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Decoration - Interview

The best kept secret in the indie music industry - Decoration - have just released their second album - See You After The War. We talked about it, among other things, with Stuart.

Second Decoration album is finally coming and we are clearly excited about it. What can you tell us about it?

Well, it contains more songs than the last one with 12 and we pretty much had to record the whole thing twice. Take 1 was sounding very down beat, but as time went by we cheered up and wanted to lighten the mood a bit. I think we got there in the end, It's maybe not as instant as Don't Disappoint Me Now, or as Flippant was say, but we're very happy with it and hope others will be too. There's more going on musically this time with a broader use of instruments than we've ventured to try before, but the bulk of the noise still comes from distorted guitars and a variety of effects pedals, so we've not strayed too far off campus.

Did you find second album traditionally difficult?

Not so much difficult to write, but it was a bugger to record. Drummer Steve had sort of left the band at the end of 2006, so we didn't really get off to a great start in 2007 although we had some pretty good gigs lined up, like British Music Week in Germany. We managed to find a drummer for the gigs, but nothing felt quite right and the mood was pretty low. We did nothing for a few months after April and then suddenly Steven started sending us new tunes every week - eventually we got together in September and just started recording straight away from what we had between us and it all slowly developed into the album. Steve started to get involved on the drums again, initially putting some beats down to demos, but I suppose it became difficult then not to see it through to the end, so it was really great to get the band back together for the recording.
[ Decoration ]


What's the meaning behind the title?

The title comes from a Richard Burton line in the film "Where Eagles Dare", it just felt to us as though we were kind of all getting back together after a very tricky period and that line suited nicely. More can be read into anything that mentions "War", but in our case we're talking more about the everyday spats. The line is a hopeful one in a "if we can just get through this..." sort of way and we had to call it something.

How hard is making any kind of success in music today? For example, can you live from music? From our side, the whole scene is Britain is rather chaotic at the moment - seems like everyone has a band and therefore good stuff gets unnoticed because of that.

Dunno really, bands find allsorts of ways to get noticed, some try harder than others. We recorded a demo and sent it to John Peel, like so many before us, we didn't expect anything and had in fact sat on the demo for a whole year before we sent it in and we've only got ourselves to blame for that. It's true there are a lot of bands knocking about which makes it much harder to focus on one, as it seems like so many get hyped up, only to be replaced the next week with a new "Best Band in Britain" and no one can seriously believe that. It's like television, not that long ago we only had 3, or 4 channels here, so everyone saw the same things and would talk about them the next day, now we have hundreds of channels but nothing in particular to follow. A few will make a good living for sure, but for how long I don't know - all I can say is we don't.

Are you comfortable with internet and what do you think about all these new ways of releasing music?

It allows for easier distribution so thumbs up to that. I wouldn't say we're huge fans of downloads and would much rather have the physical connection to a record, but as mentioned earlier we probably wouldn't have got this album off the ground without being able to send mp3s to each other, so in that sense we're grateful to it.

Decoration - Square Mile

You played one of the last Peel Sessions ever. Did you manage to meet the man himself? What kind of person was he?

We never met him sadly, but I'd like to think we would've done if someone had sent the demo in a year earlier! He had to get official permission to play demos and out of the blue one evening he rang Steve Taylor, "Hello is that Stephen? This is John Peel....." You just wouldn't expect him to do all the ringing round himself. That was brilliant and two days later he was back on offering us a session. He'd been around forever and felt like a close friend, but the man was bigger than Elvis.

What are you listening to these days? Any interesting bands we should hear about?

Not brilliantly up to speed with the latest groups, I like the sounds of Glasvegas and Bombay Bicycle Club and a couple of new Manchester bands, The Whip and 1913. Some of the more established acts like The Wedding Present, The Magnetic Fields and British Sea Power have released great albums this year and I'm sure I will love the forthcoming I Am Kloot record.

What are the future plans?
World domination? Like everyone, we're still aiming to break Armenia.

"See You After The War" is out not but there is a way to get it for free. Keep an eye for our competition!

kris // 02/11/2008


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