The Great Escape 2014: Childhood: ‘We Embraced Weird Things’

London group give DIY the lowdown on their debut album ahead of a Great Escape set tonight (8th May).

When they first made their mark all the way back in 2010, Childhood fast became known for their fuzzy guitars and melodic hooks. Now, with their debut album about to finally rear its head, their soundscape is expanding fast, and it’s mainly thanks to one man: Dan Carey.

“We embraced weird things,” reveals the band’s Ben Romans-Hopcraft, on entering the Speedy Wunderground main man’s studio space in South London. “It’s hard to avoid. In his studio, there’s synths coming out of the walls. It’s unavoidable.; a hectic mess of cool stuff. Eventually it penetrates your recordings. We used a bit more percussion that we thought we would, and weird Arabic guitars in certain places. It was fun, man.”

If there was a starting point for when listeners realised that the tides were beginning to turn, it would be dated back to November last year, when the band unveiled their single ‘Pinballs’. That was the first taste they’d given fans of their new, more psychedelic ways.

“We’d never made a song like that ever,” the guitarist enthuses. “It was daunting initially. It was a really basic idea of no lyrics, just a few section ideas, and then we just put it all together. I couldn’t actually believe that, I remember thinking ‘I can’t believe we just made that in a day’. Dan’s not phased by it at all - it’s a process he’s used to. It helped us to finish off other songs on the record. It was really influential.”

And as for Carey’s Speedy Wunderground manifesto, complete with demands for lasers and smoke, all in a dark room? “He’s a big fan of that,” Ben confirms. “I remember reading about TOY’s techniques in his studio, smoke screens and lasers. I thought it was a joke! But I got there and I was like ‘Oh, right. This is amazing.’ It’s funny. We were in the middle of sessions and we treated it as a normal day. At one point we’d go ‘We should get lunch now’ and he was like, ‘You do realise no lunch is part of the manifesto?’ I think we compromised with getting a few sandwiches. He’s a workaholic, so… I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Childhood release their brand new single ‘Falls Away’ on 26th May. Watch them play Brighton’s The Haunt tonight (8th May) at 10pm.

Tags: Childhood, The Great Escape, News, Festivals

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