65daysofstatic create an emotive and powerful crossover of noisey dance sounds that has captivated the ears of indie, rock, metal and electronic fans alike since 2001. Having released the album, ‘We Were Exploding Anyway‘ earlier this year and played to packed crowds at numerous festivals over this summer, we thought that it was about time to catch up with the Sheffield-based band’s guitarist Paul Wolinski to talk about the latest record, collaborating with other artists and touring the world.
“We drink more red wine than is healthy when on tour!”
S] How was it playing to such a diverse crowd at Sonisphere Festival this year?
P] It was great actually. We were not actually sure how we would go down because it was a metal festival.
S] We were there and the feedback was very good…
P] Thank you. I think all of our local crew conspired with our sound guy to make us sound much louder than we actually were!
S] How do you feel that the latest album ‘We Were Exploding Anyway’ represents the progression of the band?
P] Pretty well, yeah. We see it as much more of a progression rather than a departure. Many people see this album as being radically different but for us it is a logical conclusion to everything. It’s definitely the album that we are the most happy with and we are very proud of it. The fact that we all like it equally is a surprise in itself actually.
S] How have your aims and objectives as a band changed of the time that you have been together?
P] I think we are still as ambitious as we were when we started out. Early on, we developed this enforced naivety where regardless of the actual situation we want to be the biggest band in the world, clearly that’s never going to happen but we’ve been stubbornly sticking to our guns with that! I think that our day-to-day lives have been tempered by the reality of the situation because we have been doing it for nine years now, and we are very poor and survive on little to make this band work. We have no dillusions of grandeur, but we have always wanted to make sure that our music reaches as many people as possible – none of that has changed at all.
S] Can you describe the creative process for the visuals that you have used in your live show in the past?
P] Yeah, we haven’t done those for a few years now because, despite the fact that we all worked together on them, and it was nice to be able to include that element in to the shows, when we became more successful, the venues and stages got bigger. With that, it became harder and harder to get the visuals in there that we needed so that we could look impressive – it just got more expensive and beyond what we could afford. We didn’t want to do them half-heartedly – we wanted to make them look amazing every time and so took them out. Hopefully they will happen again in the future. I saw Orbital over the summer for the first time in five-or-six years and I was reminded just how great that it can be to have them in because they have six or seven screens! It’s a timeless show.
S] Is the visual representation of the band important?
P] I don’t know really, we do put a lot in to the live show. The fact that we haven’t used the visuals doesn’t really seem to have harmed us. We don’t have a frontman and I think that works in our favour because people’s focus is pulled all over the stage and we are always jumping about everywhere. It’s always in our minds that when we go out on tour it’s essential for us to put on a show but we don’t have choreography or anything.
S] This album mixes a lot of rock and electronic influences – what has inspired you to mix these styles in a different way to say, bands like Pendulum and The Prodigy?
P] I wouldn’t really put Pendulum and The Prodigy in the same bracket. I think The Prodigy are one of the best bands to have ever existed and with Pendulum, while they are effective at what they do it has not got the same kind of energy. Prodigy‘s sound is beautiful. What we do comes from a very different background. The Prodigy is basically the one guy whereas we have four people pulling in different directions. So, where I have grown up listening to dance we have three other people who have always listened to very different things. Our music has a lot more guitar work and more melody than The Prodigy and it’s definitely the sum of four different points of view rather than just one person.
S] Do you have plans to do an up-to-date live DVD?
P] I don’t know, we released a live album last year [‘Escape From New York‘] and that had a DVD with it including some footage from our American tour. We were very lucky because we had our friend do it and it looks wonderful because we were touring bigger arenas [with The Cure] and so it would be very difficult for us to create something that looks as good as that again because it’s much different to how we usually tour! We wouldn’t want to put out something for the sake of it. Live DVDs are good sometimes but our tours are pretty chaotic and so you are never going to re-create that on video. It’s much better to see us live. It would be great if we were friends with more filmmakers though so that they could come on tour with us and shoot some footage to then stick up on the internet but we haven’t got the funds to do that right now.
S] Has your hometown of Sheffield influenced you at all?
P] We are all from different places originally. I don’t think that our identity has been tied to Sheffield and that’s not a bad or good thing. I mean, if you look at the Arctic Monkeys – they’ve got Sheffield stamped all over them and it is in everything that they do. I am sure it’s influenced us in ways that I am not really conscious of. I mean the local network was there when we were coming up, but we were not really part of the scene. I like Sheffield and we definitely had people coming to support us and help us get started but the place has never really helped us to write music.
S] Do you have a favourite track from the new album to play live?
P] ‘Tiger Girl‘ is always quite fun, and that is because we wrote it late on in the album-making process – the way we wrote it was that we basically tried to do whatever we would enjoy doing most on stage and built it like that. It turned into a wall of noise for the second half of it! No matter how badly a show has gone, if we finish with that song, then I always have a huge grin on my face by the end of the night. That being said, one of the driving forces behind this record was making sure that we created something that we could play live from start to finish – we can, and it is certainly more enjoyable than the last record to perform which was a lot harder to translate into the live arena.
S] Has there been a personal highlight for the band from this year so far?
P] There has been a lot. Sonisphere was pretty cool. We headlined Domino Festival in Brussels earlier in the year and that was a really special moment for us because Fuck Buttons were on before us and so following them was really intimidating! That line-up was very dance-orientated and it was probably the first time that we felt part of something. That’s probably been my defining moment of this year
S] What’s the creative process like for 65days tracks?
P] Every song is different and I wish we knew to tell you the truth, because it would be easier! On this record electronics were the driving force. That’s not where it all came from though, and things got passed back and forth – the process is so blurry and diluted! I mean, we can spend six months on a song that is very heavily electronic and then we might bring in a guitar loop later on which changes the direction and so the other elements get thrown away and it becomes a completely different song. It’s actually very difficult for us to know when a song is finished – it can be a never-ending process because we keep evolving it! But then, we have to draw a line somewhere.
S] Has your tour with The Cure and the subsequent collaboration with Robert Smith on ‘Come To Me’ influenced you in any way?
P] Probably. We learned a lot on that tour. They are so good, you know? They write pop music, but they write some really experimental stuff as well and it just seems to be in this poppy template which is incredible. They have never rested on their laurels – the stuff they write is immediately adventurous and appealing. I hope we took some of that on board! Even though we didn’t adopt any techniques or anything like that, we watched them a lot.
S] What’s are some of the band’s worst habits while out on the road?
P] We drink far too much red wine – more than is healthy!
S] Do you have plans to take on any more remixes for pop and rock acts in the near future?
P] We used to do it a long time ago and we incorporated mash-ups in to our shows when we started out but we got overtaken by other stuff – 2 Many DJs do it so well and on such a big scale – it was fun for us to do that type of thing we started, but we went down a different path. We still do some remixes though and we did a bunch after the Cure tour. We are hoping to do one with this band called Kong who we have been on the road with recently. We’ll always do bits and pieces because it keeps our skills fresh!