A Chat With Little Comets

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I arrive backstage at Truck festival to find the guys from Little Comets; Rob, Mickey and Matt, kicking a football around next to their Mercedes Sprinter ‘tour bus’. We sit in their van and they debate whether or not to leave the window open. Matt wants a breeze whilst Rob argues that they don’t want the unique sound of Fixers on the main stage to be heard in the interview! On the wall is a score tally of who’s the best at football one-touch, just one of the many games invented whilst on the road!

 I love your tour bus decor! What have you been up to lately?

Rob: We’ve been doing recording during the week and then festivals at weekends. That seems to be the way our summer’s panned out!

Your new album, Life Is Elsewhere, is out soon, how do you think it’s developed from the first album?

Rob: I think it’s probably a bit more chilled out, we’re a bit older and know a bit more about life. It’s more relaxed, it’s got a lot more space in it, because the music we’ve been listening to is more confident  – if you believe in the top line melody and the lyrics of your song then ultimately it shouldn’t need anything else. It’s not as fast paced, it’s not as musically insecure.

Sounds like that’s reflecting your personalities as well?

Rob: Yeah, I think we were in a different place when we recorded the first album.

Your videos are really cool, who directed them and how did you go about getting them filmed?

Rob: ‘Isles‘ and ‘Joanna‘ were directed by Iffa McCardell. I think what was good about that was that after ‘Isles’ we just had real confidence in just letting her go off and doing whatever she wanted to do for ‘Joanna’. I think that’s a really lovely video, I don’t think the song necessarily does the video justice. The portraits in that video are really quite sad, there’s some really poignant moments. Also, we always have certain ideas of locations that would work well for acoustic stuff, like the pedestrian tunnel that we did ‘His Thunder‘ in connects Jarrow where me and Mickey live, and the other side of the river, so we’ve used it enough, cycling through and walking through. It’s such a nice place, the sound seems to go on forever because it’s so long and coated in tiles.

You often just mess around acoustically, as opposed to a full band, I like the variation in the sounds you get from that.

Rob: I think it’s nice to present the songs in a different way, I like playing the songs quietly because people have to focus on the lyrics a bit more. They interact more with what’s being said as opposed to what’s going on melodically, it’s a different challenge. I don’t like it when bands play the song in the same way but just on an acoustic guitar, because that’s not the point.

Sounds like you really put a lot thought into what you’re doing.

Matt: It’s really nice when you see bands that do different things. Not just in an acoustic sense, but also in a live sense. If you go and see the band live, and they play exactly the same as the CD, I get very bored. What was the point in spending £30 on a ticket?

 What’s ahead for you guys at the moment?

Rob: The release of our album, touring, I’m going to be a Dad at the start of September, so that’ll put the cat amongst the pigeons! We just enjoy being creative for a living; we’re effectively a little cottage industry now, so we make money from selling records and playing live. Albums! Sorry Matt! Matt doesn’t like it when bands call a body of work a record, and he’s right because it’s not a record anymore.

Yeah, it’s not anymore is it, if it’s digital and online. 

 Matt: I think a record implies a 12 inch LP.

Have you had any of your music made into proper 12 inch records?

Forthcoming album Life Is Elsewhere

Matt: My attitude has changed towards vinyl now, because I did used to think, classic, bands releasing it on vinyl, it’s really cool.  But I’ve started buying music that was pre-CD on vinyl, because it was mixed for vinyl and mastered for vinyl, so… 

Rob: I know what you’re saying… I think some albums, like Everything Everything’s album, it’s a brilliant album, but it sounds awful on vinyl, ’cause it’s all on one record, there’s no definition. Whereas the Grizzly Bear and James Blake albums have been put onto two records. I don’t know whether they’ve specifically mixed it for that, but those translate incredibly well. So if it’s a half-arsed approach, it doesn’t work.

 Are you looking forward to your set at Truck?

Rob: Hopefully, I think the gig is always made by the audience, and the venue. You could look forward a gig and it could end up being awful. Or last night, I didn’t think it was going to be very good because the monitoring was awful on stage but it was really enjoyable because the atmosphere was right in the room.

Matt: The stages here are alternating, I really like it when festivals do that.

Thanks guys, one more question, can I play football with you?

Little Comets: (laugh together!) YES!

Little Comets’ second album Life Is Elsewhere will be released on September 30th.

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