They Come For You In The Night
Hey They Come For You In The Night, we’ve been big fans of your dreamy-synth melodies since
first seeing you play at the Shoot Festival earlier this year. It’s great to finally chat to you about your
music. First of all tell, us a bit about yourselves and how you came about forming They Come For
You In The Night?
Dan: Aw, thanks :) That is cool to hear. I guess the short story is that we met working long boring shifts in a cafe in Earlsdon. We stumbled on to the fact that we both liked boomy reverb heavy snares that sounded like they were from the 80’s. The rest, as they say, is history.
Alice: Thank you! I'd been doing solo stuff for a few years, and had always wanted to combine my ideas with a bigger synthy/80's drum-beat infused sound. It turned out that the drum machine I'd been daydreaming about was the exact one that Dan already had! We started jamming after some of our cafe shifts and it turned into a Sci-Fi pop band!
How would you describe the unique sound of They Come For You In The Night?
Dan: The whole time we were writing the songs I had this synth-wave/dream-pop idea in my head and then I was sitting in Drapers and someone who had been to our first show was like “Yeah, you’re quite Shoegaze.” and I thought, yep, that sounds about right. A shoegaze space opera. It's quite hard to look at the moon and your feet at the same time. Maybe we are bringing the sound of space to those who want to stare at their battered Converse all-day... Maybe.
Alice: I think 'mystical-synth-pop' describes it pretty well. But it's also essentially the soundtrack to the on-going space opera plot in our minds.
You’ve just released your debut E.P “Selene” and were absolutely loving it here at Native. What
influences went into the E.P’s creation? It has a very Sci-Fi feel to it.
Dan: It is different depending on which one of us you ask. Alice listens to some well fucked up shit. Like she won't stand for anything close to normal - she makes me feel like a mainstream pop fan, like I buy my CD’s in Tesco. For me the big influences were lots of female led electronica, stuff like Fever Ray and Goldfrapp but then also there was this one track by Sun Glitters called, Too Much To Lose, that I had on repeat (still do). Me and Alice listened to the track 'Kids' off of the Stranger Things soundtrack all the time and I went to watch SURVIVE. Definitely some Com Truise and Tokimonsta in there as well, I mean these are only our first couple of tracks, I don't feel like we have really got where we are going yet.
Alice: It's true. I love listening to 'New Order' at half speed, have you tried it? Listen to the intro of 'Blue Monday' but change the speed with the cog on youtube - it's hypnotic. I also love learning covers of folk songs in languages I don't understand, we have plans of doing a synth-wave exploration of some Norwegian, Russian and Japanese songs, using Gary Numan (my hero) as our vibe guide.
What inspires your dreamy storytelling lyrics?
Dan: We have some cool conversations. I just try my best not to be a barrier when it comes to the story.
Alice: Sometimes Dan will send me an instrumental layer and I'll listen to it in a relaxed zoned out way and I'll imagine what story it sounds like. I love themes centred around space, aliens, gods and goddesses, magic, and mythology. All the songs in our 'Selene' E.P follow the story of an astronaut from another dimension.
In her world the space race happened in the 1920's and Egypt has remained a super-power since the age of the Pharaohs. There are some fashion history lectures on Youtube (Ultimate Fashion History) that I'm addicted to, it helped me to plan how a 'Rocketeer' from the 20's would probably dress. I did also check out Moon Goddesses on Wikipedia and 'Selene' was one of them. Check out this quote from it:
"Selene was regarded as the personification of the moon itself. She drives her moon chariot across the heavens".
How do you go about turning these multi-layered songs into such a compelling live performance
like the one we saw at Shoot Festival?
Dan: It's so hard, we still haven't figured it out. Ultimately I'd like to do more live synthy stuff rather than running things through Ableton but when you know you’re gonna have to load that shit into the car it’s easy to get lazy.
I think with the guitars against some well placed triggers we are hoping that we do something live that has a bit of an organic feel to it and some new stuff on it that you don't hear on the recordings. At the moment we would be pretty screwed without Ableton.
Alice: We are currently in a montage of thinking up performance boosters. There are so many options to mix and match from. I love those 80's electric drums that are shaped like hexagons. I'd like to invent some more elaborate dance moves and I have a prop plan for E.P 2 - A Weather Machine.
We're also really into all your surreal artwork and imagery, especially in the video for “Don’t Let The Night Be Starless”. Where does that come from?
Dan: I'd say we are both pretty evens on the artwork but the spacey surreal stuff comes from Alice. We actually did the video (Starless) with an old friend of mine called Fraser (wetheconspirators) who I know from years of playing in the Leicester music scene. He is responsible for bringing a classier yet sci-fi kitsch vibe to the band and when we started seeing all the stills from the video they became the inspiration for the E.P cover.
Fraser was awesome to work with and he was so into trying all weird ideas that we wanted to try. I was so buzzed about the video when it came back. I personally think that Fraser’s video was instrumental in setting the tone for how we roll out the visual elements going forward.
Alice: I'm just also gonna add that Dan did also create the E.P artwork with his Photoshop skills and he makes our event posters/ jazzes up photos. But yeah we're super lucky that Fraser was interested in our project. He had heard our music online and offered to make us a video, so I sent him a really long and excited description of the whole 'Selene' plot, including the videos I'd already made for our live projections.
He was really into the theme and even said he'd bring some prisms to create those rainbow effects. I danced for about five hours that day. Our own home-made video imagery was projected onto us while he shot the professional one, and we adore what he's created! Before we collaborated with Fraser we had decided to make a video for every song (to be projected live at gigs). Each one hints at the story in the song.
I created the scenery using a combination of household props, curtains, a flashing speaker that looks like a spaceship and an illustrated charity shop book of Polynesian mythical beings.
Finally after such an eventful and exciting first half of 2019 what does the rest of the year
Dan: The next couple of months are stacks of shows, learning how to do it live. I should be practicing guitar parts right now and we have another half cooked E.P on the go which I'm really excited about. So that mostly. I think season four of Rick and Morty is out soon also!
Alice: Yeah we really want to make everything more elaborate. I've started writing some new lyrics, 'The modem hisses with alien kisses...' for E.P 2, and checking out what they sound like reversed (I think my backwards-self is way cooler than my forwards-self). I'm also aiming to always dress up as a particular character from each E.P. For now I'm still Selene, but for E.P 2, possibly an alien or a storm.
Written by Tom Godwin. Photographed by Adam Goss.