Last weekend Liverpool Sound City saw most of the worthwhile bits of the music industry ascend to the city of Pope Steven Gerrard in pursuit of free alcohol, ‘networking opportunities’ and music. Watching jealously from my self-imposed exile, throughout the very extensive coverage came a common theme; Ninetails are almost everybody’s favourite new band, thanks to a mixture of taut, Tall-Ships-ian melodies and elastic facial impressions.
Excessively generous as they are, Ninetails subsequently released new single “Blue Bottle Flu” on Monday, and you can even pay what you like for it – the kindness of Mother Teresa pales in comparison. After listening to its four explosive, erratic minutes that alternate between worldly introspection and math-pop theatrics, though, you might even feel like getting rid of some of your money on it. We put some questions to the talented young chaps themselves to find out everything you want to know about Ninetails, and possibly a little bit more.
There’s some sort of what people like to call a creative ‘scene’ in Liverpool at the moment, do you feel part of that?
PM: I think Liverpool is an immensely creative city, irrespective of any notion of a scene or creative sector separate from life within that. From the institutional bedrocks of LIPA and the Art Colleges, to the ever-curating communal vibe of Rope Walks (FACT, Bluecoat) Liverpool has built upon its accolade as European Capital of Culture. From the moment we moved here, we knew we wanted to contribute to it. Playing music is part of that, but I would argue that even showing attending shows makes you part of that ‘creative scene’.
With accessible math-pop there always seem to be comparisons to Battles and Foals – is that how you see your own music?
EB:I think when we first got together in the practice rooms, these bands were the most obvious common ground that we had in terms of musical influences, so inevitably our first EP did feature many typical ‘math’ traits. Though as our sound and tastes have developed and as we’ve become more comfortable playing with each other, our various other eclectic influences have come into play. Out latest material (out Sep/Oct) is miles away from ‘math’ and, in our opinion, sounds pretty damn fresh.
So what’s next, I hear you’re disappearing to go and write an album – has that taken shape yet?
PM: Our guitarist, Jordan, is from Washington DC so he will return home for some months while post production begins on our next release. Having compiled and contemplated the tracks we’ve decided an EP would best serve the artistic integrity of the work as a whole. The new stuff we’re writing is quite different from the tracks we previously earmarked for the album and so an EP or LP is the more likely course of action for the next release. It’s fair to say we are shedding the shackles of ridiculously titled sub genres as we come to define our own sound.
How was playing Liverpool Sound City?
PM: Playing the Big Scary Monsters showcase at Liverpool Sound City this year was a bit of a cream dream. Obviously, a big factor in our formation was a mutual love for the works of Tubelord and Tall Ships and so to be sharing the stage with the latter of those was a bit special. This was our first time at the festival and it was a fantastic experience for us.
Things seem to be taking off pretty swiftly, does it feel that way to you?
PM: I’m really driven and self critical in equal measure. So it doesn’t really feel that way to me. We’re still looking for booking agents, and a reasonable PR company and I won’t be satisfied until we have them. Having said that, when I take a moment to reflect, we have come an awful long way in 8 months; a record deal, a sold out debut EP, single of the week on radio 6, reviews in national press, the GIT award shortlist, support slots with Three Trapped Tigers, Errors, Ghostpoet, Alt-J, Tall Ships. Yeah I’m just being twisty, we’re doing alright.
What’s the ultimate ambition for your music?
JK: If we can sustain this lifestyle, that we all love, we’d be very happy. My ambition for a year’s time is national exposure. Hopefully London will catch onto what Liverpool has known for 6 months now. If I was to be really cheeky I would say a European Tour and our very own tour bus too.