T-Mobile Unsigned finalists Out From Animals are out on the road promoting their debut single 'National Curriculm'
See them at the following dates:
5 Jun – The Hive, Edinburgh
6 Jun – The Canteen, Barrow In Furness
9 Jun – The Croft, Bristol
10 Jun – Freebutt, Brighton
11 Jun – 100club, London
12 Jun – The Venue, Derby
13 Jun – Dry Bar, Manchester
14 Jun – Trash, Leeds
17 Jun – Joiners, Southampton
19 Jun – The Leopard, Doncaster
20 Jun – Retox, Sunderland
23 Jun – Bar Academy, Birmingham
Out From Animals are not a normal band. They’re a highly evolved beast that has passed through a long and winding evolutionary chain, from primeval ska through metal and indie into electronica and mutated into a genre-munching ubermensch. They’re a category-defying proposition existing a million years ahead of most bands. They’re the sound of 2008, when 2008 finally catches up with them.
“We got bored of being just an indie band” vocalist, guitarist and programmer Andy says of their multiple transformations, “so one day we put a couple of horns in, then we put some electronic sounds in. The ska punk kids didn’t like it. We were getting older and they were staying the same age. So we fucked off our old band and left it a good year, then completely wrote what we wanted to do and took it out again.”
Being the genre magpies they are, they decided to look to the world of extreme metal for their drummer, and found Sean. “It’s weird having this death metal, blast beat drummer in our band,” bassist Paul declares, “hearing double bass drumming without someone screaming over the top. But it works.”
Out From Animals are a joint product of their fearless experimentation and their natural habitat – that cultural vacuum known as Chester. They developed amongst the city's frenetic free party/illegal rave scene, which ranged from huge out-of-town all-nighters to their own DIY parties. “There’s nowhere to go, so we make places to go where you don’t have to deal with the Chester drinking culture.” Andy explains, “everyone’s up for all-nighters rather than getting pissed and having a fight. All our friends write dance music, from psytrance to techno, and we take a lot from them.”
They’re a genre-twisting rock-rave monolith influenced as much by RX Bandits as they are by Chemical Brothers, Soulwax or The Faint, and have bagged themselves several celeb fans already. During their tenure on T4’s Mobile Act Unsigned they wooed Calvin Harris and were told by Jo Whiley they were the most relevant thing she’d heard all day. Blur’s Alex James meanwhile thought new single ‘National Curriculum’ was “the best thing he’d heard all year”.
Oh yes, ‘National Curriculum’. The math-rocking post-hardcore electro new single that lassoes everyone from Foals to Men, Women and Children and hits the shops on June 16th. It’s a dense mass of sine waves and pounding drums, a multi-layered monster that began life – like most of their tracks – during laborious sessions in front of the computer, but is destined for the dancefloor.
Andy says of their unique songwriting process: “we like to keep our music digestible, but at the same time keep it interesting”. Interest is piqued by everything from samples of 1949 public domain films about how your ears work to loops of Paul playing the violin, and programs stolen straight off their DJ friends’ hard drives.
Driven home over all this are Andy’s lyrical concerns, about everything from his own materialism (‘Greed’) to the current education system, as on ‘National Curriculum’. “All we’re taught at school is how to pass a test at the end of the year” he says, “what exams say to you is that if you pass that test you don’t have to learn anything again. The song is saying that learning isn’t finite. Everything you do in your life is about learning and figuring things out.”
Thanks to many years of trial and error – and unerring musical obsession – Out From Animals hit 2008 a fully-formed being that’s perfected every aspect of being in a band, right down to the website and t-shirts, designed of course by themselves. They don’t have any grand goals, except for finding “somewhere to rehearse where the neighbours aren’t keeping a noise complaint list”. “We write music to entertain the people we know” Andy says, “but if it can reach beyond our little group in Chester, then great”. Chester is only the beginning.