Monday, December 13, 2010

New Idea Society (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part V)

New Idea Society recently began an extensive tour on the back of their criminally-overlooked LP Somehow Disappearing, first hitting the US before venturing into Europe next year. Still, that doesn’t prevent vocalist Mike Law from getting in touch to talk about their year and how certain figures, like Brian Eno and Prince, infiltrate their isolated creative process.

SCQ: Every list-lover's favourite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.

ML: I listened to a lot of Brian Eno and David Byrne this year. I discovered how good the band Big Country can be despite some doggy 80s recording techniques. Someone gave me the Rocafella Mixtape which I really like. I heard Sixto Rodriguez's excellent album, I bought several Ussachevsky vinyl albums that were played more than a few times, Prince didn't stray far away and I like Steve Brodsky's Black Ribbon Award. He is the twisted Prince on that album.

SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording the excellent Somehow Disappearing?

ML: We specifically did not listen to too many other albums while recording Somehow Disappearing. It was a somewhat conscious effort to attempt and find our own sonic spectrum rather than copy someone. The only reference that I remember being made over and over was Brian Eno. I think that is a rather typical answer though. We are all trying to find the space that sonic Eno has in some ways.

SCQ: Be cocky for once in your life: what was the finest thing you did all year? That moment where you actually thought "shit, I nailed that..."?

ML: The recording of Halluminations sounds as close to how it does in my head as anything has. I think that songs like Summer Lion capture a unique mood. Szép Szív and Disappearing are really important songs to me. I also felt after our Berlin show last February that we really, really, were at the top of our game.

SCQ: Effect and Cause: Your new record first caught my attention as I made my way to a concert downtown. Watching the violet lights of a late-night bus flicker to life and feeling the first cool drafts of August through the window, 'Halluminations' left a deep impression on me. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on Somehow Disappearing.

ML: Disappearing was a lived dream, Strange Language was a dream lived, exactly as the words describe.

SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?

ML: Lots of touring the U.S., Europe and Japan, a new album and maybe another EP. I think most of those things will happen. All of what we do is rather implausible. We just make it happen.

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