Finally, it seems there are signs of life from FOUND HQ.
Recent weeks have not only seen the first FOUND live gigs since the end of last year but also new music with EPs released under the solo guises of Lomond Campbell (Ziggy) and River of Slime (Kev) with a joint album in the pipeline.
More pressingly FOUND will be taking to the stage at Elmwood College in Cupar two weeks tonight (Saturday 5th) for a show at the Cupar Arts Festival with Kid Canaveral. Ahead of that performance Ziggy spoke to MPT about whisky testing, shedding a founder member of the band, and just why the hell it’s taken so long for the band to follow up their wonderful ‘factorycraft‘ LP.
MPT: So, how is it going?
ZC: “Good thanks. I feel strong & virile, as a man should.”
MPT: What have FOUND been up to recently, collectively and individually?
ZC: “FOUND have just finished building a project called Tasting Notes for Dewar’s whisky. It’s a portable machine that they can take all over the world to whisky events. It combines whisky tasting, memory and music. Alas, it’s in need of repair as the US transport security ripped bits off it & prodded about in it on a flight from New Orleans. They must think people are making really bonnie bombs out of brass, flame maple and walnut these days.
“We also just donated Cybraphon to the nation and he/she is currently on display in the National Museum on Chambers Street, Edinburgh.”
MPT: As mentioned above, a few weeks ago you released a solo E.P. under your Lomond Campbell guise. What’s the response been to the ‘Only A City Apart’ E.P. and are there any plans for live shows under that name?
ZC: “Aye, great – already a few radio plays and some cracking reviews. It’s given me the confidence to start thinking about how an album might sound.
“I’ve just played two gigs in in Crail for Fence as Lomond Campbell, just me and an acoustic guitar. I don’t usually go in for that kind of thing but this time I really enjoyed it. The audience were right with me. I think when we play as FOUND we miss out on that sometimes because of all the bonkers noises we make. We’re certainly not the most light-footed of bands.”
MPT: There’s been talk of a joint Lomond Campbell/River of Slime album – when will that be ready and what will distinguish it from a FOUND record?
ZC: “We’re recording it now and it’ll be out early next year. No guitars – all analogue synth, Hammond organs and tape delays – weird vocal effects – moody, minimal and probably quite spooky. All the ingredients for perfect pop, right? I think of FOUND as a collective so in a way, even if’s called ‘River of Slime and Lomond Campbell’ it’ll still be a FOUND record.”
MPT: As well as the release of the two E.P.s the summer brought the news that founding member Tommy Perman had left the FOUND Collective. How has Tommy’s departure affected the band?
ZC: “Musically, FOUND was always based around my songs so it hasn’t been drastic at all. Also, we’re still armed with Kev’s unique, off kilter noises… from his sampler I mean. Tommy was our main web guy though so the website hasn’t been updated and tweets are less frequent, as are mail outs. Also, sorry if I haven’t responded to your emails. I will get round to it.
“Tommy is a good guy though and I miss his rational temperament & input as part of the creative team.”
MPT: The last FOUND LP ‘factorycraft’ also arrived after a significant membership change as the band had been reduced to the core trio of yourself, Kev and Tommy. Is a shifting line-up necessary for the band to move forward?
ZC: “It’s funny you say that because I was thinking for the next official FOUND album we should expand the band dramatically. More vocalists, definitely live drums, maybe some live animals, parquets and couple of staffies for example.”
MPT: You played your first live shows as FOUND recently without Tommy – how did these go?
ZC: “They’ve been great shows but it’s a completely different thing we do live now. It’s all quite unpredictable equipment we’re using so it was a brawl to get used to it. The way we’ve got the gear set up almost gives the sound a life of it’s own. Like spinning plates, once it’s going we just become the stick wigglers. Kev and I used to play instrumental, weird electronic music in Aberdeen under the name DRN before we met Tommy. It’s a bit like that but with songs…thankfully.”
MPT: It seems to have been an awful long time since factorycraft came out – are there new FOUND songs in the pipeline?
ZC: “It has been ages hasn’t it? I didn’t mean for it to take so long but we got sidetracked with a collaborative tour of Scotland and China with King Creosote.
“We also spent at least a year working on a project with Aidan Moffat called #UNRAVEL. I would say expect a glut of new FOUND collective releases in
2014 and an official FOUND album in 2015. Mystic Zig.”
MPT: Is there any particular direction that’s emerged from the recent songs?
ZC: “The direction is being dictated by the instruments. We’d collected some old synthesisers and effects from different eras over the years. I also tinker a bit with electronics so had some gadgets lying around. Kev and I set all this gear up in my house and just started connecting things and pushing buttons.”
MPT: What can people expect from the Cupar show with Kid Canaveral next month?
ZC: “Two men of slight build – standing behind machines – with slow, pulsing lights – krauty beats – deep, gnarly synth sounds – stick wiggler dancing – and me singing – in to a microphone.”
MPT: What are the band’s plans for the next 12 months?
ZC: “We’re playing at the Aberfeldy festival on 2nd November. Also, I think we’re possibly doing a specially commissioned gig on 1st January but I can’t say too much about that. Other than that we’ll be in a dark recording studio somewhere in Scotland making the next records.”
As ever, it seems that FOUND aren’t short of creative ideas. And with their three LPs to date all have been significantly different from their predecessors it will be fascinating to see where they go next. Thanks to Ziggy for taking the time for the interview.
The Lomond Campbell E.P. ‘Only A City Apart’ and the River of Slime E.P. ‘Adventures in Slime and Space’ are available on vinyl only from the Chemikal Underground shop here.
Former member Tommy Perman also has a new E.P. ‘These Beautiful Minds’ out under the name of ComputerScheisse on Phuturelabs now. More info here.