I have been speaking with Perfect Body…
about their new single, Fields, and releasing a Split EP with Zac White (it will be available digitally from 12th October). I ask how they came to work with White and what the story of their latest track is; how they found one another and why they have an attachment/fondness for older formats/music’s physical side.
The Welsh band talks about their favourite music/artists and which rising artists we should get behind; the choice memories from their careers so far; if there are any gigs coming up – they provide some useful advice for artists coming through.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Not so bad, thanks!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Perfect Body, from Cardiff, made up of five members that are Josh Dickins, James Bikram; Sioned Willicombe, Will Johnson and Cam Wheeler.
Fields is your new single. What is the story behind the song?
Cam: The title, Fields, was taken from a lyric in the song that read: “I wander through, fields of desire” - and the concept of the song is based around this line I guess. When writing the lyrics, I had recently had an experience where I realised a number of things that I desired were far out of reach. Instead of this affecting me negatively, I figured that maybe in a different reality these things could happen which was quite comforting.
You are releasing a split-E.P. with Zac White. How did that collaboration come about? Can you talk more about it?
The whole Cardiff music scene is crazy-friendly. We knew Zac and his band (all members of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard) very well just from being around Cardiff. Rich Chitty from Bubblewrap Collective suggested the idea of doing a record with Zac. We loved Zac’s music from the start so we pretty much agreed straight away.
It seems like you have a love of physical formats and an older style! Is it true there will be vinyl pressings of the E.P.?!
Yes. There will be vinyl pressings of the E.P. We all collect records, so to have our first release straight onto a 12” is a blessing. Our good friend Teddy Hunter, also really prolific in Cardiff’s music scene, provided us with some of her stunning digital art for the cover and we’re all very grateful to her for how good it looks.
How did Perfect Body get together and start making music?
Cam: Me, Will and James grew up together all the way throughout school and have been friends the whole time. I think one day we all realised we loved the same music and figured we should start a band. James introduced Sioned to the band about a month after we started playing together, then very quickly we found that we needed a bass player. I knew Josh just about well enough to ask him while on a night out on the town if he would like to play bass in this band. He had played in bands pretty much his whole life and he said ‘yes’. Haha.
In terms of musical inspiration; what sort of music were you raised on?
Josh: Back when I first started playing music, I was really into all the Thrash-Metal classics (Megadeth, Metallica etc.). And, as I got a bit older, I got really into bands like Fugazi and Slint as well. So, I guess I was raised on that. I wouldn't say that’s really reflected in the music we play now though. As a band, we listen to a big variety of music but we have a lot of common ground in bands like My Bloody Valentine, Toy and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Will: My dad’s well into the Blues and I heard my fair share of Hendrix growing up. Nobody will ever wield a Strat better.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
We’ve no specific plans for what we’re doing after the record comes out. But, our main aim is to play further afield around the U.K. a bit more. Hopefully, we’ll have started work on our next release as well.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Will: Headlining Bristol’s renowned venue The Fleece in front of a grand total of about five people, including a crackhead off the street and a guy rocking with a Zimmer frame. HA! But, what sticks out most to me was our first gig in May 2017. We opened for Surf Curse - Clwb Ifor Bach bottom floor.
Just hearing how our music translated from a cramped practice room onto a fat P.A. system; hearing the reverb fill the room. It was a thrilling rush and it reassured us going forward. We were nowhere near as tight back then but people seemed to dig what we were doing from the start.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Josh: Dots and Loops by Stereolab
It has so many layers to it and is so complex without feeling showy. Really has its own sound; I’ve never really heard anything that sounds quite like it.
Will: Dizzee Rascal’s Boy in da Corner
It will forever appeal to my inner bandit, keeps me on my toes.
Cam: Nico - Desertshore
From the first listen, I was so intrigued by both the songwriting and the delivery. It scared me but also felt very familiar. It took me to a place only the imagination could access.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Stick us on tour with the B.J.M. with a whole lotta red wine!
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
We would love to get around the U.K. a bit more for sure. There are some plans in the works to play a couple cities we’ve never played before. Next show is in Le Pub supporting Say Sue Me; a band we really like. We are playing Sŵn Festival in our hometown, Cardiff, on 20th October which will be a blast: all our good friends will also be playing. And, then, 3rd November we are playing The Maze in Nottingham. We will be organising a launch party for the E.P. as well.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Love what you do; try not to worry about what other people think of your music. Get out and support your local scene and your scene will support you.
IN THIS PHOTO: Accü
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Josh: I like to cook, I go to the pub; I watch films, I occasionally read a book. Nothing interesting there, I’m afraid.
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).
Josh: Bowery Electric - Without Stopping
Will: Robert Lester Folsom - Biding My Time
Cam: The Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea
Follow Perfect Body