Music Q&A:
Bernhoft & the Fashion Bruises

The Grammy-nominated band have released new single Humanoid. Bernhoft chats to us ahead of their gig at Club Academy, Manchester, 12 Nov

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How would you describe your sound?
It’s warm and fuzzy, hints of gravel in there, a splash of chocolate. And loud. I never learned how to be soft spoken.

What informs your music and songwriting?
I find it hard to keep things purely personal. I tend to bring in what’s going on in the news and in books and in the lives around me, whether I know them or not. The world is brimful of good love songs, so I don’t want to pollute it with more. And then musically it’s heavily flavoured by the soul music of the 1960s and 1970s, where social awareness was integral to the sound too.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I’m trying to accentuate the human touch in everything I do – even writing email answers to questions about my music. And not because I’m a pessimist. I really am a thumbs-up to tech and how to use it, but human beings need to control it and not the other way. I know it sounds like grumpy-old-man rhetoric (which might be true) but I see anthropocentric encounters as the new shit.

What’s on your rider?
It’s very basic! None of that stupid hairless kittens or no blue M&M “make life difficult” for the promoters’ kind of shenanigans, enough food and water to get us through the day. The most eccentric I am is I want a local brew and newspaper.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience?
That must have been the first time my gear petered out on one of my solo gigs. My schtick has been to play acoustic guitar-based things and multiply myself using live sampling – think Ed Sheeran, same but different – and if the main duplication device stops working then huge bang followed by total silence ensues. I felt like a million dollars in debt. But such occasions bring out the jewels. I found myself freestyling lyrics over purely acoustic guitar improv in front of my mic, and it turned out to the coolest thing ever. I didn’t know I had it in me. It has since happened several times, and now I feel a smidge disappointed when everything runs smoothly.

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