1) As a band you have been working on material for almost 7 years (correct me if I’m wrong), how did it all start? and how have you evolved?
It’ll be 8 years this summer! It’s pretty crazy. It was at the time when a lot of guitar bands were getting successful in this country and accordingly a lot of our friends started bands, so off we went and started one as well. I guess we just never wanted to stop, because here we are. In that sense I suppose we’ve evolved in pretty much every way you can imagine – other than in the sense that we still see the band as a viable way to spend time.
2) All bands get comparisons to other artists, and The Naturals have been compared to everything from Can to the Smiths, Foals to Mogwai, even Magazine and Chapel Club… so what is the truth?
The truth of what exactly? We tend not to worry about how we sound in comparison to other bands… I think that’d make anything we did fairly redundant. Of course it’s great to be mentioned in the same breath as a lot of those guys, but if someone hears something they like in our songs and feels the need to compare it to something else then that’s up to them. We’re not bothered.
We get excited by musicians who get us to scratch our heads as to how they’re making their music. The last Tim Hecker album for example…he made it all with some ancient Icelandic organ, processed it to here and back again, and the end result blows your fucking head off! It sounds like tetonic plates grinding together! That’s something we aspire to being able to do, music that emulates grand scale geology.
3) ‘I’ve Become Everything’ has become something of an anthem to close your live set, in its full 9 minute opus glory… And we hear you’ve had it mixed by ex-Ride frontman Mark Gardener – How did that come about?
Aye, we managed to get hold of Mark through our manager who’d worked with him on the Creation Records film. Obviously we were pretty bowled over that he’d given it a second glance. We were really careful about recording it because we wanted it to be as good as it could possibly be. So to then have it sent to someone who’s had a pretty amazing career as far as making records goes, we were stoked. It sounds cool what he’s done to it. We put a load of work into making a proper film around it as well; because it’s so long we wanted everything about it to be special. That’ll be out later in the Spring time I imagine. Im psyched for people to hear it.
4) As a band you’re all involved in various creative projects in photography, film and design, are visual elements to the band something which is really important for you?
Yes definitely. The Naturals is something you can look at as well as listen to. It’s become something we take just as seriously as the songs themselves. We’ve got a full A/V set lined up for our record release as well as putting out a zine and just generally keeping busy with this and that for exhibitions and performances around Bristol. It’s an integeral part to our band. Everything is set to art.
5) What are your thoughts on the bristol scene at the moment?
Bristol has a wicked scene. There’s loads to get into. The Howling Owl label is bringing so many ace bands into the fore and little by little, people seem to be noticing. Then there’s bands like Big Naturals, Archimedes, These Black Shores, Matt Loveridge’s numerous projects (Fairhorns, Gnar Hest, Klad Hest, MXLX) who all deserve heaps of praise and the Young Echo Collective (Zhou, Vessel, El Kid, Jabu, Kahn etc) who keep the low end of things squarely in check. Bristol’s got a tiny corner of something for everyone. Hopefully t’hese different facets of the city’s music and arts scene will start cross pollinating and all sort sof weird and wonderful things will start happening.
6) Everything’s super busy with you at the moment, what’s the plan for the next 6 months/year?
Just keep on keeping on. We’re releasing Finishing Moves into the wild on March 12th and doing a small tour to go along with it. When we get back it’ll be more of the same, ad nauseum, but positive nauseum. We’d like to do more A/V performances as well…keep evolving. We want to stay interested in our work. Hopefully more and more people will come to us when they want something they’ve not heard or seen before. We’re not expecting this to be a quick process; there’re loads more things we want to try.
The Naturals launch Concrete Sea / Finishing Moves 7″ at The Louisiana, 10th of March with the Chapman Family, Spectres, Fairhorns and Young Echo DJs