I’ve been doing quite a lot of interviews lately, but this is the last one for a while. There’s a Q&A on MTV 81with Group A (officially stylised as “group A” but on these pages proper English grammar rules apply unless I otherwise say so).
Group A are relatively new and the interview backs up something I’ve suspected, which is that from fairly messy, arty and conceptual roots, they’ve rapidly grown musically, and they’ve done it largely through just forcing themselves into positions where they needed to get better quickly. There’s an admirable hunger to them, although the case with ambitious bands like that is that they find a point two or three years down the line where there is nowhere the scene is really structured to allow them to go, where they’re popular enough that they feel they’ve outgrown their scene peers, but there’s no place for them on the next rung up. Some try to break out by going overseas, but there’s no money in that unless you’re Melt Banana or Acid Mothers Temple, and some try to break the glass ceiling by making nice with those still in control of the levers of power, although if you’re making DAF/Neubauten/Throbbing Gristle-style industrial noise with violins, there are relatively few openings for bands like that in major label rosters. At the rate Group A are growing, however, they’re probably going to find themselves in a position like that sooner rather than later, so how they deal with it’ll be important.
Anyway, it was an interesting interview and they’re interesting people. All the stuff about stone circles and things it’s hard to tell how seriously they take it: sometimes they sounded genuinely cosmically inclined, whereas other times they seemed to have a more of a conceptual handle on it. Anyone whose heard the stuff Julian Cope did on the none-more-pagan Jehovahkill (or recorded naked inside ancient burial mounds) would have to admit that at least the cultural associations we’ve layered onto stones of various kinds can have a power of their own, even if the mystical aspects are clearly bollocks.
The stuff about the creative process and how they scraped the band together out of a sheer desire to do something and then worked it up into the genuinely quite impressive band they are now was the bit I found most interesting. The fact that they were really eager to talk about their music and go into detail about it really helped as well, which might have been down to them coming from an art & design background. In any case, far too many bands seem completely uninterested in examining their own art, and so uncurious about what they themselves are doing that it’s quite refreshing to speak to a new band who are so enthusiastic about their own art.