EXCLUSIVE: 5 Minutes with Dead Love Fear Wave

We caught up with Paul Eaton from Dead Love Fear Wave ahead of their performance at the Alternative Great Escape this weekend who gave us an insight into his inspiration, the music scene today and his new release, Don’t Exist – a track recorded at his partner, Jim Spencer’s exciting Radiophonic studio.

Hi Paul, how are you and what are you up to today?
Hi, great thanks, today we are starting on some new tracks at the studio in Stockport. The suns out, incredibly.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
It’s very experimental and has tough core rhythm, lyrically it has quite a bleak dry narrative & melodically the instrumentation is very improvised and altered, the arrangements are quite syncopated.

Can you the name albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
For this project there’s no specific albums, we’d talk about sounds off track more than artists or albums but some of the references would be Howling Wolf, Ian Brown, Unkle, Joy Division, Bert Jansch, The Pixies, Beck, Nick Drake, REM amongst others.

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Been holed up in the studio so not listened to much new stuff recently but when I do it’s early hours of the morning so anything to zone out is good for me, Kurt Vile, Fleet Foxes, Youth Lagoon, Devendra Banhart, Volcano Choir, Dylan Leblanc.

What would we find under the category of “Guilty pleasures” in your music collection?
Steely Dan, every long car journey I get them on.

The UK music scene is certainly always changing. Some might say that at the moment it’s more electronic oriented. Do you think this makes it more difficult for indie/alternative acts to get recognition that it would have done ten years ago?

I make music for myself – I write, play, record and release it the way I want to – so I can’t really comment for the rest of the music scene. If bands want to ‘make it’ then they have to accept the music industry for what it is or try and do their own thing and change it. I think if you are good enough then the type of music doesn’t matter, especially in Manchester as there’s always been a crossover of indie, rock and electronic going back for decades. So it should be an either / or scenario. The problem with indie is that for the last 10 years there’s been too much weak sappy indie bands crossing over the mainstream and calling themselves ‘indie’, that’s bored everyone to death, whereas electronic music has pushed boundaries, people like Darkstar doing things that really mean something creatively and culturally. If indie bands want recognition then there need to be more making edgy energetic records – to capture people’s interest again.

If not the popularity of electronic music, what would you say some of the challenges indie bands face today in the music industry today?
There’s so much music online, a lot of it mediocre so it can be hard for any band to make an impact. Because so much emphasis and judgement is made on online promotion, the live scene suffers. I’ve done shows with bands that have 30k followers on Twitter but can’t sell 20 tickets to a local gig – which is a joke. Whereas I know some great bands who play sold out shows with us in Manchester but don’t get anywhere near enough attention because they don’t buy into the whole social media circus.

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
I’ve always found inspiration in abstract things, so nothing tangible. I’ve kept scrapbooks since I was a kid so I’ve got a lot of stuff the pull from when I sit down with a guitar and start to write.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
It’s always been quite natural really, just the guitar, a pad and a pen. Though for Dead Love Fear Wave I used a loop station so I could build up layers of sound from the guitar and record melody ideas as I wrote, which was new to me.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
Probably with my band at The Ritz in Manchester last year, was the first show when the crowd were singing back louder than we were playing.

And the worst?
Wouldn’t say it was a bad gig but I played at Man City Fanzone outside their ground, there was about 3,000 fans watching – it was a top atmosphere – but being a massive Red I did feel a bit weird looking at a crowd of sky blue shirts, fortunately they didn’t ask me sing Blue Moon – I would have had to leg it!

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Probably a beach bum somewhere warm

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
Woodstock 1969 – but not much chance of that is there?

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
Neil Young, without a doubt.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Our debut single DON’T EXIST is out now, then a live show at The Alternative Escape in Brighton the week after on 20th May. Then we will have our album release this summer, date TBC. Later in the year I’ll be doing another release with my other band and few other projects too. So it’s busy.