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Saturday, 5 July 2014

ELECTRIC RIVER - *Interview*


In a time where people are living for the now with little thought for the future; an age of all style and no substance instant access self gratification, Electric River are a storm of fresh air, they have taken their time, walked their own path and worked hard, as a result they have evolved into something very special; full of style and substance. Their album Faith and Patience is a life affirming and uplifting listen; pure and perfect, righteous rabble rousing Rock'n'Roll, they are on the cusp of greatness; with positive reviews of the album poping up in the pages of Kerrang, Classic Rock, Vive Le Rock, Big Cheese magazines, and even The Sun newspaper! Electric River are destined to be another band that really matters. Their time is now!

Enough of what I've got to say, It's time to read what Electric River's Vocalist/Bass player Sponge has got to say....  

What would you be doing if there was no Electric River?
I think it would be different for each of us, that’s what is great about being in a band together since being kids. We all lead our own lives outside the band but are very much like brothers, everyone has their own traits and; things they like to do. I’m pretty sure we’d all be playing music though,that runs through all of our veins.

Are you going to be revisiting any more of your 'old songs' for future releases?
Never say never, there are a lot of them! But right now we are concentrating on completely new material to follow up ’The Faith and Patience’. But it is very early days at the moment, we tend to write around 40 demos when getting an albums worth of material together.

Any more acoustic/stripped down versions of your songs planned?
Possibly… we’re going to be releasing some singles over the summer and have talked about what we are going to put on as b-sides/extras. Again a lot of the initial ideas for songs are written on acoustics when we are just trying to piece together what we call ‘flows’ or ‘rounds’, to make sure the melodies and basic skeletons fit together nicely for our songs.

Which ER song do you enjoy playing most? and what one goes down best with the audience?
I really like This Garden Will Grow as it has a personal connection with me and my life growing up in Ashford. I love the fast pace ending too, but there are so many. Watersong is a great one when the band is really in the zone, it's weird, it's like we are on some strange sonic level together. Obviously Keep The Engine Burning has been going down a storm and Hold Your Nerve seems to be the common ground with most audiences around the country but we just love playing, if the audience is going off, it just drives us even more.

Favourite films
I watched ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ recently and absolutely loved it, I am now a fully fledged Di Caprio fan. People probably think i’m mental but I’ve never really fully appreciated him as an actor before WOWS.

Favourite books
I read a lot of biographies, mostly music related but I also really like Ross Kemp’s books. I’ve just got ‘Things The Grandchildren Should Know’ which is E from The Eels memoirs, I’m really looking forward to delving into that. But it’s hard to pick a favourite, I think one of the greatest rock n roll books has got to be Ozzy’s, its so fucking funny.

Favourite albums
Literally couldn’t pick, there are way too many!

Favourite TV program
That's really hard, I think TV has changed so much over the last 5 years. I barely ever watch everyday TV but love a good series, some of my favourites have been Shield, Dexter and of course Breaking Bad and Sons Of Anarchy, but there are so many these days, its hard to find the time to catch em all!

Should Tony Blair be put on trial for war crimes? (Discuss)
I read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book recently and what was interesting to find out that at the end of the day there were so many things he wanted to do for California and how fucking surprising it was that though he was ‘the guvnor’ how many people around him had to clear his every move, how it wasn’t his soul decision and how one thing would effect another parties / company / states political gain/misfortune, so he was told no or forced to do things he didn’t want to really do. What I’m trying to get at is Tony Blair was probably a face to a lot of puppets, pulling a lot of very different strings. I’m not defending him, he’s a well educated person with his own brain and political interests but if he was put on trial, they need to bring in every single person that was involved with the Iraq war and trial them too and get the whole thing out on the fucking table. I was really too young to fully understand the full ins and outs of our fucked up dealings with the middle east at that time and I am not a historian neither politician, I play in a rock n roll band! The relationship we have with the middle east is completely fucked up and I know a lot of people out there are calling for Blair to go on trial. So I would say from the point of view that we are ‘Suppose’ to live in a democratic society and Blair ‘has nothing to hide’,what harm could it do? I think the general public would get some closure from it and they deserve that.

The Clash or The Sex Pistols?
The Clash for me, I love both but The Clash were around for longer and developed into something much bigger than the initial band. I would say London Calling was a pinnacle album that ER listened to in the early years and though true ‘Punk’ fans usually don’t admit liking that album, for me it was one of the best things to come out of that era. So many diverse influences on one great record.

Rolling Stones or Beatles?
So hard… of course The Beatles just have such a great catalogue of songs and I think most kids are introduced to The Beatles at such a young age, it almost feels like part of your heritage. But The Stones definitely had that more grittier darker thing going on, which generally I would dig more if those bands both came out tomorrow… Can’t really decide, its a draw gentlemen.

Has the response/reaction to Faith and Patience surprised you?
I definitely have been surprised at the reviews, I don’t really know what we expected. We just wanted to make an album we were extremely proud of, so the kind words have been a nice cherry on the top really. I’m just glad people are connecting with it and can’t wait to get back out and tour it.

Is Britain in a good or bad political, social and cultural place at the moment?
Britain is an amazing place. It’s a cultural melting pot, however, if we believed what we read in some of the papers, then I think we’d be inclined to feel scared of that. Our perception of the country however comes from travelling it in the back of a van and with that we’ve generally always met really good people. Class struggle still exists and up the other end of the scale so too does corporate greed and corruption. A political shake up is due and I think most people are now very aware of it…but that’s a healthy thing. There’s only so long apathy can last.

Will you be voting in the 2015 General Election?
If it means it will stop other parties like the BNP or UKIP getting a run at things then yes, but that’s about as much use as I can see from my vote the way things currently stand.

What are ER's plans for the future?
We’re currently working on a bunch of music videos, and hoping to tour later in the year. We’re also writing for our next follow up to our new record.

Have you got an Electric River manifesto?
It’s not really a manifesto but more of a saying - ‘You’re only as strong as your weakest link.'

All that is left to say is ....Thanx to Sponge for taking the time to answer my questions, and if you haven't done so already check out Electric River over at their Website or Facebook page, and get yerself a copy of Faith and Patience.

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