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Filter Distortion - Interview

  by Harry Sherriff

published: 9 / 8 / 2014

Filter Distortion - Interview


Harry Sherriff chats to Liverpool synth group Filter Distortion, who are about to release their debut album, 'Transition', initially as a vinyl only release

Filter Distortion have been around for a few years in Liverpool, but the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 will see them reach a peak. This is because they’ve done something a lot of bands just don’t do. They’ve recorded an album. The 10-track album titled 'Transition' is set for release, initially on vinyl only, in October. It will be available exclusively in Dig Vinyl on Bold Street, Liverpool and directly via Filter Distortion’s BandCamp page. On the choice of the album title frontman Wes Hughes explains: “It feels like a transitional period for us. For the first time it feels like we really have something” 'Transition' has taken nine months to record, and, with the band taking on producing roles themselves, synth player Ian Hall describes how the hardest challenge is just letting go: “It takes discipline to stop. The artist has to put the paintbrush down sooner or later or he’s running the risk of completely ruining the painting.” The band have come up with something really unique, and it’s impossible to not be swayed by their grassroots DIY passion. The album was recorded with just three microphones and, being inspired by Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘No One Knows’, they also recorded the drums live. Drummer Phil Morton adds, “There’s a beauty in doing everything yourself”. They, however, did get a little help with mastering from Daniel Woodward at Whitewood Studios, where such clients as Ladytron. Outfit, Mugstar and the Wombats have recorded in the past. They are still in the midst of planning out the PR campaign that will get all their hard work heard but it’s all looking promising. There are plans to tour in the New Year. It is inspiring stuff considering they’ve all had to keep down full-time jobs through this intense process. The band have already seen their music feature on Channel 4, LFC TV, BBC 6 Music and international radio, but they’re hungry for more. Filter Distortion came about when Wes was then in-between bands recording some solo stuff in the famous Parr Street Studios, “I was just doing some songs on my own and Ian came in. I wanted him to play bass but he ended up messing about on the synth!” They’re influenced by 80’s electro, and have drawn favourable comparisons with Kraftwerk, New Order and Kasabian. The lads have played in different bands over the years ,and Ian describes some of his humble earlier recordings: “In the beginning I recorded on whatever I had around which ended up being the fruity loops software, and a PC tower that was so loud it ended up in the recordings!” With support slots with Crystal Fighters and popular Liverpool act Tea Street Band as well as decent spots at the Matthew St. Festival, the band are definitely doing the right things. Lead single 'Cameras in the Dark' is a catchy gem (featuring vocals from Cheryl Anna) that indicates the album is going to be well worth a few spins. On the topic of what their long-term plans are there aren't any delusional statements about headlining Glastonbury, but there is still a healthy level of cool ambition. “We just want to keep doing it,” Ian says, whilst Phil quips, “The successful bands are the ones that stay together”. I mention the idea of approaching labels or crowd funding for a second album, which seems like something that is on all their minds. “There are things we can potentially do after this which is exciting,” Wes remarks. Ian likes the idea of crowd sourcing but was at first hesitant: “It wouldn’t feel right asking for money before they’ve actually heard anything but some bands actually do that”. Locally they have had sessions and interviews at Chester Radio, Wirral Radio and on the Dave Monks show on BBC Merseyside, a staple in the local music scene, a scene Filter Distortion don’t feel they’re part of. When asked if they have they been getting advice off friends in other bands Wes tells me, “That’s a weird thing in Liverpool. I’ve got mates in bands and obviously you socialise, but you tend not to talk about it. It can get a bit tiresome”. The word substance comes up a lot in the interview. As in “This is the substance we needed. I didn’t want to be one of those unsigned bands that just releases singles every now and then.” And “We finally have some substance to show people what we’re about,” says Wes. I look forward to listening and finding out. The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Marie Hazelwood. www.filterdistortion.co.uk www.soundcloud.com/filterdistortion www.filterdistortion.bandcamp.com

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Filter Distortion - Interview

Filter Distortion - Interview

Filter Distortion - Interview

Filter Distortion - Interview

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