When one considers the nature of Chrome Hoof’s remarkable recorded output, it was never likely that a Q&A with them was going to be… normal, so it was no surprise when our questionnaire was returned that it took a couple of reads to let their answers sink in!
When we heard of the concept for ‘Crush depth’ it was one of those records that we just had to hear – it sounded too weird and interesting to just be tame musically and we were right: ‘Crush depth’ is every bit as mad as a tap-dancing fish in willies and twice as much of a talking point if you put it on at a party (believe me, I’ve tried!). A band that seemingly have no boundaries and a tireless imagination, Chrome Hoof are an exhilarating mix of doom, pop, noise, classical, neo-classical, beat, dance and ambient without sounding like anything you’ve heard before. Check out the interview below if you have any further doubt and then check out the multi-faceted wonder that is ‘Crush depth’ – it may well be your new favourite disc.
1. It’s hard to think of any band out there who are quite like you –how did you develop your sound and was there a conscious effort to sound ‘out there’ or is that just the vibe that comes out when youplay together?
*It’s not a conscious effort to sound ‘out there’- Just being honest with what excites us musically. Haven’t got so much time on this
plateaux to play watered down versions of other people’s music- although of course detractors could find something that they can come
back to us and say ‘look, you’ve done exactly that..’ That’s the subjective magic of music, right?
I suppose we are quite uncompromising in what music we are happy to play, and put out there. We have quite different ‘specialities’ if you
like, too, and maybe hearing that strain and tension- also euphoria, in the music explains a little bit. Of course there is a lot of cross-over where we can all jam in a comfort zone, but It’s more exciting to be pulling apart- and see what pops up in the gap… Like an ornamental thyroid for example. And there’s no-one in the band who isn’t naturally drawn to ‘unusual’ music or sounds anyway, so it’s easy on the rare occasions where we do all jam together, to play stuff that might be called ‘out there’.
2. You have a disparate mixture of sounds and styles which flow seamlessly on record – surely it must be difficult to juggle so many influences without some of the band feeling compromised?
*Maybe it’s the opposite- having a disparate mixture means there’s something everyone can really grab hold of. The band’s up for experimenting and trying stuff out, and I hope that’s one of the enjoyable things about being in the band.
3. The new album has a concept which is absolutely fascinating – is that something we’re going to see develop further or will you move on to a new project now?
* Move on to a new project- although we may build an extension onto the old one- just looking into planning permission.
4. Who develops the ideas behind the music?
*Mostly from Leo and Milo with a little help from Chris De Burgh. [Whaaaaaat?? – Phil]
5. Once you have a concept in mind does that then form the basis for how you write or do you fit the concept to songs that are already written?
*Its rolling, on-going concept’s that happen in and around the music, the members, artwork and lyrics….But the music is master, of course.
6. Is there any art or literature that particularly informs your lyrics
*Yes, it could be anything though, that gets absorbed and thrown out again in an unrecognisable form- after its been transmuted in the
subconscious. Lola has lots of interesting books, but she’s not here to rattle them off. Lets sum it up by saying anodised nebulae. ‘ANODISED
7. The album sounds very organic – not edited and pasted together – is that an accurate depiction or are there tons of songs rotting away in a cellar somewhere that didn’t make the grade?
*There’s a fair few things rotting away in the cellar- but not wanting to be wasteful, like the egg sandwich I’m eating now that’s been
rescued from a neighbour’s rubbish, I’m sure some things are going to get re-visited at some stage.
8. How did you come to be signed to Southern Records?
*Except for Rise Above Records and Southern no one else would touch us at the time of trying to find a suitable label
9. Are there artists who influence you as a collective? I rather wondered about Refused who had a penchant for throwing all sorts of instruments at their music…?
*There are several bands that we all agree are really good. Personally I haven’t heard of Refused until just then- or heard anyone in the band
talk about them. What would you say… are they good? [Yes they’re astonishingly good! – Phil]
10. One of the things I’ve found with larger bands (Slipknot is a prime example) is that the more instruments on stage, the more cluttered the live sound can become, particularly in the hand of festival engineers, how do you overcome that problem?
*Yes. That’s something we are very aware of, and live- the most stripped and raw stuff often sounds best…and most intense. So from
early on, we’ve always had sections of songs with just 2 or 3 things playing. When everyone is playing, there’s lots of unison stuff and
harmonies- also hard in and out points too, so its hopefully quite locked down and not too cluttered…. Although there’s always a place
for maximalist OTT stuff, know what I mean?
11. You supported Sunn 0))) on tour – surely your two bands couldn’t be further apart in terms of music (yours being warp speed theirs being…eer warped)
*That was in 2002, and it was interesting to see the audience’s reactions- to both bands. Definitely an odd bunch o gigs. Personally some of my favourite gigs I’ve been to have been bands of extreme differences like when I saw Electric Wizard and Jimmy Tennor .
12. Will there be a full UK tour in support of the album?
*We already done most UK shows, but coming up is Big Chill, Bestival and Sonisphere. Hopefully in November time we will concentrate on Europe
13. What are your hopes for the future?
*The same as everybody’s I guess- to become more like William Hague in appearance- but looking to sound like some prick… yeah- is all going
pretty well, thanks for asking.