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Dark Dark Horse - Interview

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 25 / 5 / 2013

Dark Dark Horse - Interview


Dave Goodwin speaks to ex-Kyte and current Maybeshewill member Jamie Ward and Kids in Cars singer James Stafford about their Leicestershire-based electronica duo Dark Dark Horse and 'Centuries', its debut album

Dark Dark Horse? Never heard of them? I have a feeling you are going to be seeing and hearing a fair bit from this collaboration from deepest, darkest Leicestershire. They are ex-Kyte and current member of Maybeshewill Jamie Ward and singer James Stafford from Kids in Cars. They have recently released their debut album 'Centuries' at Pennyblack, and I have seen them live when they produced what I have to say is a very confident set. Jamie writes the music and James turns the electronic doodles into the tracks we hear on the album. The story goes that, after posting some initial demos online, they attracted the attention of a record label in Japan called Rallye which offered them a deal. They've already had day time national radio play via BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, and they've also been tipped to be nominated for a Mercury Prize. They took a little bit of time out to talk to us about the album, the past, and almost becoming a robot... PB: Jamie, what sort of differences did you find working with James as opposed to your band Maybeshewill which has a totally different sound? JW: I help shape the sound with Maybeshewill, but don't really start any songs. With Dark Dark Horse, I compose and produce the instrumental. Then I'll send these to James, and he'll come up with the melody and lyrics. I occasionally guide him a little, but it's largely two separate entities. PB: James, Kids in Cars' music and songs like 'Animate' and 'So it Goes' are also very different to the sound you've created with this collaboration. Again what sort of differences did you find working with Jamie? JS: The sound of Kids in Cars was old friends, each being influenced by different spectrums of rock, and throwing these influences into a melting pot to see what we could create. I'd always dabbled in 'Computer' music and sequencers since the late 90's, so when Jamie first showed me his I knew where he was coming from. His music was almost exactly what I would aim to create myself, if I could to his level. Also his influences in a musical sense were quite close to mine, so it really wasn't difficult. It was also as well a really nice challenge to rise to. PB: You posted some initial demos online to, I presume, get a bit of exposure. What were they? JW: Just not as well produced versions of 'Sharks' and 'Ethics' really. PB: How surprised were you when Rallye offered to release an album? JW: That was great, one of those emails you get which totally makes your day. In some ways it was a bit odd as we had to write an album to do the release as it's not really worth it for a Japanese label to release an EP for a new foreign band. We finished an album before we even had a band really. PB: How difficult was it dealing with a record company some 5000 miles away? JW: No problems! Fumi who runs the label is a great guy. PB: How long did it take to get the album finished once you'd linked the music to the lyrics? JW: That was the long bit really. After that the final production is a little battle for me, but I think I just sat down for two weeks and powered though until I was happy to let it go. PB: The album is full of memories and experiences past and present. Are they anyone's in particular? JS: Well, I think any good album has to have some kind of central theme, apparent or not. The album as a whole, to me, reflects the speed and direction in which humanity as a whole is going, looking to the future and trying not to repeat mistakes of the past, the regrets of the past. Be it on a personal level but also entwined within society. I imagine a kind of collective memory possibly. PB: One of my favourite tracks from the album is 'The Sound of Muscles'’. Who is it that can't speak any words? JS: Ha, well running on the same theme, I think that song represents the technology aspect, so it's the story of somebody whose life has been taken over by machines, computers and instructions...almost becoming a robot themselves. To the point, where maybe there's no need to talk anymore. PB: Whose idea was the video for 'Ethics'? Some of it looks like it was shot in Bradgate Park? JW: The video for 'Ethics' was put together by Fraser West. Some of it is shot when he was doing a ski season and France, and some of it was indeed shot in Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. It was originally going to be a totally abstract piece, but it wasn't quite interesting enough so we added a bit a trippy narrative. PB: I saw you guys at the Bodega in Nottingham supporting Fossil Collective. What sort of help have you had from them? JW: I did a remix for them a while back. To repay us the took us out on a few dates of their UK album tour. PB: Can we expect any more from Dark Dark Horse? JW: Yeah, we have loads more material that's sort of nearly complete, but just needs producing properly but that takes me a while. We'll be releasing some new material in the winter. PB: Thank you.

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Dark Dark Horse - Interview

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