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“We always felt different.”

When you listen back to your first recordings is it a happy reminiscence or do you just notice where you’ve developed to since then? It’s happy, it feels like another world. We were still growing up and discovering new things at that point even though we were in our 20’s, our world was just Nottingham. We always felt different, like we were fighting against normality in some way so that was quite interesting. We always felt like there was something more out there and what’s made it really happy and memorable is that we got out of our Nottingham world; I’m not saying it’s a depressing place but I think we always thought beyond the horizon. At what point did you feel like being in Tindersticks was your actual job rather than a hobby? I remember we moved to London at the start of the 90’s after we’d released two albums; we all worked in record shops. I’d had loads of time off work, we had a tour coming up and I realised I had to pack my job in as I’d already had like five weeks of holiday already that year, since January or something! I suppose it was quite sad in some ways because one of the best things about making music is that it’s an escape from your normal routine life, and as soon as that becomes your everyday life you have to find a different escape. Tat can be alcohol or anything else, and I went a bit crazy for a while but I’ve got to it now I think. Your first few albums developed a very ‘Tindersticks’ sound, with strings and orchestra, but when your sixth album White Material came out it was very different, bare and tripped down. It’s actually one of my favourite of your works. What was the band’s mindset with this collection of tracks? I think we were trying to escape what people expected from us. I think one of the reasons Tindersticks had a problem about 10 years ago was that we did seem to get locked into this idea that people had about us using orchestras and string arrangements. So for the last 10 years we’ve been trying to break away from that. White Material was a way to experiment a bit and that’s something we’ve brought into the way we make music even now. I suppose if you didn’t try to change things it would get too tedious and you’d just stop. Tindersticks songs have a reputation for

being heartbreakingly hauntingly sad but also have a real core strength to them. I always think of someone walking pensively in the rain under a streetlight. Is there a particular artist you listen to yourself when you’re feeling down? For the past 30 years I’ve got really into soundtracks and one person in particular who changed my point of view about music was John Barry. I’ve become a massive collector and I suppose he’s the person I play most often, probably at least once a week if not every day. You’ve had quite a few personnel changes through the years but you’ve always been in the band as well as doing some soundtrack work. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done musically away from Tindersticks? I’ve done a lot of different things..creating soundtracks is quite good but in some ways I find it difficult to work as a solo artist as I miss having people around to tell you if something’s sounding good or bad. Something interesting that Stuart and I did was an album of children’s TV themes from the past called Songs For Te Young At Heart. I’m very fond of that, it has a very personal feel. Te Waiting Room came out earlier this year. It’s really diverse in its sounds, almost like the ultimate Tindersticks album. Did the fact that you worked on it for four years give you the time and space to really craft it? Even though it was quite a long time, if you condense the time we actually spent making to album it came to about four weeks. We didn’t want to rush making this album, so we didn’t rush to the studio to make it, we just took it easy, got together when we felt like it and did a few other bits in between. Te great thing about doing that was we had the time to organise the films to go alongside the album. It was an idea we’d had for a few years but we hadn’t had time to sort it out before now, previously we’d finish an album and it had to be released three months later. How did you come to work with La Blogotheque and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival for this project? Stuart was invited to be a judge on the panel a few years ago; he saw all these great short films and met the directors.

He contacted those directors and asked them if they’d be interested in creating films to go alongside a piece of music. How did you go about choosing or developing the films to go with the songs from Te Waiting Room? Tey were all really nice people and responded really well. We let them have free rein but asked them not to just produce a narrative film; we wanted an image that responds to the music really. I was speaking to one of the directors who made one of the films the other day; his film is footage from his grandmother’s wedding. He found it in an old box, his grandmother didn’t want to see it because her husband had just died and she found it too upsetting to watch. Tat story seems very Tindersticksy to me. Is this a nightmare to take on tour? I know you had some issue recently which meant cancelling a concert. It’s difficult in a way but it’s not too bad; the main thing is that it feels like it’s succeeded. It’s not good if the technical side of it doesn’t work or it doesn’t look good. Tat’s the main thing for us, we want to feel proud of our work so we don’t like it if it’s not successful. It’s mostly gone really well so far. Does it make you feel a bit pressured when you’re performing alongside a film for each song in terms of timings? We’re pretty tight. In some ways it’s like having an extra element to the light show. We just play the songs and it doesn’t really matter if we don’t finish 100% right at the right time. We’re pretty good at getting it almost there. Will you be playing any of your best known singles as well as the new album when we see you in Norwich? I think the idea is we play the album with the films, we have a little break and we come back on and play an hour or so of our music. We can’t play all the songs everyone wants to hear so we generally just play the songs we want to play!

Lizz Page

INFORMATION Tindersticks play at Open on 22nd May as part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016. Tickets and more information from / May 2016 / 19

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