An email exchange (can it really be called an interview?) between us and Sam from Walls, aka Allez Allez, whose blog you should probably follow if you don’t already. Having just released their second album within a year of their delightedly-received debut, it’s safe to say he’s been pretty busy with this still fairly new project and, so far, the new stuff matches if not exceeds anything off their first.
Their Facebook page is delightfully full of fans confirming that their live shows are, as Sam claims, “full on and freaked out” which, on listening to their music, is probably true. Unfortunately Youtube is proving unfruitful in terms of footage of them live, but that just means you’ll have to experience it IRL. Scary? Worth it. If you miss them at Death Disco this Sat, they’re about to embark on some headline UK gigs (their first ever), and will be touring the US and Europe with Battles. Expect ecstatic things.
The second album has come out impressively soon after your debut. Would you have liked more time, or are you happier to work like this? How have you found the whole process?
To be honest, we never stop working, so it actually was around 6 or 7 months of really hard graft to get it right. By the end, we’d gone over everything so much, we really felt like we’d reached a place creatively where we could sit back and really believe that we’d made each of the tracks as good as they could be..
BBC Music called your first album “morning after electro… [which] concentrates exclusively on the comedown”, whilst initial murmurings online about your second album is that it’s more dancefloor friendly. Do you agree? If so, was this a conscious choice?
Our first album came into being as a collection of tracks that we made for fun, and that were then assembled to make an album, whereas with this new one, we had more of an idea about what our style is, and how we work best together… We hope that Coracle will feel like a richer, more expansive evolution of what we did before – there’s definitely more of a dance orientated edge to things this time around, which was really inspired from playing live, and the interplay between our music and the audience/dancefloor.
With arguably more of a ‘dance background’, is this the direction you always wanted to go in? Similarly with Alessio – does this dancier sound a reflection of his own tastes changing?
Walls as a project sort of has a life of its own, that we both contribute to, so it’s not really as explicit as either one of us driving things in a specific direction – for both of us it was something that we wanted to pursue.
What are you listening to at the moment? Can you recommend any new finds?
The Motion Sickness Of Time Travel album and Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas ‘Nah Und Fern’ boxset have been getting heavy replay recently, also the new album Looping State Of Mind from our label mates The Field.
The Holy Other remix of Sunporch has been getting blasted across the blogs. Having that dance bent yourselves, do you ever hear a remix and think ‘ah, we should’ve done that with that bit…’ ?
Not really, we try and focus on the more positive aspect of enjoying other people’s take on things.. When we do a remix, we end up re-imagining it as a Walls track, but utilising the sound files / melodies / vocals etc that we’re given to construct something new… The only downside is that we often end up with a track that we’re really conflicted about giving away for a fee!
Walls – Sunporch (Holy Other remix) – download on Soundcloud
What’s happening with Allez Allez/Banjo Or Freakout at the moment?
Alessio’s got his second album at demo stage and is looking to try and get it properly recorded and finished for early next year, and I’m working on new music, but just under my own name for now. We’ve got a very busy next few months with Walls, as we’re playing our first ever UK headline gigs, as well as touring the US and Europe with Battles, plus quite a few shows with The Field, so that’ll keep us busy for a while!
Your live shows have been gathering a reputation in themselves as being “ecstatic”, to quote one of your Facebook fans. Can you explain your live set up, and how you feel about the shows?
The live set up is more full on and freaked out than the live recordings, which we feel is as it should be… We try and alter the songs through restructuring them and adding extra instrumentation/samples/improvisation. It’s funny as some of the tracks from our first album have evolved to the point where for us, they’re now the definitive versions rather than the ones that are on the record. We’re definitely happy if people get an ‘ecstatic’ feeling from our shows, as that’s definitely something we try and create.
Sam – you’ve played Death Disco before as Allez Allez, a few times if we remember rightly. Can you remember it? Any fond memories? Please, be as honest as you like…
I remember how fantastic the vibe was – it’s a much bigger place than I imagined, but it definitely had the vibe of a small club anywhere else, in terms of the intensity. Glasgow’s such a fun city generally, we really enjoyed it when we played at the Sub Club for the Optimo guys too.
And lastly, the name: trying to Google you is a journalist/fanboy’s nightmare. Can you shed any light on the reasons behind it?
No, we didn’t think about the googleability of the name, it’s much more important to think of a name that you’re comfortable with first. We tend to struggle a bit with coming up with names, but people seem to like it, so I guess it worked out!
Walls play at Death Disco: Trans-Europe Expressway at The Arches and SWG3 on Sat 17th Sep.