Bill Cummings 07/08/2005

Coming out of the New Cross scene, Corporation: Blend have built up a fearsome reputation in the last few years supporting the likes of King Adora, Do Me Bad Things, and The Bluetones, whilst honing their craft at their own nights in the center of the New Cross. Last year's double A sided single "Blew It /For all my Sins" was the first recorded taste of this explosive punk/electro/rock band. They are now back with a new EP called "Chapter of Accidents". It will divide opinion, but it see's C:B take a step forward and shows a definite progression in their sound, be in no doubt they are a band that create immense, propulsive rock tunes that echo the likes of Guns 'n' Roses and The Mars Volta but are also tinged with electro indie touches of Mansun. I caught up with Dexy, C:B's energetic, bassist for a chat:

How's it going?

***Pretty good thanks, keeping busy, off to Winchester for tonight's show in a bit.

I heard you toured with the Bluetones recently how was that?

***It was great experience and a lot of fun. Musically we're very different to The Bluetones but we didn't feel we should have to change what we do to win over their fans, we just went out there and did our set and a lot of people got it and seemed to enjoy the show, plus we made a point of making sure we didn't just sit around in the dressing room, we went out and worked on the merchandise stand and met lots of really nice people. Plus as a big Bluetones fan myself it was great to see them for free every night!

Do you think playing live eventually shapes the way you sound?

***I think so to an extent, but then we try not to limit ourselves when we're in the studio to just the sound of a 4 piece band. 'Beyond The Day' on the new EP is built around guitar samples Rob made into a rhythm track, we knew we wouldn't be able to do it live yet but in the studio it's good to be able to use whatever tools we feel make the song work best, rather than worrying how we'd recreate it live.

What bands are you listening to right now?

***Lots of different stuff - I've had 'Kick Inside' by Kate Bush pretty much on repeat, it's the perfect album to stick on the headphones travelling back after a show. The new QOTSA album is incredible, they blow just about every other rock band out of the water. Lots of Elliott Smith as always. Prince, Weezer, Stevie Wonder, Magazine...

Where did the idea to release your EP on your own label come from? Did you have any offers from other labels?

***We did but nothing we felt happy going with to be honest, we got stung when we released the first single and we just felt like we could do a better job ourselves. A friend of ours, Clare, basically offered to fund a release and together we set up the label pretty quickly. We just want to be in a position where we can release records regularly and also play businessmen, be involved in the running of the label rather than putting our all into recording something and then passing them over to someone we don't trust.

Who produced your new EP?

***We co-produced it with a friend of ours Dave Domminey at Rogue Studios in South London. We've demo-ed there in the past and he's fun to work with, he always has a lot of ideas. He really encouraged us in trying things like the 8 part vocal harmonies in the middle of The Mathematician, Andy and Ash hadn't sung on record before so it was really rewarding to work with someone who wanted to try something different.

Whats behind the EP's name "Chapter of Accidents"?

*** Rob came up with the name, it's from a quote in Straw Dogs that we liked and it seemed to fit in with the songs and the artwork.

There seems to be a progression on your new EP when compared to your demo and first single what do you put this down to?

***We've never seen the point in just rehashing old ideas and passing them off as new ones. Every song we write needs to be step on from the last one and we wanted to take that attitude into choosing the tracks for the EP. It had to be a definitive progression from the last single and I think we've achieved that.

Some people who have seen you live recently or heard your new EP have claimed you are moving in a new "prog rock" direction is this true?

***I don't think so, it certainly hasn't been a conscious move like "right boys get your capes out, for today we are prog" or anything... I can see why people may say that but to me we're just making pop music, I guess it's just different to a lot of stuff that's around right now.

What do you think of the mainstream music press right now and how they treat bands like yourselves?

*** Everyone wants to be written about and have their records and gigs promoted to the masses and we're no different but you can't get too insulted if a magazine doesn't pick up on what you're doing, you just keep doing it and working hard, it's not really an issue.

I read you are working on demo's with ex- Mansun frontman Paul Draper, how did this come about? Were you a Mansun fan?

*** Our manager sent him a copy of the first single, he liked it and came down to a couple of shows, we got talking, met up a few times and he invited us to come to his studio and demo. I'm a really big Mansun fan, I think Six is one of the most under-rated albums of the last 20 years.

Do you have any more live dates slated?

***We've got a couple around the release of the EP, we're doing some more writing in August and then we're off to Belfast in September for a show at the Limelight. We'll be doing a full UK tour in the autumn.

What are your future plans?

*** The next chapter...look at everything we've done and better it...get some more records out and keep working hard...who knows what the future holds but we've got a lot of ideas...