Following on from the success of ‘Cavalcade’, Manchester’s Slow Readers Club returns with new album ‘Build a Tower’ and supporting live shows. Damian Robinson caught up with the band to find more about new single ‘You opened up my heart’ and the pressure of living up to a ‘best live act’ reputation.
‘You opened up my heart’ sounds amazing, perhaps even the most synth heavy track to date in the Slow Readers catalogue. How did the track come about and was there a particular reason for the prominence of the synths in the track?
Thank you. The song was built out of jamming sessions, we usually work that way. We started with synth, drums and vocals. The bass and main guitar riff were built on top. It’s an indie electro dance tune so synths felt right. The main riff is guitar though really with synths backing it up. It’s the middle eight / breakdown that makes that tune for me though, the ‘Believe enough to lose control’ bit, when we had that, we knew we had something special.
‘Heart’ is supported by an amazing, visually striking, video. Where did the concept come from?
The video was produced in collaboration with Croftwerk who we have worked with on our previous videos. We wanted something that used lots of colour and graphics, with quick cuts that matched the energy of the tune. Chris at Croftwerk came up with the main concept, built a huge net cube and used four projectors to project a video that wrapped around the whole thing. It would be amazing to do that live some day.
We’re getting excited for the new album ‘Build a tower’, what can you tell us about the album and how would you say it fits in the Slow Readers catalogue?
It has a different energy to previous records, musically its more adventurous, lyrically it is more positive. Our previous albums have been quite melancholy and introspective lyrically, but it felt a bit indulgent to sing about existential angst when the world around us is so bleak at the moment. There’s still the same commitment to great melody but hopefully there are a few surprises.
You’ll be back on tour in a few weeks time, with a visit to the North East. Do you prefer being in the studio or out on the road?
That depends, sometimes the studio can be fantastic sometimes, there are moments when you create something on the spot that just works instantly and there are times it can be a bit of a grind. I guess nothing beats playing live though,, seeing people sing familiar tunes back is always a buzz.
With your reputation now firmly set as one of the best live acts around, do you enjoy the challenge of matching your reputation or is it an extra pressure?
We always try and improve what we do so the pressure is good. We have developed our act quite a bit compared to when we started out. I guess we would have a problem if people weren’t talking about us, goes with the territory doesn’t it? If you get up on stage you have to be prepared for praise and criticism.
Finally, what’s planned for the rest of the year?
As I speak to you now we are about to head out to China for a few shows before the tour. That’s pretty surreal. We have sold out our home town show at Manchester Cathedral as well as Leeds Brudenell Social Club and a few of the other shows are close so should be a cool tour. We are also playing Liverpool Sound City, Stag and Dagger Festival and Kendal Calling Main Stage. We may have some other festivals to announce so look out.
‘Build a Tower’ is released on 4th May. Slow Readers Club play Newcastle’s Riverside on 10th May.