Creativity doesn’t have to come from conflict.
“After a while you get used to each other,” says Alan, producer and bass player of All This Noise. “There’s no panic, there’s no weird ego stuff. It doesn’t matter who does what. Nothing matters.”
“When we started writing stuff together, it just sort of clicked,” continues James, the other half of the London band formed little under a year ago. “We haven’t really forced anything.
“In previous bands I’ve done things like had long auditions with all sorts of people who were unsuitable and this time things just seem to be happening,” adds the singer and guitarist. “People are doing it because they want to, because they really like the music.”
And what’s not to like? Featuring trace elements of Depeche Mode, The Cure, and New Order, their debut single, ‘Seven Billion Like You’, effortlessly fuses man and machine, the past and the future. (No wonder it’s been played on BBC 6 Music.)
“For years I’ve been trying to capture the rawness of live guitars — slightly aggressive or emotive sounds — and get that to work together with something digital, which is basically a cold form,” explains studio owner Alan.
He’s now achieved exactly that — by playing to the duo’s strengths.
“We don’t try to do anything outside of what we do,” offers Alan. “James has got a very good quality in his singing style, so there’s no point in trying to make him do anything else. The same with his guitar playing — it’s very much James. It’s not manufactured.”
Neither is their songwriting process — which relies, in part, on improvisation and impulse.
“I think one of the problems about writing is when people spend too much time looking at things under the microscope,” elaborates Alan, whose CV includes Wolf Alice and Charlie XCX. “And what you do is you iron out all the creases and then you’re left without any kind of dirt, spontaneity, or dynamics.”
So, expect their debut album to be filled with emotion. And intellect.
“It’s not going as far as a concept album, but there’s a pretty hearty fear of the future vibe, looking at a digital apocalypse,” explains James, who’s been published in the likes of Mixmag and The Guardian. “It’s very much rooted in the modern split of analogue and digital experiences reflected in the music and the lyrics.”
But you’ll have to wait until early 2016 to hear that — a rush-release is not an option.
“Every step of the way has got to be right, and things take time,” says Alan. “We’ve been around long enough to know how it works. It’s still just like any other industry: you do have to work at it, put the hours in.”
That includes time on stage and so, in recent months, the duo have been playing live more frequently.
“It feels really good,” says James of sharing their songs with audiences. “I’m enjoying each gig more as we do them. I always feel a little apprehension about going up in front of people and playing stuff you’ve worked on in the dark by yourself. But each time you go up there, more of it seems to be coming together,” he adds, crediting their new drummer and live sound engineer.
Together, they’ll be hitting the Invaders of the Future stage at Bestival this September.
“It’s an extremely big deal and slightly daunting,” admits Alan. “It’s a bit of a good spot on a really good stage, so we’ve got to deliver — which I’m sure we will.”
But ask the duo if they see this festival slot as the first step to success and you might be surprised by their answer.
“I don’t see us getting famous at all,” asserts Alan. “We start with the bottom line that no one cares and then, when somebody does, we’re pleasantly surprised.”
“But,” concludes James, “we’d definitely like other people to like our music.”
- For the latest on All This Noise, including upcoming gigs in London, visit their website.