Martin Bowes from Attrition discusses the bands 40th anniversary and their new album
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM
The new ATTRITION album is “The Black Maria” and will be with us later this year. We have just released the first single from the album The Great Derailer c/w The Pillar I (For Ossington) You can listen to it here https://attritionuk.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-derailer And there is also a video just gone up on youtube etc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x05At-BuyhA Its been a few years since the last album (2015’s “Millions of the Mouthless Dead”, an album of First World war poetry put to dark ambient soundtracks) and this album continues the mix of electronics and classical instruments, rhythms and soundscapes found in our earlier albums like The Unraveller of Angels in 2013 an exploration of life and love and exploring the dark.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT THE SONGWRITING PROCESS?
I start out experimenting with electronic sounds more an abstract approach goes back to my art student days. Then I develop the ideas that seem to work, some might stay as soundscapes and others will develop into song structures and I will write lyrics that connect very much at the same time as writing the music. I will bring in guest musicians on guitar or violin, cello, piano etc, whatever suits so the core is me and I have a flexible group of musicians I work with.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM?
A combination of my personal life, as always life’s changes, disappointments, highs and peaks. Political, social, philosophical, personal.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TRACK?
It’s still in final mixing stages and I’m too close to the tracks to step back and decided right now… and it always depends what mood I am in anyway :)
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
Music, art, philosophies, friends and ultimately everyday experiences…. If I was to choose some musical inspiration it would run from punk in the early days (ATTRITION began in 1980) to post punk and then the early 80’s electronic and industrial music but over the years I have appreciated more and more music from old rock n roll to classical and modern electronic sounds…
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
There have been a few but none as powerful or as life changing as The Sex Pistols ..“Anarchy in the UK” I heard it on the radio in early 1977 and found a copy in the sale bin at Woolworth’s in Coventry I couldn’t stop playing it and from that moment knew I had to do music.
WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE MUSIC?
I began this at art school before I ever took on music I’m very much a visual artist and music producer rather than a musician. I “see” music and so soundscapes are like painting and even though I chose music over art many years ago I may well return to it one day.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECORD ONE OF YOUR SONGS, AND WHICH ONE?
There have been a few covers of ATTRITION songs over the years (In fact in 2009 I put together the “Wrapped in the guise of my friend” ATTRITION tribute album was really special to hear people re-imagining my work particularly the acoustic versions of my electronic tracks that was very special to hear.
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
After art school I started running a local punk/post punk music fanzine in Coventry (1979-81) and I always knew I had to make my own music so I started ATTRITION with my then girlfriend Julia and her brother Ashley we quickly went from a post punk guitar sound to the more electronic sound that we are known for.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
Do your own thing. Do what you believe in. Take some advice but stick at it. Music can be a wonderful, pure, form of expression and you will learn so much from it and where it takes you .
WHAT IS NEXT?
The new album, another single, live shows around the world we have toured on most continents by now and then starting at the end of 2020 will be ATTRITION’s 40th anniversary year so I am thinking of plans to celebrate that right now. Here are our gigs so far confirmed this year April 3rd- The Tin, Coventry, UK June 13th: Woodgothic Festival, Sao Thome Das Letras, Brazil June 17th - Gothic Ba, Buenos Aires, Argentina June 19th - Producciones Mortem Collections, Santiago de Chile June 20th - Tumbas Eternas Producciones, Lima, Peru July - Manchester - tbc August 20th– Feketa Zaj festival, Hungary August 30th – Infest festival, UK November 28th: Winter Ghosts Symposium, Whitby, UK December 5th – Face Bar, Reading, UK
Thank you for the interview! If people would like to know more, get in touch, or check out our various websites here… All the best…
Martin Bowes, Coventry, England, March 2020 www.attrition.co.uk