The electrifying newcomers talk us through their journey so far.
Formed in Brighton, Squid – made up of Ollie Judge, Louis Borlase, Arthur Leadbetter, Laurie Nankivell and Anton Pearson – have already been making a name for themselves as one of the most exciting new acts on the scene.
Currently gearing up for their show tomorrow at The Great Escape’s First Fifty at The Macbeth tomorrow (more info on that here), we caught up with them over curry in North London to find out all there is to know.
How did you guys all first meet?
So it was a stormy night in Brighton…[Laughs]
Basically we wanted to make music together and we all had different influences, so we had an idea about creating something that just brought everything together, and it just had this transforming nature to it. That never really settled for like a good year or two, and it’s still quite unsettled in quite a beautiful way. That’s how we met really, making music.
We’d been doing lots of funny, silly electronic music in our bedrooms. House music that just still felt silly. We were making a lot of music individually, but obviously all of us were thinking that the idea of making a band would be really, really great, but none of us had really sat down and hung out.
So when did it all fall into place?
We’d been playing at a jazz place. We all sat down, it was a little bit pretentious. The first time we did stand up was when we played at Huddle in Brighton. It was because we were playing after quite a really, very energetic band – who are our friends called Ladybird. They’re a fucking great band and have so much energy. But I think having seen Ladybird kind of forming around us and they played this incredible punk set. We were just like, we ought to step it up.
What’s the journey been like since then?
It’s kind of progressed from that jazzier stuff to like what they’re saying is “post punk”. We’ve tried to keep that element of the original music. It always comes from the same place, we just always have different things to say. We each have different things we want to say.
We’ve all got different musical ideas. With the creative process sometimes two or three people might bring a different idea to a rehearsal. By the end of the rehearsal the idea will actually sound completely different to what was originally conceived, but we’ll be happy with it. I think that’s when it works best.
We were doing all this ambient stuff and we were quite scared of becoming an energetic, punk-ish band, because we thought if we did that we’d fall into the rest of the category and we were kind of being afraid of falling into being yet another punk band. But then we started to feel like we could kind of do something within that a little bit different as well.
What’s the next main project that you’re working on?
We’ve seen a lot of bands do single by single and we’ve done a couple of singles. I really like that and I think doing another single would be great. But then also starting to think about how a collection of songs, a larger body of work.
Some of the songs are there. We’ve got definitely an EP’s worth recorded – well not recorded, but made. Whether we record it as an EP or perhaps as an album over a bit of a longer period of time, we’ll see.
I think focusing on the live shows, as well. I think we can all say that playing gigs is what makes us feel very good. That’s definitely been what’s shaped more of our tracks in the last six months, how we’ve played them live. The best feedback we’ve had is from people we’ve chatted to after gigs. Some guy who went to the other school where I grew up messaged me today like “What the fuck? You’re in Squid?”
Do you feel like there’s a buzz about you guys now?
I think the Windmill show was a kind of turning point. It was like “Oh fuck, we’ve sold out, we’re illegally over capacity.” It’s so great that we’re now at a stage where we can play with people that we know and bands that we’re close with, on bigger stages. The idea of playing bigger festivals next year, it’s not like we’re going there on our own. We want to rise with everyone else.
Finally what are the big aims for this year and next year for Squid?
To make more music! Playing Great Escape will be very fun and very strange. It’s really cool because we all lived in Brighton for like four years, so to get to play Great Escape will be very surreal.