We managed to catch a few minutes with the preeminent band on everybody’s lips; Childhood in the run up to the rlease of their debut LP Lacuna. Following it’s release there has been wild critical acclaim (you can expect the review imminently) and we thought it best to hear how the band got there from Daniel.
How did the band come about, was it a collective gathering of minds or a driunken conversation taken too seriously?
The inception of Childhood can best be described as a gathering of drunken intellect between Ben and Leo. The name came first, the music second and when myself (Dan) and Jonny joined, the fully formed band was realised.
You guys all reside in South London, am I right?Do you think there is a new scene bubbling away down there or is the sun still rising in the East of the Old Smoke?
Actually only Ben resides in South London. I’m North, Leo – West and Jonny – East. There are certainly loads of great bands coming out of South London now and it’s an exciting time for sure. All points of the compass covered then.
You’re often described as a 90’s inspired sound, is that a tag you welcome?
There are not so many tags we do welcome to be fair! Our inspirations come from all over the place, across the genres and across the decades. We love 90’s bands such as Stereolab and Air, but they are just a couple of examples amongst many.
Is it an inevitability to re-visit bygone eras and should the cynics who were there the first time around just get on with being old?
Revisiting is inevitable, but how you choose to use influences from bygone eras in your music or art is something we think a lot about. For us we are not trying to replicate a particular sound, but combine our influences in to something new and personal to ourselves. Cynics by definition will always find something to be cynical, rather than critical about.
There’s a circularity to music/fashion and in general popular culture – but which decade/era/place would you like to wake up in tomorrow?
As long as the music you want to create is personal to you, I’m not sure if the decade makes too much of a difference. Sometimes we can look back at past years with a warped nostalgia, so I would rather stay in the present. California would be cool though.
After Alex ‘The Saviour’ Turner’s slightly embarrassing speech at the Brits, is thisthe summer that guitar music takes back it’s fans?
As you said, music is cyclical and the same could be said with guitar music as a genre. It may seem to sit under the surface, lying dormant, but there has always been a load of great guitar bands ready to enter to a more public setting. This summer will show that I’m sure.
You have been touring virtually non-stop, with Temples and Palma Violets amongst others, has there been a particular highlight?
It’s been great to tour with our friends and playing the Coronet with the Palma Violets was a particular highlight. We’ve been mates since before they were the Palma Violets and it was a cool to play in front of a huge crowd together.
You have just supported Interpol, was it inspiring to be around such a well-regarded and hardened group?
Definitely. It was amazing to see how they went about their shows and the effort put in to making each gig an event. That’s something that we’re now trying to adapt to our live shows.
Spotify still continues to wreak havoc across the music industry, is it something which annoys you?
It doesn’t really annoy us. Music still has to get used to streaming and until that happens musicians are always going to suffer getting significant payment from streaming sites like Spotify. Still, hopefully in time things will change. It’s not perfect, but if it introduces good music to more people that, perhaps in a slightly misguided way, is a positive thing.
Do you use it?
Touring now seems to be growing ever greater in importance to the survival of a band, is that good for the music if not the wallet?
Touring is now one of the only means for a band to keep on going. With less records selling, it will always be the case that bands will spend more time on the road. For us, that’s not such a bad thing though. It puts the emphasis back on live performance as the main test for a whether a band is any good.
So the album ‘Lacuna’ is now in the can, has it felt like a long time coming since the 2012 release of Blue Velvet?
Not really actually. We’ve always just focused on writing music that as a band we could all be happy with rather than trying to force an album out there. We feel we reached a point with ‘Lacuna’ where we can feel content we’ve genuinely produced the best record we could in the time that we’ve been a band.
Are there set ‘writers’ and ‘performers’ in the band or is it more organic?
Ben writes most of the songs, but all of us have contributed on ‘Lacuna’. Some of the songs were written and demo’d by Ben and sent out to the band, or sometimes two of us will work on something together. The last song on the record ‘When You Rise’ was written during soundchecks on tour with Temples.
If you could only do one for the rest of your career would you rather work in the studio or tour?
I guess it would be Studio, as we all want to put out more records!
Now Lacuna is done, is it straight on tour or straight to the studio?
We’re doing a lot of festivals and will be touring towards the end of the summer too, but we’ll be back in the studio intermittently and will be starting second album sessions soon. We’re eager to get more material going as quick as possible.
Finally, one word to sum up 2014 for Childhood (please, not “exciting”)?
Childhood have to be on of the most exciting bands in the country at the moment, coupling raw magnetism with a heady mix of youthful apathy and adolescent angst. With a fantastic debut LP in the bag and being streets ahead of most other competition, you could hardly disagree.