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Thursday, February 19, 2015

These Go to 11: interviewing The Fireworks

Sometimes songs become etched in your mind for long, demanding you to sing them again & again. That's the case with The Fireworks music since we discovered them two years ago. So imagine how delighted are we to have Mattew Rimell and their eloquent answers on our second interview of 2015. These Go to 11! 

The Fireworks, indiepop pyromaniacs
Matthew Rimell, The Fireworks 
Formed in 2011, when friends finally convinced Matthew Rimell to transform the songs he was singing them over the phone into a proper band, the London-Brighton quartet, composed by Rimell, Emma Hall (Pocketbooks), Isabel Albiol (Things in Herds) and Shaun Charman (The Popguns, The Wedding Present, wow!) stole our hearts and ears with their self-titled debut EP in March 2013 via (of course) Shelflife. That first release was followed by the 7'' 'Runaround' that same year, while 2014 saw them involved in collaborations like 'Nobody's Business' and the recording of their highly anticipated first album, 'Switch Me On', finally out this month. Relentless noise-pop, instant catchy melodies and vocal harmonies infused on feedback... A flawless LP where distorsion and reverb meets melodic pop, full of hooks and punch-perfect tunes. Here we go!

Sounds like a load of hick wap, over over!
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
First record bought for me by my Nan was 'My Boy Lollipop' by Millie Small when I was about four. First record I made my mum & dad buy me was 'Knock on Wood' by Amii Stewart, and first record I bought myself was The Fall's 'The Man Whose Head Expanded'.

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
First gig I went was The Fall at Trinity Hall, Bristol 1983 and last gig was our own gig at Rough Trade, launching the album (can I say that?). Before that was The JMC gig doing 'Psychocandy' late last year.

Generating endless songs & flares since mid 60s
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
It took me ages to explore progressive rock. A friend literally made me listen, almost as a sort of challenge. I really like Van Der Graff Generator. They’re not the easiest band to listen to, but when you get into it, they are unbelievably clever, musically & lyrically. When I saw them live (a few times, when they reformed) you could feel the love/fondness they have for each other, really magical. Mind you, there’s prog I just can’t tolerate. Maybe, I’ll give it a go when I’m a pensioner. No way! There’s prog & there’s prog, in the same way as anything else.

To die for a Primal Scream 7''
4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
Well, if I didn’t have certain 7” singles I would probably lose it. I remember bringing home a hand full of Creation 7” and being completely knocked out by Primal Scream’s 'All Fall Down/It Happens'. If anything happened to that single, they might have to come and take me away. Yes, I wouldn’t be right. I feel the same way about Razorcuts' 'Sorry To Embarrase You' 12”, four tracks that completely stir and move the soul. Life isn’t the same after those songs.

5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
The first lyrics to truly move me and make me realise stuff, was getting into Joy Division, when I was 13. They were the first band I truly got into. I can’t listen to 'New Dawn Fades' by them too much, probably once every few years… Otherwise I’d be an emotional wreck. But yes, 'New Dawn Fades' makes me cry, almost instantly. It’s also Ian’s voice there is something otherness and fragile about it.

Lawrence, the enigmatic king of Belgravia
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Never meet your heroes, really and truly don’t. Although, I interviewed Lawrence from Felt a couple of years ago because we (Big Pink Cake) were putting on his film and he was really sweet. He was highly entertaining and just lovely to meet. I’m afraid though nerves might get the better of me in these situations… I’d much rather send a clone of myself to do it and then report back. I think that people you admire it’s the mystery and what it conjures up in your head, why burst the bubble?

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Too many to mention. Joy Division – 'Unknown Pleasures'. Beat Happening – 'Black Candy'. Siouxsie and the Banshees – 'The Scream'. The Jesus and Mary Chain – 'Psychocandy'. It really has to present something about the music, the band. Something that’s true to the bone, or why bother really? I think the look is incredibly important, especially for people who function in a more visual way and like to explore everything in time to the music and are able to lose them self.

The one & only Count Dracula
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both) 
I love black and white stuff, film that done to maximize on expression is just so great. 'Citizen Kane', 'Mildred Pierce', 'Psycho', 'Metropolis', anything with Bela Lugosi in it. A rainy Saturday or Sunday, is there anything better than curling up to a good film? Books, stark stuff like George Orwells – 'Nineteen Eighty Four', 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K Dick, 'War of the Worlds' by H. G. Wells.

9. Song (of yours) you are most proud of
I have a problem with the concept of ‘pride’ I don’t get it. Pride seems a bit bloated to me… So I can think of songs that I like… I like ‘Let You Know’ from our new album, 'Switch Me On'… I think the words, sentiment, and feeling, reminds me of something honest and true, to a specific time, which I think is really important. If it doesn't involve honesty, there is no point, in my opinion.

10. What does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Indie has become to mean something… But it used to mean just independent and that is exactly what it is… Standing on your own ground and creating it yourself. Indie has become a much over used label over the past twenty or more years. Being independent means doing things yourself, being involved in something that you have created and, more importantly, financed yourself… But then there are companies that are independent too, helping independent minded people further there idea. I would love to see a world where people were more independently minded, in everything that they do really. Working small scale is more personal and more relative. Billy Childish recently said ‘name me one thing that’s got bigger and better?’ Schumacher’s book ‘Small is beautiful’ has been massively influential in calling for more localised independent ways of working. Independent stuff gives me hope and in a world that seems increasingly more corporate. It’s massively important that the independent sector exists.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Wow! Who knows? Living it happily I hope. I hope I’m still doing something music related. Or semi retired, working part time, downsizing on the four letter word ‘work’ and living maybe by the sea or The West Country... And the further west you go the better it gets – in terms of scenery. Crossing things off the list, especially counties I’d like to visit and places I’d like to see.

Zillion thanks Matthew, thanks The Fireworks!

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