As splendid as a Leonard Cohen record on the most intimate of first dates…
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Uniforms”?
Well I could do but shall I follow my mantra here, be silent unless what you have to say is better than silence…Mmmm OK. An observation on the very human condition that desires being different yet yearns to fit in. Is this the ultimate paradox of our existence? You can’t tackle it in a 5 min song but at least throw the seeds of contemplation out there.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Witnessing the post colonial empirical hangover.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
I felt like a Duracell bunny, awash in the electricity of rambling bodies in a fabulously historic hostelry. It took a little while to come down!
The single comes off your new album Synthesis – what’s the story behind the title?
‘Synthesis’ is a little time capsule of the Captain’s story so far. It is a reflection of the varying styles that this model embraces. So from acoustic to synths, word led anthemic offerings to evocative instrumentals. Well at least that was the aim.
How was the recording and writing process?
As it always is, a feeling like I am completely there yet not there at all. Within the writing itself, I am but a conduit, a vessel, for something which feels like an accepted form of alchemy. Such is the magic of songwriting. The recording process itself happened on a wonderful 1960’s 2 inch tape machine, everything was captured within the analogue domain. There is something intangible in executing a take and then listening to the tape rewind as you feel yourself consciously re appear, this is the distance I am talking about between subconscious expression and conscious appraisal.
What role does Yorkshire play in your music?
I would say that some of the finest collaborators, engineers, musicians and illustrators all played a massive part on the debut album Hidden Gems – Chapter 1. Being a working class time traveler, I resonate deeply with the grounded, unimpressed ‘sorts’ one finds in abundance in the wild wild west of Yorkshire – that is a compliment, I’m not big on pretense or showboating despite the way I look and the attire that covers my physical frame.
How do you go on balancing the modern and classic together?
I see it as nothing more than a smorgasbord of sonic delights. I like using pieces to create a puzzle if you like, making them fit though it seems clear that they shouldn’t. Here I am in 2018 and I can create a stew containing a multitude of wide ranging expressions. I find it exciting that a 5oo year old violin can soar effortlessly over a Moog Synthesizer, whilst a Vocoder tails off to the slumbering beats of a bodhran and sitar.
What aspect of vaudeville did you get to explore on this record?
I become immersed in finding the ridiculous in the profound and the profound in the ridiculous. My tendency like many artist can sometimes lean towards gratifying an aching melancholia catharsis. Pain and challenges are what we all share, though the best way in my experience of dealing with them is to laugh and write a riposte full of humour and vigorous silliness. To lighten up might be the most serious thing you ever do.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
In tales never told, in those who never made history or were consigned to the shadows. To all that remains unacknowledged and unseen, to the hidden gems, they are everywhere and all around us if we choose to truly see.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, always. I just played in a giant tree house, I do love unusual venues. But more than unusual venues, just give me any space where unusual people gather. By unusual I mean all of us, because frankly when you accept your own ridiculousness you accept everyone else’s. Be as open as you were designed to be, not as closed as they intended ( the man, school etc etc etc ). Be yourself, nobody is better qualified.
What else is happening next in The Captain Of The Lost Waves’ world?
It’s always now here. So whatever happens next will be now. But I really must try and return to some pragmatic, vernacular exchange. So what is next? We are currently embarking on the last stage of a crowd funding campaign. To date we have raised over £6000 towards the target of £9555. This will pay for forthcoming releases, Hidden Gems – Chapter 2, Synthesis on vinyl and all collaborators. Also to travel as far as my imagination will take me. So a New Year’s Eve show on the dark side of the moon and closer to this particular planetary home, a show in Bangalore, India is on the cards.