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Somber Soundscapes – Worship Q&A

November 21st, 2011


The atmospheric sounds of Berkshire band Worship have already garnered attention and praise from national press and Radio 1 – even though they have only released their debut single today. The fourpiece – consisting of Tim Alexander (vocals), James Johnson (guitar), Tom Mayo (drums) and Jordan Fish (bass) – have created a tapestry of moody, haunting and somber tunes that will make the perfect soundtrack to the bleaker moments of winter. We talk to Jordan of the band to find out his inspirations when writing the music and what he enjoys about playing live.

Describe your music in five words
Not right for Children’s Parties

What is your earliest memory of music?
My earliest memory of playing music was my primary school Brass band when I was about 9 years old. It was my first experience of performing and I managed to keep it up for a few years before the attraction of being in a rock band took over. The first music I listened to was a bit of a mix, my cousin got me into terrible rap music and my friends at school were listening to metal so I had eclectic but awful taste as a youngster.

How was the band formed?
Three of us are from a town called Newbury and during our teenage years we had quite a strong music scene, we were all playing in each others bands and swapping members so I knew the other guys from that time. I ended up producing music and a couple of years ago I did some work with Tim and James. We thought we could probably do something better together so we ended up writing a few songs which we put online. We met Tom earlier this year through a mutual friend and he instantly moved things forward.

What are the inspirations behind your music?
Generally with a piece of music I’ll set out to try and combine something electronic with something else acoustic in an interesting way. I listen to a lot of electronic music so that is probably a big influence on how I write; lots of loops, samples and gradual variation. Trying to push that into the mould of a conventional ‘band’ is sometimes fun and sometimes horribly frustrating but I think the process is what makes us sound unique. Lyrically Tim tends to spend a lot of time looking for an interesting starting point, either an unusual set of words or an unusual idea and then develop that idea into some kind of narrative. A few of our songs have been about real events or stories, although you might find it hard to pick that out.

Who are your biggest inspirations, musically?
We’re all big fans of Radiohead, Mew, Interpol, but we’re also into some less band-orientated stuff; Four Tet, Autechre, Bibio, Lorn, Bonobo.

Who or what do you worship?
None of us are religious but in life I suppose we’re guilty of worshipping the things that most other people worship – success and alcohol.

Your debut single is called “House of Glass” – as we all know, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. What is the most hypocritical thing this band has ever done?
That’s a tricky one, we’re not overtly political so I don’t know if we’ve done or said anything particularly hypocritical as of yet.

You’ve supported Dry The River and Everything Everything on tour – what was it like being on the road with these other bands?
Pete and Will from DTR were both around and in bands with us when we were growing up so they’re old friends. The tour was a great opportunity to play some good venues and hang out with them again, so for us it was great. The tour ended at [London night club/ music venue] Scala, it’s a venue I’ve always wanted to play so it was great to be playing with friends somewhere like that. Everything Everything was actually only one show but we really enjoyed it, we share the same management and we were big fans of them before we hooked up. They’ve been really supportive.

What was the wildest thing that happened on tour?
Actually we’re recovering from the last night of our tour with [US band] The Antlers right now, We ended up squeezing 10 people into our tiny van: two [Scottish indie band] Frightened Rabbits, four Antlers and the four of us. I also had my first experience of ‘Buckfast’… it’s a revolting Scottish drink that you should never try.

You’re performing live on December 1st – what has been your best gig to date?
For me personally it was last week supporting Primal Scream at the Electric in Brixton. The PA is ridiculous and the crowd was full of competition winners so the atmosphere was great. I’m really looking forward to the Dec 1st gig, it’s the first event we’ve put on ourselves so it’s great to be able to pick the venue, the lights, and everything.

What do you enjoy about playing live?
It’s mostly about the sound; I enjoy hearing our music as loud as possible! We’re still mostly playing to other people’s crowds as support so it’s satisfying to go out knowing that no-one knows who you are and then feel like you’ve won them over by the end of the set.

Heart Of Glass, the debut single by Worship, is released today. The band will perform at St Pancras Old Church in London on December 1st.
Interview: Seamus Duff

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