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Jez Williams - Black Rivers

Black Rivers is a new band consisting of the Williams brothers, Jez and Andy, two thirds of the 00's emblematic band Doves. The British indie-alternative band released four beautiful albums during the past decade, with their 2000 debut 'Lost Souls' being considered as one of the best and most important albums of the zeroes. However, bassist and lead vocalist Jimi Goodwin has left the band since the early 10's, but Jez and Andy went on together to form the Black Rivers. Their self-titled debut was released last February and it's awesome! I had the chance for a cool and very illuminating chat with Jez Williams and I'm more than happy to share it with you. 

 

The Basement: First of all, congrats for your new LP. It’s amazing, you’ve done an excellent work ! Let me ask you how it feels to leave a friend like Mr. Goodwin after 20 years of creation and partnership.
Thank you  - it feels natural to work just with Andy as we’ve been in various bands together since we were 8 years old.

The Basement: How did Williams brothers meet with Jimi Goodwin ? And when did you realise that you can get along together to write songs ?
First met Jimi “Briefly" at school in the 5th form (15 yrs old ) and  then 2 years later at the Hacienda night club ....Me and Andy wrote “Spaceface" in 1989 and then we got together with Jimi to write the flip  side of the 12" record “Eco Jam Sub” and the 3 of us went on from there.

The Basement: When did you started composing music for the new project, was it time for a new direction ? Did you just wanted to try yourselves in doing something different ?
We started around 2012 - just messing around to see where it would go ...It was time to have a break from Doves and start something new. A change was in order.

The Basement: How it feels to start something from the ground up ? It’s not the first time for you but tell us about it. Was the fire in your studio a coincidence that turned to be a great chance for a musical renaissance of yours ?
It felt liberating and not the least bit daunting because there's no preconceptions and no baggage ....so yes very exciting.  The studio fire back in the 90's  pushed us into a blackand white decision it was either "give up or carry on” - that was liberating too...and a blessing in disguise

The Basement: Concerning the final result which is incredibly beautiful, i feel that your intension is to keep “Black Rivers” as a main, not a side project. Tell us more about it.
Thank you …It's definitely not a side project and definitely a brand new band with a whole new out look ....we want to keep changing the sound preferably track by track we’d rather avoid the boxing off/ pigeonhole shtick

The Basement: So, let’s talk about your new project, Black Rivers: 1st album is finally out and it’s not the average indie album. What you had in mind producing this new stuff ? Was any central idea for this record ?
Yes we wanted to put our personalities into the record but also wanted to tread new ground ( for us ).  We wanted the album to sound like a vacation / holiday from normal life ....a total 100% escapism, like a dream .... a new world ...if you will ..we also wanted the record to have many behavioral traits /personalities ...always changing up / down in mood 

The Basement: The first two singles of the LP, “The Ship” and “Voyager 1” were talking about starting a new life, of going somewhere else. You wanted to focus on something ?
They are focussed on looking for another way of life or looking / searching for a better life / songs about immigrants ...maybe its in our blood!

The Basement: “The Forest” has a slightly psychedelic feeling. Did you hook up for this with the psychedelic bloom nowadays? 
We've always had a passion for psych music its a useful tool when you want to elevate a song into an other worldly place 

 

 

 

The Basement: The whole album flow and tracks like “Harbour Lights” with the French samples, made me think that “Black Rivers” easily could have been a film Soundtrack. Did you ever think of composing a score ?
No in 25 years of making music we’ve never once been asked ??

The Basement: Tell us a non-British artist or band that you would love to cooperate with.
Tame Impala or Kraftwerk

The Basement: Is there something that never was done and you want to happen to you ? Regarding your music career of course..
Film score would be nice or to collaborate with someone we admire 
 

The Basement: All those nearly 24 years of existence in music industry, did you manage to make a living out of music ? Did you ever need to get to another profession ?
Only just ....we got lucky and caught the end of the music buying days but only just ......so we make a humble, modest living

The Basement: What do you think of the modern way of promoting music ? Internet is a wire that can send your music anywhere on earth but on the other side, it can reduce the profits.
Its not great...there's no money for musicians/song writers .... only the top echelon.  You still have to use the old paradigm in the new music world - it still costs an awful lot of money to achieve "awareness"

The Basement: Must we think Doves a band that will no longer team up to write new music ? 
Doves are on ice for now 

The Basement: What about your future plans ? Any tour, composing more music ?
Yep ....need to write brand new Black Rivers material starting this year (also festivals this summer 2015).

The Basement: Jez, Andy, we wish you good luck and thank you so much !
Hey Thanks Michael ! 
cheers 

 

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