54-46 Caught up with Conformist last week, who has produced in our opinion, one of the most exciting and innovative albums to come out of Wales this year, ‘Paid To Fake It’.
Innovative, mesmerising and most of all challenging – this record is a fantastic piece of ingenuity that is deservedly the recipient of lots of praise. All of us here are really looking forward to his next release which is on the horizon for the beginning of 2015.
First of all, wow. Where do we begin? Did you have fun making this album?
Not sure if “fun” would be the word….! It was like one long therapy
session. There was occasional moments of relief when I would stumble into a
decent idea….in between the computer crashes, software failures and data lose
setbacks. This was a record I made at home over the course of about 3 years
but some of the tracks were written 8 years or so back. Towards the end I
just wanted to finish it and move on really. When you’re not restricted by
studio time budgets you can be your own worst enemy.
For people who may just be getting to grips with your tunes – how would you
best describe your music?
Atari Teenage Riot covering The Sex Pistols, recorded by Aphex Twin then
chewed up and spat into a garbage can.
Who inspires you musically?
Everything but other people’s music. (Ed – top answer)
Can you describe your journey in music from the beginning to where you are now.
Shy boy lacking social skills given a PC and cracked software, lives in tiny
remote Welsh village, moves to the City to sit in dark room for years at a
time to make weirdo music to general bemusement of others.
How would you rate the health of the current Music Scene in Wales? Bands I
have previously chatted to bemoaned the lack of lack of an independent
mid-sized venue – resulting in less support slots for Local bands for
instance.. Is there anything you would do to improve the scene?
It’s healthy and vibrant. Lots of people working hard for very little/no
financial gain just because they love music. Gotta be admired. Swn
festival is awesome, HUB festival too. Personally I’ve always found it
really difficult to get gigs locally for Conformist so I can relate to that
struggle; would be great to have a larger venue in Cardiff to create some
more high profile support slots for our local bands.
Locally Clwb Ifor Bach. Good PA and sound engineers.
It is tempting to draw the comparison between your work and The Avalanches
‘Since I Left You’, what do you make of this?
Yeah that’s cool, I’ll take that! Haven’t listened to that track in a long
I find reasons to dislike just about everyone but off the top of my
head….Flying Lotus, Clark, David Bowie. That’s 3. I can’t decide on 1.
Vinyl or CD?
I buy CD’s. I totally get why people go vinyl but for what I do, if I hear
a sample that I want to use, I’d prefer to rip it from the CD. Don’t like
the pop and crackle of vinyl when sampling. Too Hip Hop cliché.
The best gig you’ve ever done?
Probably the Pop Factory last year. During my first song people started to
put their coats on, not a good start, by the end of the second song the
venue was empty aside form my friends and the supports. So that was a good
one. The Parrot in Carmarthen was a fun one; broke a knuckle and trashed my
£300 Kaoss Pad with a single kung-fu-esque arm chop. Good times.
‘Post Death Sales Spikes’ – Bladerunner? Are you a fan of Vangelis?
Musically this is probably my least favorite track on the album and was the last thing I finished. About 5 years ago my
best friend committed suicide; this is a loose tribute to him. He would’ve got the humor in the track. Not a massive Blade Runner fan, the score is cool, I prefer Ennio Morricone over Vangelis.
When we spoke earlier you said you had something up your sleeve for 2015..
A new Conformist record before the summer, promote the fuck out of it,
hopefully play a few festivals and possible/probably tour. Lots of
remixing. Get a suntan.
Thanks for your time mate – all the best with future recordings (please give us a shout when its about!)
Listen to ‘Paid To Fake It’ here:
Conformist’s Twitter page – https://twitter.com/conformistmusic/media