Abstract Edinburgh-based Art Rockers
Edinburgh trio, FOUND, is Ziggy Campbell, Kev Sim and Tommy Perman. The band began as an art collective, who played improvised music at their exhibition openings. This experimental, multimedia spirit carried through to factorycraft, which was recorded in one week on an industrial estate in Glasgow at Chemikal Underground’s own Chem 19 studio. Ziggy tells us how their unusual mix of garage rock, melodic pop and electronica comes together.
What’s the story behind FOUND; how did you form?
We first met at art school in Aberdeen, and after graduating, we all moved to Edinburgh with this romantic notion of becoming artists. We managed to get a few exhibitions and decided to play music at the opening nights, mainly to avoid talking to people and becoming part of that hypocrisy. Luckily, a promoter from Glasgow saw us play and offered us a slot opening for Luke Vibert at a techno club night. I’m sure it was terrible, but somehow we kept getting booked for more shows. I hope we’re better now than we were back then!
There are undertones of Pavement and The Jesus and Mary Chain, how would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it?
I describe our sound as a psychedelic explosion in the factory, but that’s probably a bit abstract. One tabloid journalist described us as a “punch up between Paolo Nutini and Captain Beefheart.” Someone else said we were like a cross between Big Country and Battles. These descriptions always make us laugh, but sometimes they can be alarmingly accurate.
Aside from releasing factorycraft, you’ve also won a BAFTA for Cybraphon. Can you tell us more about this project?
Cybraphon is an autonomous emotional robot band. It looks like an orchestration from the turn of last century and in the same way plays music mechanically. The difference is that we designed it to behave like a self-obsessed contemporary indie band – incessantly checking emails, Facebook, Twitter and Google – playing happy music when it gets enough attention and sad music when it doesn’t. Cybraphon constantly craves attention, just like FOUND!
Cybraphon is almost an art-installation – what experience are you trying to create for the listener/viewer?
Cybraphon has become very popular all over the world. I think this is because people recognise their own idiosyncrasies in it and can identify with this level of digital narcissism. We had planned that some of the attention it received would feed back to FOUND, but that didn’t happen. People have whole-heartedly bought into the idea of Cybraphon as an autonomous individual – Cybraphon has thousands more fans on Facebook than FOUND does.
FOUND has had an amazing few years with a debut at SXSW in 2009, radio sessions and festivals; where do you see the band heading this year?
We’re doing a few more festivals over the summer then another tour of the UK. Then we’re off to India in November to do a short tour. All the while we’re working on a new sound installation called Unravel which is a collaboration between the band and Aidan Moffat. That’ll be revealed early next year, possibly, with a collaborative record to follow. We’ve started writing material for the next FOUND album too. www.foundtheband.com.