Rozi Plain’s Interview in english

Rozi PlainAlter1fo : You’re going to play in Rennes, at Ubu, November the 13th. Will you play alone or will you be there with other musicians ?

Rozi Plain : Its either going to be on my own or my friend Kate Stables (this is the kit) is going to sing with me.

Your first album Inside over here was out in 2008 on King Creosote‘s Fence Records Label. You seem to have the same love of minimalistic structure and simplicity (even if your arrangments are really various and sometimes surprising). Is that right ?

Yes ! I really like simple things. I try not to go on and on about things and i think i probably try to do that in my music. I just really like simple grooves and nice riffs. I would love to be able to do a guitar solo or something though but i’m not good enough !

Joined sometimes unjoined was out in July on Talitres (in France). What did you want to do with this album ?

I was so pleased Talitres wanted to release it. The album took me quite a long time to complete and by the end i was feeling really nervous about it… When you hear something too much, you cant hear it at all. And i did’nt play it to many people so i was very much inside my own head about it. I feel like only now i’m really getting to know it as an album myself now I have become more detached from it. I wanted to release it with good label that i trusted. Its out on Fence Records in the u.k and Talitres in Europe both good labels who i trust. Winner!

Rozi Plain - Joined sometimes unjoinedOn Cold Tape, we can hear something like a marimba (?). On other tracks, we could hear some guitars riffs that seems really inspired by African rhythms. We know that on this second album, you’ve worked with François Marry (François & the Atlas Mountain) who is really interested on African music. Is that influence came from him ?

Yes, maybe you’re right. But i suppose its hard to tell what seeps when your listening to things. I love the repetitivness and bassy low notes of a lot of african music. But yes, i originally made up that bit at the beginging of cold tap on a marimba but its a steel pan on the recordings.

A lot of people have worked with you on this album (so, François Marry, Kate Stables, Jesse Vernon, Rachael Dadd, Mathieu Hauquier-aka Botibol- or Markland Starkie). First, how did you meet them and why did you invite them on Joined sometimes unjoined ? According to you, what did they bring to your album ?

Well of the people who played on the album. They’re all who i have been playing with for years so in a sense because of all of them is a lot of where all of my music has come from. We have all played a lot together playing in each others bands recording touring and living together so it made sense to have all these people on the record. I met Kate in Winchester my home town, so we have been friends for years and years. All of the others i met in Bristol where i lived for 7 years. There’s a great music scene there where everyone helps each other out. I love all of what they do as musicians so they bought their amazing vibes and energy to my record !

You’ve recorded this album in a studio (Toybox in Bristol for the most part). Can you tell us a little bit more about the recording?

Yes. The first album was very much recorded in houses and bathrooms. My brother recorded and mixed it in his bedroom in bristol. It was great doing it like this i really liked the process of adding bit as you go which we did a lot of sitting in his bedroom and then running into the bathroom to add a whistle or some drums. We had an advantage of lots of time to do it we spent about a month every day working on it. But for this one i wanted to be able to have it ready before it was recorded and to go to a studio and just get it done and leave with a finished thing. in reality though i was’nt quite ready enough when we went to the studio. A lot of it was with a band and i felt some texture was missing so in the end we spent a long time with the recordings away from the studio adding little pieces until i felt happy with it. It was a good learning process though i have now know a lot more about how i would like to do things next time the way i want things to sound and the ways i find most enjoyable to record.

Rozi Plain - Cold Tap video clip

We like the way your record sounds. It sounds as if we were in the same room where you are with the musicians. Behind us, a window, with some whistling birds. Is that a choice ? Did you want this sort of proximity, of closeness ?

Yes, i want it to feel close i dont want it to be intimidating or univiting. I want people to be able to get some comfort in it. I want people to be able to put it on and get a friendly vibe from it.

How do you compose songs ?

Hmm… I’m still trying to work it out i dont have much of a system. I write a lot of things down. I hum a lot of tunes into my phone. I pay lots of guitar. But mostly it seems like when a song comes it suddeny happens quite quickly.

Rozi-Plain - video clipCan you tell us a little bit more about the artwork of your record. It seems to be a piece of lacework and in the same time it looks like a shell… Who realized it and why did you choose it ?

The image on the front is a piece of lace given to me by my friend Lou.  I just liked how it looked big and in block colours ike that. The writting on the cover was done by joe my seven year old nephew. He’s got really great writting. The paper cut out on the back is by my friend Pete. He was trying to make a round snowflake and it came out square and he didnt know how ! It’s just a collection of stuff from my friends.

You’ve founded Cleaner Records. Can you please tell us a little bit more about this ?

Well Cleaner Records was my brother Sam’s idea back in Winchester. I think at the time all of us who were playing music together where cleaners of some sort so he said lets call it in Cleaner Records. It was just a way for us to all release our own music. It’s good to have a name behind something.

But yes we woud just do lots of cdr releases of our own music. Romanhead, Greg Ashby, This is the kit, Rachael Dadd, Binmouth Rozi Plain… We would also put on shows as Cleaner Records.

Can you tell us three discs you can’t live without ?

The Hamilton Yarns- The Show Boat Over

Captain Beefheart – Safe As Milk

Babe – (i dont know what the album is called actually as it hasnt been released yet)!

Last question, after this show in Rennes, what are your next projects ?

Well,  i’m looking forward to start recording again. I’ve got a lot of stuff i’m really excited to work on but other than that just paying lots i’m really busy at the moment and into next year so i hope that continues. I also play in This Is The Kit so we’re going to be playing a lot next year too which is great !

Thank you !!

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