Simian Mobile Disco

Back with a new album of techno bangers, Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford and Jas Shaw take on our lean, mean, quick question machine

‘Welcome To Sideways’ sounds like a proper blow-out after the self-imposed slim kit list of ‘Whorl’. Was it nice to get back to full studio?

Yeah, it was a nice change of pace. Jas has just built a new studio in a converted barn in Kent, so we took the ‘Whorl’ rig apart and incorporated it into his set up there. Having access to a broader palette was refreshing.

If we summed up ‘Whorl’ it’d be “ambient”, “deserts” and “bikers”.

That’s pretty fair… although the bikers weren’t there for long. Maybe “Joshua trees” would be more appropriate?

Do you get cold sweats thinking about Pioneertown?

Ha-ha… we were well prepared by the time the gig happened. We hadn’t thought about the fact deserts at night are actually very cold, and the modulars weren’t really built for the extremes of temperature, so we had a few issues with detuning synths, which was more complicated than it needed to be!

We notice you’ve abandoned the practice of naming techno cuts after exotic cuisine. How come?

We’d pretty much run through all the weird foods we could find, so we thought we’d try something different…

Tell us about your new method of naming tracks.

All of the titles were created using a random song name generator. By messing with the kind of words you put in, you get some weird stuff out and then we picked out the ones we liked…

‘Staring At All This Handle’ and ‘Face To Face With Spoon’ are our favourites, what are yours?

When Stephin Merrit of the Magnetic Fields is asked to choose favourites he says, “You tell me which of your fingers is your favourite?”

Fair enough. Other than the new album anything else on the horizon?

We’re going to do a couple of shows early next year, to test out a new live set. It’ll be pretty club focused using ‘Welcome To Sideways’ and some reworked older stuff. Then hopefully a few festivals over the summer. And there’s this new secret project…

Ooooooh. That sounds interesting. Is it a production job?


There’s a new Depeche Mode album next year, exciting news, right?


Are you a fan?

Talk. To. The. Hand

Do you ever have to pinch yourself to make sure all this is real?

We managed to ride a wave of surging interest in dance music without getting too sucked into the scene it produced and we came out the other side able to do something different with every album we’ve done. And people still seem to like our music and come to our shows. We are extraordinarily lucky to be where we are now.

‘Welcome To Sideways’ is out on Delicacies

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