Danceable. Funky. Infectious. You may be thinking what these three words have to do with one another. Well for me, they completely define the sound, attitude and vibe of Exile Parade. AMBY interviewed Chris and Phil of the band to chat about their debut album Hit the Zoo, time machines, and how they would define themselves in three, simple words!
AMBY: How would you describe Exile Parade’s sound in three words?
Phil: I remember Owen Morris once described us as being like a dark destroyer which sums up what we’re about well.
AMBY: Who influences you as musicians and songwriters?
Phil: A lot of lyric ideas come from films. David Lynch and Hitchcock are big influences. But lyrics can come from anywhere – it’s just where you are and how you’re feeling. Musically we tend to just latch on to one thing for a few months and hammer it. We drove to Holland and back on tour listening to one song by The Fall on repeat. It sets the scene for where you’re all at and then when we write we’re on the same wavelength.
AMBY: I freakin’ adore Moviemaker. Should be a dance anthem! What’s the story behind the track?
Phil: Lomax actually had the main melody for this and a good chunk of the lyrics. For me, it’s about writing your own script and living the life you want. You’re the director. We’re also good friends with Ronnie Thompson who was a prison officer and is now a bestselling author and directing his own films. He dedicated his book Banged Up to us so we slipped in a few lines as a nod back to him. “Literary kings trying to grow wings in a prison”.
AMBY: Which songs are your favourite off your debut album Hit the Zoo?
Chris: Fire Walk With Me as it started it all off and recording it was pretty special, just a loud ballsy song. If I’m not famous was a big song from our second session. We went into the studio with this short 2minute acoustic offering, then I wrote the music for the middle eight and sorted a massive epic 7minute arrangement! I remember Owen (Morris) saying it was the best production work he’d ever done, which is pretty cool. I like mach schau too – I just think it’s a great song with big drums, cool constant chuggering bass with a catchy guitar riff. Some great vocals too. It’s a particularly triumphant song in my eyes.
AMBY: What are the top three live shows you’ve seen in your life?
Chris: Seeing The Kills and The Horrors in a Manchester warehouse last year was great. I think it was the first gig I’d been to for a few years because I went through a phase of not going to many gigs. It was possibly the coolest event that I’d been too! A really dingy sweaty warehouse underneath Piccadilly station, great sound though. I’ve seen Oasis a few times which is always a good day out, providing you can avoid getting piss launched at you! KOL at the empress ballroom was lively; I went with my mate after a night out so was feeling a tad rough, but as soon as they came on they get the crowd buzzing and the floor in that venue was particularly bouncy so I ended up all over the place! haha I really enjoyed watching elbow too, just after seldom seen kid had come out. Their music and his voice was just spine-tingling. Up until then I’d only been to ‘rock n roll’ gigs but that was pretty special.
AMBY: Where would Exile Parade go in a time machine?
Chris: To the 90s cause we would have been millionaires.
AMBY: Which artists have you been listening to lately?
Chris: Dig Lazarus Dig by Nick Cave is probably my favourite album at the moment. it has quite an impromptu feel to it and it’s also quite funny, especially More News From Nowhere: the opening verse when he tries to shmooze Janet with some bullshit about her being the centre of the universe and she just shuns him but then Nick Cave just moves onto the next woman without a care! I like that in music that’s why I also love Arctic Monkeys and Dylan: humour. I went to watch Jake Bugg live a couple of weeks ago, he’s got a lot going for him and is already getting a bit of an Oasis-esque cult following, and I’m liking Django Django’s album- new Beach Boys?? Still listen to the classics but then a bit of stuff like UNKLE, Hot Chip. I am trying to listen to more modern music ccause I had a spell of saying everything new was shit, which is wrong. BUT every now and again I think ‘can’t be arsed with that’ and I’ll whack on Abbey Road or Definitely Maybe.
AMBY: What is the best song of 2012 so far?
Chris: I can’t really think of anything specific. But I’ll go with Trouble Town by Jake Bugg cause that made me sit up and think ‘I like his voice’. Oh and a track called Get Free by Major Lazer which just makes me feel calm.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Exile Parade that nobody knows yet?
Chris: We tracked the “fire” vocal effect in the guitar solo of Fire Walk With Me 666 times ;)
Remember, you can be a moviemakeeeeer! Take a listen to the awesome track below! Lastly, thank you Exile Parade, for giving me your answers!