We were super excited for last week’s INTRODUCING event at Festsaal Kreuzberg – an event we look forward to every month, but this one had most probably the best line-up ever! The topping on this already-delicious cake was us PonyDanceClyde girls doing a little interview marathon and meeting all three bands of the night: Zulu Winter, Alt-J & Clock Opera. Here’s a bit of the backstage fun we had with the two lovelies Iain and Will from Zulu Winter…
PDC: We love your album ‘Langugage’ a lot!
ZW: Oh good!
PDC: It’s your first album, but you’ve been playing together for a long time, right?
ZW: Yeah, in an off and on kind of way, we went to school together when we started and then traveled around a bit to do some gigs. We split up basically because we went to different universities for four years… Then came back to London and messed around a bit and about two years ago, we suddenly thought ‘Hold on – we’re not getting any younger. We have to make this work. …Or not.” So that’s when we really started to try and write an album…
PDC: Tell us some funny memories of when you started!
ZW- Will: I remember one about Iain… I’m sorry Iain, can I tell it?
It was our second-ever gig in London and we didn’t really have any songs and we didn’t really know how to play or what we were doing, and for some strange reason, the place was sold out!
PDC: …it was just you playing that night?
ZW: It was us and some other band called The Straight Paisleys who were in their late fourties – I don’t think they’re still going… I guess our friends and family felt sorry for us and made everyone go. …So we went on stage – we hadn’t even played a not – and some very drunk guy says to Iain ‘Mate! Stage-dive!’. So without even playing a note, without playing anything at all, Iain just let off the stage into the crowd and I was like ‘What are you doing? Come back!’, knocking a beer over my pedals, so my pedals then broke, too. It was just a complete mess. A lot of our gigs were like that when we were younger. We drunk a lot and fell over and we were terrible… Those days are gone now.
Iain: It was good fun though!
PDC: Were you really that terrible?
ZW: I listened to some stuff from back then a couple weeks ago and I guess we were ok, we just seemed like we weren’t concentrating. We got toIaino excited about getting some free beer and being able to jump off the stage.
PDC: Did you always plan to become a serious band?
ZW: No, we were just messing around back then. I even had a real job as a journalist, but at some point we figured…
PDC: …You’re not getting any younger!
ZW: Exactly! I had a job and Iain was trying to become a teacher so suddenly we felt like if we don’t do this now, we’re gonna go and get other careers. So we just carried on. I think we knew that if things weren’t gonna happen, like instantly after this album, then we weren’t meant to be doing it. But here we are!
PDC: So we read on the guardian that you’re really smart and you’ve got a big thing for books…
ZW – Iain: Oh you’re talking bout him, not me!
ZW – Will: Haha, I feel that’s my fault, I like to warm my heart on my sleeve by saying that a lot of the lyrics were influenced by poetry. Amazingly everyone thinks that poetry equals people being clever, and I’m not sure that’s really the case, I just like reading. I think a lot of people like reading, it doesn’t necessarily make me clever.
ZW – Iain: Yeah we all like reading! Although I’m probably the least well-read out of the band, I tend to read more comics…
PDC: Can you recommend any books? Or comics?
ZW – Will: I just finished a Jonathan Franzen novel called Freedom, which is really good. And if you’ve never read Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, you should definitely read that.
And Ayn Rand, she wrote the book Fountainhead, it’s a good one, too.
PDC: Oh I read that, it’s so depressing, I stopped somewhere in the middle…
ZW – Will: It’s pretty depressing, but it’s good!
PDC: You’ve been at SXSW, did you get to see any cool bands that you loved?
ZW: We were running around a lot, we played five shows in three days which was pretty mental. The best band we’ve seen – pretty much in the last couple of years – was a band called Girls. I don’t really like their records and thought it was a bit trashy but when I went and saw it live, he almost made me cry. It was like watching Neil Young. He’s the real deal, he’s a real musician. I mean he sleeps, eats, breathes music. Yeah, it was a really astonishingly beautiful gig. So if you haven’t ever seen them live…
PDC: Apart from the obvious big-time festivals, is there any venue in the world where you’d love to play?
ZW – Will: If we could ever play downstairs in the Paradiso in Amsterdam, that would be cool. The great thing about the downstairs stage at Paradiso is that when you’re on stage, it feels enormous, like there’s loads of people. But when you’re in the crowd, it’s built so that you never feel too far away from the band, even when you’re all the way in the back. So it’s a beautiful place for everyone.
Iain: I’d love to play this place in the botanical garden again, La Rotande…
Will: Oh yeah, this beautiful amphitheatre in Brussels!