"We were scrappier musicians then.." – hmv.com looks back at 'The Fall Of Math' with 65daysofstatic
Sheffield's 65daysofstatic have been drawing worldwide acclaim for the past decade with their epic soundscapes and colossal instrumental post-rock. They're currently out on tour playing their debut album The Fall Of Math in full to celebrate it's 10-year anniversary and we spoke to mainman Joe Shrewsbury to inquire why a band normally so concerned with moving forward is looking back…
You're touring The Fall Of Math, which is now a decade old, what have you got planned for the shows?
"We're playing it in full, which is something we've never done before. It's odd you know because in the time since the album's released technology has really caught up and we can actually play it live."
"We wrote the record on old software that we don't really use anymore, we didn't have a computer that had the processing power to be able to do it live now. Now, we've progressed so much as a band that we can do more, it feels like we're playing it live for the first time. The record has a centre 2004-like charm, we were scrappier musicians then."
Why have you decided to pay tribute to it like this?
"If I can be completely honest, we made the record in a tiny room in Sheffield and we had no idea what it was going to do for us, but it changed our lives and we've never looked back. We're not particularly interested in looking back, but we know that the album's really important to a lot of people."
"The more depressing reason for doing the shows is it's getting harder to sell tickets for shows and we need to remind people we exist."
Do you look back on making the album fondly?
"Absolutely. It was such an honest, joyful period. We made it with this man called Alan Smyth on a really limited budget, we did the main bulk of it in this 50-hour long slog where we didn't sleep, we just recorded."
And how was touring it?
"Touring it was very rudimentary, we accepted every gig, I'm not that sentimental about looking back on sleeping in a sofa on the back of a van in Hartlepool, but it was really exciting at the time."
Is it hard to listen to the album? Presumably there are things you would have done differently? Or can you enjoy it for what it is?
"A bit of both. I hadn't listened to it for a long time until this year, I don't make a habit of listening to our own records anyway. Records take so much to make that you're kind of sick of them. But I've stopped feeling uncomfortable about past mistakes. You have to accept where you're at when you make albums, one album leads to another, you're always learning new ways to make music. It's got flaws, the production's pretty basic, but it's got a certain charm."
Do you have records you feel the same way about?
"Absolutely. Your brain fills in the gaps, I remember getting the first Idlewild EP, which I was convinced when I was 16 was one of the greatest punk rock records ever made, I listened to it again recently and my brain filled in the gaps for me. It's a rudimentary record, their later records have much better production, but it has a special place for me. The Fall Of Math has a naivety, an energy and an honesty that's special to people that you can't fake."
Will you look to do this again for your other albums?
"No, this is a special case. I'm not a massive fan of looking back, if I had my choice right now we'd still be focusing on Wild Light. This album is special but for what it did for us and that's why we're doing them."
So after this tour, what's the plan?
"We're hoping to have a summer full of festivals. We’re also planning on running our Silent Running project where we do a live soundtrack to the sci-fi film; hopefully we'll do some more shows. Last year we did a soundtrack for this art installation and we'd like to do more of that."
"We're also trying to break into soundtrack work and we've got a coupled of things lined up. We might tour again in the autumn, if we don't then we'll start thinking about the next record. Wild Light felt like the beginning of something new, a good start in a new direction for us."