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ndie rock band Low’s eight song 1999 Christmas EP, originally championed by John Peel, is often referred to as one of the seminal alternative festive releases and, like Santa returning down the chimney each year, is a gift that music lovers return


to every winter to get them in the seasonal mood. Tis Christmas, Low will be packing their sleigh and scooting along to the Arts Centre where they’ll be getting us all in a merry mood. I spoke to drummer Mimi, one third of the band, about being married to your bandmate, working with Steve Albini and what her favourite Christmas song is.


Mimi, you’ve known Alan since the early 90’s. When you first started Low, the music scene in the States was pretty much devoted to grunge. What was it that made you want to take a different route? We’ve actually know each other longer than that, but the band started in the 90s. We didn’t necessarily start the band as a reaction to grunge but we knew that wasn’t going to be our style. Probably mostly due to me. Alan chose a style that he knew I would be into. You’re a married couple. Is it difficult to keep your home life and professional life separate or does it all merge into one? At this point the band and the marriage are pretty much merged. It can lead to certain difficulties but then every marriage has challenges. From the beginning we knew we wanted to work


together and the band has allowed us that. Our kids have been able to come with us on tour to pretty exotic places that we never would have gone to otherwise. Legendary producer Steve Albini produced two of your albums – what was it like to work with such a guy? Albini was a great influence on us. He’s a very intelligent and creative person and honestly we were honoured that he wanted to work with us. His style is pretty dry and upfront, he’s amazing at capturing live sound and I think that shows in the recordings. You’ve changed and developed your sound with a subtle touch through the years, and it seems to get bolder and stronger at every turn. Is this a deliberate move, to keep it interesting, or is it more of an organic move?


For the most part it has been a very organic process for us. After we put out our first record we kind of wondered if we would be able to write more songs. It was a bit daunting at first. But we carried on and it has come very naturally. Our songs aren’t contrived at all; we’ve never had a concept album or anything, but we might mess with the recording process a bit more that we used to. As we get older we know we can do whatever we want as we’ve got nothing to lose so to speak! We have been working with a creative producer - BJ Burton. He’s very forward thinking and adventurous and we love that. You’ve contributed songs to several tribute anthologies for artists like Springsteen, Joy Division and John Denver. Have they been particularly influential to you over the years? When I was a kid my sister and I would sing John Denver and many other artists songs - she would sing the lead and I would harmonise. I think that was very influential for me and I learned to listen to and find the harmony. I listened to the radio all the time. Tere are thousands of songs that have influenced me but we must admit that Joy Division does have a very special place in our hearts. Your latest album Ones and Sixes is a real shimmery beauty. It feels very settled and comfortable – would you say you’re at the peak of your musicianship and confidence so far? I’m not sure if I’d say the peak. If you’re on the peak there’s nowhere to go but down! I would say that we are still climbing to the top but maybe were the highest we’ve ever been. It seems that we’ve got the confidence to keep trying new things and to push our What’s your own favourite Christmas song? Hmmm. I usually don’t listen to Christmas music much but I do love to hear Oh Holy Night by Nat King Cole. Tanks and Happy Christmas to you!


LIZZ PAGE


> INFORMATION Low present A Christmas Performance at Norwich Arts Centre on 1st December. Tickets available from norwichartscentre.co.uk Read this interview in full at outlineonline.co.uk


outlineonline.co.uk / December 2016 / 37


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