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INTERVIEW: Playing House

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! We have been super good. How are you?

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Jelly Legs”?

We have been so excited to get this out. It was the first song we wrote post debut EP and it came from a really fresh place where we felt so confident after our first year together and were all really excited to do something new.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The song is basically an obsessive account of that feeling when you meet someone for the first time and can’t get enough of them and don’t really know what to do with yourself or how to get yourself together, you just want to go with it. The EP has quite a chronological feel to it and this track was pretty inspired by how I felt when I came out when I was really young and I was so excited for this whole new world. So for me the track feels quite teenage and playful/excitable. Though that feeling never really changes as you get older I think, it seems to always be quite overwhelming.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Our videos & artwork are so important to us, for us it is equal to the music as it’s another way of saying what we are trying to say. It’s our second video by our art director Ewen Farr who makes all of our art. We spent hours thinking of concepts together and then decided to be really experimental and let it come together naturally. It’s a really instinctive and fidgety, stop-motion style video. We shot it completely DIY in a car park, laying down on the floor with Ewen shooting everything from a balcony and our friends moving our heads and feet every few seconds and shouting at us to get up then get back down. It was the coldest day of the year and it took 12 hours to shoot with us laying outside on the floor in shirts. But we’re so excited about it. It will be out in April.

The single comes off your new album Jocelyn – what’s the story behind the title?

The new EP is pretty much a getting together and breaking up record, not just with someone else in the typical sense but also with ourselves and learning to live with change. It came from a really hard year where I went to a therapist to deal with a family death because I was really struggling with grief and I felt like I had completely lost my identity. It took me a long time to make sense of the weight people have when they come into your life and how uncertain things feel when people move in and out of it. It made us really think about all our teenage heart breaks & how you never really learn to get over something you just change and adapt and become this tapestry of people who have influenced you.

How was the recording and writing process?

We recorded all of our basic live parts in the studio at Press Play in Bermondsey and then went to Richard’s studio in Leeds a week or so later to do the rest. It was a really different experience making a record in two parts and that was mainly because of using Richard’s sequencers and synths that are too massive to carry to London! We just locked ourselves in this studio in the middle of nowhere in Leeds and played with all of these sounds until the record took shape and we found a sound that really felt like the sum of us & Richard.

What was it like to work with Richard Formby and how did that relationship develop?

We reached out to him on the back of our debut EP and he really loved it and wanted to work on something new together. He’s been a long time hero of ours so to work with him was the best experience we’ve had so far as a band.

How much did he influence the record?

Richard is really experimental and open and non-judgemental as a person and producer and I think that really fitted with our approach to making pop music. We didn’t shy away from playing with anything and everything, or changing our minds halfway through to stretch the structure or change the dynamics or add new things/take things away. We all have really similar influences and ideas about what makes interesting pop records and it was a chance for us to really start making the sound we’ve always wanted for our band.

Is the album based on a real person or are the things you deal on the album somewhat made up?

The subject of the record has taken on so many manifestations which actually, as cliché as it is, now seems to have really imitated what we were setting out for these songs to explore. It was originally about my grandmother, then my therapist and us all learning to be together as a band constantly and now it really seems that, on reflection it is about someone else entirely. So when we came to the artwork, we just made a creature that seems to capture and mush together all of the above. In pink. With eyelashes.

What aspect of love and pressure did you get to explore on this material?

As our second EP, I think we naturally felt a pressure as writers and band mates to work out where we wanted to go next. We spent a lot of time experimenting and then walking away from it all to let the new songs come naturally and not just feel like a straight forward follow up. I think that was really freeing but it was pretty high pressured, we really wanted to take a leap with this new EP and as always are pretty obsessive. I think what came through for us was how close we have all become and how open and together we feel as musicians, writers, friends and as a band. We’ve all really moulded together and everything just feels so succinct. Plus all of our personal lives went to shit literally in the same weekend (ha!) so very quickly we  realised we should probably channel that into the record and focus on making something special.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re heading out on a ten date tour in April & May. Really excited to test the new stuff outside of London, we’ll be heading to Manchester, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Guildford, Sheffield & Leicester. Then bed. The tour is supported by our grant from the PRS for Music Foundation who have just been amazing.  It’s only our second ever tour and this one is twice the size than last year so we’re really excited.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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