Amusement – Interview


(Joe is on the far right)

Joe: Hello mate, how is it going?

SSN: Hey, really good thanks. You ready for some questions?

Joe: yeah of course hit me up whenever and I’ll do my best

SSN: Dreamy!

Joe: Steamy!


Joe: The outright winner, would have to be “sunbeamy”

SSN: Sunbeamy’s a good word, I’m vaguely writing a piece at the moment but will fire across questions as I go. So what’s the very basic story behind Amusement?

Joe: Okay, Amusement was originally me and Andy putting ideas we had together, and turning them into songs on a computer. We’d worked in other projects together previously, and it just kind of worked this way better. We did this for ages, just not really giving much away, but writing constantly.

Then we were getting a live show sorted, and realised relatively quickly that it was essential to get both a live drummer, and a bassist. Hollysses. Holly and Ulysses. We have always said to each other that watching a live band play their stuff exactly how it sounds recorded is great, as long as the song is there, but wouldn’t people rather see something that the recording doesn’t give them?

I just feel that recordings and live shows sound better when they each have something the other doesn’t. So far me and Andy have been working on the songwriting, and taking those to Holly and Ulysses has been pivotal to refining a live sound for Amusement.

I’m afraid I’m currently writing an essay for uni, and you’ve caught me in the middle of essay mode. I can definitely break it up if needs be…

SSN: That’s ok. So when did it change from making remixes to doing your own stuff?

Joe: Well we actually started out doing our own stuff. A lot of our older songs have been left collecting dust, and we are more concerned with writing new songs, that reflect us better now.

We really enjoy making remixes, its relieving to not have to consider arrangement and vocals like we would in our own stuff, and just be able to experiment with the production more.

We both love dance music, and we want people to recognise that about us.

SSN: Interesting, I always assumed the remixes came first.

Joe: We did a remix for Nicola Roberts once!

It didn’t happen, so we don’t know what to do with it…

They said “Hey! We love it you guys! Nicola loves it! Just one thing! Would you be able to speed the vocals up by half a second!? Great!!”

SSN: So you didn’t do it?

Joe: Imagine speeding up just the vocals of a song. It would sound stupid…

Eventually it turns out they didn’t want us to do that, we basically came to realise that they had no idea what they meant. We still have the remix. Me and Andy both really like it.

SSN: That’s kind of cool though, I like the idea that Nicola Roberts might be an Amusement fan, are you allowed to release it?

Joe: I don’t know. I don’t know how to find out, but I’ll have a look. I bet they didn’t even show her it really.

SSN: Do you have many pop influences?

Joe: Definitely. I’m forever listening to the radio, various shows and stations. i really like knowing current pop music, whether it is dire, or has even the smallest thing in it that I think sounds cool. There is always loads of good pop music around, its just underneath other stuff.

SSN: Cool, and what are your feelings on the guitar-band resurgence that’s happening. All the B-town hype?

Joe: I’m a big fan of SWIM DEEP. I think they write amazing songs and have a great attitude. (some people still think that means Brighton you know). I’m intrigued about guitar music coming back, it will be cool to see how it progresses now from being buzzy, to major league baseball. TLOBF did an interesting piece about it all.

SSN: What do you think the future’s like for bands like you who aren’t don’t fit neatly into the guitar band scene?

Joe: We haven’t stopped writing music for 2 years, and we just really want people to hear it. We are very keen to provoke emotion this year. In terms of the future, I have no idea. We’re very keen to do something special I think.

SSN: Good answer, does that mean you’re sitting on an album’s worth of new stuff?

Joe: Definitely an albums worth of ideas.

SSN: ‘Provoking emotion’ is quite interesting. I guess you mean more than the usual ‘make people happy’ thing. I’ve heard you’re at Goldsmiths so, presumably, are quite invested in ideas and concept and ‘the new’?

Joe: Haha, I’ve just started at Goldsmiths. I’m still getting used to the Goldsmiths mantra of “everything might be cool”. From a broader perspective, Goldsmiths is a very funny place.

SSN: What are you actually studying?

Joe: Ha well… I’m studying Popular Music. So intellectually, big time.

SSN: haha really!? That’s almost too surreal, a buzz-band front-man studying pop music. What’s the plan for after?

Joe: The plan for DURING is Amusement. After is not even nearly a thought. I’m delaying life.

SSN: I suppose if all goes well you can retire at 30 and sleep on a bed of gold bars.

Joe: *Lion bars.

SSN: Are the other Amusement guys from Goldsmiths too?

Joe: No, just me. I was at school and college with Andy in Croydon.

Ulysses is just Swiss/German/International/Don’t know…

Andy goes to The University of West London…

Ulysses finished a master’s at Kingston…

Holly and Ulysses went to LIPA together but finished a couple of years ago…

SSN: Cool, so what do you have planned for 2013 and when can we expect to hear some new music?

Joe: We’re releasing a single soon this year. So that will be some new music definitely.

SSN: When’s your next live show?

Joe: We’re playing at the Old Blue Last on the 31st of January, which is bound to be fun. Then after that not for a bit.

SSN: What bands do you think we should be listening to?

Joe: Errrm bands… Hooray for Earth are incredible still, I cant wait to hear their new album. And I saw Wolf Alice for the first time the other day, we constantly have gig clashes its ridiculous, but they were amazing of course

SSN: Oh and any opinion on this? [The controversial open letter from Eagulls]

Joe: Haha, I love that. It’s very brutal. (br00t4l)

SSN: Anything else to add? Fun facts etc

Joe: Well… Only that this year we’re going to do loads. Loads of stuff…

That’s not interesting at all.

No nothing.

SSN: Nothing works. Cheers for your time.

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