A/V Room









Long-View - I think the challenge is not to try and re-invent yourselves, but just to write something which still matters

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 next month."

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 in Manchester.

"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 experience.

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 Ulrich Schnauss."

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 well."

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 bands'.

"Let's hope we can remain relevant enough to be needed..."

Somehow, we think they will be.


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