Interview with Ian Parton – The man and musician behind The Go! Team talks to CityLifer Rick Sims about the new album ‘Rolling Blackouts’

I’ve got me questions, I’ve got me voice recorder, and like the inept monkey I am, I stammer over my first ‘sentences’ that turn out to sound more like a fumbling child who’s attempting to cover up how he’s tried to make a cake from cat food and milk. Anyhow, without further ado…

Do you think you still have the same energy for the music, the touring, writing and performing, or has it become more of a job?

No, certainly not a job. If anything I see it as delaying or getting back to a job. Yeah the energies still there and I still dig it, we all still dig it, Ninja’s still a nutter, and she’s obsessed with dancing. For some of us it’s about the noisy part of it, but for her it’s the dancing.
The new album – it’s a little darker than your other albums and especially with the song; Lazy Poltergeist, which is quite a contrast to the rest of the album, what was the motivation or inspiration behind it?

I think there’s a contrast between all of the songs and I don’t think all of them are really happy, although they’re energetic, ballsy and upbeat, but people describe the music as happy and I cringe a little at that; I don’t think you really can describe them as happy. With Lazy Poltergeist it’s about what comes after it, it sets a new tone.

Do you think that’s a common misconception of The Go! Team or just this album
No, I think that’s the general reception of The Go! Team and there’s a lot of truth in that (it being happy music).

Was there an overall idea behind this album or is it more a collection of songs?
The main idea was for it to be less driven by shouting girl gangs, I think we’ve become synonymous with that sound and I think we were like, ok we’ve done that, not saying we won’t still play to that audience but I definitely wanted it to be more melodic and that’s harder to do – to find the right voice, the right lyrics and all of that. I’m constantly trying to find that catchier tune that might get a rally around it but not like a chart band or something.

The album is very visual inducing…
Yeah, that’s something I hear a lot. It could be like a marching band with a ticker-tape parade, or it could be an office in Tokyo, or an Open University theme tune; I imagine triangles moving across the screen or sometimes I like to think about a (Marco) Barconi Western on screen – rolling deserts and all that. So I think each song has a distinct identity and there’s a lot more space around everything, and it’s kind of an easier listen than the other two albums.

Just following on from your reference to the director  Barconi – are there certain musicians, artists or directors you drew influence from for this album specifically, but also in general?

Trash cinema, B-movies like Midnight Cowboy, girl gangs, public information films. I’m always attracted to the idea of, stumbling across an old VHS tape. In fact one of the last things we did on this record at the very last stage was to put the whole thing onto a cassette after spending thousands of pounds mixing it.

So you’re feelings to ‘Rolling Blackouts’ – you ‘happy’ with it?
Yeah….Yeah I think its pretty water tight.

Do you have any other creative interests you like to fill your time with?
I’m pretty into Super-8mm filming; lots of the films we’ve made over the years have been from the films I’ve made, mainly when we’re on tour. It (the super-8 films) wind up being like the music, choppy but coherent.

Do you make the music videos as well?
We’re actually in the process of putting together a video for each of the songs on the album, but I generally just give the footage over to the directors.

Just a quick topical question, today Sony & Universal have released a new policy ‘On Air, On Sale’ – once a single is played on the radio it will be available to buy. Do you think the change will effect you and do you think torrents/downloads have had a big effect on your outcome?

It’s not really the revolution is it; I think they’re going to have to do a lot more than that to really have an effect on downloads, if anything it will just mean people will be able to download music quicker. It’s definitely had an effect on us and we’ve literally lived through the transition. It’s meant we’ve had to tour a lot more but undoubtedly with a tour there’s no real way of measuring popularity. I was speaking to someone who’s been in the industry for years and he was saying that there’s a lot less c*%ts now and it’s a lot more about the music.

The End

Rolling Blackouts is the third album from The Go! Team and it is not a happy album. It is however definitely one worth owning; it’s musically rich and with it’s multitude of samples it has a real depth; a mix between the 60’s, 5th dimension, hip-hop and carnival music in a coherent and “water-tight’ way. Their singer Ninja lives up to her reputation and provides an excellent voice that ties the music together. The experience is pretty euphoric and not one for a brew, they’ll be one to go see live when they come to Manchester next month.

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