Interview Polytechnic

‘I also have a record of Peruvian pipe music on my turntable which I just bought from a charity shop, and which sadly doesn’t live up to the promise of its cover.’

Manchester-based indie types Polytechnic released their debut album ‘Down Til Dawn’ through Shatterproof on 23rd April. We figured it was probably time we introduced ourselves. We caught up with guitarist Denny a few weeks ago…

You’re about to release your debut album - what should we expect from it?
Oh, expect anything you want, we don’t mind. Hopefully there’s enough of everything on there somewhere not to disappoint. It’s not a campaign, it’s not designed to fit an easy description or appeal to whatever trend, and we’re not pitching to any particular scene. But we worked hard trying to make an LP that seemed whole while having a wide range of songs on it.

It’s called ‘Down Til Dawn’. Is it just a record about going to sleep then? If not, what is it?
‘Down’ has a few meanings so you can take it several ways, but I wouldn’t recommend sleeping to, or on, this album. We ended up doing a lot of recording around dawn time, in a beautiful little studio up in the rainy Welsh mountains, so the title suited the mood for us.

Your single is called ‘Cold Hearted Business’. What’s the most cold-hearted business you’ve ever been privy to?
The music industry in general is a cold-hearted monster. Actually that song may seem to have a cynical and negative title but it’s really an ecstatic little number about how lovely life is.

You’re now no longer on tour. What’s the best thing about not being on the road.
You know when the prospect of pulling into a service station becomes the most exciting thing in your afternoon? The best thing is not being constantly reduced to that kind of emotional state.

And, conversely, what are you going to miss?
The crowds, the noise, the randomness of itinerant existence, the freeness of drinks. Many many things.

Was it really weird playing Wembley Arena?
Did we play Wembley? Did that happen? That was a weird tour we did with Keane. You know as a band you totally thrive off doing different things - the more novel the experience, the more enjoyable. So of course it was great walking out into those big arena spaces, thinking, ‘What the hell are we doing this for?’ The sound was always so good onstage, it was unnerving. Sometimes I could almost hear my guitar.

Was it even stranger playing to a (very big) room full of mums and dads?
The audiences were a little alien, yeah. Not our usual crowds. Actually, the singer from Keane, his Mum was around backstage in London. She was a nice lady. She advised me not to get into drugs, and then introduced me to Fran Healy.

Do you have any festival plans for 2007?
We’re at Wireless, Oxegen, Indian Summer, Summer Sundae, and lots more hopefully. Festivals are as much fun as it gets, playing to a field full of happy people in the summer twilight, with a backstage full of friends and a whole bunch of bands to watch.

Finally, what CD is in your CD player?
Right now, the latest Modest Mouse album. I also have a record of Peruvian pipe music on my turntable which I just bought from a charity shop, and which sadly doesn’t live up to the promise of its cover. And there’s a bunch of indie EPs by Bishop Allen lined up on my laptop.

New single ‘Won’t You Come Around’ is released on 11th June.

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