Sounds From The Other City

February 15, 2012

A chat with… Regal Safari

It feels a bit odd looking back now, but it kinda was the whole Arctic Monkeys thing that kicked off the idea of a band being able to get anywhere through just having a bit of internet presence. A decade or so later and Regal Safari have followed down a similar path, though with music a world away from the Yorkshire drawl and landfill indie sounds.

The best way to think of a Regal Safari song is probably through that of darkness and light, shimmering hope through the atmospheric gloom that the rest of music seems to have shrouded itself in at the moment. We had a chat with the band to see what’s what.

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Hiya Regal Safari, how are you?
Hi Matthew, We’re good. Working on new material currently and preparing for shows so all is well.

For those who’ve not listened to you before, can you give us a few words about what you do?
S: We create sounds using synthesizers, drum machines and we take samples from field recordings I make on a dictaphone.
G: It is electronic music I suppose, although I’d consider it pop music.
S: I’m currently cutting film to project while we perform, but we will produce to images also – it changes what you want from a sound.

Growing up, what influenced you? Do you think that shows in your work?
G: I listened to mainly classical music during the first decade in my life so therefore I was reasonably isolated from a lot of the more contemporary music out there. Although, I was aware of and enjoyed a few popular bands such as Blur. But I wouldn’t say that any of that music really stands out in our music.
S: I realise now that growing up I wasn’t very interested in the objects that I was listening to, but rather looking for sounds that pleased me. Names and genres were pretty irrelevant, I just took whatever was around, which for my friends was guitar music circa 1970 and some pretty (but sometimes awful) american electronica.
G: I’d say the most formative element that drove me to, for want of a better word, create was the first time I played a synthesizer and learned that you could sculpt sound to your precise taste. That was incredible. Hearing a lot of the electronic/experimental German acts from the 60s, 70s and 80s helped me curate certain ideas in my mind.
S: Guy introduced me to a lot of that stuff, its had a profound impact on how I think about electronic music now.

A lot of your early hype came through the whole blog scene. What do you think about the ‘blogosphere’ and all the people who plough their time into it?
G: I find the blogosphere remarkable in a way – the fact that so many people put so much time and effort into it is fantastic. We didn’t have any PR for the releases of the EP, videos or remixes and still we got onto websites and blogs – even a couple that I read. So it was quite amazing.
S: People seemed to respond in quite an honest way, trying to bring something to the music. It was always very positive.

If I’m not mistaken, this will be your first trip up north as an outfit. Have you ever made the trip to Salford? How do you think you’ll find it?
S: Yeah it’s our first trip up north as Regal Safari.
G: I’ve been to Salford before and I spent a fair amount of time in Manchester when I was younger so I think it’ll be good to be back.

Lastly – what’s your favourite song at the moment?

Regal Safari will be playing for Drowned in Sound/Grey Lantern at The Black Lion for this year’s festival.