John Metcalfe by Tom Oldham 26/4/14

What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.

I was always fascinated by working intensely with a small number of people – whatever the project was. So as a musican it’s always been bands and string quartets for me – the current incarnation is a mix of exactly that.

Provide us with some info about your latest release…

It’s a record about missing people really – people who’ve died or we’ve lost contact with and the internal imagined conversations we have with them that somehow keeps them close and still with us in some way. Another impetus was to make this more of a band record – one that was easier to translate into a live situation because Daisy Palmer, the drummer, Ali Friend, the bassist and Rosie Doonan, the singer, are incredible musicians.

Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?

Kraftwerk, Bach, Durutti Column, trees, Brian Eno and a deep hatred of inequality.

In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?

It doesn’t really differ – it’s strings, vocals, drums, synths and basslines organised in a slghtly different way to other musicians. And anything I say to try and persuade you to listen will just sound vain and most likely put you off.

Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…

Man Machine – Kraftwerk
Why? – Discharge
String Quartet op. 130 with the Grosse Fugue – Beethoven

A Distant Mirror – Barbara Tuchmann
The Price of Inequality – Stiglitz
The early British Spiderman comics

Inadmissible Evidence
Robocop (original)



Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?

Both are great as long as people don’t mind me making mistakes. And I get to hang out with other musicians.

Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?

On the way to Japan with Durutti Column I saw Kajagoogoo at the airport. That’s not funny or unique but it’s all I’ve got.

Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?

I guess it’s ‘Sycamore’ off ‘Appearance of Colour’. I tried to combine elements of classical systems music and liquid drum’n’bass which I don’t think anyone had done at the time.

Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?

I’m currently working with a popular beat combo for their new record, some gigs with my band in the UK and Germany then hopefully writing a new album.

Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…

Have you ever been to a live table tennis tournament?

No but I would love to go – I just never get organised enough to get the tickets in time.

Photo credits: Tom Oldham (1st one)

Curated by: Christos Doukakis

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