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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - BANCO DE GAIA

08.05.06

     
 

Q: Would you like to tell us a bit about your musical life since You Are Here?  

I was very disappointed with the attitude within the industry and media towards that album, basically they told me no one was interested (even though we continued to sell plenty of cds and have good audiences at gigs) so for a while I wasn’t to keen to put myself through the mill again and write another one! After some months though it all started flowing again and I’ve been concentrating on Farewell Ferengistan since then. We just did the first live show with the new material so finally it is definitely feeling worthwhile.

  Q :  With the release of Farewell Ferengistan what can we expect from Banco De Gaia?
 

I’m never the one to ask but initial reaction from the few people who have heard it has been very encouraging. Certainly at this point in time I’m really pleased with it, I think maybe it gets even closer to my ideal of what I’m trying to do than I have managed before. I know some people weren’t so keen on my experimentation with ‘proper’ songs on the last cd and I’ve not focussed on that so much this time, I think it’s more like a classic early 90’s Banco album but more sophisticated and better produced!

     
             
Q : What were the origins of the new album, how did it first germinate?  

No idea, like everything I do an idea will pop into my head from somewhere and I just follow it. The name came to me very early on in the writing though, guess it captures where I’m at at the moment, so that felt very right, and the artwork idea fell into place easily too so it feels like it was all part of the divine plan!

  Q : What is the main concept behind the music on the album?
 

Ferengistan is simply put an old name for Europe used in central Asia by the inhabitants when the first Europeans started appearing in noticeable numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Really it captures the essence of western industrial material society in contrast to traditional eastern community and spirit-oriented societies. If there is a concept it is that as a society we are at a dead end in our culture and it’s time to re-assess our devotion to material comfort and wealth as the primary concern.

             
Q : Have you used any new gear, techniques, or approaches that are evident in the new music?
 

 


Don’t think so, much the same set-up as last time although we did master to half inch analogue tape this time which gives a really warm, inviting overall sound, which we didn’t do last time.

  Q : How would you say that your music has most significantly changed or evolved over the years since Banco got started.
 

I guess I’m just getting better a doing the same old things! The technology is making it much easier to do the simpler things so I have more time to focus on detail and subtlety, hopefully it’s an improvement!

             
 
     
Q : What are your current influences, musical or otherwise, that help to shape Banco’s sonic identity?
 

I’ve been reading a lot of history about the British empire in Asia which has been providing food for thought, musically I’ve been listening to a lot of Sigur Ros the last couple of years which I’m sure has coloured my writing too. But as usual I’m listening to all sorts from Mozart to Motorhead via Moby so god knows what influences are getting in there.

  Q : What part of musical life do you enjoy the most and why?  

Playing live (usually). The instant feedback when it’s going well is so rewarding and just sharing the experience of the music with a bunch of other people is great.

             
Q : What plans do you have for live outings and would you say that your live performances affect your compositions in any way?
 

A few festis in the UK and Europe through the summer then probably some city dates in the autumn and maybe a trip to North America. Playing live keeps me connected to the energy of the dance-floor, I think if I stopped doing it I would end up concentrating solely on more ambient music.

   Q :  Looking ahead, what can the fans look forward to in the coming months?  

The gigs, some new videos hopefully, and I’ve got some new collaborations and projects in the pipeline so maybe something very new and a bit different before too long.

The album will be released on June 12th in Europe and July 4th in North America, and we will be accepting pre-orders from May 15th on the website at http://www.banco.co.uk/mail_order/ there is also preview video and audio now up on the site at http://www.banco.co.uk/releases/farewell_ferengistan/ if people want to get a really good idea of what the album is like.

 

           
   
      

 

 

           

Thanks to Toby Marks for kindly allowing us that interview.