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Algiers: Jesmo svježa krv nu soul & gospel alternative, ali nismo novi TV on The Radio

Ususret nastupu uživo, prvom gostovanju fantastičnih Algiers u Zagrebu, popričali smo s Mattom Tongom ispred benda o nekim aspektima njihovog napona snage. Intervju ne prevodimo, izvolite naučit engleski ako niste dosad, njegujemo dvojezičnost :).

* Where did the name came from and why Algiers? Is there some mesaage or statement to the media and audience?

To keep it succinct, the name of the band relates to the Algerian war of independence and the work of Franz Fanon. This is a starting point but a useful and highly meaningful one since, of the many ideas we return to in our music, a key one is the pernicious impact of colonialism and its legacy. We feel compelled to ask who gets to define the nature and rollout of

“civilisation”, on whose terms and why, and we like to draw attention to the stifling paternalism of the west and its myriad hypocrisies.

* Regarding your state of origins it`s not so strange to connect you with the TV On The Radio. Do you like their sound and could you see some similarities?

We’re not entirely sure we sound like them. But if you mean we’re a multi-racial band, then yes there is a correlation, I guess. I don’t really know what their origin story is so it’s hard to find a way to make a truly accurate comparison.

* And what about the bands which were the major influences on your sound? Could you tell us something about them…

It’s hard to answer this question without it overflowing into something else entirely, but you can probably hear soul mixed with industrial mixed with noise mixed with punk mixed with krautrock mixed with afro-beat mixed with post-punk. There’s a lot going on. The greats include, in no particular order, The Stooges, The Birthday Party, Wendy Carlos, Caroline K, Fela Kuti, Einstürzende Neubaten, CAN, The Pop Group, etc.

* Who are your favourite or most loveable artists with roots in blues and soul and protest music. Mavis Staples is still very active and she sings about similar subjects you are interested in…

For me (Matt) I find myself returning to Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Nina Simone and early Roberta Flack.

* You first and second albums received are huge critics acclamation all over the world. Does it means something to you?

Well, yes, it’s nice to have a bit of vindication for what you do, but we don’t exist for the feel-good factor of end of year polls. We’d be lying if we said we were indifferent, but it’s the culture industry isn’t it? You’ve got to analyse the motives of the media at all times and frankly it’s a little draining.

* Could you compare from authors stand point those thow albums – similarities and differences in sound and themes?

Overarching themes have carried on from the first album. The first album set the scene and we have certainly broadened our scope since then. Injustice, the tragedy of failed ideals, decay, renewal: we speak of these things a lot. The sound has developed a little and that is largely because we became a touring band after the first album. The second album is perhaps a little more influenced by the dynamics of performing live.

* And how about the album selling nowdays? Is there some fee for the band or how does it works in digital disctibution era? In 20th century CD`s and LP`s where pretty important for the music delivering. Nowdays a lot of things have changed aint it?

True. Things have changed. As for selling records, it’s our job to make the best music we can and play the best shows we can, but being mired in the metrics of sales… we don’t think about it much. We can’t pay too much attention to what the market demands of us because then we wouldn’t be following our true path. I mean, you can still make a living from record sales if that’s what you’re asking… that is if you’re Katy Perry or something.

* You are terrific live band and your appereances are memorable. Do you enjoy touring and are there some differences between playing in USA/UK, European developed countries or in the rest of the world such our little country is?

Thanks! Yes, we enjoy touring. Meeting like-minded people, seeing what little of the world that we can, that is fantastic and I wouldn’t swap it for anything. We’re still relatively new to touring so perhaps it’s hard to make distinctions between audiences. People do seem to be a little more enthusiastic in Europe though.

* This is your first time in Croatia. Are you having time to discover some cultural and other specifications of the area you are visiting?

We’re there for a few days so we’ll be making sure we can explore as much as we can!

Ivan Perić