Interview with Sian Alice Group

Written By:

Gareth Jones

07th May 2009
At 20:05 GMT

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Sian Alice Group are a fairly gifted bunch to say the least: simply listen to their debut album '59:59' and you'll understand. They're one of the only post-rock acts playing at the ATP festival and it's obvious why, in the two years that SAG have been together they've built up a commanding live reputation.

If you'd like to know what to expect from SAG's live set here's a simple equation for you: Post-Rock + (Good Performers + ATP Festival) = Musical Utopia 

We had the privilege of talking to Ben from the band while they were on the road touring:

Strange Glue: You recently supported the Veils and you're set to do the same for Deerhunter soon, which must be exciting. How's the band taking all the publicity and hype?

Ben: I haven't seen this hype or publicity! We're really looking forward to the Deerhunter tour. We've played with Atlas Sound before, and stayed at Bradford's house last time we were in Atlanta. Plus we love their music. We share a lot of the same ideas and both bands clearly a broad and deep love of music so it should be fun. Its a shame we're not playing in our home town with them, but the rest of the tour is going to be great. Plus I can finally get Microcastle on vinyl.

SG: Are there any other bands you'd like to tour with some day and why? 

Ben: We love touring. There's no one in particular I'd like to tour with. We've been lucky to tour with great bands who've become friends (A Place to Bury Strangers and Vetiver) and others who were friends before (Spiritualized). As long as it someone with integrity and soul, I'm happy. 

SG:Which other bands are you most looking forward to seeing over the ATP weekend?

Ben: I'm looking forward to Sleep, Jesus Lizard, Jesu and Harvey Milk for my heavier side, Grails, Hush Arbors, M83 and Retribution Gospel Choir to float to, plus hanging out with Spiritualized is always special.  I love ATP. We've been wanting to play for a long time.  I'd love to play the NY ATP, and Ornette's Meltdown would be amazing to play.

SG: Could you see yourself attending the ATP festival if you were not playing? Are there any festivals that you particularly like? 

Ben: The mainstream festivals don't appeal massively. My favourite festival was playing Emmaboda in Sweden (a tiny sponsorship free festival in the middle of a forest) on a metal stage. Thunder and lightning started when we did. Everyone involved was awesome. The next day we hung out at a truck-stop with Spaceman and Douglas (when he was still playing with us) drinking and having fun. Great times.

SG: We've seen two music videos on your MySpace and both are magnificent for completely different reasons. Did you have any input to making the videos? How was the recording process? 

Ben: We made the Dusk line video with a vintage tube video camera. The motionless one was a happy coincidence of the track lining up perfectly with the Chuck Yaeger scene in The Right Stuff. We're making more videos right now, hopefully with some very talented film-makers. My history is in film and I'm very passionate about it.

SG: There's been a lot of coverage on illegal downloading and torrent websites at the moment. What's your stance on illegal file-sharing? 

Ben: I think its okay to download what you already own. If you download something new and you like it, have some decency and go buy it at some point if you can afford it.

SG: So aside from music, is there anything that you feel strongly about? Any opinions on current affairs or things that concern you? 

Ben: We're passionate about everything. These are serious times. The start of this century have been a cultural, political, environmental, social and ethical joke, and we've all got to take some responsibility, get some manners and make an effort.

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