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Green On Red - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 21 / 7 / 2006

Green On Red - Interview


Battle have already released four singles and have an album on its way shortly. The rising stars of London indie guitar rock talk to Anthony Strutt about their progress to date, and why honesty is their major priority

Battle comprises of Jason Bavanandan (guitars and vocal), Oliver Davies (drums), Tim Scudder (bass), and James Ellis(guitar). Their debut single, 'Isabelle', came out CD on Fierce Panda in April of last year. A second single, 'Demons', which was released on both CD and vinyl, followed on Transgressive last September. They have since then gone on to release another two singles, 'Tendency' and Children', on Transgressive and have their as-yet-untitled debut album coming out there shortly. The latter two singles have had both a CD and two vinyl editions Pennyblackmusic caught up with Jason, James and Tim after their second acoustic gig at Pure Groove records to promote their third Transgressive release 'Children'. PB : I have known about Battle now for about a year now, and all my friends love the band, but I believe you were all in a band before that called the Killing Moon which, as an Echo and the Bunnymen fan, I didn't know about but I would of definitely checked out. Was that your first band? JB : When we were the Killing Moon, we weren't very good at all. No one knew us. PB : But you did do a Radio 1 showcase, didn't you ? TS : It wasn't a showcase. The four of us have been in this band for four years now, and Battle is like our fourth or fifth name. We did a demo in April 2004, and that got sent in to the unsigned bit on the Radio 1 website. It was selected for that and there was some industry interest in the Killing Moon, but we were terrible up until our last six months under that name. We recorded the demo as the Killing Moon, then we changed our name to Battle because we preferred it. PB : Did you all know each other from school or university and did it all grow from there ? JE : Jason and I were friends at school, and we went to university to form a band basically. We are from South London originally but all four of us are from all over the place. We all started playing together at university which was at Canterbury. But Jason and I met at school when we were about 15, which was seven or eight years ago now. PB : Your first single came out on Fierce Panda. Did it do better than you expected because there was quite a buzz about the band immediately ? JB : It is weird how a buzz can sometimes work because I don't know what it is based on. We hadn't done a lot of well received gigs at that stage, but I think people were talking in certain circles. We didnt print too many copies, about a thousand. PB : That is about standard for Fierce Panda and most small indies. JB :And they went pretty quickly. JE : At the time, we had quite a few people that wanted to release it, but Simon Williams (Fierce Panda's owner-Ed) was one of the few nice guys in the industry whom was into what we wanted to do. We were pleased. PB : You're now on Transgressive which was pretty small when you first joined them. How did they get involved with you ? JB : I remember when I first met Tim from Transgressive, who is its co-owner. They were the same generation, the same age and they talked about their plans about forming a record company and it was the same reasons why we formed a band. PB : I believe you're the first band to sign a long time deal with them. TS : We were the first band to hook up with them, with the view to sticking out an album and developing over a period of time. We wanted to be a career band which strangely is a band that want to make more than one record. We want to make records for as long as we feel that we are good. and that we are into it. A lot of bands get signed on the strength that they will be doing stuff for six to eighteen months and then disappear. PB : You have now released four singles. How far are you into the album then? JB : It is finished. We are waiting for a September release. We have just finished the tour promoting 'Children' and then there will be another single, then the album and then another single, and maybe another one after that. PB : How would you describe your sound then ? JB :. How would you describe it ? PB : Well, my friends have said it is like the Bunnymen, which I don't see. JB : Me neither. PB : Your voice sounds to me like a cross between Joe Strummer and Pete Doherty. You do seem to have an anthemic sound. JB : Anthems to me are poppy, but I don't think we are a pop band. A lot of our songs are short. I think of bands like the Kooks as a pop band. I think we can be a bit more self indulgent. JE : The only thing I would say is that we are trying to be honest and so music fans should accept who we are. That is his face and that is his voice. It is the same as Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys, talking about that 'Fake Tales of San Francisco' and bands singing in a fake accent. PB : Whereas you open your mouth and you sing in a way that feels natural. Both 'Tendency' and 'Chidlren' came out in coloured vinyl editions. Is it you who does that and decides on the colours or is that a record company idea ? JB : No, we been really luckly creatively. We have absolutely complete control over everything. We look at the artwork, and then we choose the colour from that. I try and keep it simple. PB : The art work is quite striking. It is all done by your sister Melissa, isn't it ? JB : Yeah. PB : Do you give her any clues to what to do or do you just give her the song to listen to ? JB : She only just saw us play for the first time on this last tour because she didn't want it to influence her on the artwork. All she had to go on was the song. Sometimes she ask me about lyrics and she works off that. PB : Thank you.

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Green On Red - Interview

Green On Red - Interview

Green On Red - Interview

Green On Red - Interview

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