Restlesslist’s freaked out instrumentals sound like every good 60s band you’ve ever heard playing at once in a Jools Holland’s Later-opening style jam. Strange Days era Doors, Pink Floyd circa Atom Heart Mother, early Cardiacs, Herb Alpert and Modest Mouse are filtered through Anticon Records with Joe Meek at the desk, but none without ever trying to be any of them. Based around the core of Ben Elliot and Electric Soft Parade’s Matt Thwaites, the outfit is now a five piece band.
So, no vocals on any of your tracks – can none of you sing?
Ben Elliot: I think it’s quite important to have instrumental music. If you can make people think other stuff with just music instead of ranting on about irrelevant stuff then it hits stronger. They’re evocative of strange places? Yeah, we like to dive into different musical scenarios.
Do you ever find it a problem that your, let’s be fair, pretty odd music doesn’t fit in pigeonholes?
Matt Thwaites: No, it’s good. It’s hard when you try and explain what your sound is. You don’t want to come across all pompous and say, It’s brand new, it’s brand spanking new.
BE: There are bits that other people have done and are doing. The stuff that we listen to isn’t really bands and musicians that get pigeonholed. But we haven’t done that on purpose, to be awkward.
Was Restlesslist a band when you started, or a studio endeavour?
MT: It was us two in a bedroom in on a four track. And then we got a gig and we didn’t have a band so we roped in a couple of people. They dropped from the gig as soon as they heard our demo though. But we carried on, and carried on having a band. People have come and gone but it’s quite a concrete line up at the moment.
BE: Yeah, it’s a tight unit. Everyone knows what they are doing. We’re in the Metway at the moment recording new stuff that will come out at the end of the year or early next year. It’s all new songs, as the five-piece so it should sound a bit more energetic.
Are you two the bosses, or is Restlesslist a democracy?
BE: We both come up with the ideas but the new stuff gets bounced around everyone now, carved at and sculpted at until it fits our sound. When we’re rehearsing things fall into place. It’s usually me and Matt that will come up with the crux or the skeletons or the bits and bobs and put them together.
M: Everyone has free reign on their instruments to do what they like.
B: Within the Restlesslist sound, the unwritten guidelines. We don’t know what they are though.
Have you started to break out of Brighton now?
B: Yeah, we did a session for Mark Reilly, got album of the week on Huw Stephens’ show. So that’s kinda cool. We got a load of good dates coming up – Loop Louder, the At Home By The Sea festival. We’re also doing the Best Of Brighton at Hoxton Bar & Grill with Gloria Cycles.
How difficult is it to come up with track titles for instrumentals?
M: We often come up with them first, very early into scetching an idea.
B: We have general banter for a couple of weeks when we have to do something. We say words over and over again until they make us laugh.
Rise And Fall Of The Curtain Club is out now.