Friday, 14 October 2011

Submotion Orchestra

It's the age old dilemma - it's a Friday, you want to go out and enjoy yourself, but at the same time you're exhausted and just want to curl up with some good music. Luckily, the solution has come in the form of Submotion Orchestra...

With 7 members, this is a band which can create delicate layers with perfect harmony - while keeping a contemporary vibe that's unusual in this kind of music. With a great mixture of up tempo songs which wouldn't be out of place in any night club and luxurious slow melodies which make your heart ache in the best way, this is a band which caters for everyone in every mood possible.

New single Always falls into the former category, fast paced and urgent while retaining the ethereal feel which identifies Submotion Orchestra. It's already a hit at live shows, so all that's left is for you to take a listen and fall in love...

Well, that's not quite all that's left. We were lucky enough to grab an interview with the band and talk to them about their own taste in music:

Was being in a band always an ambition?
We've all known individually for a long time that we wanted to be involved in music for our lives. We've all come from different and varied backgrounds too - Dom with his classical training, Taz, Tommy and Bobby with their jazz and funk history, Ruby even played steel pans for many years - before we all coalesced with Submotion. But since we've all done alot of session work individually - playing with amongst others, Gentlemans Dub Club, Haggis Horns, Dennis Coffey, Matthew Halsall, iDST, Breakestra, Andreya Triana, Jenna G and loads more - it took a little while for the unit to become a fully-fleged band rather than another project that we were all involved in. But once it did, everything happened very naturally and organically, the audience grew quickly, and we all got very into what was happening.

What’s your favourite song of yours?

It varies from gig to gig and day to day. 'Finest Hour' was pretty much the first tune we did as a band, so that's stayed pretty special, but 'All Yours' is sounding pretty good at the moment, and our live arrangement of 'Always' is a lot of fun for us all to play.

If you could pick a collaboration, who would it be with?

We'll collaborate with anyone, any time - we all love too many musicians and types of music to be picky. Clearly people like Cinematic Orchestra, Bonobo, 4 Hero, Murcof, Dj Shadow etc are right up our street, and we've started getting some great people into do some remixes for the album (names kept secret for the moment, i'm afraid). But we'd also love to get people in who aren't in a similar musical field, just to see what would happen - Eric Whitacre, Colin Blunstone, Manuel Gottsching would all be lovely. We're hoping to get a string quartet involved with us too, in the near future. There's just not enough time to sort everything you want...

What’s your guilty pleasure (music wise and in general)?

We've got some pretty big Carpenters fans in the band, but they wouldn't feel guilty about it - it's too good for that. Fatty has an unhealthy obsession with 'Roundabout' by Yes, which is clearly inexcusable. Beyond that, we've been known to get a little bit too into our karaoke if we go, which is definitely a guilty pleasure...

Is there any song you associate with a mood (e.g. when you’re happy, angry, etc)?

'Perfection' is pretty good for when you're feeling sleepy. Come to think of it, quite a lot of our tunes work at that time.

If you had to put one song on repeat for the next week, what would it be?

The Theme from 'Rocky' and anything by Shooby Taylor the Human Horn - we defy you not to feel good after listening to those...

Who are your biggest influences?

We've got so many people we look up to and idolise that we can't sum it up briefly. One of the things we like about the band is that we all have very different inspirations, from Cinematic Orchestra, to Steve Reich, to Mala, to Tangerine Dream, to Esbjorn Svensson, to Debussy, to Mr. Fingers, and around a million others, and there's bits of all those things in the music somewhere. In the band, we've got Ruckspin, who comes from a dubstep/drum and bass background, and brings that quite clearly into the sound, along with the dub influence of King Tubby/Augustus Pablo. Tommy has a very wide range of contemporary jazz and classical influences, while Taz tries to get a bit of his synth heroes - Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Stevie Wonder, Manuel Gottsching - in there too. Danny is an encyclopedia of world rhythms, and his love of Brazilian percussion really comes out in tunes like 'Always'. In short, everyone brings something different to the table, due to their musical background and development.

So if you've gotten to this stage and you're as hopelessly in love with them as we are, there's light at the end of the tunnel! Starting tonight in Brighton, Submotion Orchestra are embarking on their UK tour. Check below for a date near you, and, as always, tell them Tantrum sent you...

15th October: Brighton - Coalition
18th October: Southampton - Joiners 
20th October: Guildford - The Boileroom 
21st October: Bristol - The Thekla 
22nd October: Nottingham - Stealth 
31th October: London - XOYO