Interview: The Pure Conjecture
Published on September 17th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
We loved The Pure Conjecture’s Courgettes album of last year, so imagine our delight when we heard forthcoming follow-up Gendres and found it to be even better.
Naturally, we fired some questions over to front man Matt Eaton to find out more about it…but before you read what he has to say, get a load of the personnel he’s got backing him:
Martin Noble (British Sea Power), Thomas and Alex White (Electric Soft Parade / Brakes), Johny Lamb (Thirty Pounds Of Bone), Marc Beatty (Brakes / The Tenderfoot), Darren Moon (The Tenderfoot), Steve Grainger (nada / Elevator Suite), Julian Baker (Notable Saxophonist) and Andrew Mitchell (The Hazey Janes)
Not bad…not bad at all.
Congratulations on another tremendous Pure Conjecture album. First things first, what’s with all the sevens on “Roadworks on Memory Lane” (“I was born on seven minutes past seven on the seventh day of July in 1977 / I weighed seven pounds and seven ounces ’cause I was seven days premature / I spent the first seven hours of my life in an incubator”)?
Thank you very much. I sing the word “seven” seven times in the first verse, which as everyone knows, is the perfect amount of times to sing the word “seven” in an opening verse.
The song is really all about how failing memory can lead you to simplify and tidy up the events of your past to make them more convenient.
There are several different styles across the album. Is this something you set out to do, or did it just turn out that way?
It just turned out that way but there was a large degree of intent. If I had recorded them all one style it would’ve have maybe seemed more like a mini album or an EP.
What I was aiming for, and hopefully achieved, was for it to sound like a sprawling double album that only lasts thirty minutes.
Do you intend to take the album on tour? If so, do you know how many of the band you might be able to rope in?
We’re hopefully doing some dates in December time in Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh but nothing is confirmed yet. In terms of roping people in it will, as ever, simply depend on who’s available at that time.
In an ideal world I’d like to include Dominic Thompson, an incredible jazz pianist who appears on the album and also Erica Fellows who does some beautiful harmony singing on it, but we’ll have to see.
In the meantime, I live in Cardiff now, so I’m currently trying to put together a small group here to do some shows with.
It’s very early to be asking, but do you have material in mind yet for a third Pure Conjecture album? If so, what can you tell us about it?
Its currently being written by myself and Darren Moon. He’s an amazing songwriter with the most beautiful falsetto singing voice, kind of somewhere between Smokey Robinson and Gene Ween.
I was concerned for a short while after finishing Gendres that there might not be any need for a third album by The Pure Conjecture, but then had some long discussions with Darren and got excited by the possibilities of what it could sound like.
What did you think of the new Electric Soft Parade and British Sea Power albums?
Those groups have respectively reached their fourth & fifth albums and have both retained their individuality, independence and experimental essence without losing their identity, which I applaud.
They’re both still getting better and better all the time. Long may they continue.
How’s Field Bar Wine going?
Its hard work and our house is chaos because its all homemade and we have two very young kids scooting about the place around all the bottles, barrels and demi-johns. But we’re still here, so I guess that means its going ok.
Finally, if you’ve had the time to be listening, which other albums from 2013 have you enjoyed?
Over and above any other I’ve been glued to Sonderweg by Randan Discotheque. I think it actually came out in December last year, but since January I’ve listened to it countless times. I hear it differently every time, which is a rare quality in an album. Mature Themes by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti from last year was also like that.
It’s a bit like the line in that song that The Rockingbirds did about Jonathan Richman when Alan Tyler sings: “you play country music a bit like me”. The Randan Discotheque album, despite being musically an almost entirely different type of thing to Gendres, reassured me that someone else was out there going about the process of making records “a bit like me”.
Matt Eaton, thank you.
Gendres will be released on October 7th through Armellodie Records.