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Interview: Morcheeba

5 min read

With several albums including the the 1998 breakthrough Big Calm and 2000’s Fragments of Freedom under their belts and almost 20 years together and a band, UK trip/pop trio Morcheeba returned with new album Head Up High this month, the acts eighth studio album and 2nd record with singer Skye Edwards back as the bands vocally captivating front-woman.

Hot on the heels of Head Up High‘s release, a new collection which sees collaborations with a string of musical favourites including Rizzle Kicks and James Petralli of White Denim and on the eve of a European tour, band member Ross Godfrey spent some time chatting to Renowned For Sound about the trios latest studio effort and what the future holds for Morcheeba. Here is what he had to tell us…

Brendon Veevers: How is the band doing today and where does our interview find Morcheeba?

Ross Godfrey: We are good. At home packing now, we are rehearsing tomorrow before flying off to Prague to start our huge European tour.

MorcheebaHeadUpHighBV: Your new album, Head Up High was released in the middle of October. Can you tell us a little about the album and what can be expected for those who are yet to hear the new track-listing?

RG: It is uptempo, quite electro and features some amazing guests.

BV: What inspired you the most during the writing and recording process of Head Up High?

RG: I had a baby daughter in May, that was inspiring. Musically I was inspired by modern electro and old acid rock.

BV: What would you say at the key differences, if any, between Head Up High and previous Morcheeba records?

RG: It’s a lot faster. We started with the beats this time instead of starting with an acoustic guitar.

BV: What is the song-writing process like for Morcheeba. In what order does a record usually come together and is there a role that members of the band play in terms of the creation of a new record?

RG: Paul created some beats, I wrote some guitar and keyboard riffs, Skye wrote the melodies then Paul wrote lyrics to it. Once we liked the songs we got together in a studio and recorded it all. After a good deal of time editing and arranging it was mixed by Paul and our engineer Darren Heelis.

BV: Is there a track or tracks on Head Up High that resonates more with the band than others and if so, why?

RG: I personally really like Call It Love with James Petralli from the band White Denim. It is a monster song.

BV: Over the years Mocheeba has had a few line-up changes. Can we remain hopeful that the existing (and original) line-up will stay firmly in place going forward or do you take it one album at a time?

RG: I am happy with the collaborators we have on this record. Rizzle Kicks were very fun to work with. We are about to set out on a long tour. If we are still alive at the end of that then we’ll think about making another record. I think Skye will will on anything we do in the future though if that is what you are asking.

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BV: You achieved an impressive level of success in the nineties and early noughties with Big Calm and Fragments of Freedom. Is there ever a sense of pressure to create a record to match the commercial success of those two albums?

RG: No. We do what we want. Selling records isn’t really the main focus of bands these days. People stream music and don’t really see it necessary to own a copy of it. It’s good people listen to your new music for sure but licensing music for film/tv and having a healthy live career are better gauges of success nowadays.

BV: After so many years recording together, how do you keep things fresh for yourselves as a band and keep the personal interest in Morcheeba burning?

RG: We have a lot of interests outside of Morcheeba, this helps us appreciate the band. Paul produces other peoples records, Skye makes solo albums and clothes and I do music for film and tv. When we aren’t in the studio or on the road we don’t spend much time together. This isn’t to say we are not friends, we are, it’s just good to spend time apart as well.

BV: Morcheeba are cited as an influence to many new artists. Who are the biggest influences for each of you and for what reason do you regard them as such important influences?

RG: For me it’s Jimi Hendrix and Aphex Twin. Paul loves old school hip hop and funk. Skye really digs country music.

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BV: Will you be heading out on the road to promote the album at all this year or next?

RG: We are touring Europe till Xmas. Early next year we are doing North America and then Australia and New Zealand. Then the Pacific islands and South America. We’ll probably head back and do some European summer festivals after that. (visit www.morcheeba.co.uk for tour dates).

BV: What else is on the calendar for the remaining months of 2013 that fans might be able to look forward to?

RG: I think Magic Mushroom season is coming up soon. That’s worth looking forward to.

BV: Thanks for your time

RG: Thanks Brendon.

Morcheeba’s new studio album Head Up High is out now.

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