Black Rivers Interview Part One

Black Rivers

I recently had the opportunity to pose some questions to both Andy & Jez about all things Black Rivers. I asked them both 10 questions each. This is part one of the interview, the second part is focused on the songs on the album and will make more sense to you once you have heard the record, so expect the second part on or around Feb 9th when the lp is out.

Interview Part Two

Thanks to Andy & Jez for their time and to John for making this happen!

Visit Black Rivers official website to pre-order the debut album, released February 9th!

 

Five questions for Andy:

– Andy, after Doves last gig in 2010, we have read in the press you were in a psychedelic group. Are you able to reveal more? Did anything get released?

yes was making some music with friends, with Jim noir (a manchester solo artist)Laurie laptop who was in Durutti Column & Also Ian smith who was in Alfie amongst other bands, we recorded a lot of material,but never finished stuff!! so theres nothing released of yet, some of us had other projects&a couple of the guys had ‘proper’ jobs, so it got harder & harder to get together to record/write but hopefully when everyones less busy we’ll finish some of those songs,as theres some good stuff there&had a lot of fun recording with them all.

– Which song or moment ignited the spark to make you both want to go ahead and record an album? Describe how that came about.

I think that would have been early stages of Age of Innocence or the ship,
both songs felt new to us,in age of inn .. i remember we started at my house &i had that rockabilly drum beat over some different chords ,jez put a new acid like bass line over it &it shouldn’t have worked ,as both parts are sonically very different,but it did&we liked the vibe. From there we went on a couple of recording/writing trips to anglesey where it started to come together more.the ship i had the vocal line&synth bass line,but jez welded the instrumental ‘kraftwerk like’ sections on !& took it somewhere unexpected.

 

– You talk about getting away from sounding like Doves of course. With that in mind, did you approach the song writing process for this record differently than you would have for a Doves record? Describe how you usually turn an idea into a song, How far do you go with the idea before you involve Jez?

certainly at the start of the project we didn’t start by saying this record cant sound like doves as think we both feel its not good to limit or put restrictions on songwriting early on,is nice to feel you can go anywhere you like with it,i think later on you can choose to leave certain songs off if you both feel is too close to previous material.
as for writing songs, for me can start with anything…a sample or basic set of piano chords or even just a new synth sound can trigger an idea,for me personally i always try early on to get some kind of vocal melody in early in the process whilst it feels fresh(lyrics generally come later on)but if working with jez i dont develop it too much as good to get his input,as he can take a song somewhere you dont expect.

– Do you have a favourite place to go for song writing inspiration?

well with this record was probably Beaumaris in Angelesey Wales.

– Any chance of seeing Black Rivers in North America sometime in 2015?

would love to tour in u.s ,hopefully looking good for us doing sxsw festival&possibly some west coast dates ,all depends on raising the budget so we can make it happen..but would love to play as much as poss out there.

p.s thanks nicky&all the regular dovesblog community for the support over the years..is much appreciated!!

Questions for Jez:

– Jez, after Doves last gig in 2010, you went off in a totally different direction (understandably!) with Raized by Wolves. What happened to the album? Did any of the tracks penned for Raized By Wolves make it onto Black Rivers?

We finished 10 tracks They still sound great imo …I guessed we flirted with the pop/ electronic world and didn’t work out …But we had so much fun doing RBW ….Currently the songs are being used for other Artists …Probably released in 2015 but not under “rbw”

– You talk about getting away from sounding like Doves of course. With that in mind, did you approach the song writing process for this record differently than you would have for a Doves record? Describe how you usually turn an idea into a song, How far do you go with the idea before you involve Andy?

yes i wanted to do something that would place us in a different mind set to ..lets say when writing for doves ..My main thing was it must sound contemporary even if it has a retro feel it …it must have a twist to give it a fresh edge …well that was the intention …
Sometimes its literally sitting down with the guitar for days ….until something triggers ‘ if i’m working with guitar and dictaphone I’ll usually get around 4/5 ideas a day But will take something special to take it any further….. The top line melody comes at the same time as the chords very symbiotic ….or maybe its a sample ..or just a feeling …….sometimes i’ll have a melody and chord structure thats been around for years /decades …Just hadn’t cracked the code so i’ll always revisit (as a good re-occurring idea will always be knocking on my door ….) Andy gets involved if the song resonates with him …Sometimes we write and build a song together or sometimes i’ll bring a Vrs and chrs idea with top line and then will evolve it together …Or could be Andy bringing in an idea or a snippet – we will then evolve it together…Guess theres no set formula ..

 

– Do you have a favourite place to go for song writing inspiration?
Anywhere really ….To get the initial ideas i hop on a plane and travel with my laptop /mic /and travel guitar …Then We might evolve it in our manchester studios .. then we might think about recording in a cottage/house (generally in the uk) as moving a drum kit and amps is a real pain

– Any plans to release something for Record Store Day 2015?

Not yet !! but would love to do something original for it …time permitting

Thanks nicky  your a legend !! and thanks  to all on the board…. We both really appreciate the fact that you’ve stuck with us  for such a long time 🙂

Interview Part Two

 
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