Hey readers (I’m sure there must be one or two of you still out there!)
I have been on a hiatus which will end when I hit Benicassim fest! In the meantime, here is a hideously lazy, unformatted phone post – an interview with Hyde & Beast:
“It’s like a Futureheads record on a fucked up record player”
Hannah J Davies: Dave and Neil – you’ve both been in other bands (The Futureheads and Golden Virgins respectively). Is Hyde & Beast for all intents and purposes a supergroup/side project?
Neil Bassett: Well The Golden Virgins split up about 4 years ago so it’s definitely not a side project for me. I mean for Dave I guess it is a side project because his day job is as drummer in The Futureheads. But it doesn’t feel like a side project. We set out to make an album that we would want to listen to, and I think we achieved that, but it has always been fun so far. And I think if it stops being fun then what’s the point?
HJD: It’s all about the fun factor. How long have you known one another and how did you meet?
Dave Hyde: Me & Neil have known each other for about 12 years. We used to go to the same gigs years ago.
Neil: Yeah, Dave was this young spaced out dude in a velvet smoking jacket at these shows and I used to think, “who the hell is this pimp ?”.
HJD: This one is for Dave – did you opt for this group because you wanted to try something which Futureheads fans wouldn’t necessarily appreciate?
Dave: That seems a little negative; we are definitely a totally different type of music to The Futureheads but I can’t see why some Futureheads fans wouldn’t like it. There’s plenty of harmonies in there.
Neil : Haha, yeah it’s like a Futureheads record being played at the wrong speed on a broken fucked up record player haha!
HJD: Some writers would try and make a pun involving broken record players and ‘Skip To The End’ but I won’t bother. You’re an unusual pairing in that you’re both better known as drummers. In what way is being in a duo different?
Dave: There is definitely a lot more work involved. But that’s fine, healthy for the mind.
Neil: We don’t have to deal with bass players and guitarists on a daily level!!! Nah, actually we do because although we are a duo in the studio, when we play live we expand into a 12-footed monster. It was going to be impossible for me and Dave to recreate the album live with just the two of us, so we have recruited another four people for when we play shows.
HJD: You’ve been supported by ex-La’s man Lee Mavers (who made a secret comeback under the silly sobriquet “Lee Rude and The Velcro Underpants”) and have played with The Stranglers – has this helped to develop your ‘classic’ sound?
Neil: Not really, we have only just played with those guys recently whereas our album was already finished about a year ago. We have just been lazy and only just got around to playing some shows recently. There is a reason our album is called “Slow Down” you know!
HJD: *slows down* You’ve already started giving away music (the pair gave away their first single from the album, Medicine Head cover ‘(And The) Pictures In The Sky’ as a free download) – why, and does this indicate your views about ownership of content in general?
Dave: Just moving with times I suppose. Seems to be the thing to do, a great way to get people into what you are doing. Not as many people actually buy music these days, lots of downloading going on.
Neil: It’s a nice gift for people.
HJD: Neil, you’re known as Beast, but who is your favourite fictional beast?
Neil: This would be the Jabberwock. It was made famous in the poem ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll, who used to visit [Neil’s hometown] Sunderland apparently. The opening lines of ‘Jabberwocky’ are “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe, All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe”, which says it all really! The Jabberwock was described as a huge and monstrous beast with bat-like wings.
I do also have a soft spot for the Yeti. A friend’s sister, upon meeting me for the first time, once described me as “like some kind of amazing yeti”. This still makes me chuckle to this day
HJD: Hyde & Abominable Snowman sounds much more arthouse to me. Now for your chance to plug whatever you like.
Neil : Dave is a great gardener and I make a mean vegetable soup, so if anyone out there wants some perennials pruning or a hearty broth cooking up for after your gardening then give us a call.
Many thanks to Hyde and Beast…they could, however, have used that plugging space to tell you that ‘Slow Down’ is released on 15th August on Tail Feather Records.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange