Over the last six months or so we’ve been warning you about the impending five-piece musical arsenal that is Narco. Evil Brother and Worth It were two killer singles that gave us a fair indication of what to expect from their debut album Control of the Stereo.
Of course this isn’t an ordinary tale of rock n’ roll hi-jinks and bombastic live performances….oh no…Narco had to go and produce the music for two of the biggest Playstation games of the las few years in The Getaway and Driver. We caught up with three of the band, Cave (vocals), Rich Narco (bass) and Marc Vox (guitars) to find out how this all came about, what the future holds for the band and to find out if they really are as bonkers live as we are led to believe.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, I imagine things are quite hectic with the album (Control Of The Stereo) due out shortly?
RN: Not so hectic as pensive. Itâ€™s our first, our little bomb, and its about to go off. The question is, whatâ€™s the blast radius?
What are your hopes for the album both from a critical and commercial aspect?
C: Critically â€“ not to be received with indifference. Commercially – to enable us a bit more freedom to continue the next leg of our journey .
RN: It is what it is. Thereâ€™s a lot in there if you look, its all pretty angry and all, but it really isnâ€™t for us to tell anyone what to think. Weâ€™ll take all comersâ€¦.
How long did it take you to write and record the album?
C: It was either a very long time or it went really quick
MV: Felt like 50 yearsâ€¦maybe it was ! Seriously, once weâ€™d figured out what to do it went down pretty quick. Weâ€™re not a typical rock band. The view is this â€“ how do you match machinery with soul? Weâ€™ve had a goâ€¦..
Can you talk us through the writing and recording process, how it comes together and who in the band does what and when?
C: For us, jamming is one of the best ways of writing new material. New ideas come to light which are later nurtured into finished songs at the recording stage. The recording process is pretty straight forward – we record everything live with the usual overdubs of guitars and vox. Everyone does everything. Everybody makes the tea.
MV: itâ€™s a band thatâ€™s definitely the sum of its partsâ€¦ one of us goes and Narco is no moreâ€¦
From listening to the album you sound to have a variety of influences yet itâ€™s very definitely your own sound, is this something that you were conscious of when you were recording it?
C: We were very focused on creating our own sound. Experiments with drum machines, underplaying, no chords or overblown solos, concentrating on making the keyboards a main feature and avoiding the trap of putting all our eggs in one musical basket all helped to create the sound we have now come to love
MV: Influences in music is totally naturalâ€¦ you are musical sponge absorbing so much information some of which you didnâ€™t even know got stuck in your brain
RN: Yeah, thatâ€™s true. Also its about stealing technology back from pure electro â€“ weâ€™re both. You CAN use a drum computer to inject magic. You CAN make guitar chops hollow eyedâ€¦..
The two singles (Evil Brother & Worth It) seem to have been well received from the reviews Iâ€™ve read, do you still see singles as being important in the current music scene?
C: Yes, if you never get to release an album!
MV: Theyâ€™re a bit like business cards for bands â€¦
RN : Singles are really hard to do. Our band is about the collection of ideas and material on the album. Its about the live shows, its about sonic embodiment of our thoughts on â€œrecordâ€? which is very difficult to distil into a pure two minute essence. Singles are both important and irrelevant, which I guess they always have been !
Loosely linked I know, but what is your favourite single of all time if you had to name just one that you could hear again?
C : Ghost Town – Specials
MV: today it is probably â€˜Pump it Upâ€™ by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
RN : Donâ€™t have an all time â€“ but of the moment? â€¦. I know U .. Warren Suicide. Iâ€™ve always liked â€œthe Modelâ€? â€“ Kraftwerk and anything by Iggy !!! Or what about that Dec Tex thingâ€¦. do I shut up nowâ€¦.?
And have you got a favourite album, or does it change depending on your mood or circumstances at the time?
C : Iâ€™m always in the mood for Toots & The Maytals
MV: today it is Funkadelicâ€™s first album
RN : Funkadelicâ€™s a good un. Um, Dirtbombs â€“ Ultraglide in Black is great. Lust for Life â€“ Iggyâ€¦..ummmmâ€¦you cant pin me down on one recordâ€¦..
A lot of people probably donâ€™t realise it but you actually provided the music for some of the biggest console games of the last few years in Driver and The Getaway. How did that opportunity come about?
C: Right time, right place and having the balls big enough
RN : â€˜nuff saidâ€¦.
Is it something youâ€™d consider doing again?
C: Itâ€™s an experience worth repeating
MV : â€¦. repeatingâ€¦.
What about film soundtracks, either your tracks being used or you penning a soundtrack to go with a film, would you consider that?
C: Penning a soundtrack for a film could be a consideration in the future. It would depend entirely on our opinion of the film and its makers.
From reading your press release your live shows sound like carnage with various degrees of nudity from J.G. Any particular shows that stick in your mind as being particularly memorable?
RN : I dunno where that story comes from. I know its in a couple of things said â€˜bout us, but itâ€™s a bit of a weird one. Weâ€™re hardly the fucking Chippendalesâ€¦.a couple of gonads flying around stage is the LAST thing we needâ€¦.
C: speaking of whichâ€¦.a special moment has to be when we caused the release of the huge, orange, crowd-control balloons by shocked security from the balcony of a packed Astoria while supporting Less Than Jake
MV : Cave piercing his rib cage with a hi-hat stand was quite impressiveâ€¦
RN : â€¦. Cave at any show is usually a memorable thing for usâ€¦.
Obviously we are bang in the middle of festival season now, have you had chance to play any of them or have you got any future festival dates lined up?
C: We played the Riverside free festival at Charlbury in the middle of a heat wave, which was ??
RN : Thatâ€™s a real nice gig. Proper fun that isâ€¦.. ONLY about the people playing, not some corporate types stealing cashâ€¦
MV : And no wanky securityâ€¦.
Finally, what can we expect from Narco over the next twelve months?
MV: a second albumâ€¦ the funk is flowingâ€¦