PART 1 - THE 'INTERVIEW'
1 - Had you been involved in any bands prior to Memory Clinic?
Phil: "Me and Dav used to be in an indie pop outfit called Pretty Places. We achieved a minute amount of success in our country. We were regularly played on BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru. Interviewed by Huw Stephens for his C2 show on Radio Cymru and we were also played on the Tom Robinson BBC Introducing Show on BBC Radio 6."
Dav: "It was a good start I suppose."
Al: "I wasn't really involved in anything major except for jamming with a couple of bands around my area that didn't really make anything of it."
2 - How did Memory Clinic begin?
Phil: “Memory Clinic began from the ashes of Pretty Places. Myself and Dav had grown tired of Pretty Places as a band and our drummer left for university, so we wanted to start from fresh and pursue a more darker, dreamy sound."
Dav: “Essentially, Memory Clinic and Pretty Places are the same band, it’s just the sound we have now as Memory Clinic is what we aspired to pursue when we were in Pretty Places. We were just never quite able to achieve that kind of sound in the days of Pretty Places. It took a while to come to the realisation that we were able to do what we wanted to do all along, we were just going about it the wrong way.”
Al: “I had heard of Pretty Places and I liked the last couple of songs they released which were much darker in sound. I was approached by Phil at a party one night and he asked me if I was interested in joining the band. A few months later, I found myself at a practice session with them, and Dav and Phil expressed interest in changing the band name to Memory Clinic and pursuing a dreamier sound, and it all started from there really.”
3 - Where did the name Memory Clinic come from?
Phil: "I am a student nurse, which for now is my plan B, so if nothing comes up musically, I'll have something to "fall back on" so to speak. I was on placement in a hospital specialising in the assessment of patients with dementia, and on one of my days there I had been with a staff nurse in the memory clinic; a clinic specialising in the assessment of cognitive functions. I spoke to Dav on the phone during my dinner break and told him what I had been up to there. Upon hearing I had been in the memory clinic he told me "That's what the new band should be called!" and there you have it, that is why we are called Memory Clinic. Looking back, I don't think it evokes the nicest of imagery."
4 - How would you describe the sound of Memory Clinic?
Dav: “Pop music in disguise.”
Phil: “Pop music drenched in reverb, with a slight psychedelic twist. Dream pop, I suppose.”
Al: “Yeah, pop music from outer space.”
5 - Your debut EP, 'I Seek Shelter', takes it's name from one of the songs that features on it. Why did you choose this title?
Phil: "We tend to rely on Dav for titles most of the time and it was him that came up with the new 'When I Seek Shelter' for the third track. This song is basically about someone who has had a shit time, and has felt very vulnerable in the society he or she lives in and upon recovering from this, tells themselves to not go back to that way of living; 'don't go back there'. It's like some kind of personal mantra. I liked the overall theme of that song as it's something that a lot of people (I think) can relate to, the need to seek shelter from areas in their life that are negative. So from that I decided that it would be a fitting title for the EP."
6 - Are there any themes that run through your EP or does each song take influence from separate points?
Phil: "Our songs tend to be a mixture of personal experiences and completely made up situations. Each of the songs on the EP are about something completely different. I'm not that great when it comes to talking about the meaning of my songs!"
Dav: “The songs are to be interpreted in any way that the listener feels, but for me personally there is an underlying theme of wanting to leave home and experience the more exciting elements of life through a medium other than 9-5 work.”
Al: “For me it’s all about the music, I don’t really listen to the lyrics. I’m just a bitch for the rhythm!”
7 - Who would be your dream collaboration?
Phil: "I personally would absolutely love to work with Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. He has been a major influence on my song writing and the dreamy sound we have gone on to make as a band. I remember hearing Halcyon Digest for the first time and it literally blew my mind. It induced a drug like state of euphoria and that was the moment I really decided that this is what I want to do with my life."
Al: “I would love to have a jam with Bob Dylan. Just me, him and two acoustic guitars.”
Dav: “A band with Yoko Ono and the ghosts of Brian Jones & Jimi Hendrix would make an interesting band. I’d also want Michael Stipe in the corner with a tambourine.”
8 - Any new songs in the pipeline?
Al: “Whatever Phil brings to the practice when we meet up really. I also work on instrumentals in my own time.”
9 - When can fans expect a new single, EP or album?
Dav: “I’m not aware that there any fans out there but if there are, please get in touch. There’s a cookie in it for you.”
Al: “We have fans?!”
Phil: "Haha! We will be releasing a new track in the next couple of weeks. We will be releasing it on our Soundcloud page. We take releasing an album very seriously, and it's not something we aim to rush. Personally, I think that there will be a couple of EP's before we eventually release a debut album. It's really interesting to see a band like My Bloody Valentine's body of work before they actually released their debut album. They made an insane progression in sound from their early The Birthday Party-esque Goth rock sound they had when they first formed to the shoegaze sound of Isn't Anything and Loveless. As a band, we aim to progress in sound as time goes on. We do not want to be doing the same thing forever, I mean, that's just boring!"
10 - Who would be in your dream super group (dead or alive)?
Dav: “Johnny Marr, John Cale and the drummer from Blondie, his name escapes me.” (CLEM BURKE!)
Al: “Keith Moon on drums, Dick Dale on guitar, myself on bass & Todd Rundgren screaming random shit down the microphone.”
Phil: "Kevin Shields and Johnny Marr on guitars, Bradford Cox on Vocals and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) on percussion and production duties."
PART 2 - THE 'QUICKFIRE ROUND'
1 - Favourite Beatle?
2 - Favourite band?
Phil: “The Beatles.”
Dav: “Today Mac DeMarco. Ask me tomorrow and it’ll probably be different.”
Al: “At the moment, Tame Impala.”
3 - Favourite new band?
Phil: “Tame Impala.”
Dav: “Um, Memory Clinic.”
4 - Favourite song?
Phil: “Very hard question! At the moment I’d have to go for Mind Mischief by Tame Impala.”
Dav: “At the moment, I’d probably have to go for Radio Friendly Unit Shifter by Nirvana, It’s been stuck in my head all day!”
Al: “Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones”.
5 - Favourite album?
Phil: “Either Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys or Sgt Pepper by The Beatles. Obvious choices but brilliant nonetheless.
Dav: “I’d have to agree with Phil, although Rubber Soul is a big contender for me.”
Al: “At the moment I’d have to go for A Wizard, a True Star by Todd Rundgren.”
6 - Vinyl, CD or download?
7 - Style icon?
Phil: “Brian Jones, The Smiths era Johnny Marr, Tom Dougall of Toy and many others!”
Al: “Temples as a band, Dom from Toy, Bob Dylan & The Jam era Paul Weller.”
Dav: “John Cooper Clarke, Jarvis Cocker and Transformer era Lou Reed. Syd Barrett.”
8 - Favourite clothing brand?
Phil: “I am partial to the old Topshop I must admit. Although I’m not a fan of everything they sell.”
Dav: “Oxfam and various vintage shops cater to my clothing needs.”
Al: “Topshop for my jeans, vintage shops and occasional Pretty Green shirt when I can afford it.”
9 - Favourite film?
Phil: “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Dav: “American Beauty and/or American Psycho. Watching both after each other is quite a feast for the imagination.”
Al: “No Direction Home and any of the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost collaborations.”
10 - Favourite TV show?
Phil: “Peep Show or The Sopranos.”
Al: “Spongebob Squarepants.”
Dav: “Arrested Development. When in a less enlightened mood, Date Line can be entertaining as can Road Wars.”
11 - Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
Phil: “Edward Norton.”
Dav: “The recently deceased James Gandalfini.”
Al: “Rhys Ifans.”
12 - Favourite food?
Phil: “Spinach and Ricotta Caneloni.”
Dav: “Hummus on toast.”
Al: “Bowl of pesto pasta with melted cheese.”
13 - Football team?
Phil: “I hate football.”
Dav: “I’d rather cover myself in braising oil and feed myself to a pack of rabid Rottweiler's than even comprehend watching a football match.”
Al: “Whoever the local team is!”
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Memory Clinic! Check out our previous feature on Stone Thieves!
You can listen to Memory Clinic's debut EP here - http://www.soundcloud.com/memoryclinic
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