ARTIST OF THE MONTH: THE INVISIBLE ORCHESTRA – Interview

TIO’s beauty of a debut album is out there in the big wide world now, and it’s bloody awesome (check the review HERE if ya want an idea of what to expect).

We catch up with James Warring, TIO’s band leader, about getting everyone in one room, having their baby out there, and what he’d do if he was invisible for a day.

In a recent interview with Leftlion, you joke the name was because ‘every f*cker disappears when there’s something to be done’ – in all seriousness, how do you guys organise rehearsals around everyones schedules.

Ah, that’s only on the load out after gigs really. Rehearsals are quite a regular thing and usually on the same day, so there is a kind of routine which everyone has gotten into over time. Obviously at times people can’t make it because of other gigs/commitments but generally leading upto important events we have a great turn out, and they are mostly quite boistrous and great fun so people actually enjoy coming to them which always helps!

The album is a beautiful creation. How does it feel to finally have it out there?

It’s great that people can listen to something which has for some time been a private thing for band members and friends etc. It isn’t fully out there yet though! There’s still the full scale distribution to kick in over the coming months and PR etc. It will also be out on vinyl and across the board digital download so keep an eye on it over the summer. Nottingham is first port of call obviously!

And the songwriting – is that a collaborative effort? Cos, we imagine that could be a challenge…

The songwriting is generally headed up by myself and I have written a majority of the music. That said, there are quite a few songwriting contributions from other band members on most songs and even a couple of later tracks have been headed up by double bass player Martin Bentley and another brand new track (not on the album) by percussionist Tony Sykes. Also, ‘I Know I Lied’ is co-written by George Butt who plays keys on the track live and on the album, despite being a great bass player. Lyrics are by the respective vocalists with a bit of an eye on arrangement from me. If the idea is good and it comes through well and the time is right, it’ll get a chance in the set.

How did you choose the vocalists that you wanted involved with the project? And how easy was it to fit their vocal style to the music you guys were making?

A lot of the time the music is written before the vocalist is chosen so it does certailny influence the type of vocalist needed for a track (if it needs vocals on at all of course). I’d already worked with both HANNAH HEARTSHAPE and HARLEIGHBLU in the past and they are both extremely talented so it just seemed the obvious and best choice. I’d known Ed Bannard [HHYMN] for some years too and always wanted to do something with him, he’s an incredible vocalist and songwriter and he complemented the song (‘Into The Arms of The Night‘) so well, aswell as twisting it into something quite different at the same time despite the music itself never changing. PERCYDREAD of course adds the presence and storytelling plus a great songwriting talent coming from experience. I was lucky enough to start working with Percy after being introduced to him by the fantastic Rastarella Falade.

If a listener to the album takes one message from it, what do you hope that message is?

Stick to a three piece band! Ha! Or of course, with a lot of persistence, vision and drive you can achieve creatively things which seemed impossible and be almost happy with the results. There’s some great songs on the album from a wide range of talented and passionate people from completely different backgrounds who did this as a labour of love and by working together for a common goal (also getting quite drunk at the same time!)

You’re built up with some of the finest musicians in Notts (and beyond), but is there anyone left in Hoodtown that you’d love to collaborate with?

There are always plenty of people i’d like to work with and so many great musicians in Nottingham of all different disciplines. For now though we’re concentrating on getting ready to take it out on tour and have quite a solid crew.

The album’s out there, you’ve just played another epic Masonic Hall show; what does the rest of the summer hold for TIO?

The summer will see us getting the album out there and preparing for shows around the country. There’s always so much to do! We’ve got so many things going on behind the scenes at the moment but all will be revealed soon.

And, for a little silly question – you are the ‘invisible’ orchestra – so what’s the one thing you’d do if ya were invisible for a day?

I’d probably go round to your house to see where you get the ideas for these silly questions from 😉

We’d like to thank TIO for taking the time to answer these questions.

You can buy the debut album HERE, and check the review HERE.

Yours in Love of New Music,
Sam Nahirny x

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