Eaux is a new band formed from the still pulsating remains of the amazing Sian Alice Group. My friend Ben is in the band and so I asked him some questions about the band and then put the answers up here on this blog. There are loads of great band recommendations for anyone old (34) like me who has no idea what music to listen to anymore.
So Ben, the Sian Alice Group is sadly no more. Tell us what happened, in full gory detail, and then tell us about your new band, Eaux.
Sorry, but there are no gory details – no blood, guts, gossip or nothing. It came down to ‘musical differences’ – we were working on a third SAG record and it was clear that Sian, Stephen and I were pulling in one direction and Rupert in another. That usually leads to something new and interesting … but better to get on with what makes you happy and remain friends rather than bash heads. So, Eaux was born.
Eaux is a nice and simple name for a band.
It was suggested by our friend Lydia. I like how it looks and sounds – O. I’ve always liked the bastardisation of French words without the ‘le’ or ‘la’, like the classic clothing label Oeuf, often seen on the chest of Thomas Rothwell. I always look at possible band name fonts, and Eaux is a good word to work with. Nice on badges and records and tees; artwork always goes hand in hand with the music for me.
Are you still working with Social Registry?
Not exactly – they are on a little hiatus in a way, but still releasing awesome records by Zs and Sleepy Doug. Jim from TSR is also running a label called Playbutton – the music is on a pin badge player that you plug your headphones into. Music you wear, that’s all about the artwork again.
Give us a good story from your tour with Florence and the Machine. Something controversial that will get people reading this blog. People who aren’t graphic designers.
No comment. There’s a lot, nothing crazy juicy though. Missed ferries, baltic sea frozen, all snow related incidents – it was two years ago [shows how much I keep up with these things] and the whole of Europe was frozen. Oh yeah, I nearly died in Oslo. I got flattened by a lump of snow and ice that fell from the roof seven storeys above me. I suffered constant migraines for six months after that and couldn’t work out why. Then I remembered the accident.
You shot a Sian Alice Group video (Dusk Line) on the same camera as was used to film the Cramps at Napa Valley. How important are The Cramps to you?
Yes, same camera as William Eggleston used on Stranded in Canton. The Cramps are one of the greatest ever bands. They sound like balloons of whippets. First time I heard and saw them, I thought they were from 1950s outer space. Which they sort of were I suppose …
What were your best records of 2011?
I really liked the About Group record, Oneohtrix’s Replica, the Blanck Mass record, both the Cass McCombs records. Eye Contact by Gang Gang Dance had some great jams. I got a soft spot for the Real Estate album. Let England Shake was pretty brilliant too, her ATP show was magical.
Who should we listen to in 2012 apart from you?
I’m interested to hear the Chris & Cosey & Nik Void record, new Beak> record, heard some demos of the next Fuck Buttons record and that sounds incredible. I just got the Mr Maxted record on Mordant, that’s killer. It’s a reissue though, does that count? Oh yeah, very excited for the new Black Dice record, of course.
Where are you playing next?
At the moment, we’re booked to play in Manchester on the 6th May, on the Drowned In Sound stage at the Sounds From The Other City festival. We’re hopefully announcing some other shows soon.
When did you stop wearing a Stone Roses T-shirt and are you going to go and see the resurrected band?
I made my own the week the first record came out as they were impossible to get. That didn’t last too long, so probably by ’91 it was well over for me. That Reading Festival show officially killed it for me. I’m not a huge fan of bands reforming in general. I’ve seen some amazing shows by reformed dudes. But they didn’t have Ian Brown singing.
Listen to Eaux’s demos here