Post War Years: The interview.

Henry, Simon, Tom and Fred AKA Post War Years (PWY) come from Leamington Spa, though they’ve been busy playing dazzling live sets in the South of England, as well as touring with Tom Vek along the way.

With their racing synths, samplers, vocal harmonies and interchanging instrumentation, PWY encompass both Joy Division and Talking Heads with their dynamic sound and their new single ‘Black Morning’ is, along with the equally sweet flipside, a 90s flashback brimming with brilliant ambience.

PWY kindly took time out too answer a few questions…

AS: Where do you go when it all gets too much?
PWY: The off-license.

AS: Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?
PWY: The red eyes one.

AS: What do you do in your recreational time?
PWY: Go to Krakow.

AS: Who would be your dream collaborator?
PWY: We’d all cry a bit inside if Bjork wanted to work with us, we’re all in love with her.

AS: What’s the last gig/concert you went to?
PWY: The Chap at ‘Durr’ in London. They were great. There was a Violin vs. Cello battle; I’ve never seen that done before; they had broken bows and were making a hell of a racket… in a good way.

AS: If you were a musical instrument what would you be?
PWY: Stylophone.

AS: Where do you most enjoy playing live?
PWY: Every gig we’ve played in Leeds has been great.

AS: Who is most influential on your sound?
PWY: Individually our influences are pretty varied. We’ve just started to do a couple of DJ sets and its proven quite tricky getting everyone to agree on the tracks we’re going to play. Tom (bass & vocals) and Simon (sampler, guitar, bass and vocals) almost fell out last time we played, over Maps & Atlases I think, though I can’t be certain.

As a band we’re a bit obsessed with Tom Vek, when he actually gets around to releasing the new album we’ll all get a bit silly. There’s plenty of crossover though…Beck, Prince, Thom Yorke, Bjork – we try to listen to as much new stuff as possible too – ‘That Number’ by Plugs is phenomenal.

AS: Who’s the most likely to go solo or crazy?
PWY: I reckon all of us have plans to go solo at some point. At one point we were talking about making the third album a collection of solo projects – we thought it would be fun to record it all individually and then only listen to it all together after its release. But then again, we do have a lot of bad ideas.

AS: Any choice epitaphs, famous last words or something you’d like to be remembered for?
PWY: Our drummer wants his tombstone to read ‘Fred McLaren. He wore hats. 1983-2010’ (years optional)

AS: What are you listening to right now?
PWY: The Chap – ’I am Oozing Emotion’.

AS: Do you enjoy playing live or are you more at home in a studio?
PWY: We always enjoy playing live but we can be overcritical and when something goes a bit wrong we always feel like we should have done better. One day we’ll play the perfect set and then we can give up.

AS: Any upcoming music / bands worth keeping an eye on that are destined for greatness?
PWY: A production duo/band called Mysterons mixed the 7 inch. They’re definitely worth keeping an eye on. Their track ‘Moving Coils’ is bad ass and seems to go down well at the odd club night. I think they’ll be touring soon and they’ve got plans to use an old shopping till to trigger samples. It’ll be worth seeing them just for that. Check their stuff out if you get chance folks.

AS: What was the highlight of your summer?
PWY: We played the ‘End of the Road’ festival down in Dorset. That festival is relaxed and everyone was really friendly. We played our set and then danced ‘til the wee hours in a tent that was set up like a living room. I think we ended up dancing around a mobile phone when they switched off the power. That was good clean fun.

AS: I’m sure you’ve done a few but, do you know which has been your best ever gig?
PWY: We just did a gig at the ‘Proud Galleries’ in Camden. That’s got to be up there with our favourites. There were a lot of people who hadn’t heard us before, but they all stuck around and seemed to get what we were doing.

AS: What will this year bring?
PWY: We’ve just put out a single (‘Black Morning’, click this link to see the video) on Chess Club. We want to see how that goes down and, if people like it, we’ll release a follow up. We’d love to play some more festivals this year and we’re all looking forward to the ‘Great Escape’ in Brighton and the Secret Garden Party. We’d love to be invited back to End of the Road too. After that, who knows… we need to record an album too at some point.

AS: What kinds of music do you dislike the most?
PWY: Tom (bass, vocals) hates reggae, it makes him feel uncomfortable. No one else understands. Fred generally hates anything with programmed disco beats.

AS: When will the world end?
PWY: 2011 according to someone who works in our local, they heard it from NASA.

AS: Who is the main driving force or do you work as a team?
PWY: We try to be as collaborative as possible. With 3 singer/songwriters, whoever has written the song will usually try to take a little more control over it. But everyone will add something and if it doesn’t fit, someone will say so and eventually, we get to something that makes us smile.

AS: Cheers guys, I’m done!

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