May 4, 2022
Words by: Arthur Cross
Quade’s songwriting contains a depth and maturity which stands out far beyond that of their relatively short time creating music together. Chasms of sound gape and bass lines lumber amongst twisting violin as they methodically play with ideas of atmosphere and space. Out of this a rolling sonic landscape is formed, one you could imagine covered in swirling autumnal heather and dewy moss. It’s this beautiful music which has led them to already have supported the likes of Squid, Caroline and Katy J Pearson. Here we discuss the influences behind their new releases, performance spaces and what’s to come next..
Your double single release Spiral is influenced by Itali Calvino’s short story ‘The Spiral’. Could you explain a bit more about the story, how you came across it and why it inspired you?
My brother put me onto Italo Calvino’s ‘Cosmicomics’ after discovering it himself on a workaway in Alaska. ‘The Spiral’ is a three-part story told from the perspective of a mollusc. My take on the story, and especially the second part of it, is that the mollusc is essentially describing a single force, which causes all things in the world to grow, think, love, exist and so on. At the end of part II, the mollusc describes himself as being the same as a worker bee that lies dying at the bottom of a hive, having spent its whole life striving for the continuation of its species, which was an image I found incredibly powerful for some reason.
The tracks explore elements of social anxiety, do you find music helps with those feelings?
Great question! I think being part of something you are proud of, and have put lots of work into, furnishes a sense of self-worth that is useful to fall back on if feeling socially anxious. However, we often all find socialising after gigs very difficult, and would prefer to be sat in a quiet room by ourselves much of the time.
You had a single launch on the 6th of May that’s taking place in a crypt in Bristol, I was wondering what compelled you to use this space?
We stumbled across the crypt when going to see a friend’s exhibition and just thought it would be a really atmospheric space for a gig. We also liked the fact that it isn’t typically used for gigs and was a venue off the beaten track. People are always more likely to remember gigs in strange locations so we thought it was worth the extra effort to try and organise something different!
Would you like to explore more unconventional venues in the future and if so where else are you thinking of playing?
Definitely. We have got a couple in mind but are always on the lookout. Leo (drummer) did some carpentry work for a space in St. Pauls that is currently being renovated and we’ve been talking to the owner about the possibility of putting something on in the future. We’re all suckers for a dingy basement so that could well be the next spot.
In the past you have performed with acts such as recent Rough Trade signees Caroline – I feel there is a similarity in atmosphere between your project and theirs. I was wondering if there was anything you found inspiring or took away from this experience?
There certainly are some similarities between our music and theirs, namely the violins and use of space, and it’s cool how we explore those things in such different ways. The main thing we found inspiring about that performance was the way they culminated the set. The ending is very emotive and recontextualizes the preceding music in a way that makes a lot of sense.
Quade as a band are actually quite new, how do you see the sound of the project changing in the future?
I suppose it’s quite hard to say exactly how the sound will change at this moment in time. But the most important thing is that we are all very open minded and have a real desire to experiment with new sounds/instruments/pedals. Being relatively new to writing music, we all feel as though we haven’t really scratched the surface of what is possible and are really excited to keep writing and experimenting.
Starting the band in Bristol how has your experience been here as you become more and more part of the music community in Bristol?
It’s been a lovely experience so far, the music community here seems really tight-knit and has been very welcoming! None of us have ever been a part of something like this before and it feels great to be contributing in some way to such a varied scene, in a city with such rich musical heritage.
It’s been a true pleasure having you here rehearsing in Factory, do you have any tips or advice for other musicians when it comes to their mindset coming into a rehearsal and how you have gotten the most out of your time here?
It’s been a pleasure to rehearse at Factory and we’re incredibly grateful for all the support the staff at Factory have given us! I think we’re still in the process of working out how to get the most out of our rehearsals so it’s hard to give concrete advice. I suppose just staying disciplined and working through difficult periods. We had quite a bad spell of writer’s block at the beginning of the year but just kept turning up to rehearsal and eventually worked our way through it. Not losing sight of why you are doing it (to have fun!) is also important during the more difficult times.
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Photography: Caleb Smith