The official press release for Silverclub’s upcoming EP describes how “thick analogue percussive vibrancy has a scrap with a sophisticated discoid lyricism resulting in shaky legs, adrenaline overdosed heightened senses and a fuck yeah fist in the air for every track on this EP.”
Luckily though, frontman Duncan Jones agrees that PR shouldn’t be the serious selling point of any band. “Yeah I love working with Woody at Red Laser; I think he’s probably the only label owner we know who gives less of a fuck than we do. They’re set up nicely and they shift their records, they do stuff entirely their own way and their PR is not even remotely proper, but he’s honest and enthusiastic plus he’s funny as fuck.”
However the amusing thing is that it’s all pretty accurate. I sit with Jones at the Fallow Café and sense a quiet feeling of achievement, experimentation and maybe even a “fuck yeah fist” that curls around his words; it’s a thing which is also reflected in the band’s groovy yet giddy back catalogue.
“I’ve been doing that [programming synths] since year dot, I mean I’ve been fucking around with ‘em for ages. I nicked an SH101 from high school when I was like 15. They did eventually figure out where it had gone and I had to eventually give it back. I had that and some other bits and pieces like a DX7 kicking around and some shitty drum machines and a cassette four track, which was just a massive pain in the arse when making electronic music since you have to do an entire synth line in one take and the editing on those things weren’t easy, bouncing down constantly. I am better on the synth side of it though; I’m not a great guitarist, I’m just alright, but I love to just throw everything at it.”
Considering Silverclub’s extremely DIY approach, the quality of writing and production on the tracks is an outstanding reward. The music definitely seems too smooth and well-groomed for it to be the result of “throwing everything at it.”
“Well I’ve produced since I was like 15 so I just do all of [the production] now. That first record, a lot of it seems quite naïve. I’ve made some pretty weird house and techno and electronic music since I was really young and started putting stuff out when I was 18, my first vinyls and stuff. Before that I was in jam bands and they were always pretty spaced and synthy. Pretty much all the guys I liked jamming with went off to university and I just decided not to go last minute because I didn’t want to spend three years on something I wasn’t sure on. At that point there were other musicians where I lived but whenever I’d try and play with them and get some sort of groove going they’d stop it and say ‘OK now we need a chorus to go with that verse’ and I was like ‘what the fuck are you talking about?’ This shit can be like two chords for 10 minutes.”
It’s an experience us university musicians have had too many times. For someone who’s grown around music for a long time, it’s surprising then that the band’s second unsigned record, Back to the Start, is already sounding like a huge step towards musical maturity. “Yeah, well most of that first record I just can’t listen to. We always get someone calling in after a gig and asking why we didn’t play ‘No Application’ and it’s ‘cos it’s fucking horrible,” laughs Jones.
The development doesn’t just stop with writing though, as Silverclub’s live sets have also began to fill that unsteady and highly unpopulated gap between DJs and live bands. “When we’re playing live, there’s nothing stopping us jamming out a song for eight minutes. Live we were always alright but we found none of us go see bands that much and prefer to go to club nights, to experience the seamlessness of DJs, so we thought why don’t we try it. Now it’s the only way we play now. Instead of stopping we’ll just extend the rhythm and bring it into the next one. It’s high risk but high reward. If something stops working at that point you gotta just fucking deal with it cos we’re not stopping, the train is coming. We want people to just lose it and dance. We don’t give em a chance.”
Personally, I’m excited for the show. I’m maybe even more excited to hear the tunes which will make Back to the Start sound “fucking horrible.”
Silverclub play Deaf Institute Friday 26th Sept