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An exclusive interview with Greatwaves' Oliver O.

Last month, we spoke to Oliver O. from Manchester two-piece G R E A T W A V E S. Having seen an inaugural show in the basement of the Sebright Arms in Hackney, we were curious to speak to the MONEY labelmates, and understand a bit more about the fast-growing gravitas of the music coming from a small studio called The Bunker, and a label called SWAYS. Live, G R E A T W A V E S shimmer through playful layers of looped synths, samples and brooding, drawled vocals; basslines lurking underneath waves of drum machine. Washes of stagelights and cut-up visuals almost obscure the band, and draw attention into the play of light and sound. More romantic, natural and corporeal maybe than stablemates MONEY, but there's still this overarching melancholia that only a rainy city like Manchester could produce. Listen to a set that the band have put together on Soundcloud here:

LF: What started G R E A T W A V E S?.

GW: After traveling in Europe we moved into a house together & began to develop on the foundations of our past collaborations. We would make loud music into the early hours of the morning. Living in a residential area we received complaints & before long the council became involved. There was a small room in the corner of our house which was locked, the landlord was an eccentric doctor & refused to let us in. We broke down the door & turned the room into a laboratory of our own - this is where GW was truly born.

LF: What do you look for in your music/ what inspires your style?

We are inspired by exploring sound as a medium - both synthetic & real, purposefully & accidentally, man-made & natural - its relation to the soul & living body. The live body is, by definition, a natural rhythm & likewise is the universe - hence the natural capabilities of sound or lack of, and the pleasures of melody, song & silence. The artist must interact with reality & form their own insight. The individual is constantly informed & inspired by the surrounding stimuli - whether esoteric or perhaps closer at hand. There is a widening chasm between the violent & peaceful stimuli - psychic & visible. We live surrounded by constantly increasing violence & occasionally catch a glimpse of the grace of peace. Shimmering. These tiny, shimmering moments are ever more precious due to their diminishing occurrences. We are in love with peace & violence, both shape our sound equally.

LF: The Bunker (A studio in Salford) seems the focal point for a community of artists. What significance does that place have for you?

GW: We recorded our first single (AA The Shore/Into The Blue) at The Bunker, the home of SWAYS records. It was a pleasure to work alongside such interesting characters & forward thinking minds; every day was a very exciting experience for us. They have hosted some great shows & it is always incredible to play there.

LF: What is the truth behind the machetes and your last show at The Bunker?

GW: We are more of an Opinel band [for the uninitiated, Opinel is a particularly sharp kind of French knife - ed.]

LF: 2 things you can't live without?

GW: Miso & Juno

LF: 2 things you would ban forever?

GW: Streetlights, War

Words by Oliver Spall
Images by Jonathan Flanders
16:04 - 08/01/13