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Hyde & Beast Interview August 2011

Catherine May

Triangle

What do you get when two members of two successful bands join forces? The answer, dear readers, is Hyde & Beast. We caught up with ex-Golden Virgins’ drummer Neil Bassett to learn about the band…

MTTM: How did you go about forming the band?

Neil Bassett: It formed itself really. We are just the musicians! We have known each other for about 12 years, both of us being drummers in bands from Sunderland. Dave [Hyde] came into my studio with the idea of recording one of his songs. I think he liked my studio because it was hard to get him to leave. As time went on I got more involved with lyric/song writing and before we knew it we had an album. It wasn’t planned at all really – One big happy accident.

If we had planned to form a band and record an album, it would never have happened.

MTTM: What do you feel you’ve learnt from your experiences with your former bands that you’ll be putting into practice now?

NB: Don’t think too hard about it. Just let it happen. It will be what it will be. The stuff we are doing now is very different from anything either of us has done in the past. It wasn’t a decision though, it just happened. I guess Hyde & Beast are almost a polar opposite of what Dave normally does with The Futureheads. The Futureheads are energetic, blindingly tight and furiously fast. We are lethargic, dreamily slow and gently sloppy!

MTTM: What made you choose The Social for your debut London show? Have either of you played there before?

NB: We didn’t pick The Social to be honest. Someone else booked the gig for us! It was a fun sweaty gig but I am surprised that the six of us (our live band is six strong) fit on the stage there. Dave apparently played the social a long, long time ago with “Electronic Eye machine” which was a band featuring Peter & Dave from Field Music and Barry & Dave from The Futureheads.

MTTM: Are you expecting much of a difference between your London show and your Northern shows?

NB: I guess for now we are expecting more people at our Northern shows as we are better known up here. People quite often say that audiences in London can be a bit stand-off-ish compared to other parts of the country and to be fair, gig go-ers in London are spoilt for choice when it comes to choice of gigs but we found our audience at The Social to be nice, Giving and warm.

MTTM: You’re playing Split Festival in September, how are you feeling about this?

NB: Can’t wait for it. It’s an amazing little festival that’s run by The Futureheads and each year it gets bigger and better. This year The Charlatans & The Drums headline and local fellas Frankie & The heartstrings play also. Should be a blast.

It doesn’t make much difference to me as a drummer but I know that the rest of the guys are looking forward to playing on a bigger stage! All of our shows so far have been on stages that I would describe as a little cozy, especially for a 6 piece band !!

MTTM: What can fans expect from the album?

NB: A gentle summery blast of cosmically twisted laid back music directly into your ears.

MTTM: What’s next for Hyde & Beast?

NB: Well we are going to head out on a little UK tour later on this year. Can’t wait for that. It’s a nice bunch of guys to be on tour with. It will be fun fun fun until Daddy takes the T-bird away. We’re also going to release another single and video in the meantime and head back into my studio next week. Maybe record one a day a week for the foreseeable future and get the next album recorded. We have a hat full of ideas already so we can’t wait.

MTTM: Now for some quickfire questions… Music or Lyrics?

NB: Music

MTTM: North or South?

NB: North

MTTM: Beauty or Beast?

NB: Beauty

MTTM: Blues or Rock?

NB: Blues

MTTM: Digital or Vinyl?

NB: Vinyl

MTTM: Live or Recorded?

NB: Both

www.hydeandbeast.co.uk