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"No music has been truly original for decades": Islington Boys' Club Interview

London band Islington Boys Club chat to Skiddle about primal instincts, eclectic tastes, and London as a creative hub where competition makes the best of you.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 18th Apr 2011

In a world where ‘originality’ is merely a carbon copy, London’s Islington Boys' Club hope they’re steering their sound in a direction less travelled.

Scurrying away from the stale sound of the ever-popular lofi, these post punk rockers revel in their opposing tastes in music. With an affinity for the experimental, this week the quartet release a surprise new single entitled ‘Misfit Sugar’, which explores the band’s electro side and was mixed by Grinderman collaborator James Apacicio.

Jasmine Phull talks to Islington Boys Club about primal instincts and London as a creative hub where competition makes the best of you.

You’ve said you try not to listen to other guitarists. Why is that? Do you feel it inadvertently influences your own unique creativity?
Yes. You don’t want to sound like anyone else, and subconsciously it’s easy to take on board other peoples’ guitar playing, so you have to try and not. It is the same with any instrument; no music has been truly original for decades.

Your live gigs are known to be quite high energy. Is that just an automatic state of mind when you jump on-stage or does it sometimes take a bit of warming up to get to that point?
It can be quite automatic, when you hear the music you tap into something primal, let your body take over and express what you feel.

Your debut AA side single Pristine Plastic 16 was released late last year, is it a prelude to the LP that will be?
Yes, but we’re releasing a couple more singles before then. We’ve just got loads of music we wanna get out there… So we’ve just released a free download of a song we’ve had for a while called 'Misfit Sugar' and there’ll be another single to follow before the summer. The album will come later on in the year.

Does where you’re based have a great impact on the music of IBC?
I’m not too sure our studio does, but we rehearse and record in an old converted church in Islington that can be quite ominous and eerie sometimes with its definite gothic vibe. It does occasionally carry on into our music. London is very inspiring place to be in general, being around so much other creativity is always very encouraging.

If you could uproot, where would you go? Why?
New York definitely, we’ve been told in the past that we might fit so we’d love to check out the underground scene there, Germany too has its charm – somehow our last record got out there and is being sold in a couple of shops that we’ve seen on the internet as well as Japan. We’re happy to go wherever the fans want us!

Goals help you progress no matter what your profession. What is the current goal of IBC?
To keep improving our music, live shows, videos and all output. Playing with some bigger bands is always fun and generally we just want to keep releasing music. Once you start to create it’s kinda hard to stop that desire.

What differentiates IBC from other London bands?
We all have extremely eclectic tastes and were not afraid to experiment with our performance and sound - one that merges genres. We want to make an expansive and ‘big’ sounding sound that is different to a lot of the more lo-fi bands in London at the moment. Not to say that we don’t enjoy what’s out there at the moment, we go to gigs and watch our friends’ bands do what they do but we’re always striving to be something a little different.

Do you think collaboration is better than competition or vice versa? Why?
If you can make something beautiful with another artist then that’s great but for the sake of it or to use another person’s status is just a bit cheap. Competition makes you work harder but we prefer to be part of a supportive community of artists.

Last album you listened to?
Ulterior - Wild in Wildlife. It’s fantastic! We just went of tour with them round the UK and are planning another tour throughout Europe with them in Autumn/ Winter time, around the release of our album.

Last album you bought?
Islington Boys' Club - The Anthology (it has a lot of remixes on there)

Interview by: Jasmine Phull
Twitter.com/j_fool

Catch Islington Boys Club at Farm Festival at the end of July. Tickets are available through Skiddle below for just £27.50.

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