Meet: Coves interview

We’ve fallen for Coves, here on Backseat Mafia. The duo, Rebekah Wood and John Roffe Ridgard recently moved from Leamington Spa to the bright lights of London, and are preparing for the release of their new album, the follow up to Soft Friday, next year. They’ve heralded the news of that album with a track, Stormy, which is this messy, almost shoegazey alt-rock that’s decorated with the sort of catchiness that we’ve come to expect.

We spoke to the pair about their plans for the album, 2016 and also how they worked and what they’re listening to right now.

There’s going to be a new album out in 2016 – how far along are you on that? Any title for it yet? And idea when it might be out?n
John – We finished it a couple of weeks ago and it’s going be out in Spring next year.
Beck – I cant wait to get the first copy of the vinyl and see it all finished.

I read that you’ve moved from Leamington to London – has that move had any influence on the music and lyrics for the new record? And London? How is London life?
John – Definitely. London is 13,000,000 people who all hate each other. It’s a very lonely place even though there are people everywhere. I think that has an effect on you.
Beck – London life is pretty much the same as when we were in the spa, I get to see John when I want. We have a new den in his house for new music making which is amazing to have, his neighbours haven’t yet complained about the noise yet.

Would you say it builds on Soft Friday, or does it move away from it musically? Or a bit of both maybe?
John –When making Soft Friday there was no idea that it would be released or we would be a band, it was just messing around. I was trying to capture a sound and an atmosphere and was not really thinking about songs. This album is much more about the songs. It is still recognisably us, we’ve not done a Kid A, but the choruses are bigger, the drums are bigger and its a lot rawer.

Was there a mood you were trying to convey with the record, or was there records you were listening to at the time that were influencing you?
John – Making music is total escapism for me, I just put headphones on and get lost in something. There is no plan, design or process….so I wouldn’t say I was trying to convey any mood. In terms of records I was listening to… I guess I was listening to a lot of South American garage music from the early 70s, I got really into fuzz and there is a lot of fuzz guitar on the album. I was also getting into Hip Hop, I fell in love with Donuts by J DIlla and an album by Serengetti…I think that influenced some of the rhythms and beats on the album. The beats a quite important on all the new songs.

We loved Stormy, your new single here. Can you tell us a little bit about that? When was it written? Was there a particular person that caused the thunder in your stormy eyes?
John – Musically that is all about fuzz guitar!
Beck – It was written around this time last year, it’s about someone getting messed around by someone else, you know when it just breaks and you finally see the situation in a different light, that’s when you get them stormy eyes.

And how do you write? Do you have specific roles? Do you find the process easy, or tortuous?
John – I just mess about in the studio whenever i have free time, that eventually gets some structure and then i send it over to Beck to get a feel for it and sketch out some lyrics and then we get together and turn it into a song. Easy. If I ever found any point of music making torturous I would probably have to run away as I wouldn’t be me anymore.

You’re playing in London in January – any plans for some other live dates?
John – Some wigs are working that out somewhere. I don’t know yet what the plans are.
Beck – We have all the plans, we just don’t know them yet. I can not wait to play gigs again, it’s been to long.

Do you enjoy playing live in particular?
John – Yeah, I love it all.
Beck – I love it, and I really miss it. Very excited about next year.

What records are you listening to at the moment?
Helen, La Luz, The Unloved, Ata KAK, Rowland S Howard, Deerhunter

Any more plans for 2016?
John – Take each day as it comes and hopefully get this album out to as many people as possible.
Beck – 2016 is going to be jam packed full of goodness, like the best pie you could imagine, brimming full of filling.

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