Turin Brakes Interview

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turin brakesOlly Knights and Gale Paridjanian have been making music as Turin Brakes since 1999, but the duo’s first meeting came back in primary school in South London.

Success came quickly to the Balham natives with their debut LP ‘Optimists’ garnering much praise in the media and even being nominated for a Mercury Prize and Brit award in 2001.

Since the band’s last album ‘Outbursts’ in 2010 Turin Brakes haven’t stopped touring. With a new album in the offering and a tour of Australia in April and May 2013, we caught up with Olly to discuss the band’s origins, touring Australia and the future of Turin Brakes.

Travel to Western Australia 

Hi guys, how has 2013 started for you all?
We’re back up to speed this year, getting ready to put out a new Turin Brakes album and touring and everything!

What have you been up to since the release of 2010’s ‘Outbursts’?
We’ve been playing non stop gigs in places we haven’t been to much before, it’s been great, I also put out a solo record called ‘If Not Now When’ on Turin Brake’s own little label The Complete Atomic.

So where does the name Turin Brakes come from?
I think one of us dreamt it, we needed a name quickly, we made an EP that people wanted, but we had no name, Turin Brakes sounded exotic and like nothing else, a bit like the music.

How far away are we from another Turin Brakes full length album?
We plan to release a new LP after the summer, we shall be recording it just prior to our Australian tour, so will have some new fresh songs to play we think.

Where are you based these days? Do you ever have reason to return to Balham, where it all began?
We’re mostly based near where it all first started, London and Brighton are still our homes.

What would you say the main reason behind your longevity and continued success has been?
We play live, all the time, we got really good at it, people believe in what they hear and see when it’s happening for real in front of them. We also just have an inbuilt drive to make music, it was there long before any success, there have been many times we could have quit and some of our friends did, but to us the idea of quitting seemed absurd! Quit? what? Music? How about we just keep going over the cliff like Thelma and Louise…

You’re playing a show in Sydney on April 25th and also playing at The Gum Ball Festival in Hunter Valley. How excited are you to be returning to Australia?
It’s been one of the things we’ve wanted to do as a band for a whole decade, so a decade’s worth of excitement I’d say.

Could you describe any notable differences between playing in front of UK and Australian audiences? (apart from the weather)
It’s been so long, all I remember is thinking Aussies were pretty cool and that we seemed to fit in…

Can you tell us a little about your song writing process; is it always a joint effort?
It usually starts with me, then I show it to Gale and it develops from there, this new album has been a little different, instead of working as a duo we’ve been jamming out ideas as a full band (with long term band members Rob Allum and Eddie Myer), so the new stuff has a different kind of energy, more like the live shows, it has as much spacey psychedelic streams as folk, I guess it’s a kind of Folk Rock, but I can’t ever pin it down too well.

Who would you describe as being your early influences, the music that inspired you to start creating your own?
The great acts working out of America in the late 60’s right through the 70’s, we have an ear for classic Rock with an acoustic edge, that sound always gets us, our job is to update it perhaps, make it our own.

You were compared to Kings of Convenience when you first came out. Are you fans of Erlend Oye or any other of your early contemporaries?
Sure, we know them well, we toured together and grew up together for a while, what was funny was when we co-headlined shows it became very apparent that our music was in fact very different, those guys have a totally different set of influences, a kind of smoothness, like being in a lovely hotel lounge drinking a nice cocktail. We were far scruffier and angrier and had more Rock n’ Roll in our veins, it was a good show, they are great dudes.

You played a new song entitled ‘Sleeper’ in Italy last year. Would you say this song is a good representation of what the new album will sound like?
Yeah but not the dodgy Youtube phone video version ha ha…

What other shows of yours should we be looking to attend this year?
All the Australian shows of course! Brisbane, Sydney, Gum Ball, Apollo Bay, Melbourne, Alice Springs, Adelaide… Can’t wait!

By Harry Dillon

Make sure you see Turin Brakes perform at Sydney’s Oxford Arts Factory on Thursday 25th April 2013.

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