Stewart from Bad Owl Presents met up with Jay, Adam, Terry & Hannah from Rumour Cubes ahead of their StrangeForms appearance.
BAD OWL PRESENTS: Rumour Cubes are just back from a UK tour - how did it go and what were your highlights?
JAY: It was invigorating and made me excited to be in this band. We met so many people, promoters, venue owners, band members and sound people who cared so much about what they were doing. I think it pushed us to try and play as well as we could and have as much fun as possible while we were at it. By and large I think we pulled it off.
ADAM: Definitely! It was a little adventure for us all. We brought our good friends Steve Willey (the poet who appears on several songs) and Annie Rew Shaw (piano/vocals) who filled out and expanded our live sound. We experimented a lot on tour too, re-inventing old songs and trying some new ideas.
TERRY: The highlight for me was finding a framed picture of a spaniel in a charity shop in Manchester, which we adopted as our mascot. Alas his tenure was short-lived as he went missing in action the next night at our homecoming gig in London. If anyone's seen him, please let us know - there may be a reward! Musically, Glasgow was a great show - we opened with a new version of Letters to Palestine, with Steve adding an updated postscript to his poem. The audience reaction was tremendous, and it set the tone for a pretty fired-up gig.
HANNAH: Jay basically said everything I wanted to say only better, so I'll just say The tour was absolutely brilliant, and I can't believe it's taken us 5 years to organise one! I'm already plotting the second...
BOP: Your second, and latest, album 'Appearances Of Collections' was released last autumn. Whilst essentially a 'post-rock' album we've also picked up elements of math-rock and prog-rock in there too - can you tell us a little bit about the record and the influences behind it?
JAY: With it being six of us a hell of a lot went into the album. Far more than any one of us would know about.
Low's The Invisible Way came out not long after I'd joined the band and I went through a stage of listening to that pretty much every day from when it came out till when we went into the studio. We had a few band outings around the time we were recording where a bunch of us went to see gigs by Low, Ólafur Arnalds and Steve Reich so i'm sure they all snuck in.
I know Adam was hugely influenced by Arcade Fire when it came to working on this record.
ADAM: If by 'hugely influenced by' you mean 'vaguely acknowledged' and by 'when it came to working on this record' you mean 'in 2002'! More generally, the record was definitely a more confident album than our debut - we spent a lot of time experimenting with developing a more expansive sound, whether that was through new instrumentation (clarinet, cornet, sax, harp...), electronic voice sounds or just layering up hundreds of guitars...
TERRY: Yeah, definitely the wish to create a huge sound was a big part of what we were trying to do with the album. For me there was a lot of natural influences - mountains, glaciers, the northern lights - in my head while we were writing. It feels like a pastoral record to me. There are bits of Vaughan Williams' tonality in the strings parts, too.
HANNAH: For me, the album is kind of inextricably linked with loss - or rather, the concept of hope after loss I think. My gran died while we were writing the album, and I lost a friend while we were recording. I've also been through some substantial changes in my life over the last few years, and I think, for me, the record kind of symbolises me finding my way again after being lost in my own mental wilderness for a number of years.
BOP: Rumour Cubes are six in number and Wharf Chambers is a pretty intimate venue - have you worked out how you're all going to fit on stage yet?
JAY: Hannah went last year and assures us that we've played smaller stages before so we'll find a way.
ADAM: We never fit on stage anywhere really... it's quite nice to just spill out into the audience sometimes!
HANNAH: I think for the duration of our set we'll get the audience up on stage and we'll play on the floor. And we can call it a meta-set.
BOP: Rumour Cubes 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?
JAY: Again Hannah went last year and had only good things to say so we're pretty excited. I'm looking forward to seeing Tomorrow We Sail and Her Name is Calla although based on how much I now like most of last years line up I'm pretty sure I'm that I'm going to have some new favourite bands and have spent all my money on merch by the end of it.
TERRY: I don't know their music but I like the name Fly On Byrd, Fly On!
HANNAH: HELL YEAH! I'll be there all weekend and I'm intending to get significantly less drunk on Jagermeister than I did last year. I'm also really really looking forward to seeing Tomorrow We Sail again and generally just catching up with mates! I feel incredibly lucky to know so many people in so many of the wonderful bands that are playing, so it's gonna be a great weekend both musically and personally.
BOP: Rumour Cubes are asked to curate their own gig - what four bands, past or present, would you have on the bill?
JAY: I'll go for Les Savy Fav as they are undoubtedly the best live band I've ever seen. Can someone else please vote for Low.
HANNAH: I'll vote for Low because Les Savy Fav would totally have been on my list!
ADAM: I probably would have voted for Low, so instead I'll go for Battles.
BOP: And finally, other than StrangeForms, what are Rumour Cube's plans for the rest of 2015?
JAY: Um. I guess we better figure that out. More shows? Playing some new music would be really fun.
ADAM: We should probably get writing again!! We also continually talk about putting on a big London show with everything that went on the album happening live. We'll probably talk some more about that...
HANNAH: I'd bloody love to play some more festivals - we've applied for everything going, pretty much, but I guess that's in the lap of the gods. I'd also love to do another tour towards the end of the year concentrating on the South / South-West as we didn't really get to any of those cities this time around - Portsmouth, Southampton, Brighton, Bristol, Exeter, Cardiff would all be ace places to play.
Rumour Cubes play StrangeForms at 6pm on Saturday 5th 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