Branching out from the herd that’s known as conformity is usually a mixture of bothÂ daring andÂ foolish in the eyes of the world. But many bands have come to the same conclusion that the normal stage of making a record and having it 1. Released through a label that doesn’t give an ounce of support and 2. It takes about two (sometimes even three) years to be released due to marketing that doesn’t exist, just doesn’t cut it in this modern age. Such a band are the ScottishÂ Idlewild, who ventured off to self create/produce/ and release their latest album Post Electric Blues.
Being released commercially on October 5th, the band decided to release the album exclusively to select fans on June 11th. This piece, which first started off as your typical album review, has stemmed into something much more. Why should I, a fan who didn’t pre-order the record have my exact say on the album? Nay I say! A more credible word is needed for this, and who better than not one, but four of the fans who got the album early? This is what four of Idlewild’s most hardcore fans had to say about their sixth release Post Electric Blues.
Fan #1 is a fourteen year old native of Southampton, England. Young Mr. Ship is as well versed in music as one could hope when it comes to this modern generation. Driving influences from bands such as Ash, Muse, and of course Idlewild, Mr. Ship uses his impressive musical taste to shred on his guitar whilst dreaming of the day he’ll play in Glastonbury.
Randomville: So how long have you been a fan of Idlewild? And can you describe what got you hooked to the band?
Ollie Ship:Â I got hooked by their album fourth The Remote Part. Itâ€™s such a solid album, not a bad a track on it. Those made me want to explore Idlewild’s wide Discography. I then brought 100 Broken Windows and Hope is Important, a far different sound but they still contained that Idlewild charm. So I went on gathering more and more of their material, with their older and newer sounds growing on me.
Rv: Now that you’ve had the record for awhile what are your views on it?
OS:First of all, well done Idlewild; it took balls to release your own record. Post Electric Blues is more on the Warnings/Promises and Make Another World end of the spectrum. It has complicated layers of guitars that the two previous albums had (I still love the de-tuned Power chords and octaves of their first release Captain and 100 BW). However the band has seemed to have taken a softer approach. Milder guitar and more acoustic strings are frequent but also highly successful throughout the album.
Rv: So what do you think of Idlewildâ€™s impact on the music world and how does it feel to be part of the fans whoÂ receivedÂ this album early?
OS:To be honest, Idlewild are not popular in mainstream music. But once you have discovered them, you LOVE them. That is why I think it is great that the fans got the album first. I was surprised how many people are obsessed with them. Then I realized that all the people who have heard of them LOVE them. So needless to say the majority of their listeners are hardcore fans. The album wouldnâ€™tÂ have stood a chance in the mainstream charts, but by letting the fans get it early,Â the album is getting all the respect and word of mouth it should, along with a bit of publicity for doing something bold and different.
Rv: Lastly, from a young musicianâ€™s point of view, would you say this is a record aspiring musicians should be listening to?
OS:I think any aspiring musicians shouldn’t listen to this albumâ€¦yet. I think if you want to truly appreciate the musical genius of Idlewild, you should buy Captain, 100 Broken Windows, Hope is Important, The Remote Part, Warnings/Promises, Make Another Worldand finish with the new record. This may seem like a strange thing to do, but by doing that you realize how Idlewild have matured, not only as musicians but also as people, both lyrically and instrumentally. You can also notice one of the very unique things about them is how the essence of there genius is noticeable in every song. Despite the huge contrast of their albums and songs over the past decade or so.
Â Fan # 2 is normally found blasting MC Lars or quoting The Goonies.Saint Edwardsâ€™s native Katy Martin has the right abundance of enthusiasm one could hope to come across when it comes to discussing music. But I will admit that getting her to sit for longer thenÂ two minutes was a mean feat on its own accord, when asked why I was being forced to struggle for an interview, she simply replied “I could be listening to Idlewild instead dammit!” (Photos provided by Miss. Martin’s camera phone)
Randomville: What song off the new record is your favorite and why?
Katy Martin: â€œDreams of Nothingâ€ because I like the chorus, how itâ€™s one of the more powerful songs on the record and it gets stuck in my head.
Rv: With all the negative tunes you hear on the radio nowadays, how do you feel seeing a band make a record with such positive overtones?
KM:I don’t listen to the radio much and this might sound odd but Idlewild are magical. Hold your laughs, I mean in the sense that they can make music with such a positive energy but still be really in depth with their lyrics also. That’s a trait you’re seldom to find on the radio, hence the reason I don’t bother.
Rv: Was this an album you found easy to get into? Did it hook you right away orÂ did it takeÂ a while to sink in?
KM: It took me a few listens to get into it as much as their previous albums, but I got there eventually through my stereo (sounds amazing turned up toÂ eleven on a massive stereo, try it!) and I canâ€™t wait to see them play these songs live (Hopefully in Oxford in October).
Rv: And last but not least, do you wish more bands would release their records independently?
KM:I think bands should release more records independently, that way we might not get all these really awful bands being EVERYWHERE because of their record label, or the decent bands not getting any promotion (such as Ash and Kula Shaker to name a few) due to their labels not caring. Bands like these have big enough fan bases to secure the chance of them making something of their own while also creating their own labels. With making their own records as opposed to them not getting all of this bullshit from unreliable labels.That way we get great albums with your name in the sleeve (hahahaha) AND the band seem happier in general.
A native of St. Louis, Mr. Winter is not only well versed in the world of music (being an experienced band photographer demands that) he is also notably one of the few Idlewild fans here in the United Stateswho pre-ordered the album. With a love for music as large as his portfolio (which can be viewed here), It should be noted that upon beginning this interview that Mr. Winter met the deed with much enthusiasm on the prospect of spreading the word about a very under rated band.
Randomville:Â So how would you say the new Idlewild recordÂ fits in with this year’s current releases in music?
Dustin Winter: Well itâ€™s hard for me to really fit it anywhere with this yearâ€™s releases so far because I really have not bought many new albums this year. I have mostly been buying older albums that I have missed or from bands that I never heard of up till now. Of the new albums that I have bought this year Post Electric Blues might be the most played new album next to The Loud Wars by So many Dynamos.
Rv: Do you believe this is a record you’d want to recommend to others? And if so why?
DW: I would definitely recommend this album to others. Just from Idlewildâ€™s past records I could have probably not even listened to it and said good things just because they have always put out good quality albums. With that said, after listening to the album it really has no weak songs on it and you can easily listen to it from start to finish and over again with no problems.
Rv: If you could say anything to the band about this record what would it be?
DW:Â I would like to tell them that I like the idea of getting the fans into it by helping front some of the costs and then rewarding them with competitions and exclusive downloads and the extra song on the prepaid version of the album. I would also like to tell them that this album is so close to perfection as they’ve ever gotten.
A highly experienced guitar player and advent music fan,Â twenty-three year old Stuart Bunce is quite possibly the biggest Idlewild fan you can come across. Quite famous for his Youtube guitar covers (which can be viewed here), Mr. Bunce has attended almost more Idlewild gigs then one can count. If his opinion on the new album isn’t credible enough then nobody’s opinion could possibly be.
Randomville: With the current decline of the way music is normally distributed, what do you have to say about Idlewild independently producing and distributing an album?
Stuart Bunce: I think it’s a great idea; I loved how they involved the fans with the whole process. The lack of updates at times was frustrating but I guess that added to the excitement of waiting for the album to come through our doors. I actually think it’s a shame they won’t be doing it again, although given the problems they encountered I can understand why.
Rv: How would you say they’re latest album upholds to their previous releases?
SB:Â It’s fast becoming my favorite album; I love how there’s a wide range of musical styles on the album. I’ve said for a while that Roddy’s [Wombie]lyrics get better with each album and Post Electric Blues is no exception. Rod’s [Jones] guitar playing is also getting better and better. The songs are just so much more interesting than the earlier releases (although this isn’t to say I don’t love the earlier stuff).
Rv: After that being said, what are some of the things you really like about PEB?
SB:Â Everything. Seriously. Oh and the moment of the key change on “Younger Than America” is possibly the best thing they’ve ever done, it sounds INCREDIBLE.
Rv: And lastly, after being a pretty talented guitar player, are there any tracks on PEB that you love to play/are dying to learn?
SB:Â All of them. I worked out “Younger Than America,”Â “City Hall,” and “Take Me Back To The Islands” but I would love to learn the rest of the album, especially “Post-Electric” and “To Be Forgotten.” The outro on “Post-Electric” is epic.