We caught up with Novablood to chat about their new release ‘Cosmique/Forevermore’ due out 03/07/20
So. Melancholic, was the 4th single and released during lockdown. How did that work?
Mark: Yea it’s a lockdown tune. There’s been a few. We put it together as we’ve mentioned before quite quickly and feel it was an instant little pop song. It’s certainly more of an indie feel to it.
Dave: We weren’t sure then if it was the right time to release a new song with what’s going on in the world, and we’re still not sure now! I guess you just have to keep going.
Locally how do you feel you’ve been received?
I think as far as local gigs is concerned we’ve had a slow up take. We’ve still not actively searched gigs and probably knocked back more than played, it’s quite simple really, we’ve tried to hone our sound and perfect it with as much practise as possible. We’re gig ready. We just need the correct environment / venue now and we won’t just play anywhere.
So, we’re probably too stubborn to gain great momentum with gigs.
Dave: We never set out to be a gigging band tbh but as our sound has progressed we realised that this could sound good live, and it did. I think it will make even more sense next time we play.
Is there much support from promoters / press for electronic music in Cumbria? We notice you’ve had BBC RADIO CUMBRIA on board?
We’ve been lucky with Tom Salmon from BBC Cumbria Introducing as he’s played all we’ve sent up to date. His show was disrupted by the lockdowns but still managed to air Melancholic on a couple of guest feature shows. Local newspaper has also helped which we’re always grateful for.
Dave: We get some good support from Small town sounds over in Dumfries too, but I would have liked more interest.
Next single is Cosmique. It seems to have ventured more into the dance scene but kept hold of its song roots. Was that your intention?
Mark: Cosmiques blue print is a house track. It’s heart is very much of a club nature. But the arrangement is far more song structure. Which the vocal obviously follows to seal in that song based approach. It’s the Bassline which I’m really proud of. It was very much the Bass and Beats which came first and the rest followed suit.
Dave: it’s a song that just clicked straight away, the bassline draws you in. Would sound good on a beach
Your artwork has a very different feel for Melancholic and Cosmique – What’s the story behind them?
I tired very quickly of the pretty images. I love them but up until In The Dark, the next songs are of a different writing era for us both. The graphic nature of design in the covers for both Melancholic and Cosmique are very graphic in appearance and more statement pieces. They both look amazing on giant canvasses in huge living spaces, art galleries even.
Dave: I like where Mark has taken the cover art now. It’s important to make it mirror the song, which he has done very well.
Forevermore, Cosmiques double A side is VASTLY different to anything you’ve ever done? Can you talk us through the writing
process on this one?
Mark: Again, the music came first. Except for the lift at the end when the percussive elements drop. Once the vocals had been written and placed, I felt the track needed to step up a gear and travel into another dimension. It plays on the original music elements but shows that they can become a different entity. More driven and purposeful. The track is very whimsical at the start so the contrast for me is beautiful. It’s kind of like a sonata. It works broken down to its most basic and would sound incredible, I feel, played by an orchestra. To me it’s one of the best things I’ve written and one of Daves best vocals.
Dave: Forevermore is the most experimental track we’ve done so far, it’s simple yet it’s got depth. It builds from an ambient piano ballad into something funky .. sounds mad but it works. A proud moment for us both this one.
Lockdown has had a profound effect on bands, their output, their approach to recording, reaching fans and followers not to mention their live performances. Has it affected Novablood?
Mark: We work remotely anyways, so not being in the same room played no difference.
Gigs wise, see first question!
David: We’ve had more time to work on music, that’s about it.
Have missed having our serious band meetings in the pub.
The cancellation of Kendal Calling will mean no gig for Novablood this year. How do you see yourselves moving forward in the future?
Mark: We both want to concentrate on other projects also, but I suppose because Novablood is much more conceptual in our minds, we feel we’ll continue to write and perform but only when the music is fresh, current and the gigs represent that.
Dave: Kendal Calling would have been great. We’d love to play next year. I think it’s good to pause for thought, then in time get the excitement to do something new as Novablood again. We’ve already got more songs recorded and ready to go. Maybe a concept album, who knows?!
As mentioned alternative projects appear to be looming for you both. Mark already had We Take Polaroids and Mark Zowie – what about both of your projects moving forward?
Mark: We Take Polaroids songs are being written at present but it’s a different vibe to my usual electronic approach, more soulful and current in a pop music approach. We Take Polaroids will always be a little unexpected in its output. I’ve gone from Indie, to electronic to ambient in the last few releases so soul / r&s flavours seems about right.
Dave: I started working with guitarist (and old band mate) Dave Bass after he did the guitars on Melancholic. In lockdown we thought it would be fun to remotely record some covers, and then the new songs just happened. There are no plans for world domination but an EP will appear in late summer.
Lockdown will allow many people to listen to your music on all platforms. Have you found any new music out there you may have missed without the extra time?
Mark: Still love the Oso Leone album. And my ambient love has been satisfied with the new Jon Hopkins Meditations EP and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs latest EP I Can Hear The Birds. Two artists working outside of their usual accepted genres. How it should be.
Dave: I’ve enjoyed James Righton, Working men’s club, the DMA’s and even the new Weeknd album.