Interview: Seefeel

You can easily use the words 'seminal' and 'unique' to describe Seefeel's album 'Quique' (first released in 1993, and then as a redux edition in 2007). That's not to mention their array of other releases over the years, largely on Too Pure and Warp Records. Now after hiatus of a few years, the band are back with new single and album on the way. With two new members, and after the break we wanted to know what's changed, and what has got them back to making music together. Mark Clifford from the band answers our questions.

Why the long break in releases, and what have you been up to in that time?

When we finished 'Succour' there was a feeling that we did not have much else to add at that time. We had been touring a lot and there were a few tensions in the band so it seemed right for us to free ourselves and pursue other things. We always intended to record again but only when it felt the time was right. I'm not sure we mean't to have such a long break but thats how it worked out. In the meantime I have always made music but without the drive to release any of it really. Otherwise just getting on with the day-to-day of living like all people.

Why did you choose to get back to making music, and did you consider forming a different band instead of reforming Seefeel?

It was all timing really. 'Quique' was re-issued and Sarah and I got together to do some interviews and we just talked and decided to exchange a few ideas to see if Seefeel was worth pursuing again. Soon after Warp asked us to play some Warp20 shows and that really gave us a push to try harder and take things more seriously. I think we did briefly discuss the idea of making it a new band but it seemed like we had something strong with Seefeel.

How did you go about recruiting new members to the band?

Well I already had been jamming with E-da occasionally as he lived in Brighton so when we decided to play live again he was an obvious choice. Darren wasn't likely to be rejoining so we were looking to find a bassplayer and i was about to start advertising when Shige offered his services! I had known Shige also but only musically as DJ Scotch Egg but when i saw him playing bass i knew it could work. So it pretty much fell into place.

Has your approach to making music changed, has the new dynamic of the band affected this in any way?

It definitely feels like a stronger band dynamic to me now. I feel we can go into a studio and play or jam and something good comes out. It feels like this record has been a lot less hard work than previous albums. Technology has obviously moved on and made the recording process a lot easier in some ways.

And clearly i have learned a lot more personally in the intervening years as Sarah has also. And i feel there's generally a more relaxed atmosphere now than previously.


Can you tell us about your new single 'Faults' - did it come together easily, did you do anything differently...?

Everything came together quickly and easily really. 'Faults' started as a rhythm primarily with a guitar track very different to the end version. Sarah's vocal I felt was very strong so when it came to mixing it felt natural to give it space and not swamp it too much with other sounds. Hence the very rhythm heavy nature of the track.

Has Mark Van Hoen been involved with your new music, as with previous releases?

Not at all no. Mark lives in NY now anyway, but he hasn't been involved in the recoding process with Seefeel since the second EP on Too Pure. He is still a friend and i have a lot of respect for him but no he had no input on the new tracks.

How much of your music is composed and how much of it evolves through the process of sampling/playing/recording?

It varies from track to track but I rarely sit down with a guitar and write a song in the conventional sense. Much of what makes a Seefeel track i think is in the sounds and thats really how i write - by creating and piecing together sounds or by improvising and editing. Sarah naturally composes more i think in the sense that she writes lyrics but i think i compose in a very kitchen-sink kind of a way. Maybe?

What music are you listening to at the moment, what artists are your inspired by?

Oh everything really. I wouldn't really point at any one person or band. There's so much amazing music been constantly created. I think there are some really interesting bands mixing old and new such as Factory Floor; and I like dubstep naturally.

What can we expect next from you in terms of releases, are you putting together an album?

We have an album out beginning of February 2011 on Warp.

Given your dislike of touring, will you be performing just a few select events?

Touring isn't the grind to me now as it once was. I toured Europe and America with the Cocteau Twins and i think i learned how to manage the whole thing then and how to keep my sanity while being so holed up. So i imagine we will probably play live extensively next year.

Listen to new single Faults

Seefeel - Faults by Warp Records

Seefeel release their new album 'Seefeel' on the 31st January 2011 through Warp, pre-order the album here before the 17th December and receive a free download of 'Faults' single here. They'll also headline a show at Kings Place on the same day as the album release

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