Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Neils Children

Neils ChildrenNeils Children have recently released their new album Dimly Lit- a record full of colourful pop-psychedelic vocals and vibrant guitar jangles. From the infectious grooves in a song with the best title ever (The Way The Web Was Woven With), to the looping and outright trippy Trust You, the album is a must-hear. With Dimly Lit out now, Neils Children’s John Linger found a moment in his busy schedule to chat with AMBY about touring, the story behind their name, and Dimly Lit!

AMBY: Hello Neils Children, what have you been up to lately?

J: Well, we’ve been rehearsing, playing a handful of shows… trying to get used to playing the new material live. It’s all good, really enjoyable and feels like the most fruitful period of our career. We’re going to be recording some new material soon too. It’s all very exciting.

AMBY: How would you describe the band’s sound in three words?

J: Altered, Up, Down.

AMBY: Where did the name Neils Children come from?

J: Hmmm… there’s many theories floating around, I don’t believe any of them. I think it started off as a joke related to the 1960’s group John’s Children, but I couldn’t be sure….

AMBY: Your latest album Dimly Lit is ridiculously good. Which songs are your favourite, and why?

J: Thanks… generally I prefer the slower songs such as ‘At A Gentle Pace’, ‘Those You Thought Would…’, ‘Never Could Be Any Other Way’… I like the way they seem to breath a little easier, there’s a lot of space in those sort of songs and they sound very fresh to my ears. Presumably fan favourites are going to be the uptempo bangers like ‘Dimly Lit’, ‘Edward…’ etc, but I hope they hold a special place in their hearts for the ballads.

AMBY: Trust You is a neat song with an extremely fetching loop! What was the inspiration behind the track?

J: Many things I think… the song is built around a 5/4 repetition of bass and drums, so I guess there are links to things like Can and Silver Apples, a lot of the album is quite ‘groove’ based. The churning synth was influenced by the album ‘Tender Buttons’ by Broadcast, that bit-crushed, 8 bit type basic synth sound. Guitar sound I guess was trying to add some abrasion, so it sort of sounds like it could come from a cheaply recorded 1970’s library album, that thin buzz saw sound, although the final recording beefs it up a little bit. Vocals came from nowhere… an entity floating above the music almost.

AMBY: What’s the best moment you’ve had together as a band so far?

J: Our Japanese tours were definitely highlights, It’s an amazing place and we’d love to get back there. But the recording/rehearsing of this album is definitely my best moment. Musically I’ve never enjoyed anything we’ve done before as much as this, and the recording process in France was great. The new lineup is strong and has a lot of potential. It feels like there is music pulsing through all of us when we’re together.

AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?

J: Oh, I’ve no idea! I’m a sucker for people minor mistakes onstage, especially if you manage to catch the perpetrators eye after doing so. Raises a wry smile…

AMBY: Which of your influences would you love to have dinner with?

J: Oh, Marvin Gaye definitely… what a voice. Trish and James from Broadcast, lots of musical familiars infleunce-wise, and I think they’d have made interesting company. God bless Trish, she’s sorely missed. Really, really digging Mac DeMarco at the moment, it’d be fun to have him there. Seems like a very nice kid.

AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?

J: The Death and Vanilla 7″ ‘From Above”, they’re great and I’m hoping to see them live at some point soon. The Broadcast soundtrack to ‘Berberian Sound Studio’ is obviously great. The reissue of Connan Mockasin’s album ‘Forever Dolphin Love’. Other than that, a few things last year that I’ve heard this year like Mac DeMarco ‘2’, the Death and Vanilla album… liked the Melody’s Echo Chamber album too. I’m happy to say that recent years have been more enjoyable for me musically.

AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about Neils Children that nobody knows?

J: Well, I don’t know if nobody knows it, but we were once featured as the ‘live band’ in the BBC television dramatisation of ‘The Rotters Club’ way back in 2003. There’s a clip on YouTube, check it out.

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Alicia Atout

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