By Grant Bailey (@GrantDBailey)
As I’m sure any successful band will tell you, standing out in your music scene is tough. But with the discerning crowds of instrumental prog fans on the hunt for the latest band to blow their minds it can be even more challenging.
Alright The Captain have had no such trouble, hitting their stride with 2011’s debut release SNIB and causing a major stir among technical rock fans. Ahead of the release of their highly anticipated second album ‘Contact Fix’, TLE caught up with Alright The Captain guitarist Marty to get the latest news from the experimental trio.
Q: Congratulations on recording your second album, Contact Fix, it sounds great! What should fans expect from the new album?
Marty: Bigger riffs. more synths, Faster drums!
Q: What was it like recording with You Slut!’s Rich Collins?
M: It was great, Snug is such an awesome little studio. We’d recorded with Rich before for “Conversational skills for the socially anxious” and he’s seen us play loads of shows so he knew exactly how we wanted the record to sound. It was a real pleasure working with him and the whole recording process went really smoothly. With regards to mixing we placed a lot of trust in Rich as obviously having played in You Slut! and recording and mixing all their material we knew he’d do a brilliant job right down to his guest vocals on “Ben & Barbara”.
Q: You achieved a raw, techy sound on your debut album, Snib. Did you feel the pressure to one-up your previous release with Contact Fix?
M: We didn’t really feel too much pressure with this album as our last EP (CSFTSA) was actually reviewed by the majority of the press as being our 2nd album which kind of took a lot of the weight off our shoulders and really let us just carry on with writing with Jamie behind the kit for the first time.
Q: You recently named your top 5 albums of 2014 for Circuit Sweet, placing Swans’ ‘To Be Kind’ at the top spot. Are there any albums in particular that inspired you while writing Contact Fix?
M: We sort of lock ourselves away and write whatever comes, influences are there but nothing in particular has consciously nudged us in any direction.
Q: To release the album you turned to your community on Kickstarter. How was that experience?
M: It was pretty nerve wracking to begin with, with kickstarter there’s always the chance that you won’t hit your target meaning you get nothing so it was a real gamble which thankfully paid off. Words can’t really explain how good it felt to reach our goal in just 12 days so we can’t thank everybody who pledged enough and we can’t wait to start getting their rewards sent out.
Q: This is your first release with Jamie Cattermole on drums. What has he brought to the ATC sound?
M: Honestly the boy is a machine, he’s been with us for nearly 3 years now and he’s just got an ear for what we’re doing and keeps it busy without ever doing “too much”. It’s a great experience writing with him. He also does all the driving when we’re on tour and it still baffles me how he does it.
Q: The sleeve for Contact Fix is bloody weird. Has Todd been getting into his artwork lately?
M: Thanks, I guess that means it stood out to you. Todd has been drawing and painting as long as I’ve known him, its convenient to be able to have such quality artwork by someone in the band. You can see lots more on his site.
Q: In 2013 you played ArcTanGent Festival in Bristol and absolutely killed it. Do you have any plans to play it again this year?
M: We’d love to play again this year, it’s one of the best weekends of the year for sure so our application is in and our fingers are crossed. Now we just have to wait and see.
Q: You recently announced a pretty massive UK tour in support of Contact Fix which has just kicked off. How have the first few shows been?
M: Really good so far, it’s nice getting back into the swing of things as we had a month off for Christmas so we definitely needed to blow a few cobwebs away but we’re all ready to hit 2015 running now. It’s always nice catching up with friends on the road too so we’re just as excited about that to be honest.
Q: Finally, how is Barbara doing? Do you anticipate a lot of attention coming her way on the tour?
M: Barbara’s doing just fine, can’t wait to get back on the road though. She had a pretty cold Christmas locked away in our studio and obviously not having a stomach means she hasn’t piled on any extra pounds like the rest of us. She’s a real looker so who wouldn’t want to pay her attention!
Alright The Captain’s new album ‘Contact Fix’ is released on 2nd February. Catch them on tour here.