Interview: Metronomy


Written for the Evening Times newspaper (Glasgow)

Date: 18/3/14

MERCURY Prize nominated band Metronomy are heading to Glasgow on their biggest headline tour.

“I’m fond of Scotland, the shows are always energetic and the crowds are pretty up for it,” said Joseph Mount, the frontman of the electronic collective.

“I think we’ll probably be a bit nervous, but the audience can expect us to give as good as we get.

“When you are touring, you are aware that in every town you go to, you are someone’s night out, so you have to make it worthwhile.”

With their latest release, Love Letters, Metronomy took the music of the 60s as an influential genre.

“It’s kind of a mixture of eras,” he explained.

“We’re not trying to replicate the music of the 60s, but are instead taking something from it and making it sound like 2014.”

At a time when there were “a lot of exciting and progressive things happening”, Joseph chose to record down on to tape instead of a computer on the kind of equipment that 60s musicians would have used.

The recording process is therefore limited and “changes everything to a completely different environment when approaching music” for the man from Devon, who first founded the group in 1999.

Song-writing influences for the latest record are taken from the feelings of being unsettled during the band’s recent travels, however, Joseph has had to explain the motive behind his lyrics after lines such as, ‘I guess I’m finished up it’s time to move on, I’m taking the ring back to where I got it from’ pop up in new single I’m Aquarius.

“The way this record is recorded, the vocals are bare and not hidden behind everything, so it’s quite interesting how people are paying quite a lot of attention to the lyrics,” Joseph said.

“I try to take influences from real life situations, as I think to write about something you have to know about it.

“However part of me quite likes the idea that people think that I have been in some really dysfunctional relationships, but I haven’t! It’s all good.”

Over 10 years, Joseph has become more relaxed and comfortable with his musical influences, in what he describes as an “inverse development”.

“I’ve learnt that you don’t need to force yourself into one place musically – you just enjoy all kinds of music,” he said.

With hopes of creating another instrumental album after Love Letters similar to their 2006 record Pip Paine [Pay the £5000 You Owe], he signifies a possible return to his electronic roots.

“There’s something in instrumental music which is nice and isn’t attached to a voice,” he said.

“I’d like to do the next record in a modern way – I don’t want people to think that I’m regressing. It will be much more contemporary.”

Metronomy’s ever-changing stage presence reflects the variety of the group’s distinctive sound.

Laughing, Joseph said: “We like to put on a show and make something visually – but not be too interesting because you don’t want people to treat the show like going to the cinema.”

With the new stage show featuring, “a bit more of a fancy set”, the frontman points out that he and fellow band-mates Oscar Cash, Anna Prior and Gbenga Adelekan “will be wearing nice suits as well”.

“It’s important to at least make an effort,” he added.

Metronomy has supported acts such as Justice, Klaxons, Kate Nash and Coldplay in the past, which has taught Joseph to appreciate the freedom of a headline tour.

“If you are matched with the wrong group, being a support band is horrible and people can hate your guts,” he said.

Metronomy will be firmly taking centre stage at the O2 ABC, a set-up Joseph looks forward to.

“We’ll still be at the beginning of the tour relatively speaking, so we will still be happy to be touring,” he said.

“The people in Scotland just go out and have a good time, and we are always more than happy to be part of that.”

Metronomy, O2 ABC, tomorrow, doors 7pm, tickets from £15.50, over 14s only


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