Monday, 18 March 2013

Code500 Interview

A while back I caught up with Chris and Matt from local Northampton band Code500 to talk about their latest single Another Life, new drummer and everything else that's been going on.

Shall we start with the new single Another Life? How did that come about?
Chris: Just jamming like most of our stuff. I think it marks a change in the band as far as our way of writing goes because the EP and stuff before had mainly come from myself and Matt.
Matt: We were still getting our band together while the EP was being written.
Chris: But Another Life and the next single Nothing's As It Seems came for a stage when we'd all started writing together.
Matt: It's the first thing we've done as a unit.
So would you say it was your favourite release so far?
Chris: I dunno. I'd say it was the most relevant, I don't know if it's my favourite. I think Pure Soul as well with regards to how long it is and the impact it has is a bit more radio friendly. We don't feel the need to be writing sixteen minute long tunes anymore. The evolution has happened and we're at a point now where we're quite happy writing four/four and a half minute bangers
I've seen the video that went online for Another Life recently.
Matt: That was quite exciting too because we're never shot a video before.
Chris: It was with Gnu Films. They did us a massive favour. Originally we spoke about doing a video for Red Flag but because she was doing it as a favour the time went on and we thought it would be better to do it for the newer material. We were going to shoot the video originally in June but then Dhiren, our guitarist, broke his foot so we put it back. But it worked out alright because then Johnny the drummer came on board and now we're a seven piece.

Seven now?
Chris: Yeah, it's big, isn't it?
Is there enough room on stage for you all?
Chris: Just about.
Matt: We're getting a choir and a horn section next!
There was a release gig at the Labour Club though?
Matt: It was a good gig in the end. We struggled a bit with the weather because it happened within the peak of the snow and ice so we did really well considering. It's just good to be able to support somewhere like The Labour Club. There's a pretty limited scene when it comes to music venues in this town, and there's not many people supporting local music in the way that that place does, so we like to put our strength behind it as well and help keep it going.
Have you played any other local venues you like?
Matt: Well this is the problem. We're trying to go a bit further afield and try to not play here too much because if we play here to much then we lose out on getting the crew in.
Chris: Northampton is limited on what it offers. If you want to do your own night you've got to either have to pay for a venue yourself or play in a slot for support. But the big up and coming names aren't coming here that places like The Soundhaus used to pull in. I don't know what's going on really.
Matt: All of our homecoming shows for the foreseeable future will be DIY things that we've put together. We'll choose the DJs, we'll bring the bands in to play. And we've been doing it so far and it's so far so good. That's always what we set out to do: be a band but also be promoters and organise events, and organise parties basically.
Who have you been promoting then?
Chris: We've put on a few dos actually, did a couple of club nights. Just bringing in DJs we knew from the underground scene and bands and stuff. We did a thing for the museum as well where we brought a load of acoustic and folk acts in to play there. But we try to approach our work as people in this town who want to promote music.
Matt: But I'd say now out energy is being channelled more into Code500 and into pushing ourselves. And I'd say because it's quite limited in Northampton in terms of things you can do, we'll try to put on our own nights every few months and then other than that try and play out of town.
I've been listening to your stuff for a while now and you guys have got a really unique sound. Is that something you aim to achieve as a band?

Matt: Without a doubt. I think that is our strength but it's also what makes it a bit difficult.

Chris: We've always said that we're making the music we want to hear. We're not in it to make music for the masses. The more people listen to it the better but obviously I don't go into a music room and play tunes that I don't feel anything for so that's the priority - carry on making music that we want to hear and hopefully get as many other people feeling it as well. But we've all got such eclectic tastes in music - from hip-hop, electronic music, dance music to your usual rock 'n' roll - and it's all there, it's like a melting pot of all of our tastes, and hopefully you can hear it in there. We've got that big electronic element, the rock 'n' roll is a big thing, so basically it's a big mix of everything we're into.

Matt: That's definitely an element we try and push though. But I don't think we need to. It's like Chris said we keep writing what we like and if that's our strength then great. If you've got seven geezers in the room buzzing off a tune and in front of them if you've got another hundred, two hundred, three hundred people in the crowd enjoying them playing it live then that's what it's all about really.

Chris: The diversity of our musical tastes in that rehearsal room, it's phenomenal. You wouldn't believe it. I don't even know half of the stuff our drummer likes or half the stuff our bass player likes but it all just seems to come out and form whatever it is that we end up making. And we all love it. And we get positive feedback so we're just going to keep doing it.

So what are your plans for the future?

Matt: Keep playing, keep writing, and keep making music. Simple. I think everything else will feed off that; I think shows and interests and fans and everything will all be fed from just us writing and playing as much as possible.

Chris: There's loads to come. Where we are writing-wise now just keeps getting better and better. The fanbase is growing every day. It would be stupid to say we didn't want to take it as far as it will go. I personally have got a vision and I think we can go far with it. It just takes someone in the industry to take it on board and appreciate it, and then who knows?

Another Life is currently available to download from iTunes.

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