The psychedelic band from Brighton have just released their second album, Join The Dots, to critical acclaim. They tour the UK in February. Bassist Maxim ‘Panda’ Barron fills us in.
How did you manage to turn around the new album so quickly since your debut?
We weren’t really thinking about the time between the first and second albums too much. When we had enough songs we went in to record them. It felt like the right thing to do. I think we like the idea of capturing what is going on now and then moving on. It feels more exciting that way.
Which track was the starting point and did it signal a different approach?
I think the first song we finished was the last song on the album Fall Out Of Love. We always try to experiment with new sounds but the approach for this one was pretty much the same. We used a lot of different instruments compared to the first. There’s pedal steel on there and a Pro 1 sequencer, where we played to a sequence like a metronome.
Do the songs emerge from long jams?
Sometimes. We demo songs either alone or together. Then we all get together and figure out what we want to play. They evolve quite a bit over time. Dom, our guitarist, plays something different pretty much every time and we all improvise quite a bit to keep things interesting.
What have been your favourite albums of this year?
I really like the Fuzz record – it’s Ty Segall’s band. I saw them in Tufnell Park recently and they blew my head off.
When you play live, how much room is there for further improvisation and has it ever gone wrong, or have you created something so good that you then build that into the song permanently?
I don’t think it’s ever gone wrong. We always find our way back. We recently played with Damo Suzuki from Can, which was a big deal for us. He asks bands to play but says it’s strictly improvised. We ended up playing for an hour and 20 minutes, which was cool. It was one of the best times playing I think we’ve had. There were points there where we built things into new songs. We do that in rehearsal too. Toy gigs are slightly more structured but still have a lot of room for improvisation.