Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Long Way From Home”?
“Long Way From Home” is a song I wrote when I was feeling like a depressed sad sack one day. It’s got loads of people singing on it and is a real feel good anthem, perfect for stomping along to.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I don’t remember a particular event inspiring the song but the images in my head whilst writing it were from my child hood; being quite literally a long way from home and having to walk back despite being tired, hungover and feeling a bit sorry for myself. A bit like when your feet go on auto pilot on the way back from some hectic night out and your body wills itself back home. I like the idea of just taking one step at a time until you get to where you want to be, physically or mentally.
How was the film experience?
The video? Great fun! We tried to do the whole thing in one shot with the lyrics spelt out on t shirts that we peel off whilst walking down the road. We nearly pulled it off – I think?!
The single comes off your new album Houses That You Lived In – what’s the story behind the title?
It’s kind of about the spaces we occupy over the years and the stories that are left in them.
It’s something to do with the emptiness that’s left when we’re gone. That sounds dramatic… its not supposed to, it’s about the loves and fears that we all have.
How was the recording and writing process?
I always write on my own, usually jotting ideas down on my phone. I’ll often video a song I’m writing early on so I can remind myself where to put my fingers. Then I just start writing and recording with my computer, just throwing things about until it feels right.
Once I’ve got a recording with some ideas of parts I give it to the band to play properly.
They then write and play the parts better and together we push the arrangements around in rehearsals until its right and we are ready to record.
It means that we all write together really, because everyone has input from the rehearsal stage.
We recorded all over the place – at home, in the studio, taught ourselves to record like a lot of people do these days. Then when we needed to finish the thing we got Ian Davenport to mix it for us, which was great because otherwise we would still be messing around with it.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I definitely thought about mortality. It’s about living and love as well, it’s the simple small stories that are around us every day.
The track ‘Houses That You Lived In’ is about inanimate objects missing people. Like a house missing the lives that used to buzz inside it. Or a field you walk through wanting to shout out to you and tell you to look up, get on with it (but being unable to because fields don’t talk let alone shout and probably don’t have such feelings anyway).
‘Quiet As A Mouse’ is about going through someone’s stuff and creeping about when they’re not in. Then rejoicing in the horror and fun of it when getting caught.
‘The Less You Know’ is about a friend who died too early. The battle with disease, the horror of what he had to face all the way to the end. That’s the stuff you don’t need to know about. The stuff I wish I hadn’t been privy to.
‘Skeletons & That’ is about being scared.
Any plans to hit the road?
We would dearly love to go on a road trip/tour…. We’ve got a few bits and pieces planned for the summer.
What else is happening next in Family Machine’s world?
I’ve just finished the soundtrack for the film Elstree 1976, which is about Star Wars extras.
It’s all ambient soundscapes and analogue synths with some pretty songs tucked in there as well.
I’ll be sticking that out in the summer, then I think the Family Machine will get our heads down and write another album.