Full Speed Ahead

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We met Becky Jacobs (vocals) and Mike Lindsay (guitar and vocals) on a boat on the Thames, the perfect place to talk about their journey, isn't it?
Picture provided by Evelyn Kutschera
Two years have passed since Tunng released their last album "Good Arrows". Now they're back with a new sound and without an old member. "And Then We Saw Land" is an album full of charming and catchy tunes, embraced by the characteristic sound of Tunng. We met Becky Jacobs (vocals) and Mike Lindsay (guitar and vocals) on a boat on the Thames, the perfect place to talk about their journey, isn't it?

Your new album "And Then We Saw Land" sounds really different compared to what you've done before. Where does the change come from?
Mike: There are a few things like Sam leaving the band, which vocally changed things, but we also didn't want to make another glitch cut and paste kind of electronic record. We've done that and we still like that stuff, but we wanted to try something we haven't  done before. A record that uses synths as synths not as chopped up sounds for instance. We wanted to make something that is bigger and proud, where people can sing along with. I think it's the reflection of our live shows from the last couple of years. We really enjoyed the reaction of the audience to certain moments of the shows, when we played songs which had been reworked a little bit to give them a bigger sound. That's what we wanted to capture with the new album.

What is the difference between Tunng 2003 and 2010?
Mike: Big difference! I met Sam in 2003 and it was just a little project in the studio, never supposed to be a real band. The first album came out in 2005 and we turned into a band. And now it's a band without Sam.
Becky: I think the recorded stuff sounds much more like us now and represents us much more as a live band. Before it was more about getting together in the studio and playing the songs or just joining in with some pieces. Now it represents much more who we are and what we stand for.
Mike: This record reflects the personality of every single band member, more than any of our records before. I guess Sam's leaving created more space for that to happen.

Is there a difference between being a musical project and being an actual band?
Mike: They're two different things, but they're also similar. Being in the studio it still feels like a project, the only difference is when you take that project to the stage. The band is a live situation and the project is what we're doing in the studio.
Becky: As soon as we started playing we were a band for me anyway. It's always been about all of us and it always felt like: this is the band.

"And then we saw land". Is this just the title or does it have a metaphorical meaning?
Becky: Party, but not entirely, because it refers to one of the tracks on the record as well.
Mike: I think it did made a lot of sense when we came to the title, because the last years were like a journey where lots of things happened. And it's just a good title.

How come that Becky's playing a much bigger role on the new record?
Becky: Well, Sam not being part of this record gave me an opportunity to step up and see what I can bring in terms of writing and performing. I think on the stage I always had much more presence than you would expect when you hear the albums. Making this record has been an amazing experience for me, I loved it. I really feel connected to it and I believe in it and I can't wait to play it.

If you had to describe you album, is there something like a central theme or emotion?
Mike: In a way adventure is a theme, but in the meaning of leaving things behind or becoming clear about confusion. And that could be a relationship or also an actual journey. But the word adventure doesn't just mean trippin' through the jungle. Well though, maybe it does? Anyway, for me the album feels a bit like a journey, it twists and turns, there's not only one emotion.

All of your records have a very distinctive artwork. Who's the artist?
Becky: It's a girls called Vanessa Da Silva, she has done all the artwork throughout our whole career. She's an illustrator and fashion designer.
Mike: And she has just made a collaboration with matches fashion that's coming out now.

What are your plans for 2010?
Becky: We're going on a mini UK tour now and then we're touring Europe for a couple of weeks. Then we'll maybe play some more shows in the UK in summer and doing festivals. And going to Brazil to play a few shows.
Published: Aug 18, 2010
by Claudia Nethge (artistxite)
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