Wednesday 12 December 2012

K&A with Insect Heroes

Chances are I'm not gonna get around to doing my usual Album of the Year rundown.   I did submit my usual quota to this year's BAMS Award though.  Typically, it was only a day or two after I fired off that email, that I came across this absolute beauty of an album from Glasgow's premier tropical pop brothers, Insect Heroes.  Both the album Apocalypso and the duo themselves have seemingly come out of nowhere.  So the curious sort I am, I asked them a few questions about the band and their incredible debut album.  First up though, here's one of the many, many standouts from it.

Kowalskiy:  Who are Insect Heroes?   
George:  We are brothers George and Evan Thomas, and we stay in Glasgow. George is me and I'm at the computer answering these questions. I sing and play guitar and make keyboard type noises. Evan plays drums. On the recordings we've done so far Emily Maclaren and Stuart Evans at Green Door Studio in Glasgow have helped us with production.     

Kowalskiy:  You've seemingly sprung from nowhere with your debut album Apocalypso (which is incredible by the way).  Tell us how the band came about and how you've kept things under wraps this long?   
George:  I'd done bits of solo stuff at home for a few years, and then when I moved to Scotland we just started making music together. That was a couple of years ago, and it took us a little while to get to a point where we were making something we were happy with and wanted other people to hear.    

Kowalskiy:  As I said, the debut album is out on Bandcamp now.   How'd you describe it?  
George:  It's just a record that's full of weird pop songs really. It sounds like being in space. Or a jungle. It would probably be top of the charts in a parallel world.

Kowalskiy:  There's a nod to Kraftwerk, a bit of The Beta Band about the artwork and one or two other subtle comparisons come to mind, but who'd you say most influences your music? 
George:  Yeah, The Beta Band were incredible! That was the first music I got into, and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals. We really like the way old records sound too, particularly weirder stuff like Joe Meek. More recently I think Ariel Pink, MGMT (K: one of my subtle comparisons!) and Gnarls Barkley are doing interesting things. Any given song though is more likely to be inspired by something much more different to what we do. Most of the time really I just want to make R 'n' B records, or minimal techno, or whatever.

Kowalskiy:  With the vinyl version out in February, are there plans to tour the album?  
George:  Yeah, we'd like to, but we're just taking things as they come. Our name's not really out there at the moment, so it'll probably just be a case of seeing who'll put us on, and whether we can get a crowd together. We're going to try our best because we like the album and we've got a live set that we enjoy as well, but promotion's never really been our thing!   

Kowalskiy:  What would be the ideal Insect Heroes gig? 
George:  So many to choose from! We grew up near Manchester, so maybe a joint headline with The Stone Roses in the arches under Piccadilly station around 1989. I used to have a video of the history of the Stone Roses and it looked pretty exciting back then.   

Kowalskiy:  It's getting to that time of year, so who's your tip for 2013?  
George:  We live in a bit of a bubble in Glasgow so I don't really know what's happening elsewhere but I think North American War are going to put out a really original, inventive album that's somewhere between Sonic Youth and the Velvet Underground, and Golden Teacher are putting out their first EP of African inspired disco on Optimo in February. We've all been waiting for Fur Hood to release something too, so hopefully that might happen as well.

Kowalskiy:  And last of all, what can we expect from Insect Heroes in the new year?  
George:  As I say, we're hoping to play live more, and get the record out to more people. We're always writing bits of new stuff but we haven't sat down and talked about where we'd like to go with it yet. We'll only release more stuff if we feel like we've got something interesting to contribute. Personally I've got something more groovy on my mind, but something that still takes people further off into outer space at the same time.

So there we go.  Apocalypso is quite possibly my unexpected highlight of 2012, and from it comes one of my favourite songs. I defy you to say this is anything less than 'fucking fabulous'.  Get your copy over here.  The vinyl is a must in February!

No comments:

Post a Comment