Northampton’s The All New Adventures Of Us have been on my radar for about a year; that’s when one of their early singles landed at my feet. I’ve never really looked back, and have since crafted my musical tastes around them. From Make Model to Los Campesinos, I’ve been convinced by big, stroppy and epic folk pop songs that filled every sonic inch of my flat. So much have I been intrigued by this youthful and articulate group of musicians I recently stapled some humble questions to a carrier pigeon and addressed it to their front man and founding member Jaime Macefield.
To quote your own badges, what the funk is a Tanaou?
Heh, I don't know. That's why we put it on the badge. We thought someone else might. It means something close to 'the Princes' in Romanian… but that's merely an afterthought! In all seriousness, I could tell you that Tanaou is a dream I once had about changing music that hasn't quite fully realised itself yet, but I even begin to despise myself when I say things like that in order to sidetrack a question.
The debut album last year, you released that yourself on vinyl before One Little Indian picked you up… if nothing else, it was a brave move… How did that come about?
We'd spent a few years making the album and we'd been putting out other bands on GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK (our own label) so it seemed like the right move. I wouldn't call it brave really, independent music never has been and never will be about making money so it didn't feel like we were shooting ourselves in the foot or anything, we're vinyl buyers ourselves so it made sense. Of course it would have sold more on CD, but the idea was to get it right rather than get it to as many people as possible. Why bother spending so long on something, only to release it in a way which simply made more people hear it, when the thing they were hearing didn't sound quite as nice as it should've (on vinyl)?
There's a weird attitude to vinyl, it's almost seen as people trying to be elitist, which is silly. It's not a dead format, not by a long way. I don't see why things can't be released on whatever the hell format the artists want to release it on. It's art for Christ’s sake.
I really liked the Sistine Chapel and all, but I think it would've made more of a lasting impression in the art 'industry' and won more MTV Awards if it was painted in Pepsi on to the back of Nike Shoe box and then had a picture taken of it with a digital camera on a phone… Haha. I'm not comparing Best Loved Goodnight Tales to the Sistine Chapel. It's a pop record, but it's still OUR art.
I can almost understand when the lines blur between business and art for the artists, I don't like it but I understand it, but the really odd thing is that fans and music buyers have started talking about business implications of doing something a certain way, it's ridiculous. “the album would've sold this many more if you'd have done such and such or marketed it like this”…
It's art, and it's not their art. If they like it then that's great, but the minute they start telling me about business decisions they're too far gone i'm afraid, they're no longer in it for the music and they're no good to us.
You’ve just released ‘St Crispin’s Got Our Backs’ as a re-issue, what was the thinking behind that? Was that your decision?
It's a different version, but well. The first release was a pretty short run and was put out when we hadn't finished the album, so it didn’t seem like a bad idea to end this album and touring period by releasing it again, now we have a good home and all. Nobody really made the decision it just came about. It meant that we got to record some covers too, which was fun and something we don't do often.
Your recent tour was cancelled as drummer Gary had a kidney infection… is he back, fighting fit, now? Will the tour with Sam Isaac be re-scheduled?
He's nearly there, yes, thanks. Hopefully we'll do some shows with Sam at the end of the year, once we’ve finished the new album.
You’re all coming from such varied backgrounds as far as sounds and inspirations go, what’s the collective influence, if indeed there is one, and is there ever any debate over the direction of a song when it’s coming together. I imagine seven cooks can often be awkward when constructing music… is it?
Heh. It's mostly three cooks and four waiters. They switch positions though, I'm not sure if I start dissecting it i'll ruin it and might not be able to write anymore, so I wont.
Making money from music seems an almost nostalgic concept, that aside, what’s the secret of keeping a band alive, and creatively sound, for so long?
There's no secret, we just keep playing and writing. Maybe, it's just “don't be a dick”. Don't have an uterior motive, make noise because that's what you want, like or need to do.
Some of you have side-projects, and I understand most of you have day jobs, how does Tanaou fit into your lives? Have you had to make significant sacrifices for the band?
Nobody has side-projects, just other projects. For me Tanaou is one of the places I that I store things arriving from my creative outbursts, if I kept them in one place it'd be a mess and there'd be no order to anything. Tanaou isn't our lives, it just a part of it, some of us study, some work, some drink too much coffee and write too many chapters of novels which no-one else will ever read.
ave you been cooking up any new material, and if so when will that be unleashed?
There's a lot. Over have of Best Loved was written 4-5 years ago, so that’s pretty much our writing adolescence. We've changed as artists and people a lot in that time and we’ve got plenty written. Around summer time I reckon we’ll be recording and we hope to get something new out by the end of the year.
What’s the collective, or individual, goal of Tanaou?
Keep creating. Both in the short term and the long term. We are what we leave behind.