Stewart from Bad Owl Presents caught up with Joshua, Kenny and Nathan from Civil Protection ahead of their StrangeForms appearance.
BAD OWL PRESENTS: Your sound changed quite drastically between your debut EP, 'The Lines Are Drawn' and your debut LP, 'Stolen Fire'. Can you tell us a bit about both the conscious and organic nature of this change and how you feel the change in direction represented you as a band?
JOSHUA: The debut EP is still something we're all immensely proud of but it was definitely a reflection of our writing style at the time, which was a little reclusive and relied on one or two members to come up with the goods. The song that eventually became Stolen Fire signalled a change in how we went about writing music. The whole process became much more inclusive, and the sound changed as a result. Everybody got in on the ground floor, which meant that everybody had a say in how the song developed. Our LP is named in honour of that change, and feels like a more complete representation of us as a band, which is to say that it's louder. And fuelled by alcohol.
BOP: The majority of Civil Protection attended last year's StrangeForms Festival as punters - what were your highlights of the event and what are you looking forward to most about playing this year?
JOSHUA: To single out one band is to imply that the rest were any less impressive, which absolutely isn't the case, but anyone that was standing in that room when Tomorrow We Sail closed out their set will tell you that it was a goosebump-inducing experience. The whole half hour seemed to build towards an electrifying crescendo that left me in awe of what those guys can do. Musical highlights aside, I think the atmosphere really stood out as something unique - and memorable - about Strangeforms. Not a single person was having a bad time, and everyone was incredibly approachable. This year, I'm most looking forward to doing that thing where you play really quietly and then suddenly really loudly and you make everyone jump and they spill their drinks.
BOP: You've been through a line-up change since the release of 'Stolen Fire' - was it a case of starting all over again or more of a seamless transition?
KENNY: Not at all - Adam (who left the band last year) remains a satellite member and has a good input when required. If anything, the transition has been flawless with Sam joining the band and has really inspired us to work harder at attaining the sound we have always striven for.
BOP: Civil Protection will be playing on the Saturday at StrangeForms - are you planning on sticking around for the day or weekend and, if so, who are you looking forward to seeing?
JOSHUA: We will absolutely be sticking around for the weekend. Wild horses couldn't drag us away. Actually Kenny might have to nip out and stick a bet on, otherwise we'll be front and centre. It's good to see Tomorrow We Sail making a return, and Waking Aida were excellent the last time I caught them live. As for bands I haven't seen: the things I've heard about Alright the Captain have piqued my interest, so I'm looking forward to seeing them do their thing, and Fly On Byrd, Fly On's paths and ours seem to have narrowly avoided each other on several occasions, so it will be good to finally catch those guys. Honestly though, we're not planning on missing anyone.
NATHAN: Absolutely sticking around for the whole weekend, especially seeing as I missed last year. Personally, I'm really looking forward to seeing Tomorrow We Sail. I've seen them before and they were superb.
BOP: Civil Protection are asked to curate their own gig - what four bands, past or present, would you have on the bill?
KENNY: Mogwai as they are our biggest influence. Caspian as they have the biggest sound and drive I have ever witnessed on stage. If These Trees Could Talk as their music structure is outstanding and unsurpassable. Pg Lost as they show a great number of sonic interpretations not normally associated with post-rock.
JOSHUA: Sadly, my musical tastes are not shared by the rest of the band, so I should say straight off the bat that my opinions do not reflect those of Civil Protection as a whole. With that out of the way, I'd kick things off with a set by Hundred Reasons, because 'Shatterproof Is Not a Challenge' was the soundtrack to the end of my teenage years, and when I finally got around to seeing them live a couple of years back I almost wept with joy. Following them would be The Glitch Mob, because I simply can't imagine anything more satisfying than hearing 'Skullclub' blare at over 100db in a room full of people losing their minds. I'd offer Weezer main support on the condition that they steer clear of anything post-Green Album, because fan service really should be their sole focus at this point. And, at the risk of sounding cliché, I'd stick Michael Jackson's name at the top of the poster. There are so many reasons for that, but, considering how expensive this gig is shaping up to be, the most important is that I need to sell a lot of tickets.
NATHAN: The four acts would be Pink Floyd, Mogwai, Leech and Smashing Pumpkins. I don't care what the others say, that's the line-up.
BOP: And finally, other than StrangeForms, what are Civil Protection's plans for the rest of 2015?
NATHAN: We have a number of gigs lined up and want to keep being noisy on a stage. We're also finalising our second album (which is amazing). You will all literally be forced to buy it.
Civil Protection play StrangeForms at 4pm on Saturday 4th April.
Weekend tickets cost £15 and can be purchased from Jumbo Records, Wharf Chambers or online at https://badowlpresents.bandcamp.com/merch
Day tickets cost £9 and can be purchased online at https://www.wegottickets.com/f/8765