INTERVIEW

“”It’s more enjoyable, spending time on your own in a little room,” says Joseph Mount, aka Metronomy. “I drummed in a few bands at school and they all fell apart. Then I got an old computer off my dad I and started messing around when I was about sixteen or seventeen.” Let’s all just take […]

“”It’s more enjoyable, spending time on your own in a little room,” says Joseph Mount, aka Metronomy. “I drummed in a few bands at school and they all fell apart. Then I got an old computer off my dad I and started messing around when I was about sixteen or seventeen.”

Let’s all just take a second to thank Joseph’s dad for giving his son the computer that’s resulted in the wonderful sounds of Metronomy. At times Mount’s songs are melancholic and disturbing, at others they’re freakishly danceable, but they’re all pretty much some of the most original and downright exciting music around at the moment. Just take a listen to Mount’s first single, ‘You Could Easily Have Me’ – with its grinding guitars, clipped beat and demonic organ, it’s truly the dark side of dance.

It’s also the sound of one guy’s love of being on his own. His lo-fi recordings have none of the sheen of ProTools: Mount still records his songs on his own at home, using a bunch of old keyboards, many of which he picked up at his local Devon skip when he was younger. His new single, ‘Radio Ladio’, is positively sparkling with the fevered creativity of the bedroom studio; warm analogue synth-tones pumping over its funky beat, the aural equivalent of the awkward kid at a school disco.

“I’m influenced by people who’ve written, recorded and produced things all on their own, like Prince,” explains Mount. “Musically, though, I’m inspired by all sorts: a lot of electronica, like Autechre and Funkstorung, and pop music and bands too, people like David Bowie and The Ramones, and these weird old folk records my parents had, like Blowzabella.”

Drawing on his equal love for groups and glitch-geeks, Metronomy has done what so few dance artists do – formed a band, with his cousin Oscar and his school friend Gabriel.

“I was doing some shows on my own, but it was just me and a laptop, which was pretty crap,” Joseph laughs. “So I thought it would be better to get a band thing going on, and it’s ended up taking over really, because I haven’t had any records out for a while. I’m still writing and recording it all on my own though – after three albums when I run out of ideas they can help me,” he laughs.

While dance music still relies on mind-blowing light shows for its thrills (e.g. Daft Punk’s pyramid), Metronomy have a cheaper, more charmingly British version – lights stuck to the trio’s chests.

“We did our first gig in Brighton and a few days before I saw these lights in a pound shop and I thought ‘we’ll whack these on our t-shirts and do some synchronised light shows!’ I’m totally aware that some people hate it but equally I think some people enjoy it just for the fact that it’s a bit of fun.”

Mount, newly signed to Because Records, is keen to get Metronomy’s second album, tentatively titled ‘Night’s Out’, released as quickly as possible, following wranglings with his old record label which kept him from putting out any music for a good while. As well as improving on his 2006 debut ‘Pip Paine (Pay The ¬£5000 You Owe)’, Joseph’s out to bring the album back as an entity in itself, rather than just a collection of songs. A bit old-fashioned for dance music, non?

“Well, I wanted to do a concept album, because everyone loves a concept album, right?” says Mount. “It was going to be a ‘going out’ concept album, but then Bloc Party kind of did that! I’m trying to make it so it’s a proper album, though, so people want to listen to everything. It’s an experiment. If you want people to get back into albums the way they used to listen to music, you’ve got to give them something that’s a bit more substantial.”

Whether ‘Nights Out’ ends up with a highfalutin concept or not, you can bet it won’t be a soundtrack to your night out – Metronomy are far too antisocial, far too melancholic and far too clever to make an album of banging dance tunes. These are songs you’ll be coming back to again and again, whether you’re out on the town, on the bus or moping at home. Forget dance music – that’s far too narrow a pigeon hole for Metronomy – this is pure experimental pop. Forget the scenesters too.

“Sometimes it feels like we’re a sceney band and other times it doesn’t,” ponders Mount. “I’ve not made any concessions to what’s going on in the music scene. I’ve never really thought that I was making dance music, to be honest. Most of my songs don’t have any specific intentions, they just happen, which is the best way to do it, I think.”

Leave Justice to the nights out, Metronomy is the glorious hangover the next day. Remember, it’s good to feel bad.

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