Indietracks interview #26: Downdime

Downdime are a noisy, psychedelic indiepop band formed in Leeds in 2004. Taking inspiration from the C86/indiepop bands of the 1980s and 90s such as Rocketship, My Bloody Valentine and The Wedding Present. They have so far released two 7″ singles: Seeds of Hopelessness (Squirrel Records, 2005) and Hate the Morning/Joanne (Squirrel Records, 2006), and their debut album Knowing Too Much is out now, also on Squirrel Records.

Interesting pop fact: singer/guitarist Ged played drums with indie stalwarts Boyracer for several years in the 1990s.

Hiya, tell us a little bit about yourselves

We are an indie pop band from Leeds that likes to play joyous full-on noise with occasional quieter interludes. We’re into bands like The Wedding Present and Action Painting! Ged sings while he fights his guitar into submission. Ste apparently plays bass like he’s being electrocuted. Liz was once described as aloof but has since figured out how to rock it without getting her hair tangled in the keys. Eddy is our dependable metronome as long as no-one feeds him nuts right before a gig (this happened once. Not fun, but he lived to tell the tale). Having released a couple of singles (Seeds of Hopelessness; Hate The Morning/Joanne), we recorded our debut album ‘Knowing Too Much’ in the Brudenell Social Club, which is practically our living room and one of our favourite gig venues. The album was released on Squirrel Records earlier this year. Onstage we’re upbeat, loud and occasionally a little ramshackle so expect some feedback and maybe some falling over.

Tell us about an unusual place you’ve played a gig in the past

We just played a gig with Jeffrey Lewis and The Junkyard at The Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, the only gas lit cinema still in use in the UK. The four of us were balanced in a row on a narrow strip between the footlights and the screen. The crowd had to sit and listen quietly; it was great to have a captive audience where the only thing distracting them from watching us was their huge buckets of pop corn. It was a really memorable experience, with the added bonus of then watching Jeff perform with his homemade videos projected onto the big screen.

Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?

Ged: I am a trained tight rope walker, my dad has worked in the circus for many years and he taught me this very useful skill. Thanks Dad.Liz: I once performed in The Royal Albert Hall. I was seven years old, and I was dressed as a parrot.Ste: I swore onboard the pope mobile.Eddy: My dad runs a religious cult with Blondie’s Gary Valentine and Jah Wobble.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Indie pop and steam trains, what’s not to love about that? We haven’t been along before, but friends who have say we will fit in well, and lots of them are going again this year so we’re looking forward to having a really good time together. We love indie pop and the people involved; more and more great bands have been added to the bill, so it just keeps getting better. We’re going to fit in as much free train travel as humanly possible. It’d be rude not to…

Exactly! And here’s a free Downdime MP3 to download: Knowing Too Much