65daysofstatic Make Their India Debut at Indie March This Week
The UK instrumental electronic rock band on creating an album around a video game, calling out the Tory government and coming to India
When guitarist Paul Wolinski says his band, the Sheffield-based instrumental electro rock outfit 65daysofstatic, are “heroically unfashionable,” he’s not just talking about how they don’t fit in with the growing list of post-rock bands such as Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky, but also about their recent stand against the UK Conservative government.
The band took to their blog criticizing the UK’s British Phonographic Industry when they announced, under the guise of promoting UK culture, funds to help them tour the U.S. Wolinski explains that in addition to using the band “for their own benefit”, the funding from the UK government was all very hypothetical as well. He adds, “It was hypothetically, if we go on tour in America in 2016, there’d be some funding to help us do that. But the hypothetical budget we’d put in still cost more than we would get from them.”
The band, who came together in 2001, have been very much in their own niche of fusing the fluidity of electronic music with the emotional intensity of instrumental rock on their albums such as 2004’s The Fall of Math and 2010’s cinematic We Were Exploding Anyway. Says Wolinski, “We focus more on the electronic side of things. I loved Mogwai growing up, but because I was such a big fan, I never wanted to play like them.
Because what’s the point? You’re never going to sound as good as they do. We wanted to find our own sort of path.”
“We focus more on the electronic side of things” – Wolinski
But you have to agree with the guitarist when he says 65daysofstatic are a post-Internet band in terms of recognition – music that fans discovered through online forums as well as file-sharing sites. He says, “I like to think that we’re the kind of band that when people come to us, it’s not because of what happens to be popular, but they enjoy finding new music and listening to interesting music. That it kind of sticks with them in a more permanent way.”
The increasing level of discovery is probably part of why they’re the next instrumental rock band to land up in India, performing at the Indie March festival in Bengaluru between March 19th and 20th. Wolinski says they’ve had several jinxed offers to play in India come their way before, so much that it had made the band pessimistic about their chances. He still thinks that they aren’t the biggest band on the lineup. Wolinski adds, “I have no idea how many people are going to be there who have even heard us.”
Their last album, Wild Light, released in 2013 and now 65daysofstatic are working on an entirely different kind of album – one for a video game called No Man’s Sky. Although the downside is that the game’s release continues to be delayed – which also means the soundtrack is indefinitely on hold – Wolinski says the process to create a game soundtrack was exciting. “This is some of the best work we’ve done, I think…We didn’t come on as just composers-for-hire to write them a sci-fi score. They literally wanted the soundtrack to be a 65daysofstatic record.”
In addition to releasing an album full of songs that are featured in the game, the band also worked with the audio director of No Man’s Sky “on an infinitely long score” that takes elements from the tracks. Sonically, Wolinski says the forthcoming release is much more subtle. “We don’t want to be too over the top, too bombastic,” says the guitarist. He adds that they hope this project opens the doors for similar projects, as well as film scores, something that their contemporaries in Explosions in the Sky are already doing. Says Wolinski, “It would be wonderful to continue in this sort of soundtracking world. We’re certainly not bored of being in a band or making narrow records, but this soundtrack thing offers something new and different and we’d love to do more of it.”