I had the chance a while back to talk to TV Face and fire off the usual 13 questions at them. Here’s the results.
We first came across TV Face in Clitheroe last year, supporting Brix and the Extricated at The Grand.
It was a grand night and TV Face really impressed as one of the supports.
The band is working on a project to release a new song on the last Friday of each month, started in January and intended to finish in December. Every 4 months there will be an EP release.
The most recent is Orange Carbuncle – link below.
Of course, when they started, nobody knew then what we know now. So, naturally, we Zoomed with Brigit and Steve to get a bit of background.
Steve showed us this “big fuck off box” they had built at home to house their amps, which meant they could record at volume, so the project wasn’t derailed by lockdown. A few blankets under the stairs were required as well.
The big loss for the band was, of course, rehearsal time, but they’d managed to retrieve the drum kit, so they worked out the tracks could be laid down with Brigit and Steve doing their bits at home and Neil, the drummer doing his bit from his place.
In any event, says Brigit, the project was not reliant on recording studios – they were using whatever space was available, so in a sense lockdown had little impact on the band’s workflow. It just needed a bit of adapting.
In some ways, the lockdown gave the band a new focus. A new challenge to keep the music making going.
The original plan was to record an album, but Steve explained the band wanted to get the songs out. “To treat them with care“. Because there was a need to focus on each one and treat each one as though it’s a single.
“In some ways it’s a response to the freakish world of music. I’m horrified to learn that people don’t listen to albums anymore“, says Steve, pointing at Brigit. In part the project is response to that.
Brigit hits back, though. “We can complain about playlists and algorithms all we like, but in a sense, this is a response to that. But it’s fun for us.”
We suggest there could be an album at the end of the project. TV Face agree. There could be an album in January or February next year.
Another bonus of the 12 singles each month project is the artwork. Each song has an image designed by Steve to go with it. That makes each track more than just a song. There will be prints to go with each EP.
There were gigs lined up, but guess what? They’d been postponed until November, but … Steve was keen to “attack the country” and forge relationships with like-minded bands. They’d planned a night of their own in Lancaster where they would invite bands “they dig“. There had already been a couple, but that idea got derailed.
I asked who they would cite as “like minded bands“. “Ones who are DIY, really“, said Brigit “Bands that understand it’s a collaboration, not a competition. We love live music, we love putting nights on“.
Steve agrees: “We don’t want to get bogged down in genre hunting and being specific“.
Naturally, we discuss lockdown and the prospect, or otherwise of getting gigs back up and running. The prospects don’t look good as we write this. “As a performer“, Steve says, “all that stuff is still in your bones, but you’ll have to find time to find it again. We can’t just suddenly go: right – we can all have gigs again. Life will evolve. A lot of people will be going – why was I trundling around the country, getting paid £30? Things will change, and it worries me. Don’t look at the headlines too closely. So, we’ll just keep releasing a song. And in 4 weeks times, we’ll release another.“
“That’s all that exists – that’s all we can do“.
“We’ll just have to be inventive and find other ways of doing what we do“, says Brigit.
“But we’re really loud. To record at home without pissing off the neighbours …“
In the meantime, TV Face are really excited about the new songs. We urge you to check them out.
- Where are you and what are you doing?
We’re locked-down in Lancaster. Stuck in our respective households but lucky enough to have a year long project of a monthly single release to keep us more than occupied.
2. What is your favourite view?
Ruskins, in Kirkby Lonsdale. It’s a short trip from Lancaster. Painted by Turner in the 1800s, and praised by John Ruskin who, inspired by the painting visited it in person. The view remained unchanged until a farmer, whose land is part of that view, wanted to change his barn into holiday home and wasn’t allowed by local planners in order to preserve the view. So, in protest the farmer painted his barn all different colours. And then people came to paint the view again, with the stripy barn in it. Art imitating life imitating art and so on….
3. What’s your favourite record label – and why?
Erm… can we say Idiot Box, because that’s our record label. We release all our own records. Maybe in the future we will release other bands and artists. That would be nice. Before lockdown, we had just launched our club night, and were going to invite people to come and play, but alas those plans are currently on hold.
4. What’s your first memory?
Finding a smashed-up TV on a military firing range in Scotland and being blown away by seeing its insides. I’ve been obsessed with TVs and other electrical doodahs ever since.
5. How do you like your eggs?
Je n’aime pas les oeufs
6. Who is the worst ‘celebrity’ you’ve met?
The lead singer from Travis.
7. Recommend one band or album that you think we should check out.
The Talkies by Girl Band. Visceral and brut-iful soundscapes arranged as amazing songs, with wonderfully opaque lyrics – no pronouns! A band that manages to create records that are as intriguing and powerful as they are live.
8. What’s your favourite season and why?
Season two of TV FACE.
9. Tell us a secret.
They don’t care if we die as long as we don’t do it all at once.
10. Which city do you recommend we visit – and why?
In the UK – Liverpool, in the world – Toronto, Canada.
11. What’s your favourite film?
Watched too many films to choose. Let’s go with the last one I really enjoyed – Great Expectations (1948), a lucky lockdown discovery.
12. What would be your final meal if you were on Death Row?
I have severe IBS and follow a very restricted diet. So, I’d eat all the things I can’t usually eat (so not Cold Potato Salad), safe in the knowledge that my executioners would have a big mess to clean up once they’d done their deed.
13. Do you have anything else to declare?
During these ‘orrible times we do declare that you should support independent music in anyway you can, if you want it to survive.
Buy people’s music, and make sure you support The Music Venues Trust campaign to save our independent venues.