Building a Radio Mast on the Frosted Tundra: An Interview with 65daysofstatic

British electronic outfit 65daysofstatic are preparing the North American release of their latest album, We Were Exploding Anyway, on October 25 via Monotreme Records. The album features guest vocals by Cure frontman Robert Smith on standout track “Come to Me.” The band is selling a deluxe 2-CD edition that includes the bonus 7-track Heavy Sky CD EP. Vinyl edition is heavyweight 180 gm vinyl (dark blue and white versions) and includes a free copy of the album CD, a poster and a digital download coupon for the Heavy Sky EP. We had a chance to catch up with the band a few days ago concerning the origin of the band name, their collaboration with Robert Smith, and the possibility of a North American tour. Check out the transcript below:

Fishpork: The origin of the band’s name has remained somewhat mysterious. I’ve read an account that it was based on an unreleased John Carpenter film and another concerning the CIA’s attempt to overthrown the Guatemalan government. Is there any truth to either, or does the band prefer to remain quiet about such speculation?

65daysofstatic: They are both incredible stories. The ideas that have been created around our name are better than any explanation we could possibly give as to the true nature of where the name came from. I have read a book called Bitter Fruit about the CIA’s coup in Guatemala. It’s all out in the public domain and verifiably true. That’s the world we really live in. Insane… Anyway – there’s another story out there, about a Russian ship between trapped in winter ice during a particularly bleak winter in the early 20th century. They built a radio mast on the frosted tundra. There’s a clue to the truth buried in that story, we will say that much…

Fishpork: The band has featured a change in lineup over the years. How many members are in the band today and who’s going on tour?

65daysofstatic: This is the curse of Wikipedia. Whilst technically this is true, and whilst the very earliest days were no doubt crucial to setting us down this road, the four members that are 65daysofstatic now have been the four members of 65daysofstatic since before our first album was even released eight (or nine?) long years ago. We are 65 every day. We spend an unhealthy amount of time together and a psychologist could write at least two theses on how we’ve managed to brainwash ourselves into believing that this is the most righteous thing we could possibly be doing with our lives.

Fishpork: The band recently supported The Cure on tour, and Robert Smith lends his vocals on a track off the new album. How did that come about? What was that experience like for the band?

65daysofstatic: The experience of touring with The Cure is a highlight for us, no doubt, and over those months The Cure cemented themselves in our heads as one of the finest bands of all time, as well as fearsome drinking partners. Robert sings on ‘Come To Me’ on the record. That song had been finished and recorded without vocals, and in the studio we knew that something was missing. Eventually we realised that it was vocals (we have never explicitly be against having vocals – it’s just our songs rarely seem to have space for them). So we thought about the vocalists we knew, realised we knew Robert, so asked him if he’d do it. He said yes and then did. Pretty cool.

Fishpork: Obviously, it’s a challenge to sell music in today’s climate. The advent of Internet technologies that allow for file sharing and an explosion of social networking sites have placed a burden on many bands. What is the band’s stance on the current issues facing traditional distribution methods of the music industry? Is the offering of deluxe packaging, bonus discs, posters, etc. a reaction by the band to current industry trends?

65daysofstatic: I don’t think it’s an industry trend this time. It’s an industry in full scale collapse. About once a week now we get an email from some new company that offers bands a way to integrate their music across all the social networking sites and sell stuff direct to fans. It’s the only way way the big companies can monetize this now – by licensing the tools for bands to do their own thing. It’s a sorry state of affairs in a lot of ways – everybody is yelling louder than everything else. A band is told that they need to do something BIG every month so they have an excuse to send a new mailout, tweet, update, whatever. We’re told that we need to give songs away in exchange for email addresses because spamming people with information is the new Top of the Pops [insert relevant outdated US-centric entertainment medium here]. It’s a shame. We started being in a band because we wanted to make music and play shows to people who liked our music. Now the world demands we also learn basic html, online-marketing techniques and know how to run a webshop. It’s a shame, and probably doesn’t help us in our quest to write the best music we can possibly write, but if it means that we still get to be in a band once we’ve got the dull stuff out of the way then we don’t spend too much time thinking about it. The industry will do whatever it does and we’ll just keep being a band.

Fishpork: The new album trailers were magnificent! Can you share some of the gear you’re using when performing live shows for the tech geeks who follow us? Are there any favorite new pedals/samplers/gadgets?

65daysofstatic: The electronic side of things spent about 8 years being in a state of flux between hardware, software, back to hardware, and now a fragile combination of both. Ableton live, a ton of midi cables tangled all around the stage and a few synthesisers. We used to use an Akai MPC5000 but that’s sitting in our rehearsal room right now. As for pedals, I can’t be exact, but I think Joe has about 4,000,000 going at any one time. Simon (bass man) has recently starting building his own, which is an incredibly exciting development in 65world. We have all demanded various midi sequencers/slicers/bit crunchers/guitar manglers off him. Hopefully by next year our pedal boards will just be forests of wires and components.

Fishpork: Please tell us you’ll be bringing the live show to the U.S. If so, is there anything in the works?

65daysofstatic: We would absolutely love to come back to the U.S. And Canada. And Central/South America too for that matter. The only problem is, what with the financial collapse and everything, we’re pretty broke. Touring the UK and Europe last year was harder than it’s ever been. We know there’s a lot of really patient 65 fans over there, and we are determined to make it one day. Monotreme Records getting We Were Exploding Anyway out there is an important first step. Let’s hope we can make the second one before too long.

Check out a new track from the forthcoming We Were Exploding Anyway below:

65daysofstatic ‘Crash Tactics’ by Monotreme Records

Mark Written by:

Avid concert goer and film buff obsessed with indie and electronic music.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.