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article imageAll This Noise: Interview with an emerging pop/rock duo Special

By Adrian Peel     Jun 3, 2015 in Music
London - This talented twosome have attracted attention with their assured-sounding first single "Seven Billion Like You." Digital Journal found out more.
Hailing from their nation's capital, the two members of All This Noise, singer and lead guitarist James and bass player and producer Alan, only came together as a band in 2014, despite having known each other for a long time. Their debut single "Seven Billion Like You" is set to be released on June 15th and has already generated quite a buzz in the British music press, with Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music being particularly supportive.
Although their alternative rock groove doesn't really sound like anyone else, the group has been compared to such luminaries as The Cure, Radiohead and Depeche Mode. James, also a journalist and former sub-editor at Mixmag magazine, and Alan, an experienced producer and session musician, chatted to me from Alan's West London studio.
"Yeah, that's a lot of what we've been doing at the moment," replies the band's singer, who describes his and Alan's sound as a "seamless fusion of mechanical and organic," responding to my suggestion that preparing to get the single out there must be the main focus at present. "We're actually still tugging away working on the full album... We're working with a mix engineer today on one of the other tracks and we've got the second single ready to go, but obviously the big push now is for 'Seven Billion Like You.'"
Does the album have a release date yet?
"Hopefully by February next year would be the plan... The second single we're going for the beginning of September and the third single probably about two months after that. Our dates in the past have slipped a bit, so we don't want to be too definite in saying when the album's coming out, but definitely within the next year."
As mentioned earlier, the duo had been friends for quite a while before deciding to pool their resources. "We've done music on other people's stuff and we met when I was coming in to do some recording with another band," remembers James.
"From there, I did a few recordings with Alan - he got me to play the guitar and sing on some other projects he was working on - and eventually, early last year, we decided that we'd go all out and make the sort of music that we really wanted to listen to, which is what became All This Noise."
Describing their collaborative songwriting process, James notes, "Sometimes Alan will start with quite a fleshed-out backing track that I then might tweak a little bit, add vocals, add some guitar lines to... Then on the other hand, sometimes I just start off with quite a simple beat and Alan fleshes that out - and that happens with all sorts of different tracks.
With 'Seven Billion Like You' Alan started off with a few ideas and then we really fleshed it out together in the room with guitars and got that working. Then Alan went away and worked in the studio on improving the backing track and refining it and I went away to work on the vocals and lyrics. Then we came back in and finalised the arrangement."
Impressively for a fledgling outfit, James and Alan were able to secure the services of producer Al Riley, known for his work with The Maccabees, Paloma Faith and U2, among others. How did he end up on board?
This time it was Alan, fairly quiet until now, who answered: "As a producer, I know a few people who are good at mixing and I do a lot of mixing myself, but with my own stuff it's a lot easier getting somebody else to come in and do the main groundwork because obviously you're very close to it when you've been working on it for a matter of months.
"He's got some fantastic ears and a very calm nature. He seems to understand where we're going and it seems to be working at the moment. Access to people of his calibre's not difficult - we're in London, you see, so there's a lot of people around."
All This Noise
All This Noise
Natasha Bennett
Although, as highlighted previously, they've been compared to the likes of The Cure and Depeche Mode - and I definitely felt a slight '80s vibe to the single when I first heard it - the pair are adamant that the 1980s, a golden decade in popular music of course, is not their main source of inspiration.
"Not really," laughs James ("Yes and no," chips in Alan). "I mean we're big fans of The Cure and Depeche Mode, but then we're big fans of David Bowie and Radiohead and Caribou - things from all eras...
"I think, if anything, we want to use influences from any era. I think the guitars, for instance, have quite a bit of '70s influence to start off with, as well as '90s mixed in, but we're really trying to pick and choose the parts we like most and put them together to make something that's coherent.
"We're getting feedback that it is seeming to work, but we want it to sound like more of a nod to stuff from the past, but something that's a bit different and new. That's the Holy Grail for any band - well, any band that we're interested in."
"I think at the moment a lot of the guitar music seems to be quite generic," concludes Alan. "We've got a lot of Indie Folk, like Mumford & Sons, and there's a lot of bands like that around where big guitars don't seem to be used very much outside of heavy rock.
"We're trying to put some stuff back in there that's a little bit more direct and a bit more exciting on stage, mixed in - hopefully - with some vaguely modern-sounding, progressive production."
"Seven Billion Like You" will be available to buy and/or download from June 15th.
For more information on All This Noise, visit their official website.
More about all this noise, Pop music, Depeche mode, the cure, Radiohead
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