Hey, we’re excited to be here! We’re well thanks, a little rushed off our feet, but really pleased with the reaction to the first single so far. Traditionally, we are very much ‘basement studio dwellers’, so this is all a bit overstimulating for us. Due for a lie-down in a quiet, dark room soon.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Enough”?
It all started with a long choral vocal that Chris chopped up and arranged in this hypnotic, looping, repeating spiral. I rushed over to the microphone, and actually the first thing to come out vocally, ended up being the take we used for the final cut. It just had this sort of sleepy groove to it, that we couldn’t recapture, and in the end didn’t want to overthink- sometimes the quite raw, unpolished ‘eureka’ moment is better than the overwrought ‘studio sterile’ perfect version.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
The song is inspired in part by a book called ‘Here are the Young Men’ by Rob Doyle. A few of the characters in it have this all-consuming egotism, and so even in a scene where they look out over some immense beatific scenery, they don’t truly look at it. They experience that classic symptom of watching too many Hollywood films, which is naturally exacerbated by our old friend, social media. They are totally absorbed by the thought of how they must look right now. The 3rd-person video game view. A heroic protagonist perfectly framed by an imaginary camera hanging in front of them. Not truly thinking about what is in front of them at all, always conscious of, and focusing on the ‘I’. This culminates in the song, with the solipsism and ‘I’ repetition becoming increasingly loud and demanding, until actually the verse lyrics end up repeating themselves, before ending up being utterly “enveloped by I“.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes. We’ve got a video in the pipeline that we’re really excited about. Worked on with our friends Jess & Vlad over at Plastic Fruit Studios. They’ve become part of the team since then, and have been invaluable in finding ways to get our vision for the project across. Expect more from them & us in the future!
How was the recording and writing process?
It went pretty smoothly, which isn’t always the case!
What was it like to work with Chris Blakey and how did that relationship develop?
I’ve been writing and making music with Chris since I met with him down at a studio in Brighton, called the Retreat about 4 years ago, while recording music with another band. So, by now we’ve settled into a true working relationship: alternating rounds of cups of tea, what to cook for lunch etc. The really important stuff. And naturally a bit of a shorthand when it comes to making music too.
How much did he get to influence the song?
A huge amount. Chris also mixed the track as well as co-produced it, and also has a great knack of remaining upbeat and positive during whatever road-blocks crop up during the writing and recording process. And since my default mode is usually some form of despair or another, we made a pretty good team.
What role does London play in your writing?
We write in a basement studio under one of the main arterial roads into London, from the East. And, even below all those inches of concrete you can still hear the steady hum of the city above, punctuated by the occasional horn blast. So the music, rather than being an expression of some idyllic environment ended up being a reaction to (or escape from) the chaos and mania of the city.
How’s your new EP coming along?
Good! We’re always experimenting and trying new things, but we’ve got some stuff coming up that we’ve written lately…we’re just really excited to share it with people.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Not yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
Any plans to hit the road?
We’d love to, that’s what we’ll be doing next. Writing is still the number one priority, so we’re got some one-off gigs in the UK for now, but a few months down the line…
What else is happening next in ARLISTON’s world?
We’ve got a quite a few releases scheduled after this one, and a couple of collaborations too- can’t wait to get those out there. Other than that though, it’s more writing, more gigs, and then (all being well) touring!