a little weirder and wilder than How I Faked the Moon Landing. We then have a further ten songs which we are recording with our producer Charlie Francis over August and September; this will make up our debut album.
OR: We’ve been really pleased with the initial reception of this first single and are hoping to pleasantly surprise people with what we have coming next.
What was it like filming the video for How I Faked the Moon Landing? Was it cool putting it together?
ES: It was filmed by our good friend Jaydon Martin who has taken charge of the visuals for all of our new material. It was filmed in Barry Island, which is a wonderfully strange seaside town in Wales. Luckily, the locals humoured us by letting us play on the children’s rides and dance in the arcades. Jaydon filmed us on an old-school camera, so the resolution and aspect ratio gives all the footage a peculiar ‘out of time’ feel – it’s a pretty funny video!
RW: It was great to have an opportunity to show off my superb dancing skills.
How did Silent Forum get together and find one another?
OR: We all met via Internet message boards. It’s weird to think that we only know each other thanks to the Internet.
DO: I joined the band a little later than the others; it involved a formal audition - which seems bizarre now!
Cardiff is where you are based. What is the city like in terms of its music and sounds?
RW: Cardiff’s music scene is on the up - although it’s a shame to still see people primarily referring to '90s bands when they talk about Welsh music. Libertino Records are really helping shape things up; we love La Forme and Adwaith - it’s a privilege to be amongst their ranks.
Can you recall the artists you grew up listening to? Which musicians sparked your ears?
OR: At sixteen my dad's Heart and Soul Joy Division box-set opened my eyes to musical catharsis and Post-Punk all at once - Siouxsie and The Bunnymen soon followed.
DO: I remember listening almost exclusively to Heavy Metal between the ages of thirteen-fourteen.
RW: Before I was into music, I was into Pop-Punk (kidding) - bands like NOFX. I remember listening to Radiohead’s In Rainbows when I was fifteen and absolutely hating it; then listening to it twice more in the following days and then absolutely loving it - that kicked off my obsession with music.
What do you hope to achieve before the end of 2018?
ES: We will have finished recording the album by then and will have planned a tour for 2019. We’d like to have been played on BBC Radio 1 and (BBC Radio) 6 before the year is out. We’re playing HUB Festival in August which is going to be fantastic.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – one that sticks in the mind?
DO: We recently performed a soundcheck at about 6 P.M. in a bar/café to a room full of Paul Weller fans (and lookalikes) - that was pretty entertaining.
ES: Writing a new David Bowie-esque track, Don’t Overcook It, in half an hour. It was baffling to see it come together so quickly!
RW: I will never forget singing into the faces of a couple who were snogging at the back of a room during a gig. There was a circle of people around myself and the couple. When they tore themselves from each other’s faces, they were incredibly surprised.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Supporting Protomartyr would be huge for me - the world’s greatest Post-Punk band. Or maybe BROCKHAMPTON - the world’s greatest boyband.
OR: I'd love to support our mates Perfect Body and have a rider made up of only two things: a cheap bottle of red wine and no work the day after. It’s good to have achievable dreams…and wine.
ES: I’d definitely go for Interpol. They were a real game-changer with my music taste! I'd want Quorn scotch eggs. They're the bomb!
DO: I would support Stephen Malkmus and die a happy man. My rider would always consist of mostly cinnamon swirls.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Playing music with friends is the most fun thing in the world - don't forget that.
ES: Don't try to write music for anyone else or to be popular: write something you love yourself regardless of how it sounds. Don't be shy to experiment!
IN THIS PHOTO: Haru Nemuri
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
RW: Today; I discovered this amazing Japanese Noise-Pop band, Haru Nemuri - they are gloriously catchy but with a proper bite. Also; A.A.L. (Against All Logic) released an amazing Deep-House record this year with beautiful Soul samples which make the project sound like Future-Disco.
DO: Yes! SOPHIE is making waves.
IN THIS PHOTO: SOPHIE
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
ES: I love to play board-games and not your standard Monopoly or Cluedo - there's a real explosion of innovative, new table-top games at the moment!
OR: A lot of my chill time involves music, too. I unwind by reading and listening to ambient music. A cup of redbush also helps.
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).
OR: I'm currently loving the new BROCKHAMPTON singles. 1999 WILDFIRE is...well...fire
ES: Honey by moow
DO: I can't stop listening to Trains Across the Sea from the first Silver Jews record. David Berman was one of the best poets of the 1990s.
RW: Garden Dog Barbecue by GoGo Penguin - it is an incredible Jazz take on Dance music
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