What are your names?
Fiona Jane – Lead vocals
Ashley Underwood – Guitar, backing vocals
Tristan Kennedy – Guitar, backing vocals
Aaron Gregory Brown – Bass guitar
Sam McEvoy – Percussion, HandSonic
Dan Cat – Beats and loops
How did you come up with your name ‘Cable Street Collective’
When we started we used to practice in a room on Cable Street in East London, in this warehouse where two of the band lived at the time. Then we found out about the history of the street, which we thought was pretty cool – it was the site of the “Battle of Cable Street” a clash between local people and Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts who wanted to march through the district. They’d apparently chosen it deliberately to be provocative cos there was a large Jewish community there at the time, and the locals were like “fuck that.” They put up barriers and fought to keep the fascists out.
You released your new EP ” Where Now From Here” tell us more about it.
Our sound has evolved a fair bit since the last EP, and we’ve gone for a more overtly electronic sound. We’ve got live percussion, but the meat of the beats is from programmed loops rather than live drums. There are also more synth lines going on – we’ve still got those tinkly African guitar sounds, but I guess we use them more sparingly. If you strip away the production though, it’s still all about crafting catchy melodies.
LISTEN TO ‘SO WE GO ‘
What was the writing process like?
Pretty harmonious actually. Our process varies a bit song to song, but usually someone comes up with a riff, an idea for a beat or a snippet of melody and then we work the ones we like up into more complete songs – usually on an acoustic guitar, or a piano. Fi goes away and writes the lyrics for the tune (usually quite quickly) while the rest of the band spend ages arguing over the arrangement. Luckily we were all on pretty much the same page with most of these tracks.
What was the recording process like?
Surprisingly quick for a six piece. We’d been playing the songs live for a few months by the time we started to record, so we kind of had them down.
Who did you work on the EP with?
We went to Steve Ellis of Planck Studios to track all the instruments, and then we took those basic recordings to Joe Davison at Auburn Jam Studios who recorded all the vocals, produced and mixed the record. Joe is a production genius – we’ve worked with him quite a lot now and he absolutely nails it every time. He constantly coming up with little additions – some of which you’d never hear unless they were pointed out to you – but they just make the songs come alive.
What message are you trying to get out?
There isn’t really a “message” as such – we want people to take whatever they want from it (and the responses we’ve had suggest that people hear very different things in our songs!) But in terms of what the lyrics are about, there’s some pretty dark stuff (even though the songs are quite upbeat). Anxiety, depression, drug taking, break downs, it’s all on there. But then just some good old fashioned ones about boys too haha.
I guess if there was a message for the whole thing it would be that however crap things might seem, sticking a stomping beat on and having a party is a good idea, and will usually make things better. That’s kind of what ‘The Very Best’ (the song that gave the EP its name) is all about actually. That was inspired by a really amazing day at Glastonbury at the end of a few difficult months.
Describe each track in two words.
So We Go – Upbeat banger
Wonderland – Tinkly popsong
Anyway – Atmospheric earworm
Nobody Smokes Any More – Psychedelic wigout
The Very Best – Bouncy closer
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? And who would they have to contact?
Yeah always! We quite often rope in other people to play with us, specially horn players (watch out if you’re at a festival, we’ll drag you in). So yep, up for collaborating for sure – contact Ash, aka Band Dad, at firstname.lastname@example.org
What else do you have planned this year?
Festivals all summer, and then hopefully recording come September. We’re working on some new stuff at the minute which is sounding quite exciting.
Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?
Very good question! Headlining the mainstage at Glastonbury? That’d be good…
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
All sorts – we all have other jobs actually, so Fi is an English tutor (and she’s just written and performed her first play) Dan and Ash work in tech, Aaron does a lot of writing and production with a few different artists, Sam tutors undergraduate Maths (as well as being a shit-hot percussionist he has a Masters in Astrophysics from Cambridge!) and I’m a journalist for Vice.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Always take wellies to a festival. You never know how bad it’ll get…
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
We’ve got a proper band motto or anything, but if we did it would be “get stuck in?” Something like that haha.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
In London? Damn, there are so many spots. For live music we love Hootenanny’s down in Brixton, they always have amazing line-ups. And then the sadly now shut Passing Clouds, that was an awesome venue.
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
Probably home to sleep haha.
2/ Who do you see first?
Girlfriends / boyfriends / pets / pot plants (depending on the band member)
3/ What do you eat first?
Something healthy – motorway service station food is not the one.