LOCAL INTERVIEW: Parastatic | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It’s often difficult for bands to see past their original inception, but Newcastle’s Parastatic have undergone the ultimate renovation by adding not only a new member, but crafting a concept album for their second release.

“Our sound isn’t easy to pigeonhole,” says guitarist/synth player and vocalist Neil Caffery, “we try and explore different sounds in a record.” While debut album Lost Highway had definite Krautrock leanings, their new record creates a homage to their sound, tying it up in an overall concept of memory: “Recall Fade Return is essentially three explorations of what memory can be. Each song is effectively what those memories evoke, so every song is written at a time, place or on a feeling.”

While the making of their debut album consisted of jamming for hours and picking out the best of what they had written, Recall Fade Return was fashioned in a much more dynamic and direct way, by working out which memories would work in a story of 10 songs.

The band’s premeditated idea of an intro, interlude and outro helps to understand the concept of memory, as Neil explains. “The song Archers is about a techno club in Sheffield that we used to go to, and Sorby Sunrise is about watching the sun come up after being out in the early hours of the morning. We specifically wrote each song to reflect exactly what that mood, feeling and emotion was.”

St Mary’s is a joyous and spacey track, while new drummer and vocalist Rachel Casey’s dreamy and unwavering vocals on I Am The One are a perfect and rare lyrical addition to one of the more emotional and softer tracks on the album.

“Sometimes you’re better off not being told what to think and let your imagination rule it”

Recall Fade Return boasts a number of different influences that sees them diverging from their previously typical Krautrock sound; keen not to be pigeonholed, the band have taken on a more post-rock, shoegaze style of electronic music, adopted and remodelled from their inspirations to create Parastatic’s sound. “The Early Years made Krautrock trendy again but Spiritualized are my number one top group at the moment, especially because they have such a varied output. We like Neu, Can and Faust, all of the usual names and a bit of Tangerine Dream from time to time.”

The absence of lyrics in most of the songs lets the music rule the listeners’ imagination, as Neil explains. “Sometimes you don’t need words to describe things, sometimes you’re better off not being told what to think and let your imagination rule it.”

The addition Rachel to the group, who joins Neil and guitarist Jon Garrard, has also changed their live dynamic. “The fact that we’ve got a drummer has changed our live show massively, there’s loads of energy and proportion to everything. That’s not to say we’re all jumping around the stage like lunatics, it’s just a lot heavier.”

Parastatic release Recall Fade Return via 104 Records on 9th March. The band play Stockton’s Sound It Out Records on Sunday 29th March and The Cumberland Arms in Newcastle on Thursday 2nd April.

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