Ian Parton

The Go! Team’s Ian Parton explains how Detroit is the star of the show on this joy-fuelled outing

Photo: Annick Wolfers

Are you pleased with how the new album’s turned out?

Yeah I think so, it’s pretty heavy on singing, but has blaring trumpets and breaky drums. It’s recognisably The Go! Team, but taken in a different, more spacey direction I think. Anyway, five albums in, it is pretty much a case of this is what we are.

The idea was marching bands gone rogue, right?

I’ve always wanted to harness the looseness and sloppiness of that kind of school band sound, the take-your-head-off power of 15 brass instruments all playing at the same time, but I’ve never liked the patriotic or sporty association, so I was trying to do my own version.

A marching band ain’t a marching band without a sousaphone. That’s one heck of an instrument isn’t it?

It’s the spiritual heart of the marching band. You’ve got to love an instrument that wraps around its player, haven’t you? I worked with some brass players in Brighton called Neon Saints and we layered it up and recorded it from a distance so it had a gymnasium recording feel. Have I ever played one? I haven’t, it’s bad brass etiquette to blow another person’s horn.

You headed out to Detroit to record too. How so?

Lots of the vocals were recorded with The Detroit Youth Choir. I’ve always been into the idea of making things happen that wouldn’t ordinarily happen, bringing different musical worlds together. I knew that I wanted to work with a choir, but a gospel choir would have been too slick and I didn’t want to go down the children’s choir route, so a teenage community choir was the way to go.

Sounds like a hoot?

It was a funny couple of days, they all brought their families down so there were over a 100 people in the room and I was in the middle trying to make it happen.

There is always been a girl group/Motown feel to The Go! Team, seems daft to ask, but which version of the Motor City attracted you?

Detroit has always been interesting to me because of the overlap between the whole Stooges/MC5 noise thing with the soul thing. I’m always torn between what I like best, so I’m into the whole bubblegum thing, but fucking it up with distortion.

The Go! Team make such a wonderfully joyous racket, but it is always unmistakably you. Is that a blessing or a curse?

Being recognisable and having your thing is where it’s at. Every band should have a distinct way of seeing the world. I like to think that, although we’re immediately recognisable, within The Go! Team sound we have different kinds of sounds. So ‘Everyone’s A VIP’ sounds nothing like ‘Buy Nothing Day’ and ‘Ready To Go Steady’ sounds nothing like ‘Mayday’.

If you could sound like someone else, who would it be?

I suppose you should be happy sounding like who you are, but My Bloody Valentine are one of my favourite groups and they got there first with the whole warpy tremolo arm guitar thing and applied it to amazing songs. Sometimes it’s just about getting there first.

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