June 2, 2022
Words by: Arthur Cross
Squid have risen so rapidly over the last couple of years it would be no surprise if they, for a brief moment, were surrounded by a supersonic white cloud on their journey upward. Having signed to legendary Warp records, released then toured their debut album Bright Green Fields which came out around this time last year it has been pretty non-stop for the group. What fuels them in this journey (pasty shaped or other)? How do you keep things fresh after playing together for so long? What is next in their journey? We sit down with the boys to find out…
Glastonbury is finally now back on the horizon! What are you most looking forward to doing when back playing out there?
It’s a pretty huge deal this time round as we’re playing The Park stage. I’m looking forward to the gig running as smoothly as possible! We’re hopefully going to be playing with some extra-performers and make it a bit special which I think will be really fun. It’s just bloody mental innit? I remember eating a baguette next to Ray Winston at The Park stage once so maybe he’ll show his face again.
I actually caught you guys playing a secret show at The Crows Nest in Glastonbury 2019 and witnessed a member of the crowd dressed up as a huge squid. It made me wonder what is the strangest thing you’ve seen in a crowd of yours or if you have any predictions for what people might come dressed up as this time?
Maybe the figure from our album cover? Or their favourite Narrators?
In terms of shows, Squid have also been hitting North America with two runs of dates out there recently. In our interview with Katy J Pearson she mentioned Dollyland was up on her list of things to explore – did you get to explore any surreal places on your most recent trip out there in March?
Anton, Louis and I visited Lamont Youngs Dream House when we were in New York. It’s a sound installation in a lower Manhattan apartment that has two giant speakers that play a constant sine-wave drone at a really high volume. It’s pretty mad, if you move through the room you’re moving through the sound-waves which change the way you hear it. If you lie still you hear a purer version of the drone. You had to take your shoes off before you went in and the carpet was really soft, which was an added bonus. Another thing I’ve always wanted to do is go on the Twin Peaks location tour in Washington State, but it’s $150 a ticket, that’s some expensive cherry pie.
In the lead-up to all these shows you’ve been hitting the rehearsal rooms hard. I was interested to know if you have a philosophy around rehearsals and your approach to them
We just hammer out the tunes and try and write a new little bits we can improv off when we’re playing a show. It’s also fun to try and rearrange the structures of some songs every now and again just to stop things going stale. When we rehearse and Factory we also like to go down to the Pasty Emporium for lunch. If there was a Venn Diagram with Jazz on one side and Pasties on the other, The Pasty Emporium would be the middle… you’ll know what I mean when you go there.
Bright Green Field just had its one-year birthday having been released on the 7th of May via Warp Records. What are your thoughts when you reflect back on this piece of work given a bit more distance?
I think we’re still just as proud of that record as we were the moment we finished it. Props to Warp for letting us put out a really long debut album with a 9-minute lead single! We had already started writing the second record before Bright Green Field even came out so it’s quite hard to properly reflect on it, even now.
Moving forward you have been working on your newest album – of course you can’t divulge too much at this stage but how has the experience been so far and what sorts of sonic changes have been going on?
I think after playing together for almost a decade now we’ve pushed ourselves with the complexity of these new songs, we wanted to try a set of songs that is more than just a motoric groove, lots of polyrhythms and different time signatures. It’s all gone a bit prog basically…
Photo: Holly Whitaker