DozenQ – Neils Children

DozenQ – Neils Children

This entry is part 6 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Neils Children first formed in 1999 in the suburban home county of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. With early ties to the mod and 1960s scene in London, the group then went on to develop their sound and included post-punk, indie pop and noise rock influences. After a top 60 single, many European and Japanese tours, the group went on hiatus from 2010-2012. In 2012 the original lineup of John Linger, Brandon Jacobs and James Hair played a handful of intimate shows celebrating their early music. Shortly after the shows, and with James leaving to concentrate on other things, founding members Linger and Jacobs reconvened and started writing what would turn out to be 2013’s album ‘Dimly Lit’. Met with across the board critical acclaim, the album saw the band’s sound drastically reshaped; influence such as Broadcast and Sterolab made their mark on the band’s strong absorption of electronics and keyboards, whereas continental pop such as Serge Gainsbourg and various, faceless Italian soundtrack composers fed into making their new sound one of innovation and influence.

Recently returning to the studio, the new band lineup have recorded the new single ‘The Highs and Lows’, complete with a new, lysergic video featuring footage from the group’s recent French jaunt.

01 How did you first get started in music?

I first started playing guitar at 12, inspired to do so by a big love for The Jam and Nirvana. It wasn’t long after leaving school at 16 that I went to college to study music, which is where I met Brandon, our drummer and my best friend. We formed the band a few months into the course, and still have the same enthusiasm and energy for our music as we did then.

02 Where did your direction come from?

Initially we were very influenced by the more obscure end of the 1960s stuff; so lots of freakbeat and psych, garnered from various legendary compilations. When we started going to some of the more underground 1960s clubs, we started absorbing more and more of it, which applied with other influences throughout the years has developed into our sound.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Well, the influences change from year to year, but you could say that early Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett are, and always have been, a huge element to the sound. Throughout the early 2000’s Gang of Four, PiL and a lot of underground post-punk were hugely influential. Those sounds are so much a part of what we do now, but we have been influenced by various other artists; Broadcast being a particularly strong influence alongside Gainsbourg and Silver Apples.

I think despise would be a strong word for me to use, now at least! But I don’t really understand or enjoy current pop music in general, there’s also a lot of dance music I don’t enjoy. The Travis/Coldplay end of the spectrum has always irked me too, as it’s middle of the road, and not in a good way.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

The most inspiring thing about it is how new the whole thing is… the new album was written and recorded within the space of a few months, we have a new lineup in the band, and we’re using new instruments and instrumentation… so the thing as a whole is inspiration enough.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows?

I think our shows are a lot more intense than our records, and I think it’s always been that way. We are a very good band at incorporating improvisation into our songs, which I think stems from the early Floyd influence. There’s always a lot of energy, as everyone is always putting in 100%.

06 How do you begin your song creation? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Again, this is something that has changed over time. The songs were more personal at one point, but now are a little stream of consciousness which sounds a little pretentious but they are reigned in from being too nonsensical and abstract. Often themes will become apparent after the lyrics are written, which is always a nice surprise. Musically, again it has changed over the years. Often songs were written on a guitar in a pretty conventional way, but now more often than not they’re written on keyboards, which open up whole new possibilities. We’re more interested in textures and atmospheres than we were before, so we don’t try and cram too much in if the song is doing what we want in a sparse state.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

It’s evolved beyond all belief, especially for a band of our size without an income from music. I don’t think any of us sorta exist at any point without thinking about music. It’s that dedication that helps develops not only your sound, but your playing and writing. I love the fact that Punk influenced people to get up and play without really knowing how to, but if you’re going to have that mentality forever, then what’s the point?

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

The challenge that’s hardest is having day jobs and responsibilities and still trying to find the time and energy to do the band and the music justice. It’s easier if a label is funding it; giving you time to concentrate on music alone, but we don’t have that luxury at the moment. These things can be overcome, and they are, by hard work and dedication.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We have done in the past, and more recently we recorded a Broadcast cover, to pay respect to the late Trish Keenan’s birthday, but I’m not sure covers are really something we’re considering at the moment. We have far too many originals to keep working on!

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

Making another Album hopefully! At the moment we have the space and equipment to record for little cost so, material permitting, I can’t see why we’d stop. I like the idea that Stereolab had; have a stream of constant high quality releases, instrumental E.P’s, tour E.P’s or whatever.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

I’d love to record with James Cargill from Broadcast, not only on a musical level, but his technical skills in the studio are apparent on loads of their stuff. Also, Tore Johannson, who produced the first three Cardigans albums. His engineering skills are unique and would work well with our sound.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

We’re currently recording our follow up to ‘Dimly Lit’… I’m hoping that by mid 2014 we should have that out. There’s a lot of good material floating around, lot’s of great concepts and ideas. It’s n exciting time!


New single is available here:

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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November 18, 2013 By : Category : DozenQ,Exotica,Front page,Indie,Interviews,Post-punk Tags:, , ,
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