“We just de­cided to get go­ing, jam and start to make sense of the sonic land­scape we would be deal­ing with”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

ex­ists any more,” says Dibb. “It’s very ho­moge­nous and all the sta­tions more or less play the same thing and it’s very frus­trat­ing and repet­i­tive.

“The in­ter­net killed ra­dio be­cause it be­came the place where I’d go to find mu­sic and see what was hap­pen­ing. Stuff like Spo­tify and pod­casts have this po­ten­tial which is re­ally ex­cit­ing and is repli­cat­ing the way old DJ shows used to work when you grav­i­tated to­wards some­one you knew had taste.”

Len­nox feels the in­ter­net has also al­tered the process of dis­cov­ery in other ways. “The

irish­times.com/cul­ture

Dibb be­lieves fans know what to ex­pect at this stage. “That process is pretty in­grained and nat­u­ral for us. The chal­lenge for us is to un­der­stand how other peo­ple per­ceive what we do and how to ac­cept that is how it is and peo­ple are ei­ther go­ing to ac­cept or re­ject that.

“It’s eas­ier be­cause we have some ex­pe­ri­ence un­der our belt. For bet­ter or worse, we’ve en­cour­aged, if that’s the right word, our core fan­base to un­der­stand and ac­cept it. There’s many dif­fer­ent tiers of peo­ple who are in­ter­ested in our mu­sic, but I think most peo­ple who’ve been with us a while get that that is how we’re al­ways go­ing to be. That’s more the re­la­tion­ship we’re in­ter­ested in as well, to be hon­est.”

The band them­selves know no other way to op­er­ate, says Len­nox. “When Sung Tongs came out, we played some of the songs live and they sounded noth­ing like how they did on the record. That has hap­pened pretty con­tin­u­ously since. Even be­fore Straw­berry Jam came out, the tours that were hap­pen­ing were Mer­ri­weather tours. Peo­ple were thing I feel which has been to­tally lost, which is a real shame, is some­one shov­ing mu­sic in front of you which you haven’t heard and isn’t maybe your thing. You have to be forced to deal with it. That’s when ra­dio was re­ally awe­some. You have this per­cep­tion that the in­ter­net opens your eyes and mind to all this dif­fer­ent stuff, but it’s also clos­ing down views and opin­ions.”

At this junc­ture, most bands would be fret­ting about how to recre­ate the com­plex­ity of the new songs in a live show but, as we know from ex­pe­ri­ence, plug­ging songs from the al­bum they’ve just re­leased is not An­i­mal Col­lec­tive’s way. When peo­ple go to see them play in the com­ing months, they’re un­likely to hear songs drawn dili­gently from Cen­tipede Hz. hear­ing Straw­berry Jam and go­ing to the shows and hear­ing noth­ing that sounded like that record.”

Yet the band do muse about what it might be like to go back over a decade and more of old records and re­play them. “Maybe it’s an idea to try some­thing dif­fer­ent,” says Dibb. “We’re the kind of peo­ple who like go­ing to a show where you hear mu­sic you’ve never heard be­fore, and I know there are peo­ple who feel that way.

“But there’s at least half the au­di­ence, if not more, who don’t feel that way. They want to go to a show and hear the band spit out the record like they’ve heard it at home. There’s a point when that be­comes ridicu­lous be­cause you can just put the record on at home. I don’t think we’ll ever get to that point, but there’s also an ap­pre­ci­a­tion on our part that peo­ple want to have an ex­pe­ri­ence where they feel a con­nec­tion with the song.”

“But it will be a strange day when the four of us go ‘let’s fig­ure out how we played Feels note for note, get those sounds back and try to recre­ate that’,” says Len­nox

“At a cer­tain point, though, with a cer­tain dis­tance, it could be ex­cit­ing,” coun­ters Dibb.

“But based on the first 15 or 16 years of our friend­ship, I can’t see that hap­pen­ing,” says Len­nox be­fore smil­ing. “We pre­fer look­ing for­ward. All the time.”

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