Nic Offer, !!! Frontman, assumes the position as we stock up our quick-fire question machine…
The new album ‘Shake The Shudder’ marks your 20th anniversary as a band. What’s the secret to staying together?
It could’ve as easily fallen apart the first month, it could just as easily fall apart next month. From the start, everyone who was invited to the first practice were people we knew were basically cool and would be fun to sit next to for hours in the van.
What was the soundtrack to the making of the new album?
Oh, there’s always so many. Bowie, Prince, Cohen and George Michael’s deaths loomed large, they were the proper songwriters who all influenced this record, but we were listening to a lot of club music like Moodymann, old house like that Dance Mania compilation that came out a while back, Drake, Kanye, Kendrick, Future, Migos…
Do you listen to music other than your own when you’re recording?
Oh always. I know some artists try to avoid listening to other artists, but there’s more examples of bands finding unique ideas by being inspired by other music. The 60s were partly such a great time for music because there was so much cross pollination, The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, they were all listening and often covering each other.
You claim “there’s no such thing as a bad synth”. That’s as maybe, but there’s some real stinkers, right?
We currently don’t think so. I hated the first keyboard we began jamming with for this album, loathed it, but by the end of the week I loved it. The ones that are bad force you to try things you wouldn’t normally do and you end up finding more interesting stuff.
Are there any synths that are so bad they’re good?
Yeah man, of course. That’s our whole point. The limits are in the keyboard players’ imaginations.
Right, enough of all that. Let’s talk Stereolab. Any plans for you to support yourself with your Stereolad covers side project again?
We wanted it to be a learning experience so I think if we did it again we would probably try another band, although there is talk of us backing up Laetitia if she opens for us at our London show…
That press shot of Stereolad. Where did the dress come from?
Found it at The Salvation Army. We all tried it on and I looked best in it so I wore it.
How did you first come across Stereolab?
I had a layover in Cincinatti on a Greyhound bus trip across America and happened upon a record shop that was playing their new album at the time, ‘Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements’. I was instantly taken by it and asked the record clerk what it was.
Always wondered, but in ‘One Girl/One Boy’, what is the song you hear?
Oh geez, I don’t know if I should give this away. I will say this though, there were several songs that reminded me of this girl and three titles are encoded in the lyrics. She would maybe be the only one that could guess them, but they are very clearly stated.
‘Shake The Shudder’ is out on Warp