Just over a month ago 65daysofstatic released their fourth studio album, We Were Exploding Anyway. Not only is their first studio album in three years, but one of their finest, and we caught up with Paul Wolinski to find out what it's like to be part of one of Britain’s most exciting bands.
First of all, how has 2010 been treating 65dos so far? Good, thanks. The beginning of the year was when we wrapped up the new record and we have never been as excited or satisfied with a record as we are with this new one. It's like a year zero for us in a lot of ways. After that, we primed all the new songs and a bunch of old ones for tour, and then after a quick trip to Japan we went on a huge jaunt around Europe. Only just got back. Wanna go away again. A pretty common reaction to the new album is that it's moving away from your 'post-rock roots' towards a more electronic sound, which is something I saw coming from seeing you live last summer. What prompted this change? We never had post-rock roots. We had noise and glitch roots. When we first started out as 65daysofstatic it was all beats and distortion and we used to drop Christina Milian cut-ups in the middle of our shows. We were cool back then. But we got restless and also wrote ourselves into a fairly anti-social corner, so we became a real band with real drums and opened up a whole new world. This album seems much more like an evolution to us, a focussing of our strengths, rather than any kind of radical departure. A lot of bands reject the term 'post-rock', and it seems like the bands that embrace it are very much by-the-numbers. What do you think of 'post-rock' as a genre term, especially one that has frequently been applied to you? Since day one, the 65 MO was to do its best to operate outside of any easily definable genre. It seemed like a vital thing for us to strive for- what is the point of making music that already exists? Our feelings on this have changed quite a lot over the past couple of years and for me personally it had a lot to do with rediscovering house music. There are some terrible house records, but then there are also some amazing ones. And yet, there are some really strict rules about tempos and arrangements that all the songs seem to follow. What I mean is, making music that remains interesting and relevant that actively strives to sit inside a pre-existing genre is just as valid as writing music that sounds like nothing else. It's obvious, I suppose, it just took me a while to get there. If the music is good who cares what genre it is. Anyway - as far as 'post rock' goes. I don't care. None of us do. It's a nonsensical name when taken literally. The only way I think about it is in a wider context of how to write music that is somehow useful to other people, because whilst we are driven to making noise, doing it purely for ourselves would be the worst kind of self-indulgence. What led you to leave Monotreme for Hassle? Is Hassle a better fit for the band? The departure from Monotreme was totally amicable, and they will still handle all of our back catalogue, so we are in contact with them regularly. Hassle have been really supportive of us. I don't think they are a better or worse fit for us than Monotreme. We have never been a band that suits a particular type of label. We're a fairly autonomous unit, and it is unlikely that any label in the world could have a roster where we could sit comfortably with all of their acts. We're just happy that we have a record label at all! How did the collaboration with Robert Smith come about? What was he like to work with? We asked him, he said yes. We worked remotely for the song on the record -we were busy in our studio and he was busy in his. Really glad we made it work, it works really well, I think. When we toured with them, Robert and the rest of The Cure were all incredibly easy to work with. Really helpful, really supportive people.
This is the second time you've had one track on an album feature guest vocals, do you think this trend will continue? Or can you see yourselves having more than one per album, a new regular singer, or even singing yourselves? The only downside to doing more than one track on a record with singing is being able to perform it live. Now more than ever we understand the need for us to be able to fully create everything we put on record in the live arena because that is where we are strongest. That being said, who knows? Whenever we have felt vocals have been necessary we have tried them. There were almost two songs on this record that have vocals. We have tried singing ourselves but the following 18hours of auto-tune was quite a humbling experience. I was sorry to hear that you had to cancel your world tour, especially given how much time you guys seem to spend on the road. Will the dates be rescheduled? They definitely will. Our agent has been working at it for months now. It's hard for a band our size to afford to get all the way to Aisa and be able to stay out there to hop between countries and play all the shows that we want to, so the timing needs to be right. But we will be back. Japanese bonus tracks are a pretty common thing, but you guys have put out Japan only compilations and spend a lot of time over there - why is this? They like us out there, we have a great record label, and we keep get invited. It's an amazing country. The reason so many bands have bonus tracks and exclusive releases over there is because - at least in our case - it is sometimes hard for the record label to convince people to buy the Japanese copies of the record rather than simply importing it from Europe. Our record label has been very good to us, so we try to help them out. If they can't make it work, then we wouldn't be able to go over there any more.
Will you be playing any festivals this year? Yes. Are you still working with Medlo and touring with The Mirimar Disaster? I have seen the combination of the three of you so many times that catching you at a festival without either was an odd experience. Medlo - on occasion. We are both very busy and have said a few times that the next time we take visuals out on the road we really want to step up the production level - something which we simply don't have the budget to do at the moment. The Mirimar Disaster have sadly split up, but Frankie Dizzle, guitarist/singer, is now our guitar tech, so a little part of the Mirimar is always with us. He's really good at falling over and losing things. (And tuning guitars). We still see the rest of the guys – all good. I'm sure they will return in one form or another before long... You can visit the band by going to www.myspace.com/65propaganda 'We Were Exploding Anyway' is out now via Hassle Records