Interview: Woven Bird
Published on June 7th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
On 23rd June, Woven Bird will throw their single launch party at Planet Sounds in their home town of Southampton, so Rocksucker fired some questions over to singer/guitarist Matt Canning to find out a little bit more about the whole operation. First, though, check out the official video for their delightful, Shins-with-banjo loveliness of single-in-question “Saw You in Two”, which will be released on 25th June through Folkwit Records…
How did you all meet, how long has the band been going for? Who does what in the band?
Bill (bass) and Marc (drums) go way back. I first met them in 2003 when we were in Dead! Dead! Dead! together. After that band split, the three of us took time out to do other things, then in early 2010 we decided to form Woven Bird. We all knew Dave and Lew from the local scene and from the various bands they were in, and Dave joined us on guitar about a year after, and Lew joined a few months after that for some more guitar. Three Guitars!
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I’m comfortable with ‘alt-pop’ as a label for our music – I suppose because it’s ambiguous, and it’s a label that can encompass many deviations in style. After we’re gone, I’d just like us to be remembered for writing interesting pop songs.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
We’re from Southampton. We have a great relationship with Neil Kennedy at The Ranch, so we always record with him. We occasionally demo stuff at Bill’s house on his steam-driven iMac.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
We’re with Nottingham based Folkwit Records. It was a quick process – We sent them a demo, they liked it, and now we’re putting it out as a single with an album to follow. We’re also involved with the Sotones collective here in Southampton – they’re doing great things – and we’ll probably release something through them before the year is out.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like!)
Yes, we’re looking to have it released at the end of this year/beginning of next. We’re almost there on the tracklist, and we’ll be recording throughout the summer. Lyrically, it’ll probably be loosely based around the life and works of the poet William Ashbless. Musically, it might be compact and to the point.
Where can we hear your music online?
I always direct peeps to our site – wovenbird.com – everything you need to know/see/hear is on there.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
We recently did a show with Willy Mason, which was ace. My favourite gig was our first Joiners show we did last year – it was our first with Lew playing with us, and everything just clicked. We actually all hugged each other after that show – on stage too! Even if everyone looking on thought it was weird, which they probably did, it was an unexpectedly sweet moment.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is.)
The next one is the single launch on June 23rd. We’re throwing a free party at our rehearsal rooms at Planet Sounds in Southampton, and we have some friends playing and DJing – it’s going to be lots of fun. If anyone reading this wants to come along, you will be welcomed with open arms and a plastic cup of cheap wine.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
I think the scene in Southampton has become really diverse and interesting over the last few years. Sotones have attracted a lot of great bands and musicians like Anja Mccloskey, Etao Shin, Moulettes, Dave Miatt and Oresteia. Outside of that, you’ve got bands like Burn The Fleet, whose album was on the front of Rocksound a couple of months back. There’s a rockabilly band called Ace Trio who we all love too..
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
As there’s five of us, we’ve chosen one artist each for this – now I just have to remember what everyone said…. Magnetic Fields, Fugazi, The Smiths, Rufus Wainwright and New Order. I think that’s right – I’ll be in trouble tomorrow if not.
Matt Canning, thank you.
Woven Bird will throw the launch party for their new single “Saw You in Two” at Planet Sounds in Southampton on 23rd June. The single itself will be released on the 25th through Folkwit Records – click here to order your copy. For more information, please visit wovenbird.com