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The Go! Team

New band of 2004 for me was without doubt or question The Go! Team from Brighton.

I stumbled across them by blind fluke/chance/accident as I caught one of their BBC sessions one evening returning home from a fruitless shopping trip at Asda.

Their music hit me immediately as a high energy indie, the kind of upbeat tunes that seem so rare and missing today for an act so independent.

Unable to work out just what was powering the engine, the music itself caught my imagination as sounding like a soup of Free Kitten crossed with Luscious Jackson with indie disco cheerleaders providing the vocals. This act does not sound like it is from Brighton, it sounds like the sound of graffiti covered New York.

Release wise, out has come the first album “Thunder Lightning Strike” on Memphis Industries which has spawned the singles “Junior Kickstart”, “Get It Together”, “The Power Is On” and most recently “Ladyflash”.

Knowing what I do, 2005 should be their year. The band consists of six organs in one vessel and being grilled today (and graciously answering my questions) is Ian from the band:

How did The Go! Team come about to being?

Ian: It originated out of a lo fi bedroom project on a shitty 80’s sampler – I have 100’s of tapes of dodgy 4 track stuff and it developed from there meeting like minded people in Brighton and London. There are 6 of us – 3 girls: Ninja, Chi and Silke and 3 fellas: Me (Ian), Jamie and Sam. Our names are so boring next to the ladies. We played our first live shows in the summer.

Has there been much confusion with people with yourselves and the old K band The Go Team?

Not too much confusion as they’re pretty obscure and we have the exclamation mark! But the shared name thing was a coincidence – I read an article about plane crashes and it said that the people who find out what went wrong are called the go team. Can’t knock K records.

How do you manage to produce such upbeat music? Are you upbeat people?

It was never a conscious decision to be upbeat – I suppose the goal was to really go for it but not in an obvious “we’re a rock n roll band” kinda way. I just naturally veer away from chin stroking earnest, singer song writer
type stuff and I suppose the go team is quite apart from that idea.

What is the music scene in Brighton like circa: now?

Pretty good – it’s like a magnet for youngsters with guitars so there are hundreds of bands around. The good thing is that everyone is different. There is no real Brighton sound.

The annoying question: who are you influences?

Noisy guitar stuff like Sonic Youth, 60s girl groups, old school hip hop, Northern Soul, triumphant trumpets, Bollywood music, double dutch chants – I think the music is a reflection of all these things.

McDonalds wanted to use your music. Were you offended or complimented? Why decline?

It’s not exactly true that McDonalds wanted to use it – an ad company wanted to pitch it to McDonalds for an advert but we nipped it in the bud before the got any funny ideas. I wouldn’t do it for all the money in the world.

What has it been like doing the sessions for the BBC?

Pretty good – they were done in 1 take and sound pretty lo fi next to all the Green Day stuff playing either side. The best thing was hanging out in Maida Vale studios which is where all the orchestras play. It’s got a proper
wartime feel to the place. Loads of chunky old microphones and timpani drums everywhere.

What kind of emotional response are you trying to get from the listener?

I think the aim is to make music that kicks ass, which you can get down to but which is kinda innovative.

How do you rate education versus experience?

No one in the band has been taught by music teachers I don’t think – if you have a guitar knocking around your bedroom and a few ideas that’s the best scenario.

Your music has an almost athletic vibe, how intentional is this?

That’s funny because we’re hardly jocks. I suppose it’s athletic in a non sporty way. Maybe a high five is the most sporty it could go. We would die if a motivational speaker made it their entrance music. No actually it would be quite good.

What is your songwriting process and how do you record?

I generally find the samples and write the songs. I played some of the instruments and roped others to play as well. It was a long chaotic process, recording in bursts in a basement. Levels are high, drums are compressed and everything is sent to tape.

What have been the most notable b ands that you have played with?

Well our first ever gigs where at festival in Sweden where we played alongside bands like Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand. We played with the Dears the other day and are actually playing with the Doves tomorrow.

Generally, how important is it to be creative? (Have a form of expression?)

It’s not so much important but it’s satisfying if you make something good and I suppose you momentarily make someone else’s life better if they dig it.

What advice would you have for other performers?

I don’t feel wise enough to be giving out advice – we’ve only played about 16 gigs so I think people should give us advice.

What are you current listening tastes and what are your favourite forms/styles of music?

I actually quite dig Estelle in a hit parade way. I like people like Cornelius, Boards Of Canada and I like that Jonny Boy single “You Are The Generation”

What are you plans for the future both musically and personally?

We’ll be heading further a field to Japan, Australia and America next year. My goal is keep it raw and not be in a position where anyone can nudge us in any direction. Maybe I’ll give up my day job as well.