Compiled by: Jack Foley
"THE thing with us is that we're just so different.
We don't sound like The White Stripes. We don't sound like Coldplay.
We don't sound like anything current. We don't do it deliberately.
It's just the way our music turns out. We're not like anyone else."
Engineers, London, 2004.
MANY bands claim to be different, but the London-based Engineers
may have more reason to claim it than most.
They describe themselves as a group who ardently believe in
the restless, symphonic power of music.
They're driven forward by the same impulse that compelled Dennis
Wilson to write Pacific Ocean Blue or Talk Talk to forge
Spirit Of Eden.
When so much around them is prosaic and mundane, Engineers want
to create music of immense depth and scope that combines the experimental
with the emotional.
Or, as their guitarist and keyboard player, Dan McBean, rather
more succinctly puts it: "We want to turn the lights down,
get stoned and then blow our heads off. We just want to please
Engineers are a band of substance over style.
A London-based four piece, Dan is joined by Simon Phipps on vocals/guitars,
Mark Peters on guitars/vocals and Sweeney on drums.
They've only been together since March 2003, but they're inspired
by everything from Brian Eno and The Cocteau Twins through to
Todd Rundgren and Spiritualized.
And what's more, they're interested in the music they make and
To that end, the band are intent
on creating a live experience which matches the powerful psychedelic
intensity of their music.
"We have a guy doing visuals for our shows now," says
Sweeney. "He's this mad German guy and he's got all these
"He's given us these Lomo cameras. They were originally
the Russian's 'People's Camera'. They're really cheap and they
take these really strange, sterile-looking blurred photographs.
"We're going to have them projected behind us. It's got
to be an event when we play. Having said that, though, we don't
want it to be really slick like the Flaming Lips."
At the same time as working on this, though, the band keep coming
back to their music, reshaping it and honing it the whole time.
The band are also currently hard at work self-producing their
debut album. Again, they're doing it themselves, holed up in a
claustrophobic space in The Depot studio, North London.
"We know exactly what we want to do, so it seems pointless
to let anyone else meddle with it," explains Dan.
"You've got to be able to live with every aspect of the
music you've made," adds Mark. "You've got to love it
so much you can keep going back to it night after night. That's
why we're doing it ourselves. We know what it's got to be like."
All the signs suggest that deep in the labyrinthe corridors of
The Depot, Engineers are forging their own highly original, deeply
intense, utterly original sonic masterpiece. The band, however,
are a little bit more circumspect.
"We've always said if more people started taking acid, we'd
clean up. I doubt whether that's going to happen though,"
sighs Sweeney, slightly sadly.
Not that he should necessarily worry, for with new single, Come
In Out of the Rain, and forthcoming EP, Folly, they
should ensure that a strong listener base is imminent.