“I’m missing the match for this interview!” states Adore // Repel drummer Waggy, turning on coverage of Huddersfield Town vs Crystal Palace to find The Terriers a goal down.
Following the interview both the weather and Town’s season have taken a turn for the worse; they lose 2-0 in snowy conditions. The Terriers are struggling to score on the pitch, Adore // Repel on the other hand have goals a plenty. Only theirs are the sort they set and consistently achieve. The quartet’s future certainly looks bright as I meet them at their Daisy Hill Studios base in Dewsbury.
Previously they’ve indicated to me their plans to tour locations including Iceland and California. Sure enough, those plans have always come to fruition and September will see them far away from today’s snowy West Yorkshire climes touring the West coast of America for two weeks. It seems a fitting way to mark the band’s fifth anniversary. Danny, who along with twin brother Jimmy handles guitar and vocal duties takes up the theme of objectives.
“We’ve always set ourselves little targets, even in previous bands. We’d look at venues such as the Joseph’s Well in Leeds and say we’re going to play there. Once we had, it gives you that sense of momentum, that you can achieve other things. For Adore // Repel playing Leeds Festival was a big goal and in 2016 we got to do that.”
They appeared on the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds and its sister festival in Reading, earlier that year they’d recorded a session for Alan Raw’s Radio Leeds edition of the Introducing show. Whether or not Alan was aware, the band, in particular Waggy, had pulled out the stops to make sure the session went ahead.
“We’d left some gear here and I’d not got my keys with me, so I had to come back, climb up the down pipe and get in through the bathroom window!”
Jimmy continues “It was great though. You have acts on there doing really polished vocal takes. Ours was pretty much a case of walking in, setting up and playing. It ended up being in the top 10 sessions when they did the review of the year.”
Clearly they left a lasting impression on Mr Raw as their Long Division slot will see them take to the BBC Introducing stage again in Wakefield’s precinct. Aside from actively gigging themselves they regularly put other bands on under the banner of their own label ‘Shove It Up Your Cult Records’.
After the interview they were running a gig at Bad Apples in Leeds headlined by SIUYCR label mates Zapiain (Their guitarist / vocalist Chris Hall sat in on the interview). A split single with them is another one of their ‘goals’ ticked off and ready for release. I was interested to learn their contribution was produced by Dan Mullins (Drummer with death metal veterans Blasphemer and formerly of My Dying Bride and numerous other extreme metal bands) at Academy Studios in Dewsbury.
The studio was the spawning ground for classic albums by the aforementioned My Dying Bride, alongside label mates Anathema and Paradise Lost. It’s fair to say that that at one point Dewsbury was synonymous with Doom metal, as perfected by the ‘Peaceville Three’. Long-time Rhubarb Bomb readers will remember from my ‘The Death of a Disco Vendor’ piece, that it also had a great market where I bought a number of the albums that shaped my life.
These guys are busy ensuring Dewsbury will once again be a destination for vinyl junkies and crate diggers, as the ground floor of their base is home to a record shop which should be open in time for Record Store Day. But it’s not just about the music, the band are passionate about bringing like minded folk on board.
“We want to make this a real cool area, we’ve got a friend from Iceland whose hoping to run a pop up bar. We’re looking at opening a barbers as well.” begins Danny, before expanding on why this plan is entirely feasible. “There’s a new Dewsbury college site opening soon so there’s going to be a real influx of young people coming into the area.”
Waggy, who had been out of the room for a few minutes, re-joins the conversation with much enthusiasm “Tell him about the college! There’s a new site and there’s going…”
Danny allows him to repeat enough for us to all have a chuckle, before he interjects “I already have.” Jimmy explains further how they envisage getting involved “We want to do workshops as well, get young people involved. Me and Danny went to one this morning at Dewsbury library called Sounds Rubbish. It’s run by a Brazilian guy called Claudio who we know and he teaches people to build instruments out of rubbish.” He continues “Claudio has a Berimbau (Mid-nineties Sepultura fans should be familiar with this Brazilian instrument, Google it if you’re not one!) and when he’s carrying it round town the police think it’s a bow & arrow!”
Such an instrument / weapon may come in use when they head Stateside as one of their gigs is taking place in the vampire capital of California, Santa Cruz aka Santa Carla which served as the back drop for what is unanimously the band’s favourite film, The Lost Boys. Bassist Bob has already visited and as well as taking in the comic shop which stocked ‘Vampires Everywhere’ and Grandpa’s House, also swung by Street Light Records who along with a host of other Californian record stores took in copies of the band’s debut album on vinyl.
“I took about 50 over with me and they all ended up in record shops. Some places like (Californian chain) Amoeba I’d been in contact with. Others I’d just go in and talk to the staff.”
As our conversation today reinforced, the band are adept at talking to people, who in turn will more than likely spread the word further still. However, as I wrote in the 2014 Long Division programme they’re a ‘Largely instrumental’ band, by and large it’s their music which does the talking on stage and record. Experiencing them live it’s easy to let yourself get lost in their music, and although there might not be the choruses to chant back they have noticed their “Fan’s singing our riffs back at us ala The Courteeners.”
Mentioning a band such as The Courteeners as a reference may throw some people, as the band are usually termed Post-Hardcore. Yet you don’t have to dig deep to find Oasis t-shirts sported in their photos and Danny brought them up when he discussed the photo of the band that adorns the cover of Empty Orchestra, which was captured during their 2016 tour of Iceland. “I’d have loved to have had some original art, in the end we didn’t have the time.” He begins, before continuing that he’d had to compromise on this, ensuring the band were all pulling in the same direction.
“I had to accept the other guys were right. You don’t really have album covers with the band on these days, but there’s so many great covers with the bands themselves on them, Ramones, Minor Threat, even Oasis. Nowadays everyone just wants a tree on their cover!”
Jimmy continues, “Doing the vinyl was a massive thing for us. We learnt so much from making this record ourselves. Like if one element is delayed, it’s a domino effect which knocks on. So we ended up doing the inner sleeves ourselves. We’re not of the internet age, we remember buying a CD or vinyl and wanting to read all the sleeve on the way home.”
They’re certainly avid readers of Long Division programmes, as a discussion of the notes relating to their previous three LD appearances brought the memories flooding back. But Adore // Repel are very much a forward looking band. So I’ll leave you with their picks from this year’s line-up and hope you’ll join me down the front in the precinct come June.
ADORE // REPEL’S LONG DIVISION 2018 TIPS
COLOUR OF SPRING
GOLDEN AGE OF TV