Back in the Spring we went to Liverpool Sound City for an amazing few days of music. Musically there were many highlights, but none more so than seeing Bird play in the towering surrounds of Liverpool Cathedral.
The sound was intense, moving and, always a sucker for a band dressed in black, they looked the part. The next 30 minutes was our festival highlight.
The album, My Fear and Me, does an excellent job of capturing the intensity of the live performance. Sure this is dark, moody music, dense and haunting in places, but it is also moving and uplifting. Bird are a band whose music may flit among the shadows, but they don’t disappear into the darkness – accessibility to the song and the melody is never lost.
We chatted to Adele from the band, but between our conversation and publishing this article it was announced that, “Due to reasons that are beyond of our control it is with heavy heart that we’re announcing that we’ll no longer be able to perform or make music as BIRD.” Thankfully it was also announced that, ‘This is not the end’.
We don’t know what is happening next, but we do know that the show in Liverpool and My Fear and Me, were a highlight of our musical year.
Hi Bird, how are you all?
We’re all good thank you! We’ve recently got back from gigging in Barcelona and are currently on tour with Canadian band The Besnard Lakes, so we’ve been pretty busy. We’re also starting to write some new material which is pretty exciting.
How does it feel to have your debut album, ‘My Fear and Me’ out in the world?
It feels great, after working on it for so long it was nice to finally be able to let go of it and send it out in to the world. The response from people has been really positive which makes it all worthwhile.
How has the reception been on the tour so far?
The album tour was loads of fun, especially the Manchester and London gigs, we always seem to do well there. But it was just fun to tour a product that we were proud of.
We see on Facebook that you describe your music as ‘Ethereal Wave’ are you starting a new genre?
Not intentionally so but we find it hard to describe our music because it is so diverse and there’s a lot of different genres combined, so we just thought ethereal wave was the term that best suited our music.
There is a definite darkness in your music – although that’s not to say it isn’t also mystical and pretty darn beautiful – does it get even more intense? Do you find yourselves having to reel it back from some pretty bleak places?
We don’t hold back really, we let the music get as dark and intense as it wants, maybe that’s not for everybody but that’s just what comes naturally to us. We hope it’s not all doom and gloom though, we like to think there’s a nice balance of light in there too.
At times the music’s sparseness reminds me of Joy Division. Is this a fair reference point and a band you admire?
Yeah I mean we all love Joy Divison and they’re probably one of the most influential bands that we admire. Ian was and still is one of the greats.
What other influences do you notice coming out in your music?
We love the likes of PJ Harvey, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, The Cocteau Twins and The Cure and then some newer bands like Warpaint, John Maus, Amen Dunes, Angel Olsen and The Wytches. Things that influence writing are mainly personal life experiences, books, films, photography. I really love soundtracks too.
Now I don’t want to give readers the wrong impression as your music may be intense, but live it is also quite thrilling. Is it a challenge bringing the textures of the record out in a live environment?
We found it challenging at first because we hadn’t played the album live but now we find it really easy and we can give the sound a lot more energy and clout live. We need to keep concentrating on the dynamics though as they can get lost easily when you’re so used to playing something a lot.
We were lucky enough to see your show at Liverpool Cathedral during this year’s Sound City and absolutely loved it – how was it for you?
Thank you! We loved that show, it was the perfect venue and setting for us, it was also our first show playing the new album songs to our hometown so we were a bit nervous, but people seemed to really enjoy it which was great. It was amazing to play such a beautiful, famous landmark too. We all live fairly close to the cathedral and used to walk past it saying ‘how perfect would it be if we could play in there’ and now we can cross it off our list!
If you were curating next year’s Sound City which 3 bands would you ask to headline the Cathedral?
Nick Cave, Portishead and Kate Bush ((I’m thinking big here!)
Do you think your Liverpool roots come out through the music? If so how?
I wouldn’t say so no, I mean it’s brilliant to be part of Liverpool and it’s creative/music scene and we adore the city but I wouldn’t say we had a particularly Liverpudlian sound in anyway. A lot of bands coming out of Liverpool and Wirral now have lots of really diverse sounds which is great, I think the city is really changing and going from strength to strength.
For a Bird newbie which song do you recommend they listen to first?
I’d say give The Rain Song a go first as it’s one of our slightly more accessible songs, then I Am The Mountain as that seems to be a crowd favourite and the give Sea Of Trees a listen if you want something a bit heavier!
We are always curious how song writing works within bands – what’s the process within Bird?
I usually take a hook or a full song in to the practice room and then we all build on it collectively from there. Once the basics of the song are there everything tends to fall in to place quite naturally, we’re on the same wave length the majority of the time which is good so that makes the music flow quite easily.
You are on tour – what hi-jinks have been going on?
We’ve broken down a couple of times, slept in a service station and I got quite badly electrocuted on the mic one night which was fun! There’s been loads of fun times too though, being in a band is definitely a roller coaster ride but all worth it, you can certainly say it’s never boring.
Who is the troublemaker in the band?
I wouldn’t say troublemaker, but Lex is the one who likes to party out of all of us, as long as he’s knows there’s some beers on the rider then he’s happy!
Finally, our current favourite track is ‘I Am the Mountain’ – how did it come into being, what’s it all about?
I Am the Mountain is quite a spiritual song, it’s about loosing hope but finding it in the world and the beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes we forget to see what’s right in front of us because we’re so blinded by focusing on ourselves and our inner problems, it’s about looking beyond that.
As a parting gift the band are also giving away a great cover of The Stone Roses ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ HERE