Feature: Jack Foley
IT'S been a couple of years since Long-View first hit the music
scene with their brilliant debut album, Mercury, but as we enter
2005 the future looks bright.
The band recently released a new double-A side single (Only
When You Sleep/Coming Down), while a remix album, Subversions,
is due at the end of the month (featuring the likes of Jacknife
Lee, Elbow and Ulrich Schnauss).
Long-View have also recently signed a record deal with Columbia/Sony
in America and are bursting to get into the studio to record songs
for the second album.
Speaking to them recently, both lead singer, Rob McVey, and guitarist,
Doug Morch, both seemed optimistic about the coming months.
Talking about Coming Down, in particular, McVey described
it as 'definitely the thing we're most proud of that I think we've
ever done' and 'a nice way to introduce our new stuff to the audience'.
While plans for the album are well in hand.
"We've written most of the second album - or we think we
have," adds Morch. "We've got loads of songs, so it
just depends when we get a chance to go and record it, because
we're still busy doing a lot of touring and stuff.
"We're doing a lot of stuff around the single and we're
playing some shows in America - we're possibly going back there
Both McVey and Morch feel very excited about the new album, promising
a more mature sound and a more guitar-based energy.
But they are still searching for the right producer and would
prefer to record it in England, using a more English sound.
"We sort of really know what we are now," explains
McVey. "We're older now - we're really proud of Mercury,
but that was like a teenage sort of naivety that I, personally,
was really interested in, and a lot of the music was about that;
a lot has changed since then.
"We feel like we've got something to say about being our
age now and about life in Britain now.
"Coming Down, for instance, was written at a sort
of dark time in life; it was about experiences I had, perhaps,
with my girlfriend, and also about what the band had, and living
"I think the challenge is not
to try and re-invent yourselves, but just to write something which
still matters. People tend to go, 'right, let's have hammonds
in on the next album, let's have strings, kazoos,' - I mean Embrace
started to get that way, but we were like 'forget about that'!
I think you've just got to try and remain relevant and that's
what will make the sound."
In the meantime, Long-View have Subversions to concentrate
on - an album that features remixes of some of their former singles
and material from Mercury.
Included among the line-up are acts such as Jacknife Lee, Elbow,
Ulrich Schnauss and Mogwai - all of whom lend the tracks a more
expansive sound and which provide a really terrific listening
Comments McVey: "I hope it goes down well this album, because
we put a lot of work in.
"We really knew we had something special and I hope people
don't just think we're trying to cash in on some shitty sort of
whatever. I think there's some really great stuff on it, especially
Schnauss, in particular, proves a revelation, having previously
been best-known for his 'shoe-gazing dance music', which is renowned
among chill out fans.
Ever since meeting in Birmingham after a Long-View gig, however,
McVey and Schnauss have become great friends and have even written
a track that could well crop up on the second album.
"He just sort of seemed to be interested in the band, so
he came back to our dressing room and gave us some vodka and we
had some drinks," recalled McVey.
"At first we didn't think anything of it and then he gave
me a copy of his record, A Strangely Isolated Place,
and I listened to it in Brighton and was blown away by it. Since
then, I've been to Berlin and have written a track with him as
Long-View hope to have delivered their sophomore album by the
end of the year, especially since the current climate for bands
seems tailor-made for them.
For it hasn't escaped McVey's notice that the British music scene
is rife with new talent at the moment.
"It's funny seeing all these now bands at the moment; we
saw Kaiser Chiefs on T4 and they're not famous yet or anything.
"I remember when we first started out it wasn't like that
at all. There was like us and Haven, as well as established bands
like Doves, but now it's like 'bang Kasabian, Ordinary Boys, all
the American stuff, Interpol and Secret Machines, and all these
"Let's hope we can remain relevant enough to be needed..."
Somehow, we think they will be.