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Slowdive - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 10 / 4 / 2016

Slowdive - Interview


Neil Halstead, the front man with influential shoegaze band Slowdive, talks to Anthony Strutt about his band's forthcoming comeback album and their inclusion on recent shoegaze box set, 'Still in a Dream'

One of the shoegaze movement of the early 1990's premier bands, Slowdive are currently working on as yet unnamed fourth album, having reformed after a nineteen year absence two years ago. Front man Neil Halstead spoke to Pennyblacknusic about it and the inclusion of the track 'Slowdive' on the brand new five CD box set, 'Still in a Dream', which out now on Cherry Red Records traces the story of shoegaze. In addition to recording the much awaited comeback album, he continues to tour solo, while his label, Big Potato Records, has just released the debut album by President Sweetheart. PB: Slowdive are on the new shoegaze box set, ‘Still in a Dream’. How involved have you been in the box set? Did you choose your track ‘Slowdive’ for it? NH: I have not involved, other than we gave permission for the track to be included. It looks like the pretty conclusive shoegaze article though, and I’m sorry to say that I have not heard of all the bands included. I look forward to checking it out. PB: You will have seen the finished track listing. How impressed are you with it? Do you feel that is a good introduction and summary of the era? NH: As I say, it seems pretty thorough and I’ll enjoy trawling through and discovering a bunch of bands I never heard before, as well as a bunch that I remember from the time. PB: All five of Slowdive’s original EPs and three albums, ‘Just for a Day’, ‘Souvlaki’ and ‘Pygmalion’, came out on Creation Records. In retrospect do you think at the time you signed to the right label? NH: Yes. We were all massive Creation fans, and I think we were pretty comfortable on the label right up until 'Pygmalion'. I think at that point Creation was chasing Brit pop and we were exploring fairly ambient and abstract ideas…so it was probably not the best match up at the end there. PB: Slowdive’s earlier influences were ‘Lazy’-era My Bloody Valentine and the Velvet Underground. What other acts influenced you into picking up a guitar? NH: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, the Cocteau Twins, the Byrds, AR Kane, Dinosaur Jr., the House of Love... PB: Slowdive are currently recording their fourth album. How's it going and has the writing process changed at all in the twenty odd years that you have been away? NH: We are cracking on with it. I think we are working in a pretty similar way to how we used to, with lots of playing in a rehearsal room and then recording pretty quickly but recording a lot of jams and seeing where they go. The digital process means the editing stage of the process is much more involved, but perhaps similar to how we worked on 'Pygmalion'. We have less time to rehearse these days, so I think we're working on ideas more in the studio than we used to. It’s been a lot of fun, and I think we‘re all excited about getting something finished. PB: Have expectations changed in what you may end up delivering? NH: I don’t think so. We have kept things pretty open, so there is no set idea about what kind of record it may be. We‘re still seeing how it will pan out. We just want to make some thing good, you know! PB: You have been the owner of two indie labels now, Shady Lane and Big Potato Records. Do you enjoy working on that side of the business? NH: I like the idea of it, but really the business side is not my strong point. Putting out records you really like is great though. I’m more the silent partner. We just released 'I Play My Shadow', the debut album by the band, President Sweetheart. PB: There were plans to do a live album recorded, I think, at the Chicago Metro. Is that still going ahead? NH: We are mixing some stuff from the US tour we did at the end of 2014. I am not sure which show it will be but it will be out before the summer hopefully. PB: Thank you.

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Slowdive - Interview

Slowdive - Interview

Slowdive - Interview

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Interview (2014)
Slowdive - Interview
Anthony Strutt speaks to seminal early 1990's shoegazing/dream pop band Slowdive about their recent reformation and plans to both tour and hopefully record after a twenty year absence
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