Interview: Super Squarecloud

On the track ‘Lolly Moon’, Jo Ford from the band Super Squarecloud sings: “Fill my life with colour.” It’s a camp call to arms admittedly, but a rallying cry nonetheless, one which the band is happy to answer. Super Squarecloud are a fistfight in a Mr Motivator leotard, a chameleon in a sweet shop, a rainbow in a blender, a bag of Skittles in the Hadron Collider…You get the picture.

Their music is a series of genre-defying refractions that burst with naivety and wonderment. You get French soundtrack music colliding with ‘Deerhoof’ art-rock before Tom Tom Club’s playful exuberance comes in to sort out the mess. All this and more is impossibly condensed into a three minute avant garde pop song. Super Squarecloud are a four piece band from Swindon that you need to hear. Recently they kindly answered some of our questions:

How did you first start writing songs together? And how has the process evolved?

We started in our bedrooms like…every band, ever. We were connected over the internet and regularly sent each other bits and pieces over Soundcloud. The site was, and continues to be, an amazing tool for us because you can annotate the tracks easily. It makes picking apart ideas when you’re not together super easy. We drew our name from Soundcloud incidentally. The process hasn’t changed much either; we’re still in our bedrooms and still using Soundcloud. But every musician writes from their bedroom, right? Even the proper ones.

You bring together a diverse range of influences- how do you incorporate these genres into your sound? Do different people in the band have different tastes that feed into it?

I wouldn’t say we approached it that way – deliberately incorporating different genres into a song. What we write is most definitely a product of our influences but I don’t know, the way we patch them together is something we probably do intuitively… The trick is being a good judge of what’s cohesive and what isn’t. We hope we’re the former.

Where do you get your lyrical inspiration from?

Crosswords, instruction manuals, dictionaries, mostly other peoples’ lives and experiences- They’re frequently more interesting.

There is a tendency to describe music that incorporates various ideas as art-pop or art-rock. Do you see what you’re doing as influenced by art or artistic method?

There’s a perceived seriousness and a certain degree of sophistication attached to that kind of title and I don’t think we would apply it to ourselves. We are just a bunch of music nerds that like to make music.

Do you get bored by bands that have a one-dimensional sound?

Not at all – it’s all subjective. We’re always searching for depth in what we create, and we do have a bias towards music which gradually unfolds on repeated listens.

Are the EPs a way to capture your sound at a specific moment in time or will they eventually be used for an album?

We’re just putting the finishing touches on a new recording which perfectly captures the moment just before Chris (our long suffering recorder player) left our group for Poland. It was nice to get him in on the recording before he left, for prosperity more than anything.

The album (we’re calling it an album) is called ‘Soupeater’ and should be out Autumn 2013. We’re releasing it in a particularly exciting way and we’ll be making an announcement just as soon as we’ve thoroughly discussed a strategy – ha.

And what do you hope to achieve with ‘Soupeater’?

Just a positive response, as boring an answer as that is. I think that kind of feedback when you know someone has a genuine connection to what you do, makes it all worth it.

Super Squarecloud have their own website. They describe it as “like being able to walk around the house naked when no one else is home.” Go there to hear their brilliant EPs, for news on the forthcoming album, but also for fun: http://www.supersquarecloud.co.uk/

Thomas Spooner