hard to describe The Freed Unit; I should know, I've tried: "The
first track is a quirky old thing, disconnected vocals repeat the
title and some conspiracy theories over doorbell and kazoo hum"
used to not fitting in" single), "Juxtaposing a slowed-down
disco beat with wheezing, bending in-and-out-of-tune chords and
some unsettling singing The Freed Unit have come up with another
grimy masterpiece" ("The
City" single) and "Flecks of synth noise pepper the basic beatbox
and minor chordage, a crust of analogue machinery and its associated
random variation around the edges. Haunting, almost childlike, vocals
add a disquieting aura with lyrical content never quite clear but
indisputably covering religion, society and turning back time" ("Things
are looking up" LP).
Most people just resort to a krauty/spacey/drone derivative, littered
liberally with adjectives purloined from their copy of Roget's Thesaurus.
The band are not impressed. In an attempt to fight fire with fire,
we presented them (Gary, Jonathan and Matt) with the Roget entry
for free and got them to describe themselves through it.
Jonathan: Writing and recording music is easy. From then on it gets
Matt: Being "difficult" is easy, but I don't think we are difficult.
I reckon the next batch of songs we record will be straightforward
pop songs so that people take note of our melodies and not the squiggly
bits on top, but then again...
Gary: I hope so, otherwise why bother? Boundaries and rules are
there to be broken, but I think we don't recognise them in the first
place. M: There aren't any boundaries to push.
J: I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I think
we write thought-provoking pop songs. Social comment and personal
subjects that anyone should be able to relate to. I think we write
really catchy melodies. I reckon that in 2 or 3 year's time EVERYONE
WILL SOUND LIKE US! We are not post-rock or space-rock (NME). We
are not mad (MM), we've never compared ourselves to any other band
or given any clue to our influences in press releases so we don't
give a lot of journalists a starting point.
M: The only thing standing in our way is the price of a 30-piece
orchestra although we've never had to stoop as low as playing a
comb and paper or doorbells!!!
J: Perhaps we can be accused of putting too many ideas/sounds into
one song. This is because we love so many different kinds of music.
(There is a fourth, freelance, member of the Freed Unit. He appears
on their record sleeves with a large globe on his head.)
M: His name is Jeremy Wiltshire. When he's not with the Unit he
wears a lot of glitter (when he takes his globe off). One of his
talents is playing stand-up drums and he has a song on the Sorted
LP "Suction prints" called "I wish I was John Peel's son". When
he appears with us he plays tambourine.
G: John Peel recently played Jeremys song on his show, proof indeed
that flattery gets results.
J: The band itself isn't impure but I'm sure each of us are personally!
G: In thought and deed, but not musically.
(What are the Freed Unit liberating us from?)
J: The CK kids, the Tommy Hilfiger sheep, the soap watchers, Christians,
the stubborn and narrow-minded, the soulless, the polluters, the
loveless, the heartless, the MAJORITY. I do believe that things
are going to improve. They have to. One day people will wake up
and realise that they deserve BETTER. Things are looking up...
G: We're liberating people from The Everyday.
J: We were drinking across England from Averbury, Wilts to Leicestershire
(on train). Everything from brandy to shandy, mead to lager...Vomiting
into carrier bag. Bag had hole in bottom---it went all over trousers,
seat, floor of train. Probably stank the carriage out. I passed
out at Water Orton. Awoke in Melton Mowbray. We had missed the Leicester
stop. We were on the last train. We could've ended up in Cambridge.
If it happens again, we'll be knocking on your door, Jim...
G: I was standing on my head in the bar of a public house---instead
of getting barred I got a round of applause, but I didn't perform
M: We don't steal from anyone. It's too easy and you never get away
with it. If we sounded like anyone else there would be no point
G: Influences---anything with soul or passion or anything that stands
out from the crowd.
(Best piece of free advice?)
J: Being told to keep away from Saint John (of the song "The Entropy
Kids vs. Saint John").
M: I've only ever been given useless advice, the rest you have to
find out for yourselves, unfortunately.
G: I'm not good at listening to advice until it's too late.
J: I've never paid for sex.
M: Nothing in life is free!
G: No pain, no gain. Anything that's worth something is by definition
Knowing this to be true, it's not entirely suprising that you'll
have to pay for the next Freed Unit recording. It's on triangular
8" vinyl. Typical. Obtain your copy by writing to: PO Box 5083,
Leicester. LE2 0WX, www.bigfoot.com/~freed.unit or firstname.lastname@example.org.